Quadalajara: The Utopia That Once Was - a book by Jack Tumidajski - A history of the paraplegic and quadriplegic men and women who rediscovered life in Mexico's second largest city
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XX "... I decided that what you should know about this book is what I hope we all will know about life and living it. That people can be heroes both for what they do and what they don't do. It's true. Living an ordinary life can be quite extraordinary when you do it right--when you do it at all. ...

... I don't wish to give you the Reader's Digest version of the book, I want you to read it. But I will say that what I found most remarkable about this book is how the author tells about the seemingly ordinary things in one person's life--that become quite extraordinary to the reader when they realize they are things done by a man who has no use of his legs. A soldier who once had to run and crawl and climb, instantly transformed into someone quite different, sometimes confined to a bed unable to move and partake of life.  A soldier who once survived in a time of war with one dream--owning a fancy, little sports car-now relying on the government actually taking him off active duty because he could no longer walk across a room. The story is heartbreaking for about five minutes, then it becomes one of the most uplifting stories about the simplest things you can think of--living a life. ..."

Vietnam Veterans Homepage

"In the fall of 1998, when I was a social work intern talking to you, someone who had lived in Guadalajara, Mexico, I clearly remember standing at your hospital bed and telling you, "You are part of a remarkable moment in history.  You should write a book to tell this story. There's a screenplay in there." After reading parts of that book, now I realize I had no idea at all about just how truly remarkable that moment in history was. I knew it was very important for you, as the youngster of the group, to tell the story."

M.O., Social Worker
San Diego VAMC

"We were sent the book. I read it. In fact, I couldn't put it down. I just wish it was longer.  Thanks for writing it."

P.S., Admin. Asst.
Arizona PVA

Buddy from NY ('70), Jack from RI ('72), Tom from MN ('63), Bill from OR ('58), and JoAnn from MN ('64) enjoy a typical day in paradise.
Buddy from NY ('70), Jack from RI ('72), Tom from MN ('63), Bill from OR ('58), and JoAnn from MN ('64) enjoy a typical day in paradise.
"Just wanted you to know that I really enjoyed your book.  I often wondered about Mexico as I heard stories from other vets."

Las Vegas NV

XX "I'm writing to congratulate you on the publication of your wonderful book, and to thank you for the autographed copy you sent to me. Of course, I immediately loaned it to K.D., who read it cover-to-cover, and found many of our SCI patients mentioned. I especially enjoyed the alphabetical listing in the back, and the photographs. I hadn't thought of Richard Jaros in a long time. And I don't know if I'll ever recover from seeing Peter Mirche dressed up as a woman!

At any rate, thanks again, Jack. You have a rare talent for this sort of thing. Maybe a novel next time?


Department of Veterans Affairs - San Diego

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