09/06/06: Going through my file of photos, I came across these pictures of one of our past "hostess". I don't remember her name nor the bar I took them in, but if there is a Rota Rooter out there that knows, I will post it here. R. Retin
9/26/06 update: Well, it didn't take long! Robert Canavello (YN2 - 1966-1969 - S-5 Supply Yeoman & Anchorman drummer) has identified our "hostess" as Maria Mulero. He thinks she worked in the Suzie Bar. This is highly likely as the Suzie was my "home" bar. He believes she is still in Rota.
03/22/07 update: I received the following email message from Terry L. West, a radioman that never left Rota:
"Hello. I enjoyed looking at your history of the USS CANOPUS as I was at Rota COMSTA during those same years. The lady in the first photo of Rota Bars 1967 is Maria Mulero Jimenez. She mainly worked at the Missouri Bar. I lived with her off and on for three years. She is still in Rota and lives around the corner from the old White Horse bar.
They recently tore down the last monument of old Rota, Benny's Bar. The Suzie is a ice cream parlor. Have been here for years and Rota is basically a playground for the rich of Seville as they now have roads to get here quickly.
Just to assure you that I am speaking with knowledge about certain subjects, I am now married to a relative of the above Maria, who looks amazingly like her. I had several friends on the CANOPUS as well as the HOLLAND. Never really knew their names but saw them in town often. Definitely was the good days."
10/2/2010 update: Email received from Jim Ellars, ATC (NAC/AW), USN Ret.:
"WOW...the pictures of Maria Jimenez knocked me out of my chair. My family and I were stationed in Rota at VQ-2 and VR-24 Det Rota (later VR-22) during most of the 80s and the first part of the 90s. We first met Maria in 1980. Actually, I met her first because I got to Rota ahead of the family by a couple of months, and my sponsor, Herb Embry (who may still live in Rota), introduced me to her and her Spanish boyfriend Juan. They both owned the Chicago Bar and it was Herb's favorite hang-out. Juan and Maria became two of our closest friends. Some background on Maria.
Maria had come to work at the bars in Rota when she was very young (about 15) and very, very beautiful. She met and married a sailor who took her to live in the states, Virginia Beach I'm pretty sure. She caught her husband with another man, divorced him and returned to Rota. She worked at several bars over the years and although she has several photos of herself during that time (and she was a STUNNER) her one prized photo is of her in costume (read g-string and pasties) when she was a dancer at the old La Cabana Bar down near the playa.
When she met Juan, he was a flamboyant, skirt chasing Man-About-Town, but they moved in together, bought the Chicago bar and settled into a co-habitative life of constant arguments and fights. They fought like cats and dogs. I once did the really stupid act of stepping between them when he went after her with a knife. There's real irony in that fact. They ended up selling the Chicago Bar and bought a small hidden bar over in Chipiona, down near the beach outside of town, and hung a red light over the door. I helped them do the electrical work on the place. One night a customer attacked one of the girls who worked there. The girl pulled a knife and when Juan stepped in between, he was stabbed in a leg artery and bled to death on the floor.
Maria kinda dropped out of the picture for a while. We would see her on occasion hanging around Chipiona. The last time we saw her was about 1993/4, around the time I retired. We have since received one letter from her. She has a son that lives in Long Beach, CA that she is very proud of and another that probably still lives in Rota.
Seeing her picture on your web site shows Maria as the beautiful woman she is, and a wonderful friend that was always generous to everyone she met. Wherever she is, our love and friendship goes with her."
10/6/05: Ed just found a picture of an Old Hong Kong bar "hostess". Anyone know her name?
We heard from Frank Chebiniak on Oct. 22:
" that picture is of a girl named "Conchita" from Salamanca. I remember her well. Quick of wit. A real sweetheart. married a guy in the Navy (VQ-2 I think) Last known- living in the Chicago area."
Frank got back to us again on Nov. 24th:
" another shot of rota girls 1967...l-r my 1st wife Susi, another of the
mystery "hostess" Conchita, and the girl that cleaned the bars Regla."