Phillip C. McCormick (1892 – 1981)
Benita (McGinnis) McCormick (1889 – 1984)
|Phillip Columbus McCormick,
From the scrapbook of Benita (McGinnis) McCormick.
|This small book, written by American anthropologist
Frances Toor, contains chapters on culture and language
for the traveler and the expat living in Mexico.
Ms. Toor geared the book toward expats and tourists, filling it with helpful vocabulary and relevant chapters, such as ordering food, visiting the doctor, asking for directions, and haggling for souvenirs. Her short, chatty paragraphs about the people and various practical situations could easily put newcomers at ease. She even included pertinent, full page advertisements before each chapter for local businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, and jewelry stores. While the ads must have helped defray publishing costs, they were probably among the few English-language ads for places and services that British and American tourists would have needed – and found – during their stay.
|The inside cover page bears the name of its owner,
“P. McGinnis Mexico City 8/30/37”
Of particular interest to Uncle Phil would have been the chapters on bookshops and recreational activities, as he was an avid reader and golfer and loved to watch bullfights.
I can imagine him calling his artist wife’s attention to the ad below for A.C. Garies Almacen de Pinturas, or Art and Paint Store, in Mexico City. Aunt Detty never traveled anywhere without recording her impressions artistically, and knowing where to find good paint supplies would have been at the top of her list for shopping.
|Advertisements such as the one above at right, not only reassured
visitors to Mexico that there were goods and services available
that were just as good – or better, in many cases – than some of the
things they would find back home.