Peter gained taco experience in the notorious towns straddling the Mexican border. He toiled at roadside stands, kitchens the size of broom closets, and even doled out dainty tacos from the passenger-side window of a ’58 VW Bug with vanity plates that read “BAD ASS”. The dash had been converted to a prep station. Red and green chile sauces, radishes and other condiments rested below the rosary beads hanging from the rearview and swaying in the hot breeze like a metronome. His reputation spread throughout this lawless frontier and that’s how Orson Welles came to hear of the smiling gringo from Rhode Island who made tacos while seated in his beloved Volkwagen. So, Mr. Welles, while touring the area with Charlton Heston doing research for Touch of Evil, stumbled upon the gringo in Michoacán. They both ordered Carnitas and Barbacoa. Several moments of silence ensued as the tacos were eaten. Another round was ordered by Mr. Welles. Cervezas and tequila were procured from a nearby cantina. Conversation, which is always in good supply, turned to the French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle. Peter suppressed his distrust of the french, and all agreed it would make a remarkable film.
To be continued . . .