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We Can Go Back ...

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The Hotel Washington

A Day in the Life of a Canal Pilot

The Tugboats of the Panama Canal

Gatun - Then and Now

The Poet of Panama

Panama - More Than A Canal
Something Different
Endangered Animals
Underwater Fantasy
I Asked
Water Dreams
Castle in the Sky - A Fantasy
Waterfall Ballet - A Fantasy
Sunset Dreams

My Art
About Rainbows
Misty Angelwings Waterfall
Florida Postcard
The Pollera of Panama
The Art of BEING Kuna
About Molas
Folklore Tale - The Revolt of the Chagres
Folklore Tale - The Saga of the Sacred Garden
Panama Collages - Two Pages
What I Love About Panama
Christ Church By-The-Sea
Views of Panama
Jay French's Pictures
Margarita and Gatun
My Family Collage
Scenes of Cristobal/Colon
Slide Show of E.J. Reed's Paintings
Place Names: Panama and the Canal Zone
Fruit Beverages of Panama
*More* Ceviche Recipes

El Tamborito
Merry Christmas 2002
A Christmas Card For You!
A Christmas Card
Christmas Memories
Christmas Card 2001
Christmas 2003
Happy New Year Card
Halloween Card
Page Five: Different Plantain Recipes from Panama
Page Six: Mango Recipes
Page Seven: 5 Pages of Gatun Pictures
Gatun Page 6: An article about the Gatun Tarpon Club, links to 2 other Gatun articles.
Gatun - March 1999
Page Eight: The Cuna Indians of Panama & Molas
Page Nine: Coca Cola, Panama and the United States Armed Forces
Page Ten: Some Atlantic-side memories.
Page Eleven: More Atlantic-side memories.
Page Twelve: "El Otro Lado" The Pacific-side.
Gatun Spillway - Dec. 1999
The CZBrats - Archieval, Fun Memories of life in the Canal Zone and Panama
Take a Trip Through The Panama Canal
Skeeters Home Page
Bob Webb's Adventures in Panama
Gold Cost Expeditions website

A Current Map of Panama

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Security Awareness Posters

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Fly With Me to the Canal Zone

My name is Virginia Hollowell Hirons. I was born and raised on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama. My greatgrandfather and grandfather came to Panama in 1907 and 1908, respectively, to work on the construction of the Panama Canal. My greatgrandfather brought his wife and children down from Pennsylvania. My grandfather, came on his own from Arkansas .... he met my grandmother in Panama. My mom and her sister and two brothers were all born in the Canal Zone. My father came to Panama in the US Army, in 1937. He got a job on the Canal Zone Police Force before getting discharged. He met my mom and they were married in 1942. My 3 sisters and I were all born and raised in the Canal Zone.

Panama is a beautiful little country, the last one in Central America..... with beautiful Rain Forests, volcanic mountains, and the most incredible beaches. Life as a child was idyllic. It was summer all year ... having only two seasons.... Rainy (9 mos.) and dry (3 mos.). My hometown was the Locks town of Gatun .... we had a super swimming pool, I started swimming lessons at 3 ... and a major portion of my early years centered around the Pool and swimming. Besides the pool, we also had Gatun Lake to swim in .... and always in the background of our lives, there were the ships of the world, transiting the Locks and silently passing over Gatun Lake heading for Gaillard Cut and the other two Locks, and eventually the Pacific Ocean... or ships entering the Lake comming in the other direction and heading for the Atlantic Ocean. It's a 24 hour operation, of comming and going. Then there were the beaches just a short ride in the car from home, and the old Spanish Fort San Lorenzo, to spark a childs imagination. Fishing was plentiful, the Chagres River flowed thru the Lake and down the Spillway where it reaches the Atlantic Ocean, where Ft. San Lorenzo still stands guard against Henry Morgan and those long gone Pirate ghosts.

And always there were the tropical birds, flying over head... large flocks of parakeets... leaving their roosts in the morning and returning in the evening. Sloths in the jungle trees surrounding the town. Blue Monarch butterflies in masses once a year. Land crab season ... an occasional snake in town. Mango trees to feast on, lime trees to raid. Banana stalks brought home and hung under the house to slowly ripen, for us kids to grab one as needed .... the avocado tree that my grandfather had planted, as well as a grapefruit tree in the back at the edge of the jungle, way before I was even a twinkle in my father's eye.Life as a child in the Canal Zone, was as close to living in Utopia, as I have ever been.

Since Panama is a Tropical Paradise, as kids we had to be ingenious to simulate certain aspects of winter fun, kids enjoyed in the states. Instead of snow sledding, we used palm fronds, or opened up cardboard boxes to slide down grassy hills! Every bit as much fun, barring the occasional stone, and we stayed warm and dry.

The Canal Zone version shown here.

When you are re-visiting my pages please do a reload/refresh on each page of pictures, as I occasionaly add new ones, and if you visited previously, your browsers cache will display the page without the newest additions. When you reload/refresh your browser ... any new pictures will then be loaded.

I would like to Thank my very Good Friend, Charlie Belden, for creating the Angel gif at the top of this page . . . especially for me! Friends are one of Life's real treasures. All other images contained on these pages, with the exception of the Mango clipart on the Mango Recipe page were created by me. I would like to thank Mike Norman for the super Ceviche and Panama Beer picture on the Ceviche Recipe page. I also give many thank you's to my friend Lance Terrell, for his sharing of his personal Gatun pictures, taken in 1967; and also to my friend Tom Green Moore, for the pictures he took of Gatun for me the Spring of 1998, also thanks to Eddy Will and CHSMike for sharing their pictures from their visits to Gatun, 1999... and last but NOT least, My heartfelt Thanks to my special friend, El Senor Jim, for the Gatun locks, lake, etc; pictures he has sent me while transiting thru Gatun Locks, 1997 to the present!

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