Hey Buddy! Portraits of Friends by Lawrence F. Lihosit, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

Lihosit and I were contemporaries in the Peace Corps in Central America and both married women south of the border. Still, I didn’t connect with him until I became a writer after my international development career ended. Lihosit has written 19 books so far, and I’ve delighted in reading and reviewing several of them. I even used his book on writing and publishing a memoir to write my first book, Different Latitudes.

 After all he’s seen and done over the years, these memorable descriptions of his friendships seem a perfect time as he dedicates his book “For the Next Generation.” He also reflects on what makes friendships special, “Different friends have always been secret ingredients”

Lihosit refers to himself as an “old Yahoo,” reflecting his unpretentious look at life. He takes the reader to Alaska, Honduras, Mexico City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Scottsdale, Arizona, but my favorite was northeast Bolivia. Although most of us think about the majestic Andes Mountain range, this story takes place in Trinidad, which is on the periphery of the Amazon rainforest, where the author and his friend wade through the flooded savannah, which includes such residents as caimans (tropical crocodiles).

He shares special moments when his friendships generate the most unimagined impact years later. Lihosit went to school in Scottsdale and stayed in touch with his Scout Master, Ross, for 37 years. When the author’s sons attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ross offered his summer home, which is close to the campus, for Lihsoit’s sons to manage while living there for a discounted rate. “Ross put a roof over two generations’ heads and opened the war room door for a career in saving the world.”

His multi-layered descriptions go beyond the physical setting to include the food, music, and unique cultural manifestations with occasional slang terms like “Pinche Joto” (damn queer) and just enough Spanish to give it a Latin American feel.

Lihosit’s stories reflect the importance of good friends as one moves on in years and the importance of reflecting on what and who is most important in our lives. This is the sixth of Lihsoit’s books I’ve read, and it won’t be the last.

His experiences are personal, but in his telling they become universal.” Bryant Wineke, author of Too Much with Us, late and soon.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CB2FV3BY
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (July 15, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 150 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8850293598
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.38 x 9 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #2,713,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

 The Author

Lawrence Lihosit was born in the southern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois in 1951. His family later moved to Arizona, where he graduated from grade school, high school, and Arizona State University. He reluctantly served in the U.S. Army Reserves during the closing years of the Vietnam War and enthusiastically volunteered for the Peace Corps (Honduras, 1975-1977). His travels and work have taken him from the salmon-spawning Nushagak River Basin in southwestern Alaska to the fertile Argentine Pampas. His continuing studies have included master’s coursework in urban planning at la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, art and creative writing at Skyline College in San Bruno, California, and education at California State University Fresno.

As a younger man, he picked salmon from set nets in bush Alaska, fought a plague of mosquitoes in Canada, crawled through burial tombs in Peru, rode bulls in Bolivia, relaxed in Ecuadorian volcanic hot springs alongside Indians, hung out with an Uruguayan acting troupe, drank mate with Argentine lawyers, listened to tales of Chilean torture in a peña, floated alongside a pelican on the Sea of Cortes, danced to reggae while sipping cane liquor on Honduran sands, cheated border guards in Guatemala, ate pupusas in El Salvador and went underground in Mexico City after becoming embroiled in local politics. His travels outside the (lower) 48 states lasted seven and one-half years.

His eclectic literary work includes poetry, short stories, travel essays, memoirs, history and how-to. Most recently, he published a series of essays about art, accompanied by more than 150 sketches from his travels. Several of his books were nominated for Peace Corps Writers’ awards, one named Best Travel Book of the Year (2012). Another received a U.S. Congressional Commendation (2011). Some of his work is listed in the U.S. Library of Congress Peace Corps Bibliography, and his Peace Corps literary donations are in the John F. Kennedy Library Archives.

Although an urban planner by trade, the author has had a passionate interest in education. He taught English as a Second Language in Mexico City and once back home in Phoenix, Arizona. He later volunteered as a San Francisco Bay Area grade and high school aide. At 48, while working days as an urban planner, he returned to night school to earn a California Teaching Credential. He worked as a substitute teacher in grades K through 12 for two and a half years. After retirement, he taught art as an after-school activity and volunteered at a local grade school as a teacher’s aide, helping the children of immigrants learn the 3Rs. His local school board awarded him “Volunteer of the Year” recognition in 2013 and 2017.

The Reviewer

Mark Walker was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala and spent over forty years helping disadvantaged people in the developing world. His book, Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond, was recognized by the Arizona Literary Association. His second book, My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road and Beyond, was the 2023 Peace Corps Writers’ Award for Best Travel Book winner. His wife and three children were born in Guatemala. You can learn more at www.MillionMileWalker.com.


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