A Love Affair

by John White

Folks frequently ask how I got in the Mola business so perhaps it's time to explain Molamagic and how it captured me. I was just a youngster when my mother took me with her to visit a friend. It was probably in the early 1950's and I was only seven or eight years old. But I remember it like it was yesterday. You see, this woman we were visiting had a wall full of framed molas. And each one was better than the last. I remember staring at them one by one as my eyes walked over the wall. One particular mola was in the design of a spider's web. Each strand vibrated with color and design and hypnotized me with its exotic beauty. I could hear my mother's voice but it might have been a thousand miles away. I was busy falling in love.

As the years passed my passion for the colors and design of molas abated. Like most boys I turned to sports and wheels. And to my parent's relief I eventually started listening in school and enjoying books. When I graduated from college there was a war on so like everyone else I wound up in the Army. But unlike everyone else the Army was nice to me. They send me back to Panama where I grew up. And the Magic of mola came after me again like a warm tropical breeze. Everywhere I turned there were molas and the smiling faces of the wonderful artists who create them. When I wasn't busy saluting I was admiring and buying molas and making friends among the artists. The years passed quickly, the war ended and I left Panama for additional schooling.

Some fifteen or twenty years later General Noriega managed to get himself out of Panama so I figured it was time to get myself back in. I arrived back in Panama in 1990, six months after the General had retired to Florida. I immediately set about working with the artists in Panama. At first I worked with the basket weavers. Then I got involved with ceramic artists and tagua carvers. With each group I got more and more excited about the prospects for a career in this game. And a game it is because it doesn't resemble any work I have ever done before. Every day is more fun than the previous. Well, it was inevitable. One day I drifted back into the mola game. I don't know if I was saving it for last or it just ended up that way. But once I started buying and selling molas they quickly moved to the front of my game and dominate it today. I use the Internet to share my passion all over the world and believe it or not, I am successfully infecting folks all over the world with Molamagic.
Leonard "Traderbrock" Brockman

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