When The Veggies Were “Dew-Fresh” and the Grape Cider “Justly Celebrated!”
A visit to The Ranch in 1963, in the words of our brochure, along with a map from the same year
What was a week like at Rancho La Puerta in 1963? In many ways, dear time traveler, you’d find it much like today, and—not surprisingly—some traditions and activities have fallen by the wayside. Edmond Szekely’s favorite motto, Siempre Mejor (Always Better), encouraged innovation and an ever-evolving approach to the most healthful, life-changing week possible.
(By the way, some of our guests today were coming to The Ranch in 1963—loyalty runs deep and strong here.)
Here’s The Ranch brochure’s description of your upcoming 1963 vacation:
Rancho La Puerta accommodates 150 guests. Founded in 1940, it is some 45 miles from San Diego, California. Situated on 1,000 acres in beautiful Old Mexico it comprises:
RANCHO LA PUERTA—the great guest ranch with 80 buildings sprawling over 50 acres of olives and vineyards. Heated pool, up-to-date gymnasium and all comfortable guest facilities. Goats and cows, too, for raw milk used in preparing our acidophilus milk and acidophilus cottage cheese for our two (American plan) dining rooms.
RANCHO TRES ESTRELLAS—consists of orchards and vineyards. Here each morning we pick dew-fresh vegetables for our dining rooms.
RANCHO TRES AGUAS—from its trees and rocks we gather each year some 5,000 gallons of wild sage honey.
RANCHO TRES VINAS—provides most of the grapes for our justly celebrated grape cider—low calorie and prepared by our exclusive cold-vacuum method.
RANCHO TRES LOMAS—its wheat fields supply the freshly ground grain for La Puerta’s enormous brick oven. The Rancho is famed for its true whole wheat bread.
IT COSTS SO LITTLE TO FEEL GOOD—”Today at Rancho La Puerta” tells you about our special daily activities, but to derive maximum benefit from your stay we also recommend:
SWEDISH MASSAGE—Eight expert masseurs await your pleasure for relaxing massage. This acknowledged aid to reducing firms muscles, stimulates circulation and makes one feel so good.
FACIALS—From its glamorous American cousin, The Golden Door, Rancho La Puerta imports marvelous, hypoallergenic cosmetics and specially trained operators. Results are quick. You’re going to feel younger at Rancho La Puerta—why not look younger, too?
HERBAL OIL VAPOR BATH—Do visit this unique spa attraction, open from 8 till 5. You may drop in without charge and enjoy the soothing vapors of aromatic herbs. Instantaneous effect. Open pores absorb the fragrant volatile oils. For complete bliss, try 20 minutes of these vapors.
SIESTA DEL LOS DIOS—Herbal Hydrotherapy Packs. This means catnapping while wrapped in linen herb solutions, a different warm fragrance for every day of the week. The father of hydro-therapy, Father Sebastian Kneipp, invented this, his favorite treatment for relieving nervous tension, aches and pains, and stimulating sluggish circulation. It is a deterrent to flabby and wrinkled skin and overweight.
ACIDOPHILUS THERAPY—If you are or ever have been constipated, the direct implantation of a living acidophilus culture into the colon brings new regularity. This method increases the friendly bacteria in the colon and slows down the body’s aging process. Based on the findings of Dr. Metchnikov, acidophilus implantations are the oldest and most popular of La Puerta’s spa therapies.
LIKE TO READ AND BROWSE?—Awaiting you are 10,000 books on all possible subjects—including a few dozen by your host, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely. Library open daily.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO REDUCE?—One-half of our guests prefer to eat in our reducing dining room, where a daily intake of 800 delicious, well-planned calories will (when combined with a proper exercise schedule) take off five pounds a week. Conversely, you may maintain your present weight or add a few pounds in our main dining room. Due to the present trend to prevent coronary heart ailments by the exclusion of cholesterol and animal fats, you’ll be delighted to discover the gourmet dishes on our vegetarian menu.
THE FAMOUS MEDITERRANEAN GRAPE CURE—Ancient Mediterranean countries borrowed it from even older civilizations in Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Palestine. A year-round specialty at La Puerta, this method of purifying the system builds new red blood cells and stimulates catabolic action necessary to loosen, dissolve and eliminate waste products from the organism.
WATCH YOUR WELL-BEING INCREASE—Heart examination…blood pressure…blood count…urinalysis…these periodic check-ups without charge are made by Dr. Jose de Anda, physician and surgeon, graduate of the University of Guadalajara, specialist in biochemistry, geriatrics and gynecology. His findings are reported in your personal interview with him and Professor Edmond Bordeaux Szekely. Dr. de Anda is chief of the Mexican government’s Federal and State Health Departments, and has charge of all public health activities.
LEISURE AND PLEASURE—Strengthen muscles and firm skin…with pool classes in the heated plunge…with fun hours passed in the handsome, completely equipped modern gym (classes supervised by recreation staff throughout the day)…with croquet, shuffle-board, volleyball and (by appointment) horseback riding. Breakfast hikes along the marked trails.
IN THE EVENING BY THE MOONLIGHT—There’s a cheery crowd in the new lounge…popping corn in the big fireplace…sipping hot herb tea…participating in songfests, drama classes, and our own amateur hour…lectures, too…Spanish and philosophy classes…movies and dancing.
[To read more history, see Origins of the Ranch: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X, Part XI, Part XII, Part XIII, Part XIV, Part XV, Part XVI, Part XVII, Part XVIII, Part XIX and Part XX]