Roasting pecans straight off the trees, having a white-faced capuchin monkey named Peppi as a pet, hunting with his pop…Arthur “Papa” Mercado’s childhood was sometimes a slice of pure Americana, and sometimes an unexpected adventure, but it was never boring! Even as he moved into his adult years, his life continued to be a twisty road of surprises, setbacks, good times, and challenges. Raising his daughter, Mindy, alone after his first marriage failed, Arthur insisted on meeting everything life handed him head-on, the good and the bad. Even when his health began going downhill, “Papa Cado” never stopped learning and sharing with those around him.
Biographies are hit-and-miss with me – sometimes I love ‘em and sometimes I hate ‘em. But I’m pleased to announce that I found Papa Cado to be a refreshingly honest read of a thoroughly unique individual, one Arthur Mercado. Written with the help of his friend M.G. Crisci, an award-winning author and journalist, Arthur paints a straight-forward account of the lessons he’s learned throughout his life, especially as his failing health forces him to undergo forty-six different heart procedures.
Some readers may find the sometimes choppy style of this book hard to read, but I considered the unpolished account to be indicative of the raw cadence of a life being lived, as opposed to a story being shined up to be sold. And I guarantee that that out of all of Arthur’s adventures, the number of medical procedures that he’s undergone is the least notable thing about him! Papa Cado is a fun, easy read that’s also intriguing and even a bit thought-provoking, without being preachy.
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