Many knew Bud Acord from his beloved Hacienda Jalisco. While he himself was not the hacienda, the place was imbued with his loving care and affection. Most may not remember the earlier days when Bud arrived in Puerto Vallarta, a time when the small gringo community was united or, at least, connected. In fact, when John Huston decided to film “The Night of the Iguana” in nearby Mismaloya, Bud became friend and sidekick of the intrepid director.

Robert Harry Acord was born in Los Angeles, California, on June 27, 1927, and died at Hacienda Jalisco in San Sebastián del Oeste on April 17, 2008. What transpired in those 81 years is the stuff of novels, whether as the friend of John Huston or as the proprietor of Hacienda Jalisco. But Bud was so much more than his legend, which certainly remains alive after his passing.

His dear friends in Puerto Vallarta, San Sebastián and beyond will miss his laugh as he recounted adventures from his memorable early years in Vallarta, as well as even earlier years in California, New York and Texas. Friends and acquaintances from San Sebastián and Puerto Vallarta accompanied him to his current resting place in the shade of a giant nogalito tree in the panteon. May he rest in peace with all back issues of Vanity Fair.

In Memory of Bud Acord

Raquel Brooks

I met Buddy in 1963, when I first came to Vallarta with my brother and his wife. My brother took over a restaurant called the Del Mar on the Malecón, and Buddy came almost every night to dine and have drinks. I was helping as cashier, and we became friends at that time. Then I went to the USA, where I stayed for five years, but still came once a year, so Buddy and I were always in touch. When I moved back to Vallarta in 1970, Buddy was already in Hacienda Jalisco and wanted to show me this beautiful place he had found.

It took me awhile to get up there because the road was terrible and I was scared. Anyway, since he lived in San Sebastián, when he came to Vallarta, our home would be his home, and he became our Uncle Buddy. His mother, Mildred, would also stay with us when in town, so we really became very close. We would travel together, or he would come to visit our home in the USA. He really was part of my family. Actually, I took the role of his mother because I was always on his case.

Pamela Thompson

Bud taught me many things about life. I knew him in the final decade of his life, and he became my closest friend. He taught me who to hold close and who to hold at arm’s length. He taught me to appreciate so many things: memories, family, friends — and Vanity Fair magazine!

Tony Huston (in a letter to Pamela Thompson)

Many thanks for telling me about Bud. I am particularly touched because he died on my birthday — and I’ve been told that I was born at 6:30 am, though my birth certificate reads 7:10. Either way, there’s something intimate and also a little spooky about the coincidence: one coming in and one going out by the same astrological door. 

We were all part of a large family once, a spiritual family made up of very different characters but full of fun and adventure and zest for life and great stories. 

I’m glad that Bud is in a place where he can see lots of people coming and going. In one way, especially sitting at a table by himself, he could remind you so much of a lonely little boy who liked to play (or drink and smoke) alone — and yet, nobody was ever happier when you pulled out a chair and decided to join him, and talk, and time became one, on and on.

Hacienda Jalisco

Hacienda Jalisco continues to operate as a bed & breakfast. After some much-awaited upgrades to the hacienda, as well as to the website, administrator Pamela Thompson offers special summer rates. See www.haciendajalisco.com for more information.