Another waning day

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A waning day makes nice light.

TWENTY-FOUR hours after the last post, I was walking to the Honda again. But this time I was returning from the Basilica.

I had gone there with my child bride, her sister and the nephew we once called The Little Vaquero. But he’s not so little anymore at age 15.

Once a year, the local luminaries pull our version of the Virgin Mary from her high perch in the Basilica and parade her around town upon shoulders. People take this very seriously. Being neither Catholic nor Christian, I view it less as a religious event and more as a tourist attraction.

It was supposed to start at a civilized hour but being Mexicans we got off to a tardy beginning. So tardy that I wearied of waiting and left, which is when I walked down the hill and shot these pretty photos.

The rest of my crew hung around, but an hour later they too tossed up their hands, figuratively speaking, and left. I’m sure the Virgin managed to make her annual trek through the cobblestone streets of our mountaintop town, but none of us bore witness to the sacred event.

Anyway, if you’ve seen it once, and I have, you’ve seen it sufficiently.

A friend of ours, a fellow who went by the nickname of Don Chino, used to manage this event, but he died last year. When Don Chino was in charge, the Virgin headed out the Basilica door with a spring in her step.

Now she has fallen into bad Mexican habits.

R.I.P., Don Chino. We miss you.

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This is not the Basilica. It’s a big church just one block from the Basilica.

8 thoughts on “Another waning day

  1. Felipe: You have a church on every block. Here, a Catholic priest has to serve at two or three different parishes. Tut-tut on us, then we legalized weed. Hell in a handbasket!

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    1. Kris: Often we have huge Catholic churches residing on abutting blocks. It’s nuts. In the nearby town of Tzintzuntzan, there is a park lined with the remnants of olive trees brought by a priest named Vasco de Quiroga in the 16th century. In that park are two churches almost side by side. Both are big. One was built for the Spaniards. The other was built for the natives. Naturally, the one for the Spaniards is a good bit more elegant. Separate but not quite equal. They had their priorities.

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  2. Felipe: At the end of my street is an Anglican church which shares a priest between five churches in summer and two in winter. Across the road from me is tourist center in a defrocked Presbyterian church. Then two doors down is the Jehovah’s Witness hall. A hundred yards down is the United church with a shared preacher, and another quarter mile down is the Baptist church. That is on aptly named Church Street. Then on a cross street we have the Pentecostal church and the Roman Catholic church, built in the 1970s to replace an old one that burned down. It is without a doubt the ugliest building I have ever seen.

    There are numerous other ones outside of town, the real growth population being evangelists, three new ones in the last five years.

    We are well churched, but we don’t hold a candle to the Southern U.S.

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  3. The arborio de olivos (and old cedros) in Tzintzuntzan is absolutely charming. We always visit there when in the area.

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    1. Gerard: How right you are. That entire enclosed park and its churches never fail to fascinate no matter how many times I walk through there, and I’ve done that many, many times.

      Thanks for the feedback. Being moderated only applies to one’s first comment. FYI.

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  4. We have always searched out the church(s) in the small communities. Beautiful and restful to go into one and sit and ponder for 30 min. We made one particular trip to a small town to specifically view the church. When we got there a wedding was just completed and the bride and groom were coming down the high flank of steps to the next level as we stood by the iron gates. It was a rather large wedding and as the wedding party commenced to the reception which was being held down the street, they motioned for us to come along. What appeared to be a high school band playing, we followed the march down the cobbled street for about two blocks to where tables and chairs were set up. Lots of gaiety and LOUD music was going on while we waited for the festivities to begin. We were laughing because we were the only Americano’s attending this party. We waited, and waited. After 45 minutes we excused ourselves to go back to the church to pursue our original plan to view and take photos; but when we arrived, a funeral was about to begin as we walked through the old wooden doors. That was one party we chose not to stay for! Always a fun adventure can be found in these small communities.

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