Mexican life

Falling from heaven

kite

KITES FALL into our yard on a fairly regular basis. They’re interesting glimpses into the culture.

This one fell yesterday. It is, as are they always, homemade.  Three cross-sticks to which is attached plastic from a grocery store bag. In this case, Merza, a local chain. A different color bag, darker, provides strips for the tail. At the end of the tail is tied a couple of leaves to provide some weight and stability.

What you cannot see because I’d already balled it up and tossed it into the trash can is the string. As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, these homemade kites always have the same weak link, the string, which is sewing thread.

Sewing thread is used, I imagine, for two reasons: It is very light, and if these super-light kites are to soar, light string is required. Also, sewing thread is cheap.

This is a low-budget operation.

Alas, long lengths of sewing thread snap easily at altitude, and the kites fall, often into our yard.

Kids still make their own kites in Mexico. I wish I could return these carefully constructed toys to their owners, but there’s no way to know where they are.

Mexican life

Divergent lives

New Image
Roundabouts 1968

THAT’S MY child bride on the right when she actually was a child. The other is a sister, one of many.

They lived in a small town in the State of Michoacán.

My child bride became a civil engineer and, at the age of 42, married her first husband, a Gringo.

This sister, who is one year older, never married anyone, had four babies from two men, and lived for many years with a worthless drunk who is now dead.

Divergent lives.

The Odd Pot

Photo promo

camPEOPLE WHO’VE not visited my sister sites on Tumblr lately will be shocked and amazed at their recent entries.

The Eyes of the Moon collects black-and-white photos of, mostly, my town. You’ll find shots of hippies, nuns, indigenous folks, ancient churches and buildings, Colonial rooftops, beautiful women, cute kids, and so on.

In colorful contrast is Satellite Moon where you’ll find stuff like Hacienda videos and Jerry Lee Lewis and even Phobe Buffay singing Smelly Cat. And short yarns and revelations.

And no politics!

The Odd Pot

Kite country

STANDING ON the upstairs terraza today at roundabouts 5:30 in the afternoon, I see four kites flying high.

kiteThere are two more — fatalities — dangling in a distant tree on the far side of the railroad tracks. Another one — also deceased — hangs atop the pole where electricity enters the Hacienda.

It’s the same situation every year about this time, but it seems accelerated this year, the kite phenomenon. Do youngsters — or anybody for that matter — fly kites in the United States nowadays? Or does everyone have his face stuck in an iPod? Are kites sold in five-and-dimes? Do five-and-dimes exist? We have a Woolworths in the state capital, but they’ve vanished from the United States, I hear.

I’ve seen lots of kites — both aloft and downed — hereabouts, but not one was store-bought. They are made by kids who tie and glue sticks together, and then they connect a thin plastic sheet, often cut from trash bags. The tails are pieces of trash-bag strips tied together. You gotta have a tail.

I find all this interesting, and for a few years I collected and saved the deceased kites that fell onto the Hacienda or into the yard. But the collection got too large and unwieldy, so I trashed them. The kites of Mexican kids have a high mortality rate because of the string they use. Regular sewing thread, which breaks on a whim.

Last week we were having lunch in the dining room when I looked out the big window and saw a young boy straddling the wall that surrounds our property. He was nervously retrieving a kite that had crashed into the grass. He completed his mission without actually jumping into our yard.

It’s good to see kids with imagination, inventiveness and skill.

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(Note 1: I found the photo online. It appears to be a Mexican child, but the kite is bigger and a bit better made than those found in my area. It might even be store-bought. Click on it for a closer look.)

(Note 2: The Woolworths link takes you to a photo of the old New Orleans store. I remember it well, and I shopped there now and again in the 1970s.)