Barrio going gentry

casa 1
Before.
casa2
After.

WHEN WE moved here 15+ years ago, this house was not there, and neither was the one to the left that you can barely see. Neither was the sex motel next door.

About a decade back the one peeking from the left was built, and a man about my age and his wife moved in. The fellow owns a small clothing store downtown. He is really nice guy, and his wife is a sourpuss.

About the same time, construction began on the pale yellow house, and then it stopped and sat for years looking like it looks in the top photo, gray. I’m thinking it’s a retirement residence for the owners. Maybe they live in the United States and are returning to their Mexican roots.

That is quite common.

About two weeks ago, workmen appeared on a daily basis to finish the place and gussy it up, so now we have this view. I like it.

The house is still unoccupied.

A sharp eye will notice something in the top photo that is missing in the second photo. That’s right. The monster nopal, which I had removed recently.

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Día de la Raza

Yesterday we celebrated Día de la Raza, Race Day, which is when Mexicans celebrate their race. There was a long parade of mini-buses downtown, men on horseback, and the obligatory racket.

There is one problem with this scenario, however. Mexican is not a race. Neither is Latino.* No matter. Race is celebrated even when it makes no sense at all.

Any excuse for a party. ¡Viva la raza imaginaria!

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* Mexican is a nationality. Latino is an ethnicity based on commonalities like religion, language, culture, etc. Latinos come in all colors.

My child bride goes topless

charro
This hombre was my father-in-law.

THERE ARE NO two abutting nations on earth that are more different than the United States and Mexico. Moving from one to another can be a jarring experience.

It is so jarring that it causes Gringos in Mexico — and Mexicans in the United States — to huddle with their own people for comfort and familiarity.

While the Gringos often crow about assimilating, blending in, the Mexicans know better. While Gringos often say they “love the culture” of Mexico, Mexicans never say that about the United States. Blame envy.

If you go further than simply moving from one nation to the other, and marry into a family from the other side, things can get more jarring or less, depending on you. It definitely provides a different perspective.

Speaking of perspectives, here are some photos my child bride recently pulled from the closet. Above is my father-in-law.  He owned a horse and a pistol, and he would pull the pistol out if necessary. He was a family physician and a surgeon to boot. I never knew him because he died over 30 years ago at the age of 61, a heart attack.

He was not, I am told, fond of Gringos.

Here are two more photos, both of my child bride in the early 1960s. I graduated from high school in 1962, so it’s clear why I call her my child bride.

tub
Enjoying a bath in a galvanized tub.
grin
Going topless with a goofy grin.

 

 

Holiday shots

New Image
The smoker.

THE MASS OF people who crowd our usually tranquil main plaza downtown on the evening of September 15 and all day on September 16 for Mexican independence festivities provide excellent photo opportunities.

On one side of the plaza, the scene is the same every year. A band plays loud music while men — and the occasional woman — sit atop dancing horses. The guys are usually plowed, but the horses don’t appear to care.

The fellow above caught my attention. He appeared sober, did not have a beer can in his hand, but he was smoking. Took me about 10 shots before I got this one.

He and his horse were all over the place. Dancing fools.

screamer
The Screamer.

Meet The Screamer. That’s what I call him. He recently reappeared here in town after an absence of a couple of years. I don’t know where he went, but he’s back.

I don’t know his name. I just call him The Screamer because that’s what he does. He’s a vendor who walks the sidewalks with the basket of candies he’s holding. And, between spells of silence, he screams his bloody head off.

You can hear him blocks away.

I don’t mean that he’s hawking his candy loudly. He’s just plain screaming. Clearly, there is something seriously wrong with him. His eyes are crossed, and his fingers are twisted.

He sounds dangerous, but I do not think he is. My child bride, her sister and I were sitting at a sidewalk table a couple of days ago when he approached and offered his wares. He does not speak well. My wife inquired about prices, and he managed to say something we did not clearly understand.

My wife gave him 10 pesos (about 55 cents), and he handed over four or five of the candies. She was only doing it to help him, so she tried to give all but one back to him, but he wouldn’t have it. He insisted on leaving the small pile.

I interpret that to mean he has his pride.

He didn’t bellow during the sale. I was grateful for that.

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(Note: To view almost all of Felipe’s Fabulous Fotos, just click right here. You will not be disappointed.)

August roof view

ON THE ROOF recently to wipe the rods of the solar water heater, I took this video and snapped the photo below.

I’m a sharing sort of fellow.

At about 10 seconds into the video, you can see what I call the Garden Patio down there with the red water tank. It’s where I keep yard gear. And then at about 23 seconds you can see the solar heater at the left, briefly.

In the photo below, the brick surface is the roof of the kitchen. Farther along, the red tile covers the downstairs veranda.

In the upper right corner is the home of our grumpy neighbors, the ones with the horse, pigs, dogs, etc.

It’s fun to go up on the roof because the view is spectacular, not just the neighbors but the mountains.

roof

The only other video I’ve shot from atop the roof was made five years ago. It’s on YouTube, not Vimeo, and presents quite a different perspective. Plus, it’s got Hillbilly music!

The video was shot very early. That’s morning mist.

That’s all for today. Enjoy yourself.