Saturday, September 17, 2011
On This Day After the Day
I woke early on Independence Day to check out the parties. The music woke me at five and when I stepped outside I could hear the sounds of fiesta from all directions. Once on foot, I discovered the party goers still going were young, in their mid twenties hanging out at their cars, music blaring, hanging out at the bus stop, hanging out on the portals of various hotels, again, all listening to music and the music, I was delighted to hear, was all Mexicano. Some romantic, some ranchero, ballads, rock, quite a variety and all good. I am a lover of Mexican music, there is no bad music here.
I continued my walk and saw very few people other than all of the young people still hanging on, very unwilling to give up what must have been an eventful night for them.
We were awakened the night before the day by the fireworks and shouting and screaming which seemed to last for hours. Finally, after watching bursts of gigantic flowering red, white and green fireworks for half an hour we were back in bed drifting off to the sounds of Ivan's party back at new old Jesus's casa.
Senor and I made it down town early for the parade. This year instead of standing in the hot sun at the Alameda, we chose to follow the back of the parade for awhile and then hurry around to catch the beginning while standing in the shade near the Paulita school.
Below are a few of the men and horses from the Ganadera, the Cattlemens' Association waiting for their turn to enter the Plaza. I think that the photos which connect me most to Alamos are the faces of the children. Their beautiful expressions make me wonder what they are thinking. The little girl below does that to me. I cannot help but wonder what she wonders.
And what must he be thinking..................
Soon he will grow up and march with one of the schools.
One day he might march with the military.
This was the first time we have seen the military march in a parade.
Most of the young children were on the floats this year.
As always, the boys play the trumpet and the girls play the drums.
The twins below have carried their school flag for four years now. Another set of willowy twins has carried their flag as well. We have watched them grow taller. We see some of our friends' children marching with their schools. We wave, they nod and smile and keep marching in the dreadful heat because it is their duty. By the time they reach Calle Madero, friends and family will be tossing them water bottles and they will have time to rest in the shade.
I recognize the young girl on the right. A quick smile breaks her serious march and just as quickly her head snaps straight ahead and she marches to the sound of her teacher.............uno, dos, uno, dos...one, two, one, two.....and at a pause when it is time to salute the flag as it waves from the Mirador...........izquierda, izquierda, izquierda, left, left, left..............
When the Ganadera brings up the last of the parade, a sea of floating and bobbing white hats capture our attention. They are very handsome men on their huge horses and many of their children ride with them. They are beaming, smiling, all very proud.
Back at the Plaza, the ladies bring out their tres leche cakes, the three milk cakes, bags of snacks and cotton candy and balloons are on every corner.
At the arroya, empty soda bottles have been placed on the exposed rebar of the new stone wall to prevent accidents and the grand stand is up. When evening comes, there will music on the bandstand, dancing, and horse racing, and horse dancing in the arroyo.
It's never too early for a vaquero and his caballo, a cowboy and his horse, to get in line at the Tecate or Pacifico Light tent.
After a carne asada lunch on the Alameda and an new assessment of how hot the day was getting, we marched home and turned on the mini split and did not go back outside until six pm. Senor grilled our favorite chomorro, which is shank, and the evening turned nice and cool and the air was filled with music from the arroyo. We stayed up late listening to the sounds of the fiesta, but not once wanting to join the crowds.
This morning, the day after the day, Senor was downtown early to buy a coca cola. When he came back he said he saw only three people on the streets and they were all under the age of six................it is very quiet this morning.