Friday, April 25, 2008

The village part II

Papaya tree in gramps backyard. Grown with "illegal" water- according to the village honchos, rationed water should not be used for watering plants. My grandfather, you see, is something of a rebel, always has been, always will be. He unionized fellow workers in the limestone factory before he knew what a union was, he "saved" my "captive" grandmother from her own family with a machete in one hand and my grandma over his shoulder (remind me sometime to tell you this story), after using up his bracero status he purchased a new name and went right back to work. Behold, the fruits of his labor.

The house were my mother was raised. It now belongs to my cousin Martin and the front room has been converted into a convenience store. There have been sightings lately of a young girl dressed up in a old school hacienda outfit. The day this picture was taken, the story was relayed to my grandfather. He said it was my grandmother watching over the house. He said the description fits the same image of her when they were kids. He said he as a 5 years old when he first saw my grandmother Marcelina. That day, he told us, she entered him through the eyes and settled in his heart. That image of her stayed with him until they were married in adulthood.

My grandfather, Apolonio, holding court. He may have been retelling the story of when President Truman called the Mexican president and requested "arms" for the cause of WWII. The Mexican president sent the fabled Fighting Squadron 201. President Truman said he needed more than that, his crops were going to be lost. My gramps answered the call, along with thousands of other Mexican peasants. After saving America's agricultural ass, they were thrown out without even a pat on the back.

My cousin Cruz' other boy exercising the horses. They have been receiving some training to perform in Charro events, but mostly they get rented out to those in need of work animals.

Passing the evening on the front stoop. It's good manners to say "good evening" to everyone who comes by, whether you know them or not. At this time the evening sun is burning up the back part of the house while the front part of the house cooled by the breeze racing dust clouds up and down the street.

1 comment:

Talia said...

That last photo is priceless. The scratchy exteriror of the building, the bold color next to the plain neutral colors of the clothes the subjects are wearing...and then the contrasting generations and cultures. I love it.

I love your grandfather's name. Very interesting stories.