I walked down to centro today and when I turned the corner by the mercado, I was assailed with people, flowers, fresh fruit and pan de muertos. No, it wasn't for sale - it was in the arms and on the heads of people rushing hither and fro to build their ofrendas, either at home or in the jardine. They were ALL hurrying.........an unusual sight in San Miguel.
Then, as I turned the corner by the jardine there were tables being set up, papel picado being strung, teenagers EVERYWHERE working on altars and, truckloads, literally truckloads of flowers ready to use for the altars.
I don't think in eight years I've seen this much activity. Oh, I take that back, there's the day of the blessing of the taxis and oops, there's the whole month of September with Indians from everywhere. Yes, the jardine is THE center of it all.
And, in one corner, near the front by the Parroquia, a VERY meaningful altar is being assembled. It is to honor Sara, who operated a food cart on the jardine for more years then I can count and my dear friend Shanghai who was a fixture on the bench for as long as I can remember. This altar is being made by Sara's family and the elderly man who sells papers and food from his cart in front of the Parroquia. They are Mexicans honoring a Mexican woman and a "gringo" friend. How cool is that? I'll get photos tomorrow.
Sara's family inherited her cart and still supply food and drinks to people. Shanghai died about five years ago, just after he married his Mexican woman of 17 years! After I got to know Shanghai I found out he was from Houston originally and had been in the first graduating law class from the University of Houston. A man who became quite famous in the legal world named Race Horse Haynes was one of his best friends. They had lost touch with each other and it was my great joy to reunite the two of them since I knew Race Horse. Don't you just love the names Shanghai and Race Horse? That's what being from Texas can do for you...........I love characters like that.........