Monday, March 17, 2014
blasting our way through fun
Darrel is in town.
But, if you have been reading along, you already know that. And he could not have arrived at a better time. San Patricio is in full fiesta bloom.
By the time he arrived yesterday, the skim board competition was over. That is too bad. It is one of the more photogenic events of the season. The best competitors from at least the west coast are in town. Along with their retinues.
But the real event comes in the evening when the village, and its many visitors, doff their collective problems, and devote themselves to simply having a good time. That joy comes in many packages.
Like spending the evening at the carnival.
Where you can imagine you are a pilot.
Or that the world is a cornucopia of sweets.
Except when it is filled with cut-rate hot dogs with all of the trimmings.
You can even win a packet of cookies for your girl (or yourself) by outwitting the fixed odds upon which carnies thrive. In two nights of observing this "game," I never saw one packet of cookies walk away from those spinning disks.
But the star attraction sits in front of the church. After all, this is a religious holiday.
You can see it at the right. The castillo. A tower of tiered fireworks with spinning wheels, Roman candles, and a cartload of rockets that shoot directly into the audience.
This was Darrel's first encounter with this devilish bit of Mexican entertainment. So, I got him a front row seat. As a rule, that means we would be scorched by rockets.
We weren't. Even though several whizzed past our heads, we were left unscathed. Almost.
This year there was a bit of improvisational theater from the audience. Teen boys started throwing firecrackers at one another and deep into the audience on opposite sides of the castillo.
We are talking big firecrackers. M-80s. The type of firecracker you cannot legally possess in The States or Canada -- even though almost every neighborhood has its own contraband source.
Several northern women must have imported their notion of illegality with them. Despite their wagging fingers in the faces of the boys tossing the firecrackers, the fire fight continued through the evening.
I had a great time. So did Darrel. Neither of us can hear very well right now. Two M-80s detonated right beside us. Lobbed, I might say, from "the other side."
It has been a great start for Darrel's visit. I doubt we will find an evening filled with quite as much sound and light.