Lions on Calle DeliciasLast modified: July 7, 2016
47… A house with a carved lion standing guard at its entrance…
Here one can see all the way to Chihuahua, and today one can see the sheer power of a summer thunderhead building over the Sierra Madres Occidentals. Notice the yellow blooming tree in the middle foreground. We are going to visit this neighborhood, near the panteon – cemetery.
California landscape designer Joe Delgado and wife Jacueline Delgado built a new home in the traditional Spanish colonial style on Calle Delicias. Joe had at one time worked with Disneyland and was skilled at creating large scale landscape projects. He was proud of their Alamos house. He was proud of how it was built and how it looked. He was proud of his “perfect” arches.
We are now at the entrance looking in as help sweeps the pool area. I remember a visit here in 1996 seeking the comforts of a shower. The area of town I was staying at, Calle Comercio and surroundings, had been without water for a week due to a busted water main. And a storm had come through the region flooding the arroyos. Water everywhere but not a drop for my shower. I had seen Jacqueline in town and told her my plight and she graciously invited me over a long awaited, and needed, shower and coffee.
The previous night was one of expectation and wonder. A photo shoot on Sierra de Alamos with a group of botanists had been in the planning for several weeks. Apparently many people had to approve our going up the mountain in the summer with cameras. We were to leave at 2 am to beat the heat. The goal was to be near the top by sunrise. At 1:30 am another photographer was on the street outside my window calling my name. He was nervous and distraught. The trip had been cancelled. There were problems in town and I was not to say a word to anyone about why our plans were cut short.
More details will be revealed in my coming collection of twelve Alamos short stories.
So I wandered across town, disappointed and bewildered. The small blue-bottomed pool greeted me and promised there was water for a long awaited shower, hauling cameras around during the summer is a sweaty task. During our short coffee conversation, Jacqueline handed me a printed circular about certain American residents, and their possible shady connections, being passed around town. The flyer spoke of contested land-ownership issues and recalled, in detail, a tragic evening three years earlier. Secrets, imagined, invented or real, swirled in the humid winds, landing where they landed. And now I was traveling with my own Alamos secret. In a way, I had arrived.
It is another day in the graveyard. Not just another day… but another day. It has been this way since 1794 when this plot of land was deemed the municipal cemetery. Graveyards are a special place: they are public art, they are public history and they are markers of their own civilization. And another day begins… and somewhere out there someone is dying and somewhere near here someone is being born. In the end it is all about this precious balance we call life.
Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music from “Camino Songs” by SonicAtomics.
An introduction to a Short History of Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.
“Here is something Special”, Spanish explorer Vasquez de Coronado noted in 1540 as he headed north, passing by tall white rocks on Alamos de Sierra. This is the opening chapter to “A Short History of Álamos” written, filmed and edited by Anders Tomlinson. Narrated by Bruce Miles. Soundtrack by SonicAtomics and Estudiantina de Álamos.
It all begins and ends in the Working Center of Town.
The Alameda, center of activity, transportation hub, bars, offices, shops, gas station and markets … This is Mexico working, traveling and playing. Boom boxes serenade food carts and shoe shines.
Music is part of the Álamos fabric, the Álamos way of living.
The location is the Old Miners Hotel on the east side of Plaza de Las Armas. The event is a holiday wedding reception with imported polka band and a free flowing bar. High spirits, friends, family and a driving beat makes for a good time. Tomorrow would be another day.
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