Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Maria and the Mariachis

I had a lot to do to get ready for my month-long stay in Bisbee. Not just packing clothes and computer but cleaning the porch and putting as much into the bodega as I could - grill, chairs, hammock, beading supplies - anything that would tempt a thief. Sunday morning the heat was stifling but I worked nonstop. My face was flaming red and occasionally I'd drench myself with water from the hose which fluctuated between hot and warm, never reaching the cool state. Around noon I walked over to say good-bye to PJ and that's when I ran into Maria. So much for best-laid plans. PJ decided to postpone her drive to Tucson for another day and I figured I could finish packing Monday morning.

Maria's whole family was partying and picnicking under the palapas - her sons and their wives and kids, her daughter, her husband, and Antonio who we thought was a son but who works for her and is like family. As PJ and I walked over to join the family we heard a drumming sound. When the palapa came into view, there they were: the mariachis from Hermosillo who play at restaurants along the beach in New Kino, hired by familia de Maria to play ten songs.

We were greeted by hugs from family and mariachis alike, handed nice cold Bud Lites. (Yes, Bud Lites.)

The mariachis were in top form. The bass player was new - Ramon, a tall thin gray-haired man who flirted with Maria and during his solos he turned the bass and rode it as though it was a horse. Manuel, the handsome guitarist, sang songs to Antonietta and Pamela. Maria danced sexy - sometimes with the palapa pole. Antonio expressed his love - over and over and over - for me and PJ. His wife just rolled her eyes. More Bud Lites!! It was hot but there was a breeze. Sons, daughters-in-law, grandkids played in the surf. We danced. And danced. And drank more Bud Lites.

In my four years at Islandia this is the first time I've seen mariachis here. Things changed this summer. Every weekend the park is packed with families on holiday from Hermosillo, Juarez, other towns in the states of Sonora and Chihuahua. All the casitas are rented. Some Mexican families even have RV's, a very new trend. Yes, it's hot in Kino but not as hot as big cities and there's always the sea. Families jump in the water early in the day, then around noon the grills fire up for lunch followed by siestas then back in the water. Wet clothes are draped over the barbed wire fence atop the seawall. Music blares from boom boxes or car stereos. This is one of Kino's many faces that I love.

Dancing, flirting, drinking. How many Bud Lites did I down during those ten songs?

After the songs were sung the mariachis packed up and headed to New Kino. The family began preparing for the ride home. The kids were showered and then dressed in fancy clothes. It was the birthday of one of the little girls. The whole family was going out to eat - probably at Pargo Rojo - before making the drive to Hermosillo. Antonio's wife asked if I had bags for trash. Now, I always bristle at stereotypes but it is true that many of the families leave trash all over the place. Manny told me he will point out the trashcan just a few feet away and they'll basically tell him to go fuck himself. But Maria's family picked up all the Styrofoam cups and plates, the plastic juice bottles. The beer cans were separated out and just as we had them all bagged Tio - the old guy who walks the beach looking for cans - showed up and we filled his gunny sack.

I really love Maria and her family. But, man, can that woman curse! She calls her grandkids "pendejitos" (basically little fuckers) and she came up with a new description for Antonio: cochina sin huevos (a pig without balls). She got a kick out of teaching me that one. Maybe some day PJ and I will visit them in Hermosillo. We will certainly see them again in Kino.

What a wonderful last day in Kino before beginning my 30-day stay in the states. It was worth the frantic Monday morning packing - with a hangover.

This funny little fishing village isn't to everyone's liking. But on a day like that - a day with Maria and the mariachis - even the most jaded would fall in love with Kino.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds just wonderful, wish I could have been there to help with the Bud Lights.
    xoxo KIm