The weather here has been just right for sitting out and enjoying a beer after work, and that was what we did this Friday, at La Tuna, a great little bar on the edge of downtown San Antonio. Its buildings are made of corrugated iron and the outside area is mulched with bottlecaps (literally), but the atmosphere is fine.
But we weren't there just to drink beer (who me?) and eat jalapeno poppers. The First Friday of each month sees an art exhibition at the art cooperative just down the street, and since this was the week after the Dias de los Muertos, it was a special event for the Day of the Dead.
OK, so you thought the Day of the Dead was creepy, superstitious nonsense? Well, so did I, but on closer inspection it has a couple of great strengths: it provides a memorial for loved ones who have died, and it is a very clear-eyed statement about the inevitability of death, something that western society needs reminding about, IMHO. But it's a lot of fun as well.
In the gallery there were displays of work by young, and very talented, artists, while outside there was a stage for dancing and singing, again involving youngsters. And then came the parade. But this was not the typical American razzmatazz parade, this was the Dias de los Muertos procession with white painted faces, muffled drums and a piper.
All this on a balmy evening with the buildings silhouetted against the sunset and the grackles streaming in to roost on the wires.
What's that you say? Marty Roo? Oh he enjoyed it greatly; he loves An Event, and dressed in his skeleton suit he was the centre of attention.
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