Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayday.

Cinco de Mayo images from 2006:

From my fictional novel A Western Capitol Hill:

Straw cowboy hats stand out on the men, the Mexican nationals, in attendance. A reminder that the word “buckaroo” comes from the Spanish word, vaquero.

Corporate banners abound. One booth tries to entice people into purchasing long-distance phone plans. Another seeks customers for a bottled-water service. Military recruiters hand out pencils that say “Yo Soy El Army” on them.

As the smoke from a grill wafts over them, people stand in line for authentic Mexican tacos: pork or chicken on lightly fried, soft corn tortillas, garnished with a cilantro-onion mix, different salsas, limes, and radishes.

“I thought you were going to get a torta,” says a disappointed man, Hispanic himself, as his wife returns to the shady grass area in front of the City and County Building with a turkey leg. Their kids drift back, as well: one has a slice of pizza in a cardboard box; the other, a German bratwurst. The father shakes his head again in disgust.

A mariachi band with Mohawk haircuts blares away on their trumpets, guitars and a bajo sexto.

After the next act takes the stage, the oom-pa-pa of a tuba booms like the bass in rap music. One fan of narcocorrido music in the audience tips his hat to the musicians: a baseball cap with a patch on the front depicting a parrot, a goat, and a rooster; “My three animals,” it says in Spanish—alluding to cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. He taps his snakeskin cowboy boot along to the music. The lyrics concern a smuggling run that went wrong, so someone had to die.

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