Dia de los Muertos

Although the Mexican Day of the Dead actually occurred on November 2, All Souls Day in the Catholic liturgy, the neighborhood of Canoga Park decided to hold their festival today. Martine and I were to meet a friend at the festival, but there was the usual problem with cell phones: It was too loud to here the telephone ring.

That was the first thing that set Martine off. Second was the size of the crowd. Neither of us positively like crowds, but her dislike of them approaches the realm of phobia. Thirdly, she abhors skeletons and costumes that suggest death. Finally, there were a lot of classical cars on display; but they were all tricked out as Mexican low-riders.

Only the first two things set me off, but I was interested in the costumes people wore and the cars. Many of the cars had ofrendas, little memorials to loved ones who have passed on.

An Ofrenda Occupying the Trunk of a Low-Rider

Where Martine did not particularly like Mexican customs, I, on the other hand, have many years of traveling in the Republic and admiring from afar these same customs. I remember one bus ride I had back in the 1980s on the Dia de los Muertos between Mazatlán and Durango. The bus was filled with Mexican families on their way to have a picnic at the cemetery by the grave of their loved ones. I thought it was a splendid custom, and I helped out by holding a baby for a few miles while the young mother who sat next to me was otherwise occupied.

In the end, I knew I had to make it up to Martine. I could have made a scene and called her too thin-skinned, but instead I bought her her first cotton candy in sixty years. Then, on the way home, we stopped at Bea’s Bakery in Reseda for some of their first class pastries.So, in the end, she had some good things to remember.