Sunday, October 31, 2010

Livin' on Silver -- Part Six -- I'm Movin' Out

Spring came and with it a family of Mexicans. Actually I think it was four families, living in one house, three doors up from me. They owned a blue ford pickup truck, an old F150, not unlike a truck my grandfather owned once. In the mornings, the men would pile in the truck and drive away, to some job, I supposed construction. The wives would all stand on the porch with their babies in their arms, "Adios!" and then another little crowd of them, the ones between the ages of five all the way up to 11 or so would stand in the road and wait for the big yellow school bus, and whoooosh, off they would go for the day.

I would walk by and hear the women in the house, talking, talking, talking, and Cooking! Oh the good smells that drifted out of that house!

In the evenings, the men would arrive home and the there was such a fuss, such a commotion over their arrival home, that you would think they had just returned from fighting the Spanish American War. And the evening would deteriorate from there. Music would play, food would be eaten, lots of cerveza would be consumed. And then the Truck Fiesta would begin. The sun would begin to sink behind the mill houses across the street and the Mexicans would pile all the children into the back of the pickup truck and they would drive up and down Silver Avenue. The children would wave like beauty queens from the back, and the men would blow the horn and wave too, like they were political candidates, "Hola! Hola!" The truck would make a few passes and then when it was dark, the children would be put to bed and the men would drive the truck up and down the road with their wives! But the wives only put up with this for so long, and they would retire and finally, it was just the men driving the truck, up and down and up and down, but a month or so into this nightly ritual they added something . . . guns and fireworks. One of the men sat up front and drove and the other men rode in the back lighting firecrackers and shooting guns into the night sky. This pissed the Lumbees off big time. The Mexicans and the Lumbees started feuding.

I was beginning to think that my time on Silver was coming to an end.

And just when I began to think that way, I happened to read a small article on a forgotten back page of the Greensboro News & Record (a rag I had been the weather girl for at one time) -- the small headline read something like this: Greensboro's First Crack House Raided on Silver Avenue.

It was time to leave, and besides, the ceiling over my bathtub was caving in.

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