MexicanaSaturday, July 21, 2007
Rosemary and I were school teachers in Mexico City 35 years ago. We decided to sell our house and move to Vancouver. We quit our jobs thinking that the house would sell quickly. It didn't. I had to make money, some way. With a very used Pentax S-3 and three lenses I started taking portraits of children and teenagers for wealthy Mexican families. The business took off and I was being referred from one family to another without having to promote myself. The business had its downs because of my primitive darkroom equipment and having to dry mount b+w photographs (it was the rage to stick a photograph on thick wood whose edges were painted black) with a common clothes iron. We finally sold the house even though my neighbours were urging me to stay as I was making good money. On the way to Vancouver we stopped in LA (we drove a VW Beatle with a roof rack and had our daughters in the back seat)and I purchased better equipment. A few years later, sometime in 1977 or 1978 I made a trade with Mexicana to go to Oaxaca, Yucatán and Chiapas where I visited an almost deserted and rainy Palenque. Because I stopped over in Mexico City for a few days one of the wealthy families asked me to photograph their children again. They were particularly proud of one of their daughters as she was beautiful and almost blonde.
Looking through my Mexican photographs I located this one contact sheet that had three disparate images on the one page. One was of the young girl (I used vaseline, how terrible!), another was a Mexicana DC-9 (horrors I used vaseline on that one, too) and the last was the interior of the cave at Loltúm in Yucatán. Of the latter I remember the great heat and a humidity that made it seem like I was taking a warm shower.
But today Saturday we have learned that the heat is most intense from April to late June so we have missed a bit of it. The temperatures hover around 84 and the breezes in our hotel make it seem even less. The hotel is odd in a very nice way. Many of the areas, including the front desk are in the open air so they cannot be air conditioned. But our room and other specific meeting rooms do have air conditioning. The hotel pool, unlike most pools this day is a real one with a deep end and Rebecca is practicing her dives. Rebecca has fallen in love with the hotel b black cat called Michò. Our breakfast waiter, explained that the word is cat in Mayan.