La MexicanaFriday, October 18, 2019
A few days ago I wrote in this blog the silliness of using Vaseline to blur the edges of a photograph. That I used that same technique here puts the photographs of Ana Victoria and this lovely blond in the same time frame.
But looking at this blonde woman whose name I long ago forgot brings me to that thought we always have of, “What if?”
In 1974 my Rosemary, our two daughters and I had a nice little house which we owned in Arboledas, in the outskirts of Mexico City. We taught English at American Companies and a chain of American hotels. I taught Spanish at Universidad Iberoamericana, a Jesuit institution. Life was simple except for the hectic drive in our VW on the bumper to bumper periférico.
Rosemary said we need to move to Canada. She said that the US was not a choice as my Argentine citizenship and that of our daughters’ Mexican would make us aliens. “Toronto would be too cold for you and you would not understand French I Montreal. We will go to Vancouver. And we will go there in our VW.”
We quit our jobs and put our house for sale. That was a terrible mistake. There were no takers. We needed the money so I started taking photographs of Mexican families with my primitive equipment ( a Pentax S-3 and a Pentacon F). I had a small darkroom so I printed the photographs and then mounted (a custom at the time) them on mat board with dry mounting tissue using Rosemary’s iron.
Before I knew it business was booming. My photographs, taken with Kodak Tri-X and with only available light, seemed to hit a nerve with all those families. They referred me upwards into the stratosphere of Mexican society. I was being paid lovely sums for my work.
Our neighbours told me that I should reconsider. I did not and as soon as we sold our house we sent all our possessions (including, Rosemary indicated to me, the vinegar, the salt and the pepper) by an expensive moving van. We stuffed our Beetle and installed a roof rack. And off we went to Vancouver.
In 1977 I returned to Mexico. I must have called one of my former Mexican clients who were keen that I photograph their daughter. I have no idea what happened to any b+w photographs I might have taken. All I have are these five snaps and completely out of context that photograph of that Mexican de Aviación Boeing 727.
Again I ponder what might have been had we stayed in Mexico?