|Rosemary & Alexandra in Valle de Bravo - Mexico Circa 1969|
Here in Vancouver I feel I cannot drive anywhere near that has the ability to make me discover a new world. With Rosemary we would drive to Seattle or to Bellingham. It was pleasant because we did this together. We liked going to Seattle to look for some Pendleton (made in good old USA) article or indulge in American food.
In Mexico the opportunity for discovery was everywhere. There were lakes and old churches, lovely cemeteries and short trips like the lake-side district of Valle de Bravo in the State of Mexico. It was a place that seemed to be cool but not rainy. We would meet up with our friend Andrew Taylor (our eldest daughter’s godfather) and we would walk the street and take street shots. I simply cannot see myself taking street shots outside the Bay on West Georgia. Modernity is not attractive to me. I want the comfort of the (paradoxical?) alien of which I am accustomed to.
These days I am sorting through old negatives and today a found a sheet of Valle de Bravo pictures. There is one of Rosemary with our baby Alexandra that I have never printed or noticed. Now I can notice those wonderful and shapely legs.
I am including three photographs. One is a cliché of an old Mexican woman (it could have been man but it is still a cliché). The other two I really like. In one the little boy is holding a coin to pay for his “agua de sandía” (watermelon). The second photograph I had up in a couple of shows, one in Mexico and one many years ago in 1977 in Vancouver. I remember giving it the name “sombreros”. It is only quite recently that I discovered that the sign on the wall behind the men “El Ben Tono” was a cigar and cigarette brand.
Yes, I would be prepared to return to Mexico and to Valle de Bravo to snap some photos. But I will not shoot (even and especially with my phone) sunsets, cityscapes or anything else that is not a portrait here in Vancouver.