Indeed the month of November is a month to be respected spiritually because the “Animas” or souls of the dead do come out in procession and prayer hoping to meet a beloved family member.
There are those who have a bone to grind with someone and they are not looking to greet peacefully but to carry out their revenge. So if you do not want to meet anyone of these, it is best if you get off the streets and get home before midnight during the entire month of November.
No kidding, the “animas” do exist today as much as they did twenty five years ago except that back then they were more “visible” because it was dark and spirits love darkness. Also it was a lot quieter and their murmurs and cries were a lot more audible in the desolate dark streets of the village. Chances are you do hear them today, but you believe it is the hum of some electric golf cart.
But have you heard of the giant that used to roam the streets of San Pedro in those days when it was a quaint and quiet little fishing village in the 1950’s? The popular place where this giant was sighted was by Alice Store and Rocks Store on Pescador Drive. You can ask Dolores, Rafael, Joe, Fido, and even don Fedo about their experiences with this Giant. Oh, I am sorry, they are all deceased and are not here to tell the story, but they did tell us of their ordeal when they met this giant.
Another popular place where it was sighted was at the corner between Elvi’s Kitchen and Island Vibes. And still another place where this giant was seen but less frequently was right at the entrance of Ramon’s Village with his left foot on the side of Jerry’s Crab Shack.
The giant would be standing with one foot placed on either side of the street. He wore an old pair of muddy sandals and his toes were as large as watermelons with some horrible toenails. His dirty pair of pants was rolled halfway his calves and fifty feet in the air you could only see up to his waist. The rest of his body could not be seen for it was too high and dark. He stood still facing north in the direction of Marino’s Club and Lino’s Meat Shop and all the other homes along that street.
If someone was coming from the north, there would be no problem. You could simply, if you had the courage, continue your walk and pass right under his legs. He would not attack nor bother you in the least manner. The problem arouse if you spotted him and turned round and tried to escape in the other direction. Then he would chase after you, and God knows what he would have done with you if he had caught you. Fortunately nobody was ever caught because he was very clumsy in his movements, but those who had to run away from him found out they had severe fever and pain of the bones the next day. You probably had to go to a “curandero” (bush doctor or healer) to get a dose of some herbs to either bathe with or drink.
The smell of this giant was also awful and your clothes would pick up the despicable scent. To remove the smell from your body, you had to bathe with lime leaves soaked in water warmed in the sunlight for nine consecutive days. As for your clothes, you had to get rid of them by burning them.
No kidding, this giant roamed the village streets forty years ago and earlier. And he might be around here still, but I will not take the risk of meeting him because I hit the road and get home before midnight. Just this past weekend, I left a quinceaños party just fifteen minutes before midnight. No way Jose, I don’t want to meet “El Gigante”.
- by Angel Nuñez, Columnist