Twenty Five years ago there were not many ways of bleaching clothes, but one simple way. It was by placing the clothes on patches of grass in the yard or even on the street grass right in front of one’s yard. The clothes bleached in the hot sun as well as overnight in the moonlight and night’s dew. This generally gave the clothing a dazzling white bleach and a most pleasant green environmental aroma, quite unlike the smell you receive as you pass by La Margarita Apartments.
Today it is very difficult to bleach clothing in this manner for many reasons: Because there is no space available in one’s backyard as every square inch has been used for buildings. Because today the housewives use an easier and faster method by using the chemical Clorox bleach.
Because there are no patches of grass on the street. Besides if there were any the people and the traffic would trample it underfoot. Twenty five years ago children played all sorts of games on the streets and respected one’s clothing put out to bleach in the sunlight and moonlight. Furthermore, if a child accidentally stepped on your laundry and got it dirty, you were entitled to give him a lashing and his parents would come and thank you for it and ask for an apology. Today if you were to lash anybody’s child, you would be looking for trouble with the parents and you might end up in a court of law with your lawyer and a litany of charges against you.
It is difficult to bleach clothing out in the yard or street grass because someone will definitely steal your precious clothing. There are too many thieves about the place looking for an easy way of obtaining material goods. Trust me, twenty five years ago everybody placed their clothing out there and nobody, absolutely nobody, meddled with your stuff.
Another reason is because some neighbor’s dog will poop on your clothing. In the past some villager would bring a sheep or goat to raise for its meat for a special occasion. These animals love to chew on cloth, and when they did, you would hear the scandal created by the owner of the clothing. Usually this matter would be resolved by the owner of the goat paying for the damage and offering some meat when the animal was butchered for the birthday or Christmas. I want to end by saying that twenty five years ago only certain items were put out to bleach in the sun and moon- items like pillow cases, bed linen, white shirts, etc., and no there was no underwear put out to public display for bleaching nor anything else.
- by Angel Nuñez, Columnist