By Angel Nuñez
Strong breezy or windy days might cause some measures of discomfort today and for that matter they are disliked. However I can assure you that windy conditions were loved very much 25 years ago and for good reasons.
The children of San Pedro especially liked those windy days because it was good business for them. The strong winds tended to blow the sand away and pile it up further down the street. At some street junctions the sand was blown off all the way to a solid hard crust. Naturally only sand was blown away; coins like nickels, dimes, quarters and half dollars or 50 cent coins remained. And here is where the children did their good business. They would try to be the first to get up on windy days and be the first to arrive at these spots to look for lost coins. As the saying goes: “The early bird catches the worm,” the children who got there early were able to collect quite a fortune considering that finding a half dollar back then would be like finding 20 dollars today. You would not like to see the fight that ensued when two kids spotted a coin simultaneously.
Windy days in San Pedro like the ones we are experiencing this week also gave the children the opportunity to fly their kites. It was common on a day like this to see up to 25 kites of all sizes, shapes and colors decorating the blue skies over the village of San Pedro. And when they had enough of the kites, then they would play airplane. Very simple. A piece of hard cardboard cut in the shape of an airplane propeller with a pin inserted in the center provided a fast spinning propeller as the child ran into the wind making the sound of an engine with his mouth. These are two fun games of boys, right? Wrong! Girls played kites and pretended to be airplanes just as well.
There is more for boys. They would rig up their sails unto their dories and sail down the coast to collect either coconut husks or cut some firewood so that mom would have an ample supply of fuel for the fire hearth.(fogon) Of course a windy day meant that the boys would have an easy trip without having to paddle or pole their dories.
Now let’s go to the women of the village. Windy days meant their laundry would dry up twice as fast. A strong breeze would blow the smoke away from the kitchen with the fire hearth -smoke that would normally remain stagnant on calm days.
How about the men of San Pedro? Did they like the strong winds? Perhaps the best blessing of a windy day was the hope that stormy seas would fill up the fishing traps with snapper, grunt, shads, lobsters, or whatever was in season. A full load of fish meant a trip to Belize City for the sale of the fish and it meant good money for the entire family. On the return trip from Belize City, dad would bring some of those delicious sweet buns that were so scarce in San Pedro. Buns on the table was like Christmas for the entire family, so thank the windy days and the great catches. Got to admit everybody liked windy days in San Pedro 25 years ago.
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Jose Luis Zapata Photography –Richie’s Stationery -Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush
Contact the Author at: [email protected]