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We are beginning a new life in a very rural, mountainous, and little known area of Veracruz, Mexico. We are the only Norte Americanos in our beautiful little adopted town of Teocelo...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


You may recall a recent Arco de Flores blog and a picture of the remarkable clown figure who headed the procession through the streets of Teocelo...

Perhaps you wondered who might be the person behind that mask.

Well... yes, that is Mindy all right wearing the clown mask but I guess you probably won't swallow a lot of malarkey about the clown getting sick at the last minute and Mindy getting roped in to play the clown in the procession.

The real skinny: We went back the next day after the procession and took more pictures of the completed Arco. As I was sitting on a bench on the sidewalk across the street from the little chapel taking pictures, a big, burly fellow sat down beside me, said hello and introduced himself in pretty good English, and shook my hand vigorously. Mindy recognized his voice immediately as the clown who had hollered and bellowed for over two hours the day before. He in fact only lived four doors down and wanted us to come over and meet his family and have a coke and some sandwiches. Wow.

He shared much about himself and proudly showed us the clown mask which a friend had carved for him from one solid piece of wood and hand painted. A work of art we think.

While he told us his real name, he asked us to call him "Chido" as his friends do. Chido means "cool" in Spanish, and indeed our new friend was a very cool guy.

Chido's dad as it turns out lives in Los Angeles permanently, and Chido has a green card to work in the United States. When the budget sags at home he goes to L.A. for extended periods and makes good money as a house painter. He proudly showed us photographs of his work. He has five lovely children, three girls and two boys. His wife was very shy and came out usually only briefly into the living room to serve us food.

And so... the clown unmasked -- a mighty swell fellow named Chido.

- jim and mindy


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