Nagoya Writes

December 4, 2007

The North-Side Story by Roy Hernandez

Filed under: Hernandez,Issue: May 2006,Prose — usbengoshi @ 6:22 pm

It was a long time ago that I was a boy growing up in the North-Side barrio of Houston, Texas. I was actually born in Victoria, Texas, a small town of ranches and crops of corn and sugarcane. Oh hell, there isn’t much to say about Victoria except that in my time it was a small place and the best of the most that I can remember are the fields of corn and sugarcane growing. Well, there might have been other things growing just as well, but I guess I just paid attention to the big tall things; the corn and the sugarcane. Big and tall, which reminds me of the Woolworths store, standing in the middle of our small downtown.

Of course you couldn’t miss the railroad track that ran smack center through the downtown area, coming through for pick-ups of cotton processed at the cotton gin. Yeah, they had those fields for the Negroes to pick cotton by the gunny sac just to earn a poor man’s wage. They even had their children helping out just to make a living for the day. The wages, of course, came from the white man.

Well, it isn’t what I would call even and fair but those were the times and for sure the times would one day change, and change they did. I reflect sometimes on my days growing up in Victoria, Texas, those days before change. Victoria was a kind of sad, lonely, desolate place inhabited by Whites, Mexicans and Negroes, all living their own version of harmony. I never really saw any type of abuses during my childhood years. There was this harmony, a kind of connection. At such a young age, I couldn’t see that what really connected these races of humans together was their dependency on each others’ needs. That is where I think it all connected, in the dependency of humans upon one another, regardless of colour, although this was much in contrast to the rules of segregation that existed at the time. Those rules existed in spite of the laws of the “Great Democracy” and its Constitution in which the White man said something along the lines of all men being created equal in a land created for the people by the people, one nation under God. But, segregation, well, that’s the way it was back then.

There was a Native American Shaman who lived in the wooded area nearby. Grandmother was dying of colon cancer and we went to visit him at least once a week. He was a thrilling Apache Indian that spoke of the future events to come. He told us of huge towers with billowing clouds of smoke and debris falling in New York City in the new millennium. He said this would be the war of the extraterrestrials with the American government. In his vision, the extraterrestrials would fully integrate into society. We would all be connected.

One evening, we had stayed at the Shaman’s place until very late into the night. Grandmother wanted to go home but the Shaman said the moon was in just the right position, and that the stars were all in the right places, in perfect synchroncity with the moon. He told us that we should all go with him to see the miracle that was going to take place that night. We climbed into the high ranges until we reached a large crater in the ground. The Shaman built a small fire and took out his peace pipe, passing it around so each of us could take a turn puffing on the smoke. Then in the bony remains of a human skull, the cranium, he burnt some incense, fanning the heady fumes with an eagle feather towards the opening of the crater. He had told us that within the crater was an extraterrestrial crystal and that only at certain times the miracle happened. He said it helped in guiding the alien vehicles to earth.

As we watched and waited, suddenly a great flash of light in prism rays shot out of the depths of the crater. It was both a breathtaking and very frightening sight. As the light radiated outward, a crow appeared near the light and then flew right next to its glow. A coyote then walked its way toward this light, this miracle light. Both animals, the crow and the coyote, connected to each other by the glowing rays, transformed into human form. And then they spoke.

To be continued…

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