The Sunday walk was intense but fun and sometimes full of surprises. Seven o’clock in the morning, Sunday demanded getting up early to arrange the paintings on a couple of little devils that could carry a few dozen paintings, engravings and sculptures. We had to be cautious in the making of our works of art; the elevator demanded it. Living on a 5th floor where the only way up and down with cargo was an elevator with capacity for 8 people well adjusted, we only had to take into account the size of the door to be able to access with our Sunday cargo with ease to undertake the journey to the garden of art.
Coming down from the building, we found ourselves in Insurgentes Centro, which was one of the busiest avenues in Mexico City, we just turned the corner and found ourselves in a beautiful street full of large trees and beautiful French style Victorian houses. Sadi Carnot was the name of that stately street, in the San Rafaél neighborhood, one of the most prestigious of the Porfiriato era.
Every Sunday in Sullivan Park, located in the same neighborhood, more than 700 painters and sculptors would gather.
In those times, during the 80s, the experience was very enriching, we could have contact with a great diversity of audiences. Some visited us as a mere pretext for a family stroll, which served for recreation, combined with dog walking and children who took advantage of the use of “slides” and “up-and-down”.
Other strollers were definitely looking for a way to bring some object to decorate their homes. And, among so many visitors, we got to connect with real collectors and very interested people who used to take us seriously, and bet on our careers as creators.
We lasted several years doing this tour, all week we made our production in painting, graphics and sculpture; and on Sundays we would walk the pieces to exhibit them between sunny days, some gales and sudden showers. Every Sunday, with much enthusiasm we would walk that road, our beautiful tree-lined street, in a quiet and fresh atmosphere and the hope of selling something that would allow us to continue with our eager creative whim.
On that street there was a very beautiful house with four quarry stone balconies, double height ceilings, plasterwork friezes with ceiling rosettes and Art Nouveau style double door windows. A large wooden gate and a family coat of arms carved in quarry stone at the front of the building design. That was my favorite house on the tour. And every day we walked past it I prayed to the universe for that house…my dream house…..
Chapis, let’s buy this house!!!!! That was my phrase every eight days… Chapis, buy me this house… Chapis, I want this house… This house will be mine…
Years going by and years repeating those phrases, until one day, a sign appeared that said: “APARTMENT FOR SALE”.
Some smart guy came up with the idea of tearing down the inside of the house and divided it into small apartments of social interest. When we discovered this, we had a feeling of frustration because the whole house should have been a jewel and the demolition was really a crime.
However, the front part of the house had been rescued by INAH before it was demolished in its entirety and the details of a good part of the building were preserved intact and it was still wonderful.
The apartment that was for sale at the time, bought by someone else, was a small apartment at the back of the property. I really didn’t like it. A year later, continuing with my desire to get that beautiful property, for the front part, which sounded less impossible than buying the whole house, I kept asking for it and suddenly an ad was placed saying “THIS APARTMENT FOR SALE”….
We were a bit excited, a bit crazy, because our expenses were really up to date and we didn’t have enough money to buy even a small apartment.
That same Sunday, I had set up my easels with a new batch of engravings I had made at the San Carlos Academy, and an elegant and very serious person approached me with a card so that I could visit him in his office, since he had liked my work very much.
The following Monday I made myself beautiful and went to visit him, what a surprise… He was the president of Grupo ASEMEX BANPAIS, the institution that handled the money in Mexico in those days. He asked me for my work to remodel the decoration of offices and bank branches throughout Mexico City, Aguascalientes, State of Mexico and Guadalajara. At that moment, my innocence and enthusiasm made me commit to a titanic job.
Teaming up with Abel, we managed to make an intensive production workshop to meet my client’s needs. The amount of work was such that production had to be diversified, my designs turned out to be insufficient, Abel learned the technique as he went along, and helped me to complement the orders with his designs.
In one of my deliveries, interviewing with my boss to settle some accounts, he asked me: Hey girl, are you expecting a baby, and I answered yes; I must have been about 5 months pregnant. At that time we were living in our small apartment in Insurgentes Centro, where we worked and lived. He immediately sent me to the people who granted loans for the bank’s workers and instructed me to look for a place to make my loan effective.
I immediately went to find the person who was selling my dream house and the deal was done within a few weeks. In less than three months we owned that dream home. Two days before giving birth to my little Meztli, we arrived to live in that place, with a bed, a dining room, a cabinet where we had placed a microwave and many pictures that decorated our walls, giving our new home a warm touch and full of art. The house was really nice and big, ideal for raising my two daughters.
We enjoyed this place for 10 years, just before discovering our current residence in this beautiful Merida.