Those Lovely Windy Days

indy days, calm days, rainy days and dry days- those could be considered the the 4 seasons for San Pedro for all practical purposes. All 4 weather conditions had different impacts in this fishing village 25 years ago. Today, a windy day might mean you can't go out to do your diving with the tourists. And people who live along the beach hate them for they can't even open their windows. So windy days and rough seas are associated with ugly days, especially if you have a group of excited sea lovers waiting to go out and have a "whale of a time".

However, windy days 25 years ago meant good money business, for the children especially. You see, money lost on very sandy streets was money really lost. There was no hope finding it. But on windy days (25 knots) many sandy streets were blown away right down to the hard crust. And those large "coppers". one cent pieces, were easy to find. So were the 1/4 dollars and 1/2 dollars.

Early in the morning of a windy day children would be seen by the street corners looking for coins. A 50-cent coin was like Christmas. That could purchase a coke for 10 cents, ice with syrup(Fresco) for 2 cents, pepitos for 5 cents, biscuits 2 for 5 cents, spearmints at 5 cents, and one would still have some money left for the following day, perhaps for cigarettes at 2 for 5 cents. Don't talk about fights when two guys spotted a 1/4 dollar at the same time.

Windy days also gave the children an opportunity to play "Airplane". Any piece of cardboard cut and twisted in the shape of an airplane propeller with a pin punched through the center did the job. Children would run all about with their propellers spinning at full force.

Furthermore, windy days gave us children an opportunity to race in the sea Every son of a fisherman had his little canoe rigged up with a sail and rudder, and used to go down the beach to gather coconut husks or firewood. Canoes were also used for our Sunday sporting entertainment. Windy days were therefore special to the children of San Pedro.

Windy days also meant no mosquitoes at the beach. What a relief! On windy days, if there were mosquitoes, the people would head to the beach for a great relief during the day and at dusk. That was when sitting at the end of the piers became a popular pastime.

But perhaps the best blessing of a windy day was the hope that stormy seas would fill up the fishing traps with snapper, or grunt, or shads, or lobster, or whatever was in season. A full load of fish meant a trip to Belize City, and daddy would return with cash, meat, vegetables, buns and bread and gifts for the children, who were, who were also assistants at the trap.

Though the windy days did bring some measure of discomfort, windy days were special to most people in San Pedro 25 years ago.

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