Windy Days

ow do you see strong winds and rough seas today? Hate them, right? It is understandable that strong winds and rough seas are associated with ugly days, especially if you have a group of tourists ready to go out and have a "whale of a time."

However, windy days 25 years ago meant good money for business, for the children especially. You see, money lost on very sandy streets was money really lost. There was no hope of 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 quarters and half-dollars.

Early in the morning of a windy day children would be seen by the street comers looking for coins. A 50-cent coin was like Christmas. That could purchase a coke for 10 cents, ice with syrup (snow-cones or "fresco") for 2 cents, pepitos (pumpkin seeds) for 5 cents, biscuits 2 for 5 cents, spearmint gum for 5 cents, and one would still have money left over for the following day, perhaps for cigarettes at 2 f6r 5 cents. Don't talk about the fights that broke out when two guys spotted a quarter 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 u 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 to 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.

But 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 and daddy would return with cash, meat, vegetables, buns, bread and gifts for the children, 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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