Jimi has always been a bit of a Zihuatanejo legend. Starting when he and wife Judy came to Zihuatanejo at the invitation of Guitarfest and never turned back. Jimi plays, blues, soul, and rock and role from it’s heydays of the 50’s and 60’s into the 2000’s and still draws a crowd. It’s the music we grew up with and many believe, as I do, we had the best music ever.
Wednesday night a film crew was here from California to complete a documentary about the music scene in the North Beach area of San Francisco which Jimi was a big part of.
North Beach was the “happening place” with great clubs that gave many a star their start. Places like The Hungry I, and the Purple Onion, Big Al’s and of course the Condor, famous for Carol Doda who originated topless dancing. It was also the home of the Keene Art Gallery among others. An exciting vibrant place during simpler times. My sister was a chorus girl, dancing at Bimbo’s 365 club the summer of 61.
I grew up in a small town 40 Miles north of San Francisco, and even though we were under age and couldn’t get in to many of the clubs it was still a thrill on a Saturday night to roam the streets of North Beach and listen from the sidewalks and alley ways.
I imagine only a small handfull of those musicians are still around and not many would still be playing. But here in Zihuatanejo we have had the pleasure of spending our winters listening and dancing to the music of our youth, with one of the greats, Jimi Mamou.
I would be remiss not to mention that not only has Jimi blessed this community with his music but he and Judy have been a vital part of the community, one of the original and continuing sponsors of Sailfest serving on boards and committees, working in the background helping to strengthen this community for all the citizens here.
Signs of Christmas are popping up everywhere and Zihuatanejo is quite clever and artistic with how they do Christmas trees. There are a few cut evergreen tree here, but the weather isn’t conducive to them lasting until Christmas.
I have decorated, put out the nativity scene, a couple of Santa’s here and there hung the
wreath on the balcony and I was done. Took me maybe ten minutes, at home it took me two days minimum. I’m enjoying the simplicity.
El Centro Zihuatanejo shines this Christmas season like the brightest star! All through the pedestrian streets there is a canopy of sparkling lights. The Zocolo is in full dress with enormous lighted gift packages for people to stand in and have their picture taken.
It makes people happy just to walk around and admire it, take pictures, visit with friends, simple enjoy the splendor. It’s so beautiful it almost makes me sad to leave this beauty to go home for a week at Christmas, but then I am anxious to have all 4 of my children together for the first Christmas in probably 20 years, and to have most of the grand-kids there also.
Yesterday our street decorated their shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of this state and then carried her through the streets of town to the local church. They were trying to attach lights with bobby pins when I donated a spool of wire to the cause.
For the past several evenings the fire works begin about 5 o’ clock, not so much the pretty kind just the loud booming ones. This goes on for a couple of hours for several evening in a row. So along with the noise I discover there are lovely processionals were groups bring their shrine of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” to the Church to be blessed. The shrines arrive on floats, some motorized some hand carried, decorated with flowers and balloons accompanied by the folks that belong to that organization, business or family. Many participants are dressed in beautiful embroidered, traditional clothing. They carry candles and sing in unison as they march through the streets to the church. It’s really quite beautiful.
This has been going on for several days and will culminate tonight around midnight or so I’ve been told, as tomorrow is the the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe which originates back in the 16th century when the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego and asked that a shrine be built in her honor. I grew up in the Catholic religion, but we never had any beautiful, interesting processionals, I love the colorful processionals, the floats and the candle lit singing, but I could sure do with out the loud explosions. But the Mexican