Two days after we got married on July 12, 1980, to moved to our present home in the neighborhood of El Bosque. I recall we heard somebody knocking at the door the next day. “Who can that be?”, my wife asked. “Nobody knows us around here.”
We opened the door slowly, fearing it could be somebody wanting to do us harm. Nope, it was a strong man in his early forties, red-faced, and a bright smile. He said, “Buenas, mi nombre es Feliciano. Soy jardinero y puedo cortarles la hierba por $12.00 por corte.” (Hi, my name is Feliciano. I’m a gardener and I can trim your lawn for $12.00 a visit.) We thanked him and paid his services for many years. Now we have another gardener, but Feliciano is still around visiting the neighborhood and cutting the grass with his bright smile and his strong arms.
Feliciano is now 68, but still strong and with his friendly smile burned on his red face. He’s original of a place called La Pintada in the countryside. At day break you can see him walking down the neighborhood with his long weed cutter on his back. It doesn’t matter if it rains or shines, if it’s a Sunday or a National Holiday, if he’s sick or healthy. Like a Swiss clock, he walks down the streets of the neighborhood cutting grass and trimming lawns with his bright smile on his face.
Yesterday my wife asked if he could plant a “palma roja” (lipstick palm tree) on our front lawn. Feliciano said yes with his natural friendliness and that permanent smile on his face. “Sí, como no, señora Aura. Yo lo hago por $30.00.” (Yes, I’ll do it Mrs. Aura for $30.00.) And that was that.
While he was doing his thing with a couple of partners, as strong as oxen, I sneaked into my home office and fetched my camera. It was a damp, dark, cobalt-skies day, but with patience and persistence, I could squeeze a shot or two. Anyway, I could always retouch the pictures if they needed some makeup.
Below are several photographs of Feliciano and his partners planting a palm tree in our front lawn. Notice how strong these men look. Even Superman would look like a weakling beside them.