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Salsipuedes--- here is a weird remembrance...shrunken heads.


Salsipuedes and the first glimpse of shrunken heads---yes, when I was a little kid, my mom would taking me shopping. We always took the shortcut by taking Salsipuedes. One day during the dry season we were going down Salsipuedes and in a little storefront the size of a dollhouse closet I spotted what appeared to be a head---I got closer and sure enough it was...a miniature shrunken head the size of a Rawlings Big League Baseball. It had red hair. The old man with a beard that look like something out of the movie Quazi Modo or "---the man who wanted to be King." He was a very ancient character with a face that mirrored the shrunken head except ----he was the burned color of mahogany and breathing. With his long crooked finger and ditty nail he beckon me over----I broke free from my mother's hand while she was picking out some sewing notions and went closer to see his display of shrunken heads. There must have been 18 or more of them on this table. He looked at me with a hooded look and said, "For you my friend I have a special price..." He of course said this all in Spanish as he smoked this little narrow cigar that I had watched him rolled and then like magic had produce a Panama Canal Match and with a flick of a nail it had come to life. The smell of the rich Turkish tobacco made me feel woozy and just when I though I would be the next victim and a shrunken head on his little table----a strong soft hand, my mother's hand grabbed me by an ear and hauled me away in the nick of time. For the next two blocks I got a lecture on what could have happen to me and not to talk to strangers and stay close because there was a band of bandits that love to steal little kids like me. Well, needless to say I became little Blue Boy and was on my best behavior for the rest of the afternoon. For this I was rewarded with one of those Cherry flavor icy cold Raspao--- yes, life is good!


To this day, I'll never forget my close encounter with a mysterious Shrunken Head seller from a headhunter's tribe in South America.


Years later, why attending BHS in the late 50's I notice that some of the Buicks, Hudsons, and other big V-8 automobiles sported shrunken heads dangling from the rear view mirrors. At closer inspection I discovered that they were fakes and I was relieved of this fact. I didn't want to feel an urge to go to the head or turn down a ride home after school to Cocoli. But I guess what I am saying is that I never really cared for these weird and some what grotesque remembrances of a time when life was easy, less complicated, rather plain, and I happened to walk down Salsipuedes with my mother so many years ago---