Last week the landing of a seaplane caused a bit of excitement because it is something one does not see everyday (See page 6 for story). Imagine the landing of the first plane in San Pedro 25 years ago in the 1960’s.
The sound of the engine caught everybody’s attention. Every woman left her kitchen and went to the beach. Every man left his fish on the table and went to the landing site. A man walked out in a hurry out of the toilet with his pants down. All the school children left the classroom and the teachers ran behind them to go and see the seaplane that had anchored on the beach.
There was excitement in the air. A lady started crying that the world was coming to an end. Some people thought this plane was dangerous, like a monster, and fought hard to keep their children away from the plane, but some courageous children jumped into the water and swam to the plane to touch it. Those who touched the plane felt like heroes. The white man, John Greif Sr., was met by Mr. Fido Nuñez, the Village chairman, and a few people walked along with him and ended at Daddy’s Club to have a drink, I suppose.
Later that day, the seaplane sped along the shore and took off, to the dismay of all the people of San Pedro. When would they see another plane?
The following days, every child in San Pedro was pretending to be a plane and with arms extended, ran about the place making motor noises with their mouths. Then someone stuck a piece of wire or needle into a piece of cardboard shaped like a propeller and made an imaginary airplane engine. Oh what Fun!
Some kids made the body of the plane using wood clothes pins and attached the propeller to it, and then the fun began. Every boy and girl in the village ran down the streets or beach to catch the wind that would spin the airplane’s propeller. The faster the runner, the faster the plane and the faster the propeller would spin. That became all the kid’s favorite pastime for years to come. Do you think that would be fun today when you can buy a remote control plane that can fly by itself? You bet! Try it. My grandson Gaven Zapata and I have been racing all this week enjoying the fun of twenty five years ago.
– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist