Tribute to Andrea Dewey written by Nugent Brasher posted by Bob Ittner
On Sunday morning in the market mercería, I bought a long, slender,
yellow ribbon. Knowing that Representative A. Dewey traveled in a ’57
Chevy coupe, I asked the Señora to mark in hopeful green ink the portent
AD57 on the ribbon. Several blocks away in the bird market I searched for
the right wings. The vendors had many birds from which to select, but only
a single pajarero had a suitable aviator for hire. In a tall cage stood an
alablanca, an Elegant Tern, captured from his homeland on the Pacific
coast and carried into the sierra for trade.
I asked the pajarero to tie the yellow AD57 ribbon to one black leg of the
white mensajero. This unusual request excited the ears of those around
and some begged from me an explanation. A murmur rose from the
gatherers as word spread of what I told.
The pajarero opened the top of the cage and grasped the alablanca firmly
yet gently, as though lifting not a bird but rather a santo. Then, with a bend
of his knees and a rise to his tiptoes, he tossed the alablanca into the air,
and in a flurry of loud flaps and a sharp double cry, two strong wide wings
hurled the suddenly freed captive toward the distant peaceful ocean.
A lingering gasp swished through the crowd as the released adelentado
rose, and many crossed themselves, and men touched their hats, everyone
watching Andrea’s long yellow ribbon dance in the wind and disappear in
the direction of homeward bound.