Duck, Duck, Goose
My earliest memory is my father taking me to see Lucy, the elephant, in Margate, NJ. My tiny mind was captivated by this towering elephant that housed a real estate office. Lucy is frequently featured to this day on television and in movies.
Suffice to say I was equally captivated to discover we had our own Lucy here in San Miguel. No mere pachyderm but rather a giant, nameless goose.
Personally, if I felt compelled to build a giant animal shaped building, I’d go with lion. Like me, they have pretty hair and spend most of their waking hours taking cat naps. Though I’d be more apt to build a giant Lucille Ball as everyone loves Lucy even when she isn’t a Jersey shore elephant!
Plus geese have a history of generating tourism for our fair hamlet. Many of our older residents remember when there was passenger train service and folks came to town for the day. Once here they’d visit the pond beside the factory (Fabrica la Aurora) to visit water fowl before having a picnic along the banks of the creek where the Capilla de Piedra community now is to complete a lovely day in the country.
Over the years various lawsuits have been filed with the owner of said oversized goose but it looks like the goose is here to stay. Personally, I’ve never been much interested in what my neighbors do to their properties figuring it is best to go along to get along. Plus, I’m grateful that the animal that looms over town is a goose rather than a warthog, water buffalo, cat or any other of God’s less aesthetically pleasing creatures.
The dimensions of the approximately sixty foot tall goose, from his long neck to his cute as a pug’s tail tail are quite life-like. The goose is made from rebar with wings that can lift to ventilate the ballroom located underneath.
Also underneath is a commercial center that never seems to have caught on. Possibly because the biggest tenant is a circus academy. My brother once left the priesthood to marry a Jewish gal and become a traveling circus clown with the act Farmer Toone, his wife and their kid, the goat. However, going to school to learn a circus act today appears on par with learning vaudeville or burlesque, artistic ventures whose heydays are long past.
The commercial center beneath the goose’s blue water is named San Arvino, the patron saint for lazy people the owner promotes as being “a playground for the creative”. I spend a large part of each day trying to understand how the lives of long ago saints are relevant in today’s San Miguel. As a whole saints are not the lazy sort. They normally spent their lives building hospitals, schools and such or lose themselves in contemplative trances over the meaning of life. Either way, they are doing something.
There is even a Saint Expeditus whom is patron for getting things done fast and where we get the word expedite from. There is no San Flojo (Saint Lazy) and when even the internet, the source of all trivial information I adore, has nary a link to San Arvino methinks Arvino is probably a wordplay the owner found humorous.
The goose is easy to track down though he is far off the beaten track in a neighborhood real estate agents would describe as transitional. What exactly it can transition to other than a home for oversized animal buildings is as mysterious as the goose itself.
Personally, my hope is one day the building can house a grade school as who doesn’t want to go to a school where you get loose under the goose while your mother “honks” the horn when time to pick you up?!?