Supporting Supporting Players
Easter processions are all about Jesus and Mary but I stumbled upon a unique opportunity to support one of the supporting players, St. Veronica. Just like Allison Janey recently did, St. Veronica, a supporting player, brought home the gold.
Personally, I’ve always been partial to Veronica. A stranger that approached Jesus in his final moments just to make his life more comfortable by wiping away his sweat. A brave move by a woman to help a man few in that angry crowd were partial to. I can only hope I’m always that kind to the disenfranchised in need of physical comfort.
Following the Wednesday procession of Holy Week I was helping clean up the altar in front of the Parroquia when I ran into my favorite dance student and neighbor, Lupita. She was in the Santa Escuela church next to the Parroquia insisting Veronica needed a fashion fix. How Veronica’s look was fine for Wednesday of Holy Week but for Thursday and Friday she needed be on her game.
First her Veronica Lodge (of Archie comic fame) inspired wig was removed as was all her clothing and pesky hands. Down to her skivvies Veronica received a fetching gold frock and velvet green cape (be careful, velvet, I learned, crushes so no touching anything but the edges). Hands back on the important decisions were now discussed.
Lupita had a wide array of veils featuring Jesus’ face to choose from. Luckily the one I liked won out featuring his face on yellow background that I thought would stand out to procession viewers farther back in the crowd.
Today’s trivia – the yellow halo around saints in art is believed to be inspired by them having a yellow, or joyful, aura.
At about the same time Veronica was revealed to spend her free time on QVC, the home shopping network, as she possesses a vast selection of chunky jewelry to choose from for her moment, literally, in the sun.
Sidebar: On Good Friday I stumbled onto a 1942 photo of Veronica on Good Friday right where we were standing. I like her modern stylists’ tastes better than layers of laces that completely obscured her then.
Next came hair and makeup. I’ve been a guest on enough film sets to know even the most minor player in the production is the star of their scene and hair matters.
I encouraged Lupita and her daughter-in-law to consider a Veronica Lake peek-a-boo hair style from her 1940’s films. Turns out Veronica Lake wasn’t popular in Mexico so I donned a wig to explain the concept of having hair covering half her face explaining how that adds mystery (does she have a second eyeball?).
Instead the ladies took a brunette wig and formed braids across her forehead so her face could be seen clearly. Heavy sigh on my part.
Once complete with new frock, cape, veil with Jesus’ face (the name Veronica comes from the word veil) and gamine hair do I snapped my final photo. It features Lupita’s daughter-in-law and her son, the Artistic Director of many Holy Week events. He is also the lad I hope my daughter falls in love with, marries and brings me grandchildren with better skin tones than our family tree featuring a long line of intermarrying Gaelic vampires could ever produce! Miracles happen, especially around Easter.