Sunday, March 18, 2007

Passing Time

In my home town, the mission bells were rung every hour on the hour. For many years, a man named Paul Arce rang them. He'd begin pulling the bell ropes to the tune of "Oh Maria, Madre Mia," a Mexican hymn to the Virgin Mother. Then he gonged a bell for however many hours we were marking at that time, one, two, three, four, etc. On the half hour, say at 4:30, he'd clap a bell once. The passing of my entire childhood was marked by the ringing of these bells.

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