Just Horsing Around
One of the most enjoyable activities to provide your guests is a horseback tour. Recently I was with my pals Kevin and Nevin (but not my son named Trevyn) horseback riding outside the city. We posed for a photo with one arm on the reins and the other in the air so I said “Look at us! We are the Go-go’s from their Vacation music video!” (In this early music video the Go-Go gals imitated the Aqua Maids from Florida’s 1950’s Cypress Gardens, one of the first highway exit tourist attractions.)
Well, much to my surprise, Nevin, a director, announces that back when he was an actor, he appeared in that video!
My, how our career choices, much like our locations, change in life. Similar to Saint Martin who moved about the world and careers to eventually become the Cowboy Saint to horse lovers in SMA.
I’m sure by now you’ve seen the image of St. Martin as a Roman gladiator on horse cutting his red cloak in half to provide it a nude and disabled man. Legend states that Martin, who had left Hungary to be a Roman Gladiator, went to bed that night and dreamed the man was actually Jesus. That changed Martin’s career path and he became a monk, and later bishop of Tours, France.
When Martin died he still had his half of the red cape. He cut the cape in half because he could not return to his Gladiator military unit without his uniform, the lesson being God doesn’t ask for more than we can do. Romans took the remaining part of the cape and built a small church around it. The Latin word for cape is where we get the word chapel.
Local legend states that during the Inquisition timeframe a rich Spanish family was passing through the town of St. Martin, near Delores, when a flash flood hit. The family lost everything but the image of St. Martin which began the local devotion to this saint.
St. Martin is patron of three local causes. One is public transportation. The second is those who rely on the kindness of strangers. For folks in theater that would be anyone playing the part of Blanche DuBois. In SMA it is why tienda owners burn candles with image of St. Martin because they depend on the kindness of strangers to bop in buying sodas and chips.
Also St. Martin is patron saint of cowboys. Approaching his November feast day thousands of cowboys (and cowgirls) will pass through SMA on their way to and from the town of St. Martin. On his feast day the riders, and horses, receive special blessings while enjoying music and fun.
The popular amulet for Saint Martin here is a horseshoe, though unlike the Irish custom of keeping the ends upright, St. Martin’s horseshoes are hung with the ends pointing down providing money or business luck. Giddy up!