Uprooting the Family Tree

My older brother (well, they are all older) Pat likes to moan he is the only Toone still working though I do remind him  there are three quite ill siblings and one dead among us so, really, comparatively speaking, isn’t working better?  It reminded me of being a child and Dad moaned his pals’ kids were getting married and I was still in grade school to which I retorted “And that’s my fault, how?  Plus do you really think it wise an 11 year old gets married?”

These are the fun family conversations you encounter when, like me, you are “God’s gift” to a middle aged couple much like Mary was to her parents Ana and Joachim.

Until I arrived to SMA I didn’t even realize Mary had parents.  Sure, I guess in theory, she had to, but who they were I had no idea.

ana readingTurns out Mary was also a midlife gift and that’s how you can recognize her parents in art around town.  Simply put, they are old.  Saint Ann (Ana, Anna, Hannah or Anne) and Joachim (Joaquin) are displayed in art with books to imply Mary was educated and knew how to read.  So when you see old saints with books, they are the go-to couple.

Normally statues of Mary and Joseph flank an altar beside Jesus on the cross.  However, due to popular demand, in SMA it is Ana and Joachim that often flank the altar instead.  Anna is patron saint of fertility issues and her pregnancy is the focal point to the cloistered nuns of the Immaculate Conception (Las Monjas) here in town.

Prior to independence from Spain the street, Insurgentes, was named Santa Ana (hence the Santa Ana theater and church) while Hidalgo was known as San Joaquin since it intersected with Santa Ana.

ana john the baptistMary’s cousin, Elizabeth, also had a middle aged “gift” giving birth to Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist.  On his feast day here in SMA tradition holds you wash your hair before the sun comes up.  For bald men, it will restore growth.  For women, their hair becomes more luxuriant.  Even children are incredibly ana hairwell coiffed on John the Baptist’s day.  The tradition stems from how John belonged to a Jewish cult that believed in not drinking alcohol, immediately burying the dead and never cutting your hair.

John the Baptist is the same name my father labeled the grandson named John for him.  Luckily the Toone version of John the Baptist is actually Baptist, and was also not married by age 11.  Apparently we Toone men have commitment issues.