Eddie and Roberto, owners of Xaltemba Restaurant & Galeria, rolled up the doors of the Galeria section shortly after the sun went down. Inside, flickering candlelight drew one’s eyes to a large wall covered in row upon row of tealight candles and pierced tin ornaments eerily depicting a portrait of Eric Nice, a well known and deeply missed musician, woodworker and friend to many. Roberto told me that it took Deb Drew, who created this wall of remembrance, a week just to set it up, not including the time to devise and implement the portrait.
The foyer to the Galeria was turned into a lovely shrine dedicated to another member of our community who passed away this summer, Becky Kemery. Tracy Holmes and Marilyn Miller gathered together photos of Becky, a copy of her book “Yurts – Living in the Round,” and other significant Dia de los Muertos pieces like Becky’s favourite foods, flowers such as marigolds, and to add a more personal touch, people attending the Galeria opening were invited to draw flowers on round paper cutouts that were then affixed near to the display.
Many people gathered to gaze at the memorials, to chat with friends not seen since the spring, to eat and drink and have a celebratory good time. After all… isn’t this a part of what Dia de los Muertos is all about?