FREEZE-FRAME By Charity A. Hicks
Sitting at the Ranch Market on Central and Southern, I
narrow my gaze in on a family of four. I watch the
interactions between a father, mother, and two boys (approx.
age three and five) of Hispanic decent. The mother has a
beautiful smile as she engages in play and conversation with
her two boys. She presents herself quite differently than
most women that I have seen in supermarkets across town.
This woman is very modestly dressed. She does not appear to
be wearing designer clothes, but in fact, she has clean and
simple clothes adorning her body. She is beautiful in a pure
and simple way, much different than the flashy, half-exposed
women in other parts of town. Her hair is long and well
Her husband is a handsome man who constantly gazes
into her eyes as he smiles. The two boys are adorable and
seem extremely happy with their time at the market. In the
background loud music plays as families and friends mingle.
The setting is in a Hispanic market/deli/bakery/hang-out
joint. Apparently at 1:00 in the afternoon these people
enjoy the company of others as they shop for groceries and
have a bite to eat. In the produce section is where all of
this takes place. The setting is rumbling with chatter, as
the folk engage in shopping, eating, ordering food, and
visiting with each other.
Piñatas hang from the ceiling, giving a festive feel
to the passers-by. Also in celebration of Valentine’s Day
approaching, lights and decorations are spread along the
walls and ceilings. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, in
contrast with the rather dry and quiet markets I have
visited in various parts of the valley. People seem to
appreciate the time spent with friends and loved ones;
seeing the market as not just a place to replenish the goods
in their kitchen, but also a festive occasions.