Silhou-wets / Sombras mojadas

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

SINCE SAN GERALDO’S GRANDMOTHER AND the snake were such a hit yesterday, I thought I’d today share two more photos of that exceptional, powerful, inspirational woman. The top photo was taken in South Dakota in the 1930s with the eldest two of her three sons (SG’s father at right). I can’t imagine that was what every mother of two in South Dakota looked like at the time. Don’t worry. I won’t be sharing daily photos from SG’s book and will leave it mostly to him.

Until a moment ago, there was no sun to cast shadows. And there’s more rain in the forecast for the next few days. And as I write this, the shadows are already disappearing. The other day, I managed to catch images in the puddles.

I begin my official driving practice Friday morning and hope to have my Spanish license (finally) before summer. Some of you might remember that I started the process nearly two years ago (click here). (Our American licenses aren’t transferable and as legal residents of Spain, we can’t drive without a Spanish license.) Unlike in the United States, it’s a convoluted and expensive process. We’re required to work with a driving school for both parts (theory and behind-the-wheel). Legally, you can’t practice driving without an official driving instructor in a car with dual controls. The cost is upwards of one thousand euros. I had considered not telling you about it until after I pass the road test, but what the heck. If I fail (after driving since the age of 17) and have to take the test again, there’ll be another story to tell. No shame in that (I tell myself). I’m filled with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Driving practice and the exam will be in Marbella, 20 minutes away. So, at least it gets me out of town. San Geraldo will drive me there and sit in a cafe refining his manuscript while I try to not hit anyone. At least if I do, I’ll be masked and unidentifiable.


PORQUE LA ABUELA DE SAN GERALDO Y la serpiente fueron un gran éxito ayer, pensé que hoy compartiría dos fotos de esa mujer excepcional, poderosa, e inspiradora. La foto superior fue tomada en Dakota del Sur en la década de 1930 con los dos mayores de sus tres hijos (el padre de SG a la derecha). No puedo imaginar que así era en ese momento toda madre de dos hijos en Dakota del Sur. No te preocupes. No compartiré fotos diarias del libro de SG y se lo dejaré principalmente a él.

Hasta hace un momento, no había sol para proyectar sombras. Y hay más lluvia en el pronóstico para los próximos días. Y mientras escribo esto, las sombras ya están desapareciendo. El otro día logré captar imágenes en los charcos.

Comienzo mi práctica oficial de conducción el viernes por la mañana y espero tener mi carnet de España (finalmente) antes del verano. Algunos de ustedes recordarán que comencé el proceso hace casi dos años (haz clic aquí). Nuestras licencias estadounidenses no son transferibles y, como residentes legales de España, no podemos conducir sin un carnet de España. A diferencia de los Estados Unidos, es un proceso complicado y costoso. Estamos obligados a trabajar con una escuela de manejo para ambas partes (teoría y al volante). Legalmente, no se puede practicar la conducción sin un instructor de conducción oficial en un automóvil con controles duales. El costo es superior a mil euros. Había considerado no decírselo hasta después de aprobar el examen práctico, pero qué diablos. Si fallo (después de conducir desde tenía 17 años) y tengo que volver a hacer el examen, habrá otra historia que contar. No hay vergüenza en eso (me digo). Estoy lleno de una mezcla de emoción y aprensión. Las prácticas de conducción y el examen serán en Marbella, a 20 minutos. Entonces, al menos me saca de la ciudad. San Geraldo me llevará hasta allí y se sentará en un café refinando su manuscrito mientras trato de no golpear a nadie. Al menos si lo hago, estaré enmascarado y no seré identificable.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Silhou-wets / Sombras mojadas”

  1. I LOVE these shots of the shadows! Well done! reminds me of the work by Henri Cartier-Bresson …..
    Good luck in the exams!

  2. I’ve been driving since age 17 also, 60 fucking years. LOVE the water shadows.

    1. anne marie:
      I thought you and I were the same age! Less than 50 years for me. Hoping to get more water shadow pics today. It’s raining… and raining…

  3. You know what, I can see the resemblance of him and his father in that picture. I wondered if that was San Geraldo’s father. Good luck with driving school today. I took my driving school in class in high school which went towards my license. The credits goes toward the classroom part. Then my parents hired me a driving instructor, a big butch lesbian, who was a hoot and a half. When I went to take the test the written and driving part were the same day, and passed both ! Cruella has been driving since scaring the living shit out of drivers!!!!!!!! Bwahahahaha ha

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      We always thought SG looked exactly like his mother. But many people have seen a resemblance with his father since he’s gotten older. Still, he’s got those Norwegian genes. His father had black hair and brown eyes. SG had light brown (now silver) and you’ve seen those beautiful blues. In NYC when I got my license, driving age was 18 unless you took drivers ed. Then it was 17. I took drivers ed. Had to pass the written test to obtain a learner’s permit befoere you could get behind the wheel to learn.

    1. Bob:
      She was one of a kind. I was so lucky to know both his grandparents for so long.

  4. Flashbacks to learning to drive, oh my! If they don’t like the way you drive, they should get off the sidewalk.

    1. David:
      Speaking of sidewalks. One of the two other guys in my drivers ed class (i.e., the car) was named Marvin. The instructor told him to turn right. And he did. Onto the sidewalk. “What the hell are you doin’?” the instructor screamed. Marvin said, “You said to turn right!” “At the corner. Why would I tell ya ta turn right onta the sidewalk?!?” Marvin replied, “Well, you shoulda been specific!”

  5. The subjects of those water shadows look like they are trapped in another dimension – eerily beautiful. Wow, SG’s grandmother was so glamorous. She looks like a city girl. On the other hand she managed that snake with style, too.

    I didn’t have to take either a written or road test to get a license here in Belize. Dennis had to take a written test. It is all up to the discretion (i.e. whim) of the officer at the Transport Office. If you annoy them, you may as well go to a different district and try your luck there. I wish they were stricter and actually had training for would be drivers – Belize drivers in general are bad and the rate of accidents and fatalities on a per vehicle basis is astoundingly high. Anyway, I am sure you will do well, just don’t piss them off! And if you don’t do well, then tell us a good story.

    1. Wilma:
      Grandma was much more traditional in presentation as the years passed. But she was an amazing person and she did get in trouble at times with his wonderful and very stodgy grandfather. They were a perfect balance. For all the difficulty in getting a license here (the written test is nuts), you’d think Spanish drivers would be the best in the world. Nope! I just hope I get a pleasant examiner.

  6. Yeah, I’m thinking that was definitely NOT a typical South Dakota look in that era! I have some pictures of my grandmother from the ’30s and ’40s, swanning around her small Florida town in a TURBAN, of all things. She didn’t have a fur coat, but then again, it was Florida.

    Your driver’s license experience sounds a bit like what it takes to get a license here in the UK. There are the same requirements about hiring a driving instructor and not transferring the American license. I have delayed getting a license here but one of these days I suppose I’ll have to. (Whereas in America you can practically get one from a gumball machine.)

    1. Steve:
      I was stunned to see lots of women parading around in furs in Sevilla in summer. My grandmother wore her mink stole in summer in NYC. I’d like to have my license for when I’m back in the States, so I can do some special things with my brother. My Calif license expired and I can’t renew without a current Calif address. We’ve had a car since 2016, so it’s frustrating not having a license here and having to bother SG (who insists he’s never bothered, but I am).

    1. Debra:
      I really did like doing those rainy images. Not many people out and the light dulled so I didn’t get many good ones. SG’s grandmother was ahead of her times. She became much more traditional I think as the years passed. But alwasy exceptional. She and his stodgy grandfather balanced each other well.

    1. Debra:
      It cost SG around 1,400 euros! He went through four driving schools before he found the one that was good. That’s where I’m going!

  7. Oh, boy! SG looks just like his father! That picture, those faces! They look like they’re in an old science fiction movie and just caught sight of the giant (insert insect here) that’s coming to wreak havoc and destruction on their little hamlet. Love your photos, as usual.

    1. Deedles:
      I do wonder what was going on when that photo was taken. It’s interesting. We never saw the resemblance with his father until later years. His father had black hair, brown eyes, and a darker complexion than SG, and a completely different build. His father was all torso. SG is all arms and legs. If you saw SG with his mother, you’d immediately know they were related!

  8. SG’s grandmother had savoir faire. Big time. Can’t say it is a trait typically associated with South Dakota. Just saying. She was one classy lady. As for me, the only fur I ever saw in South Dakota was on a buffalo.

    Great shadow shots. You have an exhibition in the making.

    1. Mary:
      SG’s grandmother was an incredible woman. I think she became more traditional and conventional as the years passed, but she never lost that individuality. I’ve thought of printing (big) some of the photos and checking out a gallery. It’ll probably never happen.

  9. Oh, I love those family photos from that era. I love the 1920s and 1930s (you know… my Sears houses era ;)).
    Driving age in NJ was 17… was it, too, in NY? My 16-year-old, new friends in St. Louis were shocked to learn (when I moved here at age 16-1/2) that I did not yet have a license. I was shocked to learn that they did!

    1. Judy C:
      When I got my license, NYC’s driving age was 18 unless you took Driver’s Ed. So I took Driver’s Ed.

  10. SG’s grandmother was beautiful. It’s wonderful that you have happy memories of her. I wish you well with the driving. My daughter got her license in Maryland and then we moved to Illinois. When we went to the DMV for our new licenses, a grouchy woman at the front desk said that my daughter would have to take the written test AND the driving test again because she wasn’t yet 18. Then my daughter went to the young man at the counter. She smiled and tossed her long auburn hair over her shoulder. You don’t really have to take the driving test again, he said. The smile and the hair worked wonders for her.


    1. Janie:
      I’m glad your daughter’s charm got her a pass, but isn’t it appalling that it worked that way. However, if I had that option now, I’d use it! SG’s grandmother WAS beautiful. Both his grandparents were special to me. I learned so much from them. What an inspiration they were.

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