|Eruption of Irazu|
A Photo Essay of President Kennedy's 1963 Visit to Costa Rica, which complete text appeared as Sky Shadows @ Jack.
The end and sequel of this voyage, Remembering Jose Donoso, is here.
JFK in Costa Rica
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Secretary of State Dean Rusk walks to the podium. The embassy held a reception for the President to greet all the Americans that afternoon in the ambassador’s residence, a large white columned affair.
|1. Presidential motorcade down Avenida Central|
The extraordinary part of the President's reception in San José was the motorcade down Avenida Central. In those days security was light.He rode in a convertible with a motorcycle escort and about six vehicles in all. It was a beautiful day. People waved American flags with huge enthusiasm. The crowd lined both sides of the Avenue, half a million people contained on the sides by police and guards.
"The outpouring of affection moved the President, you can see the elation on his face, but more so smiles and joy on peoples’ faces. So the volcano was erupting and the president was streaming in the firmament, decorated with crepe. It was the celebration of a lifetime, but Good Friday was coming and Holy Week, tradition of a thousand years.
The Kennedy visit and processions of Good Friday blend together, its statues already burnished. The alabaster skin rose over the shoulders of the crowd like the road to Golgotha. I exchanged glances with the Mother and Joseph. The same face appears in the Lady Chapel of the Glastonbury ruins who above the altar holds his arms wide. But backs were ready to bear their burdens, and of course later in town they said the volcano was an ill omen" (from Sky Shadows).
|3. The street after motorcade passed|
The face of the man who appears under Kennedy’s arm during the motorcade has bushy eyebrows, a black mustache, a beard, a kind of top hat. It is not Lincoln. The President’s face is framed by the American flags they were waving.
|4. Dean Rusk walks to the podium|
|5. American ambassador's residence. JFK speaks.|
|6. President JFK greeting Americans at ambassador's residence after speech|
There were more sky shadows in that journey, mirroring the surface.
"I count myself the fish who took the hook and was caught, Jonah who turned the light off and watched his pupils dilate in the dark. For among people all different I left on this first exploration without the help of God. But even in the sea, darkness dawns. I went natural and when it was done got spit back up. It is dark in the fish where I was made a poet. As they flee the sky shadows above so this fled from me when I did seek. Following this pursuit conceived in the secret place at ten, I would have caught tropicals in the Amazon. The colors that swam in those pools later attracted me to mudslip and turn. But clay does not ask, why have you made me thus? Fish, butterflies, flowers, it could have been stars. As Melville says in chapter one, “the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open.”
JFK in Costa Rica--as a Magical Realism Tour
|Across from the Church of God building in Limon where George stayed|
|Motorcade 2. above|
|Street after Irazu|
|3. Above. Street After the Motorcade|
|After the motorcade, BxW.|
|3. above, again|