17 May 2009

El Mago Fresolín

On Saturday I became a godfather. No, I'm not talking about the kind of godfather who wears a snap-brim fedora hat and talks like Marlon Brando. I became a "Padrino" or "godfather" in the Catholic Church for a little Mexican boy named "Ian Krishna" at his "bautismo" (bau-TEES-moh) or "baptism". Now, as to how this little boy became to be named Ian Krishna is not a good story so I won't go there. I do have a good story to tell, however, so let's go there instead. After the church ceremony we had a party for little Ian and the party included a "mago" (MAH-goh) or "magician" named "Mago Fresolín". The word "fresa" (FRAY-suh) means "strawberry" and Irapuato is strawberry country. A "fresolín" (fray-soh-LEEN) is a milling cutter or engraving tool. Hence the name "Fresolín" is merely a play on words that sounds a bit magical. That's because it really is magical.

The magician's real name is Antonio García Sotomayor and he has been doing magic shows for events like birthday parties and baptisms for just about as long as anyone can remember. I do know that he has been doing it for at least twenty five years and he is now in his seventies. Many of the people who hire him for their child's party were little children themselves the first time they saw Fresolín. I have seen him many times myself over the years since I first came to Irapuato and I love this guy. His magic is old and corny and his equipment is the bare minimum and he carries it around on a bicycle in cardboard boxes and plastic bags. I don't know exactly how he does it but he can hold the attention of an audience both young and old better than anyone I have ever seen. Thousands of Irapuato children have never known any other magician in person. He really loves the kids and you can tell this by his infinite patience with them and they never give him trouble. He can get rid of a frown or wipe away tears with just a wave of his hand and a kind word. The man is a master at his art. On top of that he doesn't charge very much. For two hundred and fifty pesos he will entertain the kids for over an hour and the fee includes many little prizes that he hands out.

Mago Fresolín has a motto on his business card. It says " Las penas llegan solas pero las alegrías hay que buscarlas" or in other words, "Troubles come on their own but joys you have to look for". I am happy to have known Mago Fresolín and every time I see him it makes my day. It makes me wonder if it isn't true, the saying that goes "there are angels that walk among us".


glorv1 said...

Congratulations on becoming a Godfather. That is a very important job. He is a very lucky boy to have you as his Godfather because you will fill his life with much education and plenty of zest for living. I do appreciate Mago's dedication to his job. He reminds me of these Mexican men who drive by on their bikes selling ice cream. We have one hear that drives by faithfully every day at the same time and sings and tells jokes and sells his ice cream. Thx for sharing. Very nice story and again, congrats!

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Yes I think there are "angels" that walk among us ... some people are just a gift from somemwhere ...

Babs said...

Congrats on becoming a "godfather". It truly is an important designation.
Loved the post...........angels do come by in many forms in our lives, don't they?

bob cox said...

I might add...when you become a godfather you acquire "compadres & comadres".. a very special relationship that at times is even more bonding than a close family relationship.
My wife & I have so many compadres that I could start an army with them. I would estimate at least 30 or more... from Baptisms, weddings, communions, graduations, etc.
And it's good to have them because they are commited to you in times of crisis.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.