Guide to parts one and two
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 11, 1999
In January, Fermin drove up the long dirt road to Palomas. You are from here? he whispered to Ana Rosa. They were married in a Catholic church in Ciudad del Maíz. Juana cooked for three days. The reception was held in their courtyard in Palomas.
If she loves him, then we will love him, Juana said.
Their plan was to return to North Carolina. Fermin would pay a smuggler $1,200 to get across the border. Ana Rosa would ask Mickey Daniels Jr. to order her for the 1999 blue crab season, and hope that the U.S. Consulate would issue her a visa.
Delia Tovar was also married. She wed Danny in late January, in Guadalajara, with her family present. Delia and Danny formed the same shaky plan as Ana Rosa and Fermin. They would journey separately to North Carolina and meet there.
As spring settled in Palomas, the sunflowers came up in the fields. That meant the workers would start leaving for the States again. Ana Rosas father and brother left for Virginia. Her uncle was sidelined, after he came home last year vomiting blood from agricultural pesticides.
Two weeks ago, the phone rang in Señor Herreras store. Once again, Señor Herrera sent word to the 12 women going to Daniels Seafood that it was time.
Four days later, all 12 stepped from the Trailways bus in North Carolina.
There was Ana Rosa, who was two months pregnant. Delia. Ceci. The others from last year.
And best of all, from Mickey Juniors standpoint, the speed king of Daniels Seafood had decided to return for the 1999 crab season. Juana was back.
Juanas church still needed a roof. A daughter needed money for high school tuition. All of the needs dont make the pain of leaving your children any softer, Juana said, from North Carolina.
Mary Tilletts arthritis in her hands was so severe she was unsure whether shed be able to pick crabs this season. If the good Lord wants it, she said.
Parts one and two
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