I remember the day when Colombian presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan was assassinated well. My mother had been working as a volunteer for his campaign, and upon hearing news of his assassination, she rushed to the party headquarters on Carrera Septima, in Bogota's northern suburbs. My father, who had lived through El Bogotazo (albeit at a very young age) urged her not to go, afraid that the city would come undone as it had when Jorge Eliecer Gaitan had been killed years earlier.
Before Galan was killed, I had gone to the party's headquarters a few times with my mom to help out. My duties were mostly comprised of "folding votes", which amounted to folding endless small pieces of newsprint that listed all the party's candidates. These were given to people on their way to the voting booths, in order to get them to vote straight down the party line.
But what I remember most about that time (grim aspects of it aside) was my obsession with collecting paraphernalia from the political campaign. Posters got my attention, their bold imagery printed on cheap newsprint. My mom, fastidiously clean as always, pointed out that I was collecting garbage. And I was, but for some reason the ephemera around such an event got my attention. So I collected away. Posters, cheap pennants, fliers. I wanted them all. But sadly, as with so many other things, they were all tossed upon our move to the United States. Of course, some of the very posters I collected back then are now considered landmark pieces of Colombian design, and are very valuable.
Little has changed as far as my attraction to ephemera (or "garbage" in mother parlance). Even if it's unbecoming of me, I always keep an eye out for such things. I certainly do that in cycling. I bring back these bits and pieces, and I stash them away. I'm not sure why I do this, but knowing I have these things makes me feel happy somehow. Like I'm holding on to a bit of the past that others would likely forget about and throw away....perhaps because it is, after all, garbage.
1. This weekend will bring about another Tour of Flanders, which in turn makes me think about Giovanni Jimenez, the first Colombian to ever do the race. Sorry about the fact that I post this video around this time every year, but I simply have to. It's too good to pass up. The video is captioned, you may just need to hit the CC icon at the bottom right.
2. Just sayin'
3. Jasper LIVES-strong