My dad owned a tire shop in Cayey, PR, when I was young.Some of my earliest memories are of my sisters and me running around the shop,hiding inside the stacks of tires.
During our childhood games of hide and seek in the tireshop, I never once stopped to think about what everything around merepresented. The tires, the strong smell of rubber were our livelihood. Theywere what provided our modest home, the elaborate birthday parties Mom threwfor us each year, and the custom-made dresses we wore on special occasions. Tome, it was just a part of my life I accepted without question.

Aside from the games we played, one of my favorite things about the tire shop was that each year there was a carnival in its parking lot. Yet another thing I accepted without questioning. My mind didn’tstop to think about the how or why one day the parking lot was full of cars andthe next it was full of fun of promises of fun just waiting to be had. It wasas if it was an extension of my backyard and all the rides were just largerversions of the little pool and games we had every day of the year.
All I could dream about was the day I was old enough and big enough to ride the big kid rides, roller coaster, ferris wheels. The days when the real excitement would begin.
Now as an adult, I sometimes long for those days of the slow and steady rides that a plain ol’ merry-go-round provided.


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