35mm black and white film
This piece was originally published in LNF Weekly. The photo is by Al Rendon. The words are Al's, as captured and edited by Jim Feuerstein.
Back in the 1980s, I used to go to Nuevo Laredo two or three times a year to visit my grandmother, my dad’s mother. My dad and I would drive down there together, sometimes with some other relatives.
My grandmother’s house sat on a corner, on a busy street, just a little bit south of the main business district. She owned that house, another house next door that she rented out, and a courtyard in back of her house with an unused well and some small structures — shacks, I guess you’d call them — that she also rented.
When I visited, I’d carry my camera and I’d walk the neighborhood. It was an interesting neighborhood, with a motorcycle shop down the block, a taqueria and a bar across the street. It was similar to how we live here in Southtown, with small businesses and residences all mixed together.
For this photo, I was in the courtyard behind my grandmother’s house, and this little girl came to the screen door. There was a piece of cloth covering the screen, and she lifted it to look out. That’s when I got the photo.
It wasn’t until later, when I developed and printed it, that I noticed that her tee shirt carried a promo for Carta Blanca beer. I remember thinking that it seemed pretty odd to be putting beer advertisements on clothes for toddlers. But I’ve always loved the photo.