Holy Tortilla!

[su_spacer]Greetings once again my faithful readers.  The adventures of “The Gumshoe” from yesteryear continues once again after a brief hiatus.  I was engaged in some light conversation recently over some great Mexican food with some good friends when I grabbed a flour tortilla for my chicken fajita’s my memory bank cashed-out on this yarn.[su_spacer]
I was working the mean streets of Santa Ana, California as one of their finest when I was asked by the police dispatcher to ten-21 (telephone) the WC (watch commander) at the station.[su_spacer]
Note:   Calling the WC is never anything a street cop wants or wishes to do because it either means that there was a very unhappy customer lodging a citizen’s complaint or some special detail that was going to be assigned by the Lieutenant that could not be dispatched over the routine radio channel.  Either way, the officer was stuck!t[su_spacer]
The voice of the Lieutenant was very pleasant when he answered my phone call on the first ring.  “Officer Pitocco, Danny, just the guy I was looking for!”  (Yikes!  Now he is using my first name and being my long lost amigo)  “I want you to proceed over to this house located right in the middle of your beat (South Central District – the barrio) and sort things out with a large neighborhood crowd that seems to be gathered in and around this particular residence.  The homeowners seem to be having an open house but the residence is not for sale and as far as we know, there is not celebration, holiday and no party.  Take a look-see and get back to me”.[su_spacer]
Okay then “L T” I am en route with the feeling of curiosity more than suspicion.  I pull into the neighborhood and I am taking in a very long line of residents with family members as well as babes in arms along with several vendor-pushed food carts snaking around the block and slowly streaming into this very small one-story casa and then filtering out through the back door.  Quite of the few older women are wearing veils and several of them are also clutching Rosaries.[su_spacer]
At the time, I was a very lapsed Catholic and I guessed that this was some sort of an impromptu wake as I mosey through the throng offering “hola’s”.  Once inside the house, I learned from the elderly “abuela” that earlier that morning she was making flower tortillas and low and behold to her astonishment, a distinct profile of Blessed Virgin Mary appeared within the burnt portions of the tortilla.  She nearly fainted as she immediately went down onto the kitchen floor on her knees.  Her other family members her shouts of “Amens and Alleluia’s” from the cocina and they too fell to their knees when seeing the holy tortilla on the table.[su_spacer]
In the barrio, word spreads rapido!  Before you could say the Hail Mary the entire neighborhood and adjoining neighborhoods were on their personal pilgrimages to the cocina to witness this miracle (milagro) apparition of the flour tortilla.[su_spacer]
Since the kitchen was so small, the man of the house (abuelo) took the deemed sacred tortilla and hung it in the adjoining bathroom from the shower curtain rod with the flowered shower curtain as a backdrop.  Folks would come into the newly minted grotto – pay their respects by bowing and genuflecting before leaving out the back kitchen door.[su_spacer]
The homeowners complained to me that some of these pilgrims had decided to take various sundry mementos of their visitation from the house without the homeowner’s permission.  I suggested to the homeowners to place the holy tortilla on the back patio and to secure the house in order to prevent any additional souvenir taking.[su_spacer]
Muey pronto the Blessed Mary tortilla was very gently moved from the shower rod and the pilgrim procession was proceeded to the back patio and lovingly placed on a stone table.  Soon numerous candles surrounded the tortilla and the pilgrims were rerouted down the front driveway to the back patio to pay their homage.[su_spacer]
This barrio crusade went on throughout the day and well into the night without any further reports of relic hunting.  I never found out what eventually happened to that hold tortilla but I am sure that the Blessed Virgin Mary loves Mexican food.[su_spacer]
Well, there you have it my friends, another tale from “The Gumshoe” that definitely changed the way I look at flour tortillas to this day.  God Bless all of you-uns and love the ones who love you and even the ones who don’t.  Until next time . . . the Gumshoe


Danny Pitocco
Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

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