McAllen has a unique smell when I was growing up in the 1970s. Growing up off Main Street and Redwood, yes that is where the first Jewish Synagogue is located, we were the white little house in the corner. This meant I went to school at David Crockett Elementary and I really enjoyed the teachers there. And the smell I am talking about has nothing to do with trash, but rather that early morning due.
Going to school meant I had to go to school early. Mom worked as a teacher’s aide down in the south side and dad was either going to the university or already set up his business. As for me, it was walking to school with big brother and eventually on my own or being dropped off.
Crockett Elementary was a very simple school in it’s layout design. Kindergarten faced the south side and then it was first thru fifth with fifth grades being all the way on the north side of campus. There were two huge fields, the south side and the north side and of course based on your grade determined which field you went during recess or lunch. It was also this way for the morning crew of kids who came to school early.
Somehow in that early morning, someone would bring out the big bag of equipment which included kickballs, soccer balls and footballs. So for most of us boys that meant getting the soccer ball and kicking it on the field and this is where you would smell that early morning dew. That early morning dew just had a unique sense of freshness to your senses. It wasn’t polluted by exhausts or other chemicals. With a mixture of the local floral, it really brought out the freshness of the air; something we don’t get much of now a days.
Today, I live in the hill country near Natural Bridge Caverns here in San Antonio. I don’t get that early morning fresh air, I just get that early cool hill country air which is way different. It doesn’t smell as fresh, but oh what I would do to experience that again. Maybe, if I visit McAllen, I can experience it at one of the local city parks.