I live in an area at the north east end of Los Angeles. Centuries ago, a monk at a nearby monastery noticed that the soil and climate were the same as his native Spain where his family grew olives. He imported olive seedlings, and within a few decades the area boasted the largest olive orchard in the world. It was said that it looked like a “sea of trees.” Today, this area no longer has those olive trees, but it is named with a Spanish word meaning Sea of Trees.
This is a very religious area with many Roman Catholics. There’s a nearby graveyard where people often have picnics at the graves of their late relatives, a practice which seems to be popular in some Latino religious traditions.
Today, I went to a small restaurant. At the door to the restaurant is a barrage of candy and toy dispensers. When I was a kid they cost a penny or nickel. A few were very expensive at a quarter. Well, I saw one vending machine that sold “string dolls.” I snapped a picture of the front for you:
It costs $1.00 for this toy. That’s pretty expensive, in my opinion, but that’s not what interested me. About a yard to the right of this vending machine was another similar machine. Look at what it offered:
Look at the pictures. The toys are identical! Some vendor decided it would be a wonderful idea to sell “Voodoo Dolls” to children. Needless to say, I had to get one. So I stuck in the four quarters and turned the dial. Here’s what came out:
If they included some pins and instructions on how to curse your parents, I’d be worried. Luckily, no directions were included.