SPIRIT OF THE MONTH

March 2004

 

Diablo

Diablo © Aris Dervis

© Aris Dervis 2004

Are you getting a little tired of the status quo? Are you out of work, impoverished, unwell, unhappily single, unhappily married, unsuccessful?
This handsome devil invites you to Get Out of Hell.

Sally Plass, owner of this papier mache devil, shared this story with us. One day while shopping in a mercado in the Alpes section of Mexico City, Sally found a toy and candy store. Diablos were hanging from the ceiling and she learned that they had been crafted by a man who had cheated death. He felt that their laughing irreverence had scared away the Grim Reaper. Sally bought three devils and took them home to New York City, where she hung them in her mother Florence's apartment.
In the winter of 1984 Sally and her husband Michael, attended a party with Florence. Sally had a ritual of calling her mother every night to say goodnight. She called Florence at 1 a.m. and found her safely in bed. Second later Florence called Sally to say she was surrounded by flames. Sally called 911, then wearing a bathrobe, raced to the local firehouse to alert them. The firemen were not encouraged to learn her mother had an oxygen tank in the apartment. When Sally arrived on the scene she watched the firefighters throwing all her mother's belongings out the window- a sofa, a table, photographs. One kind firefighter fished Sally's photos out of a wet gutter.
Before the firefighters arrived, Michael broke down the apartment door and crept across the floor to the bathroom, where he found Florence looking for a way out. He dragged her out of the apartment, then went back to start fighting the fire. Although most of the belongings in the apartment were ruined, the three devils remained unscathed. Sally believes that they protected her mother and now has them in a place of honor in her own home.

Sally is the proprietor of a wonderful prop house in New York City.
Contact her at http://www.aplassprophouse.org/