I read Jan's chronicles of the older milongueros and milongueras eagerly, hoping to recognize a face despite the short time I was there and the long and ever-growing time since then--and hoping that, if I do, the dash won't be followed by a recent death date. I don't think I've recognized anyone yet, other than a few who have (or had) wider reputations.
There is one who I know is gone. He was a cab driver and a friend of my teachers. They arranged for him to pick me up from the airport when I arrived, and he went far out of his way to help me overcome the difficulties of that first day. If there was a time when I knew I would need a cab somewhere, I called him. My teachers said his evening schedule was like this: He'd pick up fares until he wanted to stop and dance. Since he was, I believe, an independent driver, he could just stop into a milonga and dance until he wanted or needed to leave, maybe taking a fare from the milonga. It seemed like a very clever way to manage it.
Despite the language barrier, I learned a little about him and his family. His wife, his son--no grandchildren yet. I wanted to talk to him more--and listen more to him--but I didn't know how. At his prompting, I promised him that I would know more Spanish when I came back next time; he promised me that he would try to learn some more English.
I only ever knew his first name.
Mario Calarota - March 16, 1936 — Last night I decided to start calling the milongueros again on their birthdays as I had done for so many years. Today I called Mario. F...
4 days ago