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Lazarillo de Tormés by Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I was a privileged university student.  In my first year, having studied Spanish for six weeks, I was asked to play hostess to Flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya who had been invited to give a recital at my university.  The students who had organized the event were looking for a person who spoke Spanish and would greet Mr Montoya at the airport, take him to his hotel, pick him up the next morning, etc.

It had only been six weeks, but I had finished the course.  Our professor no longer felt I needed to attend class.  As well, I had all but memorized a short novel: La vida de un pícaro or La vida de Lazarillo de Tormés (1554).

At the airport, we realized that we could communicate not only “linguistically” but also otherwise.  It was as though we had always known one another.  I am a musician.  So I spent two days accompanying a very fine Flamenco guitarist: a master.

Before leaving, he invited me to spend the following summer with him and his wife, in New York.  I accepted, but my parents refused.  That is another story, a story I will not tell.

I am not well at the moment: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I would like to invite you to listen to Carlos Montoya and also to Paco de Lucía, playing part of Joaquín Rodrigo‘s Concierto de Aranjuez (1939).  Paco de Lucía is also a Flamenco guitarist and another master.

© Micheline Walker
4 July 2012

  Lazarillo de Tormés, Goya

Happy Fourth of July to all Americans.