Sunday, January 1, 2012

around the corner

Paco "Caballo" was my neighbor. (caballo means horse) A 70-something year old horseman, he lived 2 doors down from me and would talk with me and recite poems and once invited me into his somewhat dilapidated house to see all the horseriding trophies he'd won.
I was thinking about him a lot this morning, the start of this new year. Well, it wasn't exactly morning but when I woke up. His stable was right around the corner from me and I even remember the last horse he had, his favorite, and how sad he was when that horse died, and me too. He went into a rapid decline in health from that December on even though he lived another 2 or 3 years. I watched him get thinner and thinner, although he always dressed the part of the dapper horseman with a cravat, vest and jacket and he always wore caps and also still recited poems to me that really, at that time I could barely understand because of his heavy Granadino accent. That didn't matter though since his eyes sparkled when he was reciting and I sometimes thought he looked a bit like the later photos of Sam Beckett. Some of the poems he recited were his own, written in the 30s, 40s and 50s, and some were classic Spanish refrains.
He was such a sweet man; the first neighborhood person to talk to me -- a big deal in an old neighborhood like this one -- and regard me in a friendly manner as if he'd known me all my life.
Later, when my cat's kittens were 3 months old he took two of the four for a lady friend of his who lived up by the Alhambra in an old house with a lot of property around it. About a week later he asked if I still had any more kittens because she loved them and wanted another one, so I gave him the last one (the 3rd, given away in between, went to a French woman who lives in the Albayzin).
Yesterday I walked past the now abandoned stable. The outside is pretty much falling down, one layer of stucco at a time, while the interior collapsed years ago and has been dangerously pushing against the adjoining building. That building had its own problems a few years ago -- the second storey collapsed into the ground storey and the people who lived there had to move out very suddenly.

Anyway, I took some photos and here they are.

This ring is where the horse was hitched when it was taken out of the stable. 

And then there's been a bit of local graffiti action in the past few days:

1 comment:

  1. i love the photos esp where the ring where the horse w/ hitched i have a cat on my hands