Don Luis Durazo Redondo

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REDONDO, Don Luis Durazo

I'm wondering whether you've taken up Doris Day's offer of "Ten Cents a Dance." It's been 24 years dad and I'm afraid she might be the last celebrity you will remember. Mom's almost 93 now and left the house she lived in for seventy years for a place where she is safe and cared for. No more cans of soup and sandwiches on pan de huevo. But she won't see that faint vision of you standing in the kitchen doorway, years after you left us. The house is empty now and when I walked in, I was overwhelmed with sadness. No sign of you or my mother. But then I walked out back. Not a leaf on a tree is moving but then a breeze comes up and the fan on the windmill you built whirls, telling me you're there. You're standing in the jaula, that big walk in birdcage with the air lock doors you built. A lovebird is perched on your finger, eating from your hand. I remember after you retired that every morning you sat at the table outside and cut fresh vegetables and fruit into tiny pieces for the love birds, parakeets, cockatiels and those beautiful white fan-tailed pigeons. And then, inside, I found your hat. Stained from the lather of your sweat and grease from 40 years of working at the railroad. I took it in my hands and brought it to my face hoping to catch a whiff of you. And yes, Three Roses Pomade, 10 cent White Owl cigars and Old Spice. As I held your hat, I looked at my hands and realized that they look just like yours. Those hands that cradled me when I was an infant, caressed me when I cried as a little boy and comforted me when I became a man. Come get your hat and give it a tip to my mother when you leave. I remember you for the love, kindness and generosity you bestowed on everyone in your path and I'm grateful for the man you taught me to be. Hasta luego querido papacito. Bobby.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star from Mar. 12 to Mar. 16, 2020
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