It was July of 1970 and I was just finishing a grad degree at Michigan State. For those who don't know mid-Michigan, it can be and was then, bone dry hot with lazy afternoons in front of box fans. The wind, when there was some, was more like a rustle than a blow and those of us with a west facing apartment with big windows simply baked in the oven.
|Dick Estelle back about then.|
He read the above named book that summer and one could taste the oranges in the orchards and also taste the dust in the bull ring. I learned about Spain and bull fights and stuff like that but from a decidedly different point of view. It was the best biography set in true history that I had ever heard and now, nearly half a century later, have ever read.
I got it out the other day, after Trump won and I was feeling hopeless. I didn't vote for him and, as the chances are slight that I'll be alive the next election when we can vote him out, I was in need of uplift. Some people can rally from a bump in the road just by sheer will. I used to be able to but now I'm feeling beaten up, spent. Stretched out with a reading lamp over my left shoulder, turning the pages of a book that back then sold for about $7.00 that I have moved a dozen times and representing 5 hours of busing tables in the evening at the student union; well. I felt better. Not a lot but some.
The only point of this was an easy throwback to another time in life, when Spain yet unvisited but imagined, heat and summers at 45 degrees north latitude, extreme student poverty but not the match of El Cordobes (in the book)...well I felt like my life was in front of me for a instant. Words can do that.