Strike A Cord (revisited)

A daily Post
4 July 2014

Ideas come at us from many directions. This being July Forth took me back to my days at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, or to be more exact, the small town of Isabela, where Barb and I rented a home.

Our landlord, Juan Mendez, referred to this holiday as Cautro Julio – Four July.

Isabela is as far from San Juan as one can possible go before driving off into the Atlantic – 135 km. The folks here were poor. However they lived each day as though it were their last. Without a doubt, they were happier then they were poor.

During daylight hours the plaza was a public market, as well as a place where Barb and I often enjoyed live music.

The cautro, a stringed instrument the shape of a guitar, but somewhat smaller was the most popular instrument. It produced a higher pitch than its cousin, the guitar, and it’s four strings limited the octaves it could reach. It was usually accompanied by a quito, a summer-squash sized gourd with lateral groves producing a raspy, rhythmic sound. Of course someone was always singing words to a love story.

Each Forth of July Forth I often awaken to the image and the memory of these kind folks generating their sweet music.

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