I grew up whistling to the flute of Orquesta Aragon.
I do it without even thinking about it.
I’m sure just about every Cuban does.
In fact, I specifically remember one moment where Mami and I were both whistling distractedly and my Dad suddenly asked, “MUST you whistle?!?” And I think the best part was when we both answered in the affirmative explaining that it was the only way to make the flute sound.
When I heard Orquesta Aragon was going to be playing at a popular club in L.A., I knew I had to go. Going alone to that kind of thing is something I’m definitely used to, but I thought I’d check and see if Mami wanted to come. She did. I told her we’d get seats, but that I might have to jump up and go dance from time to time.
It was all going quite well. I even knew a couple of people there, so I knew I’d get the chance to dance.
At one point, I was across the room standing with a dance buddy of mine and I mentioned that I was going to go and sit down, but that he could come find me later. For him to know where I was sitting, I pointed to Mami and then waved. Then he waved. Then she waved back. When I got back to my seat the first thing she asked me was, “Y quien es ese negrito?”
Ummm… well… he’s my dance buddy, Mami. I have seen him all over the place for years now… he’s fun to dance with.
(OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG! I DON’T KNOW HIS NAME!!)
I danced with another friend of mine and when I got back to my seat Mami asked, “Who was the midget?”
Oh… that’s just another guy I know from dancing… he’s a Marielito. Straight up Escoria.
I ran into my buddy, Ricardo Lemvo, and introduced him to Mami. He mentioned how he was a Bleeding Heart Liberal. Later, Mami asked how I knew “that communist idiot.”
It was definitely not the ideal way to introduce Mami into my dance world, pero I’m sure it left her no doubt that I still love chocolate just as much as I enjoy vanilla.
Y Aragon? They sound exactly the same as they have my whole life. It was so worth it.