Archive for the ‘Milongueras’ Category

Remembering Them

January 18, 2023

 

We will remember Vilma Heredia who was tireless in organizing milongas for decades.

We remember Hector Medina (1938-2000) who was a member of the Lo de Celia family.  A true gentleman who shared his passion for tango.  Monica misses him.

 

Pedro Faroldo  (January 3,1929 — January 2023)

Like a High School Class Reunion

January 16, 2023

Last night at Salon El Pial was like going to a high school reunion where you got to see people you haven’t seen in many years and even forgot some of their names, but you were still happy to see them and catch up on one another’s lives. Salon El Pial has the largest dance floor in Buenos Aires. And the salon was full to capacity last night with 400 or more.

I had a “senior moment” when I called her Gladys instead of Olga.  I pride myself on remembering names.  I was so happy to see Olga since I had tried so many times to reach her by phone on her birthday and Christmas after the line was disconnected.  We hugged.  We met in February 2007, in Salon El Pial when Olga was dancing exclusively with Roberto Segarra.  I remember Roberto was curious why a tourist came to El Pial to dance.  That was our first conversation.  Olga pointed out that Roberto was among the dancers in the photo poster on the wall.  Olga has a table in front of the mural so she is close to Roberto.

This photo gives a good perspective of the size of Salon El Pial.  It’s where people go to socialize and dance.  I noticed at times the conversation overpowered the music, although while dancing the sound was excellent.

Eduardo told me in a phone call that he has been going to Salon El Pial on Sundays, even though it’s a long commute from Berezategui in the provincia to Flores in the capital federal. At his suggestion, I took the A line subte there for the first time instead of the 96 bus. It took one hour from my door until I entered the salon after changing my shoes in the ladies’ room. Since last Friday was Eduardo’s birthday, I wanted to take his photo and dance with him.  I went looking for him at the entrance the moment he was paying his admission.

It has been years since I’ve seen Roberto Peralta and took this photo of him the moment he arrived at the Sunday reunion in Salon El Pial.  Now that Salon Canning is closed after decades of milongas, the milongueros had to change their Sunday routine.

I know Miguel from the days of El Arranque in Salon Nuevo La Argentina, which is now a gymnasium on Bartolome Mitre near the Congreso Nacional.

All the tables in El Pial are arranged for groups of dancers that want to sit together.  The first table was reserved for a group celebrating a milonguero’s birthday.

 

Betty Rodriquez greeted me when I arrived for the reunion.  She brought a cake for Manolo’s birthday.  Jesus Jose Carmayo (on the left) joined the celebration.

These two couples were literally squeezed into the corner, but they didn’t mind, although it may have taken a few more steps to get to dance floor.  Rodolfo and Olga enjoyed my videos of them.

Roberto is 48, so he was the youngest dancer at the reunion.  I wanted to tell him when we met and talked in Club Almagro when he was only 22.  He told me he remembered me and then said my name.  He lives near Noemi Norma Galli, whom I wrote about a few months ago.

I asked Roberto Peralta if he is still dancing.  He said he put on weight during the last three years and has a few more kilos to lose.  He mentioned how I took good care of Alito.

 

The salon was full.

The air-conditioning system was working well to keep us comfortable.

Salon El Pial had a staff of waiters serving food and drink all night.

Aldo Raspanti no longer has vocal cords to speak, but he communicates perfectly with his smile.

 

This milonguera arrived fashionably late.  She used to be a redhead, but now she’s a blond.  I finally had the opportunity to ask Lala about two milongueros, Eduardo and Tito.

Jorge “Cholo” Totoro was another milonguero who I was glad to see after many years.  He sadly informed me that his partner of many years Vilma Heredia passed on three years ago.  Vilma was a milonga organizer for decades.

 

Blanca Biscochea

December 8, 2022

December 8, 1924 — December 5, 2022

I read a post by Julia Doynel that Blanca has moved into a geriatric home.  It was always a joy to see her on the dance floor.  Blanca almost made it to her 98th birthday.

 

Noemi Norma Galli

November 14, 2022

When I answered a phone call yesterday, I heard “how are you?” Since I don’t get calls from English speakers very often, I had to ask “who are you?”  Then the woman replied, “it’s Norma.  Do you want to speak in English or castellano?”  I had been waiting for her phone call since we shared a table in Salon El Pial for Oscar Hector’s very special night for Dia del Milongueros.  She had my number, but I didn’t have hers. That evening was the first time Norma shared the highlights of her life with me.  Her tango partner Victor Romero passed away a few months ago.  Victor was eight years younger than Norma.  She is amazing at 93.

Norma lived in California for 40 years with her husband.  She returned to Buenos Aires to be with her family and grandchildren.

Norma came alone that night as I did.  We shared the table and conversation.  It’s been ten years since I saw her with Victor in Club Glorias Argentinas in Mataderos.

Lionel already had the pleasure of dancing with Norma, so he invited her for a tanda at the end of the night. I quickly got my camera ready to record them dancing.

Rodolfo Outeda

October 23, 2022

October 23, 1940 —

Amanda Norma Lucero

July 30, 2022

July 30, 1940 —

Social media helped these family members connect with a relative they never knew.  Here is their family reunion photo the day they met Amanda for the first time earlier this year.

Sara Esposito

February 4, 2022

February 4, 1943 —

One of the best couples dancing in the milongas.  It’s all about feeling the music for them.

Olga Gómez

December 16, 2021

December 16, 1937 —

Last week I received a phone call from Olga.  We have been out of touch since before Roberto passed on three years ago at 98.  She said, do you know who this is? I recognized her voice immediately but needed a few seconds to remember her name.  She and Roberto were together for 15 years.  I met them at Salon El Pial, where Olga still goes dancing.  I am going to join her on a Sunday soon.  She also dances at Oscar Hector’s milonga at Salon Sur in Pompeya.  We talked about how great it is that the milongas have reopened.  Olga lives with her son in Parque Patricios.  He will search for all the photos posted of them on this blog and videos on YouTube that he can enjoy with his mother.

A visit to my second home

October 28, 2021

Yesterday I visited the place I’ve referred to as my second home in Buenos Aires for many years.  It is located only ten blocks from where I live.  My plan wasn’t to enter my second home, but to stay outside.  It was a pleasant surprise when someone else changed my plan for me.  The last time I entered my second home was September 18, 2016.  My second home was Lo de Celia.

I climbed these stairs to the salon on the first floor two or three times a week for 16 years.  I noticed that a few dancers were taking the steps more slowly.  It’s a challenge for those in their 70s and 80s, but they manage.  The descent is easier.

 

The first man who entered as I was stationed at the door was Jose Marcos, with whom I danced regularly.  I remember his soft embrace.  I recognized him with his mask on.

 

Then Eduardo Ereson (84) came down the stairs, as if he heard I was there.  After a brief chat, he went back upstairs to get Graciela Cano (82).  Both of them have a very long bus ride to the milonga. Eduardo travels 90 minutes by bus from Berezategui.  Graciela lives in Sarandi, both in the provincia of Buenos Aires.

 

Graciela came downstairs to the entrance to greet me.  She said she can only afford one milonga each week, so she comes on Wednesday to Lo de Celia.  The entrada is 400 pesos, which is less than three dollars for tourists.

Hector was the next milonguero who arrived.  Please note the suit and tie he’s wearing on a day when the afternoon temperature was 85F.  No sweat.

I’ve never seen this photo of Celia before, but I was pleased to see it prominently displayed with framed certificates for her milonga.

Jonatan Rojas invited me from the top of the stairs to come inside for a visit.  I accepted and once again climbed the stairway I knew so well.  He welcomed me back home!

Graciela and Eduardo finished the tanda and came by for another photo.

I was so happy seeing Dany Borelli after five years.  I’ve only seen him virtually during seminars.  He is a wealth of knowledge about tango music, and he has always been my absolute favorite DJ in the milongas.

I stood in the corner near the bar where I had a perfect view of the salon.  I couldn’t believe that I was actually in Lo de Celia after five years.  I enjoyed every moment. 

Dany asked Anna to join us for a photo.  Her previous job was in the kitchen, and now is one of two waitresses.

Then Dany got Jony to join us for a photo.  I couldn’t believe how my plans had changed into a big surprise.  It was more than I could have imagined.

This is the corner table by the bar that I occupied in my second home on Wednesdays and Sundays for at least ten years.  My chair was on the aisle, a perfect position for greeting those passing by. Jonatan always had a bottle of agua sin gas natural on the table when I returned from the first tanda.

Felisa and I hugged and kissed when she arrived.  She usually sat at the table in front of mine and often joined me later in the evening. It was so nice seeing her after many years.

I had to take a peek at the ladies room and was delighted to see the improvements.

Some faces were familiar, but I didn’t know their names.  It felt like I was going back in time.

The dancers removed their masks at the table, but wore them while dancing.  It won’t be long before the milongas will be mask-free!

These are the two women who cheerfully take care of the dancers with food and drinks.  I can tell they are smiling under the masks.

I felt even more at home when I saw all the dancers I could recognize even wearing masks.

Dany must have detected a problem with one of the speakers, so he and Jony took care of it while the dancing continued.

As I was leaving, Elba Estay, la madrina de Lo de Celia, arrived.  She didn’t recognize me with white hair.  I was glad I didn’t miss seeing her.

Nestor Perez Vidal was the next one to arrive.  He hasn’t changed a bit.

Then outside I saw Carlos Lombisano finishing his cigarette.  He recognized me, and we had a nice conversation.

I didn’t stop smiling for the entire hour I was in my second home, visiting with the family.  And my smile continued the rest of the night.

Juana Novau

October 22, 2021

October 21, 1932 —

I’ve been acquainted with Juanita and her family for 20 years, but this week I had my first opportunity to hear about her life in tango.  We spent five hours together in her apartment in Vicente Lopez talking about tango. I met her son Miguel Angel in the local tango scene when I lived in the US.  Juanita’s grandson Marcelo wanted to learn tango, so he came to Buenos Aires when he was only 12 to take lessons and dance with his grandmother.  When Miguel Angel saw  Marcelo dancing tango for the first time, that was the moment he decided he wanted to learn to dance tango.

Juanita’s son Miguel Angel De Biasi

Juanita began dancing at home when she was 9 years old and went to the neighborhood social club by 15.  She continued going to El Arranque in Nuevo Salon La Argentina until five years ago.  She made the hour-long trip by bus from Vicente Lopez in the province to downtown for a very good reason–Juanita loved dancing tango.

Juanita spent the winter months in Termas Rio Hondo, a town in the northern province of Santiago del Estero when she enjoyed dancing on the weekends for 26 years.  She was crowned Queen/Reina of the ball.

I couldn’t resist taking this photo of Juanita at the table showing her dancers’ legs.  She had the heels of her tango shoes modified.  Doesn’t she look as though she just nodded to a milonguero for the next tanda?

Juanita plans on visiting her family in Miami next year including a visit to Spain where she will get to meet some relatives for the first time.