July’s track was Pablo Neruda’s “Soneto VI”, set to music by Rafael Manríquez from his album “Canto al Poeta”. Coming to the United States in the Chilean diaspora of the 70’s, Rafael graced the San Francisco Bay area with his soulful playing and soaring vocals, both solo and in ensembles. For someone with such a glorious tenor, his speaking voice was remarkably soft. I’d sometimes get a quiet call before he was passing by my shop, “John, do you have any new babies for me to play?”. He’d stop by for as long as he could, playing while I worked, filling my large shop to the rafters with the ethereal commingling of my guitar and his heartfelt music. No matter what mood I was in, it was impossible not to feel uplifted after hearing him sing.
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