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Contents:


  1. Discography
  2. Biography · Richard Dobson · Houston Folk Music Archive
  3. Los Roques, Ricardo´s dream place
  4. The Gulf Coast Boys
  5. Fresh Track

On the higher floor, a chapel was dominated by a large polychrome figure of the crucified Christ, which the servants thought looked disturbingly like Rasputin a very popular character in the press of the time. The books in the library were constantly being mysteriously rearranged, or turned back to front. There was a room on the third floor, a bedroom that was never used because of the unaccountable damp stains that showed up on the walls and seemed to form blurry faces, where fresh flowers would wilt in just a few minutes and where you could always hear the drone of flies, although it was impossible to see them.

Occasionally they found dead birds at the doors of some of the rooms, or small rodents. Other times things went missing, especially jewels and buttons from clothes kept in cupboards and drawers. But usually they were never found again. Don Ricardo was of the opinion that these incidents were nothing but pranks and nonsense. In his view a week's fasting would have curbed his family's fears. What he didn't regard so philosophically were the thefts of his dear wife's jewelry. More than five maids were sacked when different items from the lady's jewelry box disappeared, though they all cried their hearts out, swearing they were innocent.

Those in the know tended to think there was no mystery involved: The fact was that not only jewels disappeared. In time the family lost its joie de vivre entirely. The Aldaya family was never happy in the house that had been acquired through Don Ricardo's dark arts of negotiation. Senora Aldaya pleaded constantly with her husband to sell the property and move them to a home in the town, or even return to the residence that Puig i Cadafalch had built for grandfather Simon, the patriarch of the clan.

Ricardo Aldaya flatly refused.

Discography

Since he spent most of his time travelling or in the family's factories, he saw no problem with the house. On one occasion little Jorge disappeared for eight hours inside the mansion. His mother and the servants looked for him desperately, but without success. When he reappeared, pale and dazed, he said he'd been in the library the whole time, in the company of a mysterious black woman who had been showing him old photographs and had told him that all the women in the family would die in that house to atone for the sins of the men. The mysterious woman even revealed to little Jorge the date on which his mother would die: Needless to say, the so-called black lady was never found, but years later, on 12 April , at first light, Senora Aldaya would be discovered lifeless on her bed.

All her jewels had disappeared. When the pond in the courtyard was drained, one of the servant boys found them in the mud at the bottom, next to a doll that had belonged to her daughter, Penelope. A week later Don Ricardo Aldaya decided to get rid of the house. By then his financial empire was already in its death throes, and there were those who insinuated that it was all due to that accursed house, which brought misfortune to whoever occupied it.

Others, the more cautious ones, simply asserted that Aldaya had never understood the changing trends of the market and that all he had accomplished during his lifetime was to ruin the robust business created by the patriarch Simon. Ricardo Aldaya announced that he was leaving Barcelona and moving with his family to Argentina, where his textile industries were allegedly doing splendidly. In The Angel of Mist was put up for sale at a ridiculously low price. At first there was strong interest in buying it, as much for its notoriety as for the growing prestige of the neighbourhood, but none of the potential buyers made an offer after visiting the house.

In the mansion was closed. The deed was transferred to a real-estate company high up on the long list of Aldaya's creditors, so that it could arrange for its sale or demolition. The house was on the market for years, but the firm was unable to find a buyer. Fermin mumbled something incoherent about a few errands that needed doing, and we quickly disappeared. I told myself that sooner or later I'd have to reveal at least part of all this mess to my father; which part, exactly, was a different question.

I wondered whether that was a comment on our appearance or a genuine question. Fermin's face lit up at such a providential opportunity. First we'd like to examine the customer. Wilfred the Hairy at your service, and here, at my side, my apprentice and student, Sanson Carrasco. The nun gave us a brief looking-over and nodded, indifferent to the pair of scarecrows reflected in her eyes.

I'm Sister Hortensia, the one who called you. I thought Senor Collbato was going to come in person, said the nun. Do you work with Senor Collbato in the funeral parlour? The nun gave us a brief looking- over and nodded, indifferent to the pair of scarecrows reflected in her eyes. Family of Aldaya, Daniel, Fermin, Fumero, Jacinta, Miguel, Sophie Carax, Antonio Fortuny Four months later Jorge Aldaya was born, and although Jacinta was to offer him all the affection that his mother never knew how to give him, or never wished to for she was an ethereal lady, Jacinta thought, who always seemed trapped in her own reflection - the governess realized that this was not the child Zacarias had promised her.

During those years Jacinta gave up her youth and became a different woman.


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The other Jacinta had been left behind in the pension in the Ribera quarter, as dead as Ramoneta. Now she lived in the shadow of the Aldayas' luxuries, far from that dark city that she had come to hate so much and into which she did not venture, not even on her monthly day off. She learned to live through others, through a family that sat on top of a fortune the size of which she could scarcely conceive. She lived in the expectation of that child, who would be a female, like the city, and to whom she would give all the love with which God had poisoned her soul.

Penelope Aldaya was born in the spring of By then Don Ricardo Aldaya had already bought the house on Avenida del Tibidabo, that rambling mansion that Jacinta's fellow servants were convinced lay under the influence of some powerful spell, but which Jacinta did not fear, because she knew that what others took to be magic was nothing more than a presence that only she could capture in dreams: Penelope was a fragile child, pale and slender.

Jacinta saw her grow like a flower in winter. For years she watched over her every night, personally prepared every one of her meals, sewed her clothes, was by her side when she went through her many illnesses, when she said her first words, when she became a woman. Senora Aldaya was one more figure in the scenery, a prop that came on- and offstage according to the dictates of decorum.

Before going to bed, she would come and say goodnight to her daughter and tell her she loved her more than anything in the world, that she was the most important thing in the universe to her. Jacinta never told Penelope that she loved her. The nurse knew that those who really love, love in silence, with deeds and not with words. Secretly Jacinta despised Senora Aldaya, that vain, empty creature who slowly grew old in the corridors of the mansion, weighed down by the jewels with which her husband who for years had set anchor in foreign ports - kept her quiet.

She hated her because, of all women, God had chosen her to give birth to Penelope while her own womb, the womb of the true mother, remained barren. In time, as if the words of her husband had been prophetic, Jacinta even lost her womanly shape. She grew thin and austere in appearance, and wore the look of tired skin and tired bone. Her breasts withered until they were but scraps of skin, her hips were like those of a boy, and her flesh, hard and angular, didn't even catch the eye of Don Ricardo Aldaya, who only needed to sense a hint of vitality to send him off in a frenzy as all the maids in the house, and in the houses of his close friends, knew only too well.

Better this way, thought Jacinta. When Penelope reached adolescence, they were already inseparable. Jacinta saw Penelope blossom into a woman whose beauty and radiance were evident to more eyes than just her own. When that mysterious boy called Julian came to the house, Jacinta noticed that, from the very first moment, a current flowed between him and Penelope.

They were joined by a bond, similar to the one that joined her to Penelope, but also different. At first she thought she would come to hate the boy, but soon she realized that she did not hate Julian Carax and would never be able to. As Penelope fell under Julian's spell, she, too, allowed herself to be dr gged into it and in time desired only what Penelope desired. Nobody had noticed, nobody had paid attention, but, as usual, the essential issue had been settled before the story had even begun, and by then it was too late. Many months of wistful looks and longings would pass before Julian Carax and Penelope could be alone together.

Their lives were ruled by chance. They met in corridors, they looked at one another from opposite ends of the table, they brushed silently against each other, they felt each other's absence. They exchanged their first words in the library of the house on Avenida del Tibidabo one stormy afternoon when 'Villa Penelope' was filled with the dim light of candles only a few seconds stolen from the darkness in which Julian thought he saw in the girl's eyes the certainty that they both felt the same, that the same secret was devouring them.

Nobody seemed to notice. Nobody but Jacinta, who watched with growing anxiety the game of furtive glances that Penelope and Julian were playing under the very nose of the Aldayas. She feared for them. By then Julian had begun to have sleepless nights, writing stories for Penelope from midnight to dawn. He would find any old excuse to go up to the house on Avenida del Tibidabo, then look for the moment when he could slip into Jacinta's room and give his pages to her so that she, in turn, could give them to the girl.

Sometimes Jacinta would hand him a note that Penelope had written, and he would spend days rereading it. That game went on for months. While time brought them no good fortune, Julian did whatever was necessary to be close to Penelope. Jacinta helped him, for she wanted to see Penelope happy, to keep that light glowing.

Julian, for his part, felt that the casual innocence of the beginning was now fading and it was time to start making some sacrifices. That was why he began to lie to Don Ricardo about his plans for the future, to fake an enthusiasm for a career in banking and finance, to feign an affection and an attachment for Jorge Aldaya that he did not feel, in order to justify his almost constant presence in the house on Avenida del Tibidabo; to say only what he knew others wanted to hear him say, to read their looks and their hopes, to put aside honesty and sincerity, and to feel that he was selling his very soul.

He began to fear that if he ever did come to deserve Penelope, there would be nothing left of the Julian who saw her the first time. Sometimes Julian would wake up at dawn, burning with anger, longing to tell the world his real feelings, to face Don Ricardo Aldaya and tell him he had no interest whatsoever in his fortune, his opportunities for the future, or his company; that all he wanted was his daughter, Penelope, and was thinking of taking her as far away as possible from that empty, shrouded world in which her father had imprisoned her.

The light of day dispelled his courage. There were times when Julian opened his heart to Jacinta, who was beginning to love the boy more than she might have wished. She would often leave Penelope for a moment and, under the pretext of going to collect Jorge from school, would see Julian and deliver Penelope's messages to him. That was how she met Fernando, who, many years later, would be her only remaining friend while she awaited death in the hell of Santa Lucia -the hell that had been prophesied by the angel Zacarias.

Sometimes the nurse would mischievously take Penelope with her to the school and facilitate a brief encounter between the two youngsters, watching a love grow between them such as she had never known, which had always been denied her. It was also around this time that Jacinta noticed the sombre and disturbing presence of that quiet boy whom everyone called Francisco Javier, the son of the school's caretaker.

She would catch him spying on them, reading their gestures from afar and devouring Penelope with his eyes. Sophie was suspicious of Julian's growing bond with the Aldayas and the way he had abandoned his old neighborhood friends and his family. She was not alone. But whereas his mother showed her displeasure in sadness and silence, the hatter displayed only bitterness and spite.

His initial enthusiasm about the widening of his clientele to include the flower of Barcelona society had evaporated. He hardly ever saw his son now and soon had to employ Quimet, a local boy and one of Julian's former friends, as a helper and apprentice in the shop. Antoni Fortuny was a man who felt he could only talk openly about hats. He locked his deeper feelings in the prison of his heart for months on end, until they became hopelessly embittered. Every day, he grew more bad tempered and irritable.

One day, almost three years to the day since Don Ricardo Aldaya's first visit to the Fortuny and Sons hat shop, the hatter left Quimet in charge of the shop and told him he'd be back at noon. He boldly presented himself at the offices of Aldaya's consortium on Paseo de Gracia and asked to see Don Ricardo. Don Ricardo received him, somewhat surprised but well disposed, imagining that perhaps Fortuny was bringing him a bill.

Small shopkeepers never quite understood the protocol when it came to money. Quite the contrary; he is an ignorant, lazy boy, with no more talent than the pretentious ideas his mother has put into his head. He'll never get anywhere, believe me. He lacks ambition and character. You don't know him. He can be very clever at sweet-talking strangers, making them believe he knows a lot about everything, when in fact he knows nothing about anything.

He's a mediocre person. I know him better than anyone, and I thought I should warn you.

Biography · Richard Dobson · Houston Folk Music Archive

Don Ricardo Aldaya listened to the speech in silence, without blinking. A few moments later, the secretary who had received Fortuny on arrival appeared at the office door. Our friend Fortunato is leaving, Balcells,' Don Ricardo announced.

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You're a very sad man, Fortuny. I'd appreciate it if you didn't come here again. Only a few days later, the smart clients brought in by his relationship with Aldaya began to send messages cancelling their orders and settling their bills. In just a few weeks, he had to dismiss Quimet, because there wasn't enough work for both of them.

The boy wasn't much use anyhow, he told himself. He was mediocre and lazy, like all of them. It was around this time that people in the neighborhood began to comment that Senor Fortuny was looking much older, lonelier, more bitter. He barely spoke to anyone anymore and spent hours on end shut up in the shop, with nothing to do, watching people go by from behind his counter, feelings of disdain mingling with hope.

Later people said that fashions changed, that young people no longer wore hats, and that those who did would rather go to other shops where hats were sold ready made in different sizes, with more modern designs, and at a cheaper price. The Fortuny and Sons hat shop slowly sank into a sad, silent slumber. You're all waiting for me to die, Fortuny said to himself. Well, I might just give you that pleasure. In fact, he had started to die a long time ago. Julian threw himself even more into the world of the Aldayas, into the only future he could conceive of, a future with Penelope.

In the meantime, taking advantage of the hubbub and of Don Ricardo's absence who no doubt was at that very moment celebrating in his own way Julian had slipped away from the party. He and Penelope had arranged to meet in the library, where they didn't risk running into any of the other partygoers. They were too busy devouring each other's lips to notice the couple approaching the front door of the house. Beyond the scene his mother was creating, shouting herself hoarse at the arrogant servants, the boy saw them: Julian kissing Penelope by the large window of the library.

They were kissing with the intensity of those who belong to one another, unaware of the world around them. While he pondered his future, others were planning it for him. Don Ricardo Aldaya was already preparing a post for him in his firm, to initiate him into the business.

Los Roques, Ricardo´s dream place

The hatter, for his part, had decided that if his son did not want to continue in the family business, he could forget about sponging off him. He had secretly set in motion his plan to send Julian to the army, where a few years of military life would cure him of his delusions of grandeur. Julian was unaware of such plans, and by the time he found out what others had arranged for him, it would be too late.

Only Penelope occupied his thoughts, and now the feigned distance and the clandestine meetings no longer satisfied him. He insisted on seeing her more often, increasing the risk of discovery. Jacinta did what she could to cover for them: She understood that this was not enough for Penelope and Julian. The governess had for some time now recognized in their looks the defiance and arrogance of desire: Sometimes, when Jacinta tucked Penelope up at night, the girl would burst into floods of tears and confess how she longed to flee with Julian, to catch the first train and escape to a place where nobody would know them.

Jacinta, who remembered the sort of world that existed beyond the iron gates of the Aldaya mansion, shuddered and tried to dissuade her. Penelope was docile by nature, and the fear she saw in Jacinta's face was enough to soothe her. Julian was another matter. During that last spring at San Gabriel's, Julian was unnerved to discover that Don Ricardo Aldaya and his mother sometimes met secretly. At first he feared that the industrialist might have decided to add the conquest of Sophie to his collection, but soon he realized that the meetings, which always took place in cafes in the centre of town and were carried out with the utmost propriety, were limited to conversation.

Sophie kept silent about these meetings. When at last Julian decided to ask Don Ricardo what was going on between him and his mother, the magnate laughed. The fact is, I was going to talk to you about this matter. Your mother and I are discussing your future. She came to see me a few weeks ago. She was worried because your father wants to send you away to the army next year.

Your mother, quite naturally, wants the best for you, and she came to me to see whether, between the two of us, we could do anything. Don't worry; you have Don Ricardo Aldaya's word that you won't become cannon fodder. Your mother and I have great plans for you. Julian wanted to trust him, yet Don Ricardo inspired anything but trust. When he consulted Miquel Moliner, the boy agreed with Julian. The destination, at Miquel's suggestion, would be Paris. Moliner was of the opinion that, if Julian was set on being a starving bohemian artist, at least a Parisian setting couldn't be improved upon.

Penelope spoke a little French, and for Julian, who had learned it from his mother, it was his second language. Miquel managed to put together a small fortune, joining his savings from many years to what he was able to extort from his father, using the most outlandish excuses. Only he knew where the money was really going. Not even Jacinta,' Julian began. The girl listened to him in astonishment, enthralled. Moliner's plan was impeccable. Miquel would buy the tickets under a false name and hire a third party to collect them at the ticket office in the station.

If by any chance the police discovered him, all he'd be able to give them would be the description of someone who did not look like Julian. Julian and Penelope would meet on the train. There would be no waiting on the platform, where they might be seen. The escape would take place on a Sunday, at midday. Julian would make his own way to the Estacion de Francia. Miquel would be there waiting for him, with the tickets and the money. The most delicate part of the plan concerned Penelope. She had to deceive Jacinta and ask her to invent an excuse for taking her out of the eleven o'clock mass and returning home.

On the way Penelope would ask Jacinta to let her go and meet Julian, promising to be back before the family had returned to the mansion. This would be Penelope's opportunity to get to the station. They both knew that if they told her the truth, Jacinta would not allow them to leave. She loved them too much. It did not occur to him that Miquel Moliner was talking about himself. The most difficult thing was convincing Penelope of the need to keep Jacinta in the dark. Only Miquel would know the truth. The train left at one in the afternoon.

By the time Penelope's absence was noticed, the couple would have crossed the border. Once in Paris, they would settle in a hostel as man and wife, using a false name. They would then send Miquel Moliner a letter addressed to their families, confessing their love, telling them they were well, that they loved them, announcing their church wedding, and asking for forgiveness and understanding. Miquel Moliner would put the letter in a second envelope to do away with the Paris postmark and would see to it that it was posted from some nearby town. They should both agree not to see each other again until they met on the train on their way to Paris.

Six days without seeing her, without touching her, seemed interminable to Julian. They sealed the pact, the secret marriage, with a kiss. It was then that Julian took Penelope to Jacinta's bedroom on the third floor of the house. Only the servants' quarters were on that floor, and Julian was sure nobody would discover them. They undressed feverishly, with an angry passion and desire, scratching each other's skin and melting into silence.

They learned each other's bodies by heart and buried all thoughts of those six days of separation. Julian penetrated Penelope with fury, pressing her against the floorboards. She received him with open eyes, her legs hugging his torso, her lips half open with yearning. There was not a glimmer of fragility or childishness in her eyes or in her warm body. Later, with his face still resting on her stomach and his hands on her white, tremulous breasts, Julian knew he had to say goodbye. For a second, Julian thought it was Jacinta, but he soon realized it was Senora Aldaya.

She was watching them, spellbound, with a mixture of fascination and disgust. All she managed to mumble was, 'Where's Jacinta? Go before my father comes. She was still naked when he left her and slid down the servants' staircase towards the coach houses and out in to the coldest night he could remember.

The days that followed were agony. Julian had spent all night awake, expecting that Don Ricardo's hired assassins would come for him at any moment. The following day, in school, he didn't notice any change of attitude in Jorge Aldaya. Devoured by anguish, Julian told Miquel Moliner what had happened.

Miquel shook his head. What's strange is that there hasn't been an upheaval in the Aldayas' house. Which, come to think of it, isn't so surprising. If, as you say, it was Senora Aldaya who discovered you, it might be that she still doesn't know what to do. I've had three conversations with her in my life and came to two conclusions: First she must think of the consequences for herself the potential scandal, her husband's fury. The rest, I daresay, she couldn't care less about. But I don't think she's capable of keeping such a secret from her husband. What about the escape plan?

Is it still on? Because I really believe that now there's no turning back. Forgive me, Mother Sophie held her son close. She had lost weight and had aged, as if between them all they had stolen her life and her youth. I more so than anyone, thought Julian. Your father and Don Ricardo Aldaya have got everything set up to send you to the army in a few days' time.

Aldaya has a great deal of influence. You have to go, Julian. You have to go where neither of them can find you Julian thought he saw a shadow in his mother's eyes that seemed to take hold of her. Something you haven't told me? We must both go away from here forever.

The hatter had gone down to the shop just after dawn and didn't return until the early hours. He doesn't have the courage to tell me to my face, thought Julian. That night, his eyes blurred with tears, Julian said farewell to the years he had spent in that dark, cold room, lost amid dreams that he now knew would never come true. Sunday, at daybreak, armed with only a bag containing a few clothes and books, he kissed Sophie's forehead, as she lay curled under blankets in the dining room, and left.

The streets seemed enveloped in a blue haze. Flashes of copper sparkled on the flat roofs of the old town. The following day Senora Aldaya called for me and asked me what I knew about Julian. I said I didn't know anything, except that he was a nice boy, a friend of Jorge's. She ordered me to keep Penelope locked in her room until she was given permission to come out.

Don Ricardo was away in Madrid and didn't come back until early on Friday. As soon as he arrived, Senora Aldaya told him what she'd witnessed. Don Ricardo jumped up from his armchair and slapped his wife so hard she fell on the floor. Then, shouting like a madman, he told her to repeat what she had just said. Senora Aldaya was terrified. We had never seen her husband like that. He looked as if he were possessed by all the devils in hell.

Seething with anger, he went up to Penelope's bedroom and pulled her out of her bed, dragging her by the hair. I tried to stop him, but he kicked me aside. That same evening he called the family doctor and had him examine Penelope. When the doctor had finished, he spoke to Senor Aldaya. They locked Penelope up in her room, and Senora Aldaya told me to collect my things. I never said goodbye to her. Don Ricardo threatened to report me to the police if I told anyone what had happened. That very night they threw me out, with nowhere to go, after eighteen years of uninterrupted service in the house.

He wanted me to tell him why Penelope hadn't come to the station as arranged. When she saw us covered in blood and dirt, Bernarda started to scream in panic. The doctor quickly took Fermin's pulse and assured us that the patient was still alive. Between the four of us, we managed to carry Fermin up the stairs and into Bernarda's room, where a nurse, who had come along with the doctor, was getting everything ready. Once the patient was laid on the bed, the nurse began to undress him.

Dr Soldevila insisted that we all leave the room and let him get on with his work. He closed the door on us with a brief, 'He'll live. In the corridor Bernarda sobbed inconsolably. She moaned that now that she'd found a good man, for the first time in her life, God had come along and mercilessly wrenched him away from her. Don Gustavo Barcelo took her in his arms and led her to the kitchen, where he proceeded to ply her with brandy until the poor thing could hardly stand up. Once the maid's words were unintelligible, the bookseller poured himself a glass and downed it in one gulp.

I didn't know where to go. You've done the right thing. Soldevila is the best orthopaedic surgeon in Barcelona. Dr Soldevila had come out of the bedroom to give us all a bulletin on Fermin's condition. These things always look more serious than they are. Your friend has a broken left arm and two broken ribs, he's lost three teeth, and has a large number of bruises, cuts, and contusions. But luckily there's no internal bleeding and no symptoms of any brain damage.

The folded newspapers the patient wore under his clothes to keep him warm and accentuate his figure, as he puts it, served as armour and cushioned the blows. A few moments ago, when he recovered consciousness, the patient asked me to tell you that he's feeling like a twenty-year-old, that he wants blood sausage sandwiches with fresh garlic, a chocolate bar, and some lemon Sugus sweets. I see no problem with that, though I think it would be better to start off with fruit juice, yoghurt, and perhaps a bit of boiled rice.

Moreover, as proof of his vigour and presence of mind, he has asked me to transmit to you the fact that, when Nurse Amparito was putting a few stitches in his leg, he had an iceberg of an erection. You let her see that you know she's lied to you and that she's hiding something, a lot or a little that remains to be seen. She won't say anything to you, of course. Or she'll lie to you again. The important thing is to thrust the banderilla into her forgive the bullfighting image - to see where the bull will lead us or, should I say, the young heifer.

And that's where you come in, Fermin. While Daniel is in action, you position yourself discreetly where you can keep watch on the suspect and wait for her to takethe bait. Once she's done that, you follow her. And something tells me that in this case it will be sooner rather than later. It's the basis of female psychology. The ghostly aura from the candle that was raised behind me seemed to scratch at the shape of a rectangular room, made of bare stone walls covered in crucifixes.

The icy cold in that chamber took my breath away. Before me stood a marble slab, and on top of it I saw what looked like two similar white objects of different sizes, lined up one next to the other. They reflected the tremor of the candle with more intensity than the rest of the room, and I guessed they were made of lacquered wood. I took one more step forward, and only then did I understand. The two objects were white coffins.

One of them was scarcely two feet long. I felt a shiver down the back of my neck. It was a child's sarcophagus. I was in a crypt. Without realizing what I was doing, I came closer to the marble stone until I was near enough to stretch out my hand and touch it. I then noticed that on each coffin a cross and a name had been carved, but a blanket of dust obscured them. Slowly, almost in a trance, without stopping to think what I was doing, I brushed off the dust that covered the lid. I could barely read the words in the dim red candlelight.

Something or somebody was moving about in the dark. I could feel the cold air sliding down my skin, and only then did I retreat a few steps. I recognized him immediately. Streets were flooded, and the rain beat angrily against the windows. The telephone rang at seven-thirty. I jumped out of the armchair to answer, my heart in my mouth.

Fermin, in a bathrobe and slippers, and my father, holding the coffeepot, exchanged that look I was already growing used to. I thought I heard a sigh on the line. I stayed there for a minute, staring at the telephone, hoping it would ring again. Come and have some breakfast now,' said my father.

The Gulf Coast Boys

She'll call again later, I told myself. Someone must have caught her phoning. It couldn't be easy to break Senor Aguilar's curfew. There was no reason to be alarmed. After dinner, on the pretext of going out to stretch my legs, I left my father reading and walked up to Bea's house. When I got there, I stopped on the corner to look up at the large windows of the apartment. I asked myself what I was doing. Spying, meddling, or making a fool of myself were some of the answers that went through my mind.

Bea didn't call the next day. She didn't call that whole week, the longest and the last of my life. In seven days' time, I would be dead. I knew she wouldn't be amused if I turned up there and we were seen together, but facing her anger was preferable to continuing with that uncertainty. I asked in the office for Professor Velazquez's lecture room and decided to wait for the students to come out. I waited for about twenty minutes, until the doors were opened and I saw the arrogant, well-groomed countenance of Professor Velazquez, as usual surrounded by his small group of female admirers.

Five minutes later there was still no sign of Bea. I decided to walk up to the door of the lecture room and take a look. A trio of girls were huddled together like a Sunday-school group, chatting and exchanging either lecture notes or secrets. The one who seemed to be the leader of the congregation noticed my presence and interrupted her monologue to fire me an inquisitive look. I'm looking for Beatriz Aguilar. Only the third girl smiled back at me, shyly, averting her eyes.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. First published in a limited edition in , Richard J.

Fresh Track

Interspersed with the tour tales are accounts from offshore drilling rigs and boats where Dobson went to raise money to support his music habit. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Gulf Coast Boys , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. I liked this book, although I don't know why. It is not particularly well written. It reads sort of like a first draft.

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I read the book mainly because I was involved in the Texas Cosmic Cowboy movement began in the late 70's. This is the part of the book that interested me. Most of the book, however, dealt with Dobson's time working offshore on shrimp boats and oil drilling platforms. Going back to with the release of Hearts and Rivers with my old State of the Heart band, I believe this will make my 15th release on long-running Swiss label, Brambus Records.

Signed books and Music: Travel, music, and fishing adventures; expatriate tales from Europe at the turn of the millennium. The Gulf Coast Boys: Richard Dobson is a Texas singer-songwriter from Tyler and former roughneck who gamboled around Galveston and Houston, then Austin and Nashville, before spending the past 13 years living in Switzerland and playing all over Europe.

A red-haired Swiss woman has left her family and joined him in Galveston for a year before returning to Switzerland as a couple. A new millennium has begun. Pleasures of the High Rhine covers songwriting, collaborating, performing and recording with a German band led by Thomm Jutz now a Nashville cat , the strangeness of playing venues that ostensibly showcase American country music, and observations thereof, a critical skill for any songwriter.

The latter is where Dobson really sings. He soon finds himself on the Rhine River and delves into it with similar zeal and a newfound curiosity. His pursuit of a fishing license — no easy thing in Switzerland, requiring an extensive question test in Deutsch — a steep learning curve how to fish the Rhein, especially for elusive trout, and his summer swims in the river lead to deep history of the river and its inhabitants, including not so pleasant events such as Kristalnacht when synagogues were burned and Jews persecuted, and the historic fouling and restoration of the waterway.

Contemporary global events such as the election of George W.


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