The lord of the pots

The lord of the pots is as caleño as the alfeñique sweets that the matrons of the San Antonio neighborhood leave in their point, flavor and form for this time. He is the honorary captain of his “glorious Deportivo Cali”, he recites entire phrases of Father Hurtado Galvis by heart, with that beautiful and characteristic touch that lulls our speech, and knows perfectly the sayings of the grandmothers and the stories of Cali Viejo.

It was born in humility and it was done by hand. Life endowed him with a great talent to convince with the word and with it he learned to earn a living as a salesman. He worked hard in Cali and Barranquilla, visiting clients with a black suitcase, which looked like a magician’s, loaded with products from the well-remembered Gillette of Colombia. Little by little and with effort he became the best seller in the country, which led him to several soccer world championships as a prize. Thus he met a world that once seemed so far away. Thus, together with his wife Míriam, he brought his two daughters Mildred and Margarita into professionals.

The Guayaquil neighborhood was his home for a long time; There he built lifelong friendships, with a gratitude capable of remembering who hugged him when he was a young man full of dreams and still recreates moments that many decades later are still as alive as if they had happened yesterday. He was one of the rumberos of that Cali of the Honka Monka, the Seventh Sky, El Escondite and all the movement of an effervescent era that accelerated the music from 33 to 45 revolutions per minute, to give lucidity to the dance; the Cali who fell in love with salsa and made it her own forever.

The Lord of the Pots has big green eyes and a loud voice that captivates. His youthful friends named him Spartacus, for his resemblance to Kirk Douglas, the legendary protagonist of the film of the same name. But like every man who becomes a myth, a rework is not enough; Then, in the eighties he also became Piracacho, because to some friends of hers the word sounded familiar to Periquillo, where he went to live in those years.

If they ever run into him through life, he will answer them, whatever happens, that he feels “ultrarecontratetracatrebien” and then it is likely that he will release a thunderous laugh accompanied by some warm phrase, because his voice always comes out with energy, good vibes, human warmth, pure warmth.

Loyal subscriber of El País, for more than 25 years, of which he gets up early to look for his newspaper to devour it. Always with an accurate reflection of what happens in Valle del Cauca and a regular reader of its opinion pages, to the point of knowing perfectly the creed, color and position of each columnist who writes here.

The cherry on the cake with this character who participates in a music and story program on Pingüino Stereo every Saturday afternoon, is that he is a true godfather of this land, and as appropriate every year without fail he looks for the pot for his putative godson 13 years old, heir to her goddaughter, 47, to whom as a child and as an adult she brought her flowerpot and also gave her her first toy typewriter, as if envisioning what would happen to her in the future.

On Friday he handed over the 2021 pot to the adolescent godson who already exceeds him in height. It was ‘seeded’ in a green pot, adorned with white and colored sweets, with a little clown, a fringe and the respective certificate from the Casa de las Pots. He smiled happily as he did so, his face lit up knowing that he had fulfilled his duty to preserve a tradition that is the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Colombia.

To you, Héctor Fabio Caicedo del Corral, Espartaco, Piracacho and now the lord of the pots, these sweet lines go, from goddaughter to godfather, for being the guardian of a custom that we rejoice with pride, being the mainstay of idiosyncrasy caleña.

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