Thursday, January 29, 2009


Today is my the birthday of my brother Martín (aka) Fafa; he is almost four years younger than me (do your math). I thought that it would be a nice thing for me to do to tell you more about him, especially since he has been participating on this blog a lot lately.
Sanito y Martín en Año Nuevo Martín is my younger brother, and hence he’s the one I’ve spent the most time since we were kids. We would play the same games, do the same silly things and… screw up big time the same way. During our teenage years, even though my group of friends was mostly my older brother’s age, I would still spend a lot of time with him. A few years later, we would still do things together, like playing soccer or going to Alejandro Dolina’s very popular midnight radio show (we even developed sidekick characters, “Fafa and Baby”, and we were well known by then!). :-)
Once I started singing in choirs again, Martín soon followed suite and we ended singing together, in a choir that belong to an oil company named “Bridas”, where I was acting as the Bass section lead. Once I left and came to Canada, and after that choir disbanded, Martín continued to sing and even today he occasionally takes part of some opera productions, along with another of my top commentators, Jorge (aka) “JorMig”. Last November, when my brother Paco got married, Martín took upon himself the organization of the music for the wedding ceremony, and even performed with the choir he assembled. My other brother (Guillermo aka ‘Necochino’) sang the Ave Maria for the bride and groom. That evening, once again, only I was not there…
Martín is our family’s ‘wild card’. I’m not saying he’s ‘wild’, but he’s the go-to guy for everybody, whenever we need anything (sometimes to the point of abusing of his time and availability). I always had that feeling that we didn’t fully appreciate the efforts he made for us. If our grandpa needed to go to the doctor for a check-up, then Fafa would take care of that, even if he had to drive for seven hours between Buenos Aires and Necochea; we needed to pick up or take something to the other end of the Great Buenos Aires? No problem, Martín would do it (well, he did it for me with some Christmas CDs a month ago). Whatever it was, it was always assumed that Martín wouldn’t mind taking care of it, and that’s where I felt we weren’t respecting him. But the truth is that he wouldn’t complain, as he was always willing to put everything aside for his family. Both him and Paco took care of my grandfather Pepe during his final days, giving him all the care and affection that he needed and that the rest of us, living in another continent, could not give him. I will always be thankful to both of them for that.
Paco, Sebastián and Juan Pablo (back row) – Fafa and I (front row) 
But what I think defines Martín the best is his role as an uncle. My kids –and my nieces–  adore him, even Juan and Florencia, who remember him very little. They fight over who gets to talk to him on the phone first, and they really enjoy all the stories I tell about when we were little. I was always impressed with the strong bond that Martín has with both my kids and my brother’s (and I guess the same will eventually happen with my little niece Catalina and the baby that Paco and Florencia will have soon). Comparing with my other brothers I could say that Guillermo builds a very natural relationship with the kids, but he’s ‘the uncle’. Paco has a very unusual, yet effective method: the kids love him even though all they seem to do together is ‘fight’ all day! But Martín is different: on one hand, he behaves as if he were another child, and then they play and run around and they do all kinds of silly things together. But on the other hand, you could see Martín would do anything for them, and will spend as much time as he can taking care of them and making sure that they have everything they need. He was that way back in Argentina, when he would come over for dinner every Tuesday (travelling 1.5 hours in each direction) along with my mother-in-law, and he continued to be like that when we were lucky to have him visit us back in 2003. The same happened last November, when Santi went to Argentina: Martín put absolutely everything on hold to take care of his nephew. I know very well that we broke his heart when we came to Canada, so I was very happy that he could ‘borrow’ Santi again, if only for three weeks. Going back to the Tuesday evening dinners, even after we left, Martín would still travel 1.5 hours every week, but in this case to have dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. I don’t know if they’re still doing that, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
09_Martín, Carolina y Santiago More than one was worried because –according to them– Martín never ‘settled down’; I guess this means that he didn’t end doing an office job and works on his own instead (maybe it’s because he hasn’t gotten married yet). I always maintained the same: that’s their problem; let them think of what Martín should do with his own life, just so he would please them.  As long as he’s happy, who am I or anybody else to tell him how he should live his life? Plus I always had the feeling that, to many people’s chagrin, he was probably happier than the rest of us, because he always knew which parts of life to enjoy: family, friends… and the beach!
As I was saying above, it’s his birthday today. We won’t be able to give them a hug in person, of course; but still, Gaby, Santiago, Carolina, Juan, Florencia and I would like to wish him the Happiest Birthday of his life. I’m sure he will be happy to know that he is –by far– the one relative we talk the most about, we always have a story to tell about him. Maybe this year, who knows, he can finally come to visit us. The kids would ‘die’ of happiness. Us too, of course, even if I end having to seek asylum at some Embassy once “Martín Alejandro” and “María de las Gabrielas” engage if those silly pun wars once again.
Happy birthday, Fafa. We all love you. Please come visit us soon!

Me and Fafa performing the Spanish version of “Pecos Bill”, the way our father taught us
Fafa y yo cantando “Pecos Bill”, como nos la enseñó nuestro padre.
Necochea, ARG – 17/Mar/2006

Pecos Bill
(Johnny Lange and Eliot Daniel)

Oh! Pecos Bill was quite a cowboy down in Texas,
And a Western superman, to say the least.
He was the roughest, toughest critter, never known to be a quitter
'Cuz he never had no fear of man or beast.

So, yip-pee-i-ay i-ay, yip-pee-i-oh
Fer the toughest critter West of the Alamo.

While reclinin' on a cloud high over Texas
With his gun he made the stars evaporate
Then Pecos saw the stars declinin',
So he left one brighly shinin'
As the emblem of the Lone Star Texas State.

Once he roped a ragin' cyclone out of nowhere
Then he straddled it and settled down with ease,
And while that cylcone bucked and flitted
Pecos rolled a smoke and lit it
And he tamed that orn'ry wind down to a breeze.

Pecos lost his way while travelin' on the desert
It was ninety miles across the burnin' sand,
He knew he'd never reach the border
If he didn't get some water
So he got a stick and dug the Rio Grande.

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  1. Me mató este post! Tu hermano se ve muy especial y la manera como te refieres a el, es tan bella... Se me aguaron los ojitos, solo pocas veces en la vida uno consigue personas con corazón y alma de angel, y tu hermano parece serlo.Feliz Cumpleaños Martín!!

  2. Gabriel!Me encanto este post...... que bonito hablas de tu hermano y se ve que es un ser especial no solo contigo sino con los demas.Que agradable leer lo que escribes de el y le deseo el mas feliz de sus dias!!!Por otro lado, que HERMOSAS voces las que tienen, simpre me ha gustado la musica pero la verdad mi voz suena cono un tarro viejo...jejeje.Continuen cultivandolas .

  3. Muy Feliz Cumpleaños para el Fafa, entonces, que ademas es un habitue del blog, se ve que es un fenomeno. La duda que me queda Gabriel es eso de que se llevan 4 años, o estas macaneando o estas hecho m...ja, ja, ja. No es que me divierta pegandote, es, me divierto bastante, para que negarlo. Un abrazo (y no te enojes)

  4. Gabriel! que barbaro! que genial sus canciones pero la del chinito de amol me mató de risa, oye veo que todos son muy musicales y le das a la guitarra muy muy bien, vientos! en mi familia también se usaron por muchos años las cantadas, sobre todo de trova latinoamericana y algunos trovadores mexicanos como "mexicanto" así es que me acordé de esos tiempos de estar juntos y cantar en familia y es de lo más reconfortante que hay.Felicidades a tu hermano y a tí te mando un buen saludo cuidate!Ciao!

  5. Feliz cumple para el Fafa... tipo macanudo segun tu post y segun mi breve charla telefonica con el.Tenes que agregar que ademas fue el encargado de hacerme llegar los CDs.Un abrazo para el, que al ser el menor tuvo que cargar con toda la locura previa...

  6. Ahora que vi los videos...Muy bueno lo del chinito... me mate de risa.Pecos rocks!

  7. Precioso, Gabriel!!!Feliz Cumpleaños, Fafa!!!Y felicidades por el don de hacer felices a tantos...Que Dios te siga bendiciendo!!!

  8. Feliz Cumpleaños Fafa!Gabriel, que lindo lo que le escribiste, sin dudas es una persona muy especial!

  9. Ahh, me olvidé...Buenisimo el video de "chinito", a Ian siempre se la cantabamos de chiquitito y se mataba de risa.

  10. Excelente post. Realmente lo describe muy bien a Fafa ! El guacho está de triple festejo. Anoche esperó su cumple con un asado. Hoy tiene otro asado con otro grupo de amigos, y mañana la trifecta cuando llegan Paco y Florencia. (entre paréntesis) Lo llamé hoy de nuevo a saludarlo, estaba en la playa, donde más si no...Feliz Cumple Fafa !

  11. Me olvidé de decir... por supuesto, el asador es el mismísimo Fafa. Nadie mejor que él ! Papá ha de estar mirando orgulloso.

  12. You must miss your brother(s) very much. I can only imagine. My brother is only in Nova Scotia, really just a hop skip and jump, and I miss him like mad.(Please don't tell him that, I will never live it down). He sounds like a wonderful person, Gabriel. He looks an awful lot like his big brother, too.

  13. Aunque ya tuve el privilegio de decirselo personalmente, FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS FAFA !Yo lo definiría como un niño grande (muuuuyyyyy grande).También tuve la fortuna de compartir dos de los tres asados y doy fe de que conoce del tema.No puedo no decir que cuando está presente él las cosas son distintas, siempre encuentra algo divertido para hacer. A mi edad me cuesta seguirle el ritmo, pero me defiendo bastante bien.Como no puedo con mi genio tengo que decir que lo vi pescando y no solo no sacó absolutamente nada sino que perdió varias líneas. Por supuesto los que estaban cerca sacaban de todo.Quiero agregar que me siento afortunado de haber conocido a la familia.Bueno basta. Quiero terminar este comentario con un GRACIAS MARTIN !!!

  14. Ah, muy buenos los videos.Supongo que ya sabrás pero me encantó el de pecos bill. No tenés el de añoralgias ?

  15. Casi me olvido.Este año le gané al paddle y al truco. En el futbol, sabiamente, formó parte de mi equipo con el cual ganamos.La próxima temporada prometo dejarlo ganar algo, si no no me va a volver a invitar.

  16. Hoy lunes 02/02 vuelvo de mis quince dias de vacaciones, por eso estaba desaparecido...Bueno, a todos gracias por los saludos. Gracias Gabriel por el emociono mucho. Y a vos, JorMig, como yo respeto las canas no te voy a decir nada...pero ahora que lo pienso no te encuentro ninguna...ninguna cana ni ningun pelo... Gracias por venir a Necochea, ha sido un placer recibirte en la mejor playa argentina. Espero llegar a tu edad con esa condicion fisica. Chau, gente, me voy a pescar...

  17. Que ciudad Necochea. En vez de "lomos de burro" tiene "sendas peatonales elevadas", faaa.

  18. San de Necochea de Buenos Aires del Sur de la vidaFeb 4, 2009, 9:50:00 AM

    Señores, no es que Martincho sea grandote: el tema es que ese corazon no podria entrar en otro cuerpo. Un abrazo y nos vemos en el balcon!!!Pd: Gabriel, simplemente un regalo perfecto

  19. Esato. El problema es que yo soy mas grandote que el... pero lo mio es casi todo estómago...Si todavía andas por el blog contanos quién sos! :-)


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