The song below brings tears of joy to Raul’s 66 year old eyes and sets his feet to dancing. His 25 year love affair with his wife Grizelda, 23 years his junior, was just destined to be. Press play on their song and catch the vibe while we get swept up in the love.
Before they met, in 1978 during the midst of a raging civil war, Raul invested in a bus and his little business transported people between Zacatecoluca and San Vicente. One night his bus was flagged to stop at the Angulo exit by armed men who set the bus on fire. It burned to the ground but everyone managed to scramble to safety and escape into the forest. Raul lost his livelihood in a meaningless act of terror and intimidation.
Several years later he was hired by another transport company to drive two nurses to Teculuca in a Jeep. They were stopped at gunpoint near a sugar cane plant along the route by armed rebels. They took the nurses and gave him a message. Return with army uniforms and weapons or we kill the nurses. One of the nurses was the Mayor of San Vicente’s wife so Raul realized this could be trouble all around if he didn’t find help. He sped off to alert the army but the nurses were rescued in a dramatic shootout with security personnel at the plant before the army arrived.
With his bus burned and his psyche scarred by violence, Raul decided to make a drastic change. He decided to sell toys outside the local high school. One day, the most beautiful girl in the world walked past and he heard a sound. It was destiny knocking.
Grizelda recalled the young battled hardened young Raul as a handsome smooth talker that always treated her well. From day one they knew this was the love they’d both been looking for and she would stop to talk to him frequently. Soon she was working for him and selling toys together.
Their world of toys felt empty without children of their own as product testers so they brought Luis into the world and added Irma 10 years later.
Luis’ dependancy on buses seems also a matter of destiny as he currently makes a living selling anti-fungal cream to bus passengers in town. They have lived together as a family in the community of New Hope for the past four years and will stay for many more years in the house we built together this week.
The lyrics of Caballo de la Sabana (Horse of the Open Plain) go like this:
“Horse is put out to pasture ’cause he’s old and tired but they don’t even realize that a tied up heart when the reins are released turns into a wild horse. And if old horse finds a chestnut filly his heart is unstrung; he’ll ignore the bridle and he won’t obey the bit, and false reins won’t stop him.
When love comes like this, in this way no one is to blame, love doesn’t keep a schedule nor a date on the calendar when desires come together.”
Raul is still a smooth talker and treats his Grizelda well. Keep on running old horse!