03 septiembre, 2011


About Felipe, Miguel, “Chimango” and I

In April of this year Miguel sent me a photo from Chimbote. The image is from 1972 and shows the Galvista team entering the soccer field of Lima’s National Stadium. I found the picture very special. I've looked at it many times and have tried to penetrate into the psychological intricacies that the image holds. 
What makes this photo special to me?
I find the image of Demetrio "Chimango" Mazzo holding the hand of the "mascot" Felipe Fulop fascinating. A magical aura seems to surround them both. Like the day and the night, the big one and the young one, "Chimango" and little Felipe.
"Chimango" jogs in the jaunty and charismatic dance-like way that always characterized him. And he speaks to the child. Does he tell a joke or a funny story to him?  Does he say to him, perhaps: "when you grow up you will be a great soccer player!" The boy smiles. He listens happily.

Source: Magazine "Contacto Deportivo"

Also in April Miguel sent me a magazine article. And, in his accompanying e-mail (referring to an old post about “Chimango”), he said to me: "I have seen your piece about 'Chimango’, and I think that this article can enrich it." It contained an interview granted by "Chimango" in 1994. In one part of the interview, he was asked: "Demetrio, what are your memories of Galvez?"
Demetrio replied, "Don Isaac Fulop gave me the opportunity to wear the red stripe shirt, and my coaches Diego Agurto, Alfonso Huapaya, Juan Honores and Miguel Ortega considered me as a regular starter. I will never forget those years in which I defended, with much love, my Gálvez, or the time I was declared by the mayor Carmela Oviedo of Sarmiento, as 'Favorite Son of Chimbote', or the awards ceremony with a gold watch and bracelet given to me by Don Isaac and Doña Pocha Fulop. For all this, and for much more, I am Galvez to the death.”
These were the heartfelt and premonitory words of "Chimango", the most popular Galvista player during the professional era of the 1970s.
But before moving on in this story, who is Miguel?

Miguel Koo Chía

Miguel Koo Chía is a great friend of mine from Chimbote. He was the first person to whom I wrote asking for help when I first started this “Memories Corner”. He sent me the first pictures, and continued sending a number of different materials throughout this project. Whenever I asked Miguel for help, he always responded right away. And here’s a curious thing: I still have not had the pleasure of meeting Miguel in person!
By that time in April, when Miguel sent me the magazine article about "Chimango", I was still enchanted with the first photo.  A number of memories that had "Chimango” as the protagonist were set free in my mind.
I remembered that, on a Sunday in 1971,  José Gálvez FBC was playing in the Stadium Vivero Forestal of Chimbote, and "Chimango" was defending his usual right back position. In the southeast corner of the field, "Chimango", facing the corner flag, with his right foot clamping the ball against the ground, and with the back of his body against the rival team left winger, made it impossible for the striker to recover the ball. The move was lawful, seconds passed by, and the stands celebrated his play.
On that day I was in the stadium’s south stands with other kids, near the corner flag, and together we rushed against the wire fence surrounding the pitch. We were enjoying that endless moment from less than one meter away. "Chimango" looked at us out of the corner of his eye and smiled at us while with his body he kept the rival player out of distance. The children, with our faces against the wire fence shouted "Chimango! Chimango!", while the adults in the stands shouted insults about the rival’s mother.

Felipe Fulop

But I have yet another memory of "Chimango".  It happened in the summer of 1972. At that time I lived on a corner of Chimbote’s Aviation Avenue thirteenth block. Across the road there was a restaurant called "Acapulco", owned by my neighbor, Don Carlos Ramírez Lozada. I noticed one day that "Chimango" came to the restaurant with a female friend.  I wanted to approach him, but I did not. I came very close to doing it, but I was too shy for that kind of stuff.
The following week, I was outside my house and I saw "Chimango" again walking down the sidewalk with the same friend, towards the same restaurant. My mom was just inside the house, a few steps away from me, mending something on her old “Singer” sewing machine. "Mom, it’s Chimango again!" I said. My mom stopped the machine's pedal, looked up over her glasses and said, "Here's your chance!"  I did not say anything, but I walked towards my room in search of my Justus notebook with the black cover.
This notebook was an album of photographs and newspaper cuttings I had collected and dedicated to my beloved José Gálvez FBC soccer team.
Clutching my notebook against my chest, I went back outside. My mom saw me walking past her sewing machine, and started to say something like, "If you want I can go with you ..." But I did not finish listening, because I was already crossing the road with the certainty that this was going to be a "man to man" meeting.

Ed Quevedo Serrano's childhood

I stopped in the restaurant doorway and greeted my neighbor Carlos Ramírez Lozada. Then I looked inside, towards the only table occupied at the time. "Chimango" looked at me, gave me a huge smile, raised his Inca Kola soda bottle, and while offering me a chair, said: "Hey champ, let’s toast to the goals, for them never to end!"
I sat beside him, showed him my notebook, and told him I wanted his autograph. He reviewed the pages carefully, while at the same time whispering to his friend things like "It's beautiful", "I don’t even have a collection like this one", and "This is the Paraguayan Ortega". After a while he said to me: "Champ, where do you want me to sign?" "Here," I said as I pointed to a picture of him cut from the newspaper “The Third Edition of The Chronicle”. Then he signed with elegant handwriting and extravagant pen strokes, which did not reflect the right fullback he was, but rather a creative playmaker with "10" on his back.
Years passed and I lost my notebook. Some friends have told me that this “Memories Corner” is an attempt to regain the lost notebook from my childhood. I say no. This “Memories Corner” is an attempt to fill in part of the dotted line of Chimbote’s incomplete history.
Well, this is the story I wanted to tell you about the picture and article that Miguel sent me in April this year.
Miguel lives in Perú, always pursuing new projects and ideas. Felipe lives in Mexico City, working on his acting career. As for me, the wind pushed me first to Europe and then to America.
As for "Chimango" he left us early. But wherever he is, I return to him the phrase of forty years ago, and say to him: "Hey champ, let’s toast to the goals, for them never to end!"
New Hampshire
September, 2011
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5 comentarios:

  1. Congratulations Eduardo. I think your blog is very interesting. I love the way you describe your memories and The Peruvian soccer history. I really think that all the awards that you have received, and the ones that are waiting for you in the near future are all very well deserved for your hard work. One more time congratulations and I hope that you continue sharing with us, your readers, that beautiful talent you have.
    Isbel Quero

  2. Isbel:
    Thanks a lot!! Glad to see you visiting the blog!!

  3. Nice job dad! like that cute picture at the begining and that funny one of Felipe!! I especialy like that nice story about you meeting Chimango. :)

  4. Chimango! Chimango! Haha. I like the part when you're all watching through the wire fence cheering him on while the adults are screaming against the opponent. Classy, my friend. Classy.