Guadalupe Aballe

The International Supper of Mesa del Café

confess that with much illusion I went to the supper on Monday October 6. It was the fifth for the Todo Tango friends, and the second for me. That night at 9 p.m. we turned up at Il Vero Arturito to feel the joy of meeting again with our friends, some with the thrill of finding a face for a name and all of us with the wish to share, once more, a rich, unique time of comradeship. Friendship has an essential manifestation: the pure happiness of shared moments.

In general, we can say that there was punctuality and a scene that fortunately was often repeated: hugs accompanied by a big smile and many «Hello!», «How do you do», «I’m glad you came!» seemed to float in the air as soon as people were arriving.

Because we were many, many, present then and there. Of course, that evening our director, Ricardo García Blaya, was there. In fact, he’s the one responsible for the fact that we were there. Otherwise the virtual table of Todo Tango would have never existed had it not been because of his effort and the devotion of his team for the page.

Among so many friendly people we met there were Héctor Lucci, Adolfo Sozzi, Leo van Nispen, Coco Bosco, with his usual pleasantness, our unsurpassable host, Orlando and Susana, Ángel Yonadi, Dimas Marzotto and his wife, Oscar Bianchi —El Boa—, who caught images with his camera to make them everlasting, our dear and unique Ben Molar, Aníbal and his nice wife Zulema Robles, La Mondonguito. There were also outstanding foreign guests: Dr. Ramiro Echeverri and his wife, from the Republic of Colombia; Nuryts and Cristina Cuevas as proxies of Miguelito Ahumada of Chile; the North American dancers John and Judy.

There were two extraordinary emcees, Mario Pino and José Pedro Aresi, who wonderfully carried out their role, with their eyes open wide, ready for everything. They are gentlemen in every sense of the word.

We don’t forget those many friends who despite they were unable to come to the supper they were so kind to send their messages. One of them touched us deeply, so much so that after it was read all the people present clapped their hands sincerely and spontaneously. I’m talking about the letter that our dear friend Jorge Finkielman sent from the United States. A message that moved us all with no exception, a message that told us about the «pain caused by the distance» day by day in a reality different to «the one we are used to». «It’s sad not to have the chance to have nearby cafés for the sake of just having a cortado and other details of the sort», he told us. Jorge was there, at the supper with us, is there any doubt? «We love you, Jorge, we love you»... and miss you. But we are also very happy to know that you are happy with Adina, your future wife.

The menú was great, as usual at the Il Vero Arturito, the empanadas, unique; the picada, ever-present and assorted, we have the chance to choose; the gnocchi were delicious, chicken too and dessert... I have no doubt that the ice creams would have been quite good. My dessert was a superb custard with dulce de leche. Because I was not allowed to have ice creams, Coco himself found other alternatives of dessert for me. It was a nice behavior which deserves to be mentioned.

Then came the unavoidable music time... We enjoyed different renderings in a wide range that encompassed from tango to poetry. We had the pleasure to hear Claudio Garcés, a keyboardist and first-rate singer, Toto Fontán, Mario Pino who sang very well in a Gardelian style that pleases the true tango lovers, Zulema Robles who sang nicely; Jorge Dobalo, Roberto Mancini. Osvaldo Ribó was present and performed some pieces of his repertory, and it was also nice to hear Lito Federico reciting some poems. One of them surely will remain in the memory of all those who were present: a story of lovers and misunderstandings that made us vibrate will all the passion and the accent of our Mother Fatherland.

And as he usually does, Adolfo Sozzi surprised us with his creativity by reading two of his works: "Te escucho tango" and "No es comparable", you can't tell which one is more touching.

The first began as follows:
Te escucho tango y me contás del ayer
Y me pregunto, que estoy haciendo tan lejos de mis cosas...

Among so many afterthoughts, he told us:
Te escucho tango y me contás de la barra.
Y me pregunto, ¿en qué recoveco del tiempo estarán mis amigos?

He touchingly ended with:
Te escucho Tango, y me contás de los recuerdos.
Y me pregunto, ¿por qué te escucho si en vez de gozarte, sufro?
Y abro mi corazón a la tristeza de recordar mis cosas idas.
Tal vez por eso.
Te escucho Tango.

Another unique moment was when the diplomas of honor were given to Ben Molar and Roberto Mancini, diplomas signed by all the people present. They were made by Osvaldo Serantes. Thanks, Osvaldo!

Ben Molar talked to us with his usual good taste and humor... What a beloved friend! He well deserved his diploma because he has done and does so much for tango, and never gives up. He's an example that has to be followed. Later it was announced that Federico García Blaya will marry on the next October 25. Be very happy, Federico, you deserve it!

In sum, it was a delighful evening. Personally, I would like to add that a wonderful connection was perceived among us all. Had my nine year-old students been there they would have shouted «Aguante La mesa, aguante Todo Tango!» with that expression so in vogue today among the kids when they want to provide their greatest support to something or someone.