On the Cool Blue Steel of Sound in 1965 or ‘66

I must have been
eight or nine
sitting on the
long bench with
the soft black
cushions at the
Filipino barber shop
on the edge
of Chinatown,
watching the old
man smoking a cigarette
while he played
his beat-up
mandolin as confident
as a rock star,
when I finally
realized that
we could
be cool

-Jose Padua

The photograph was taken sometime in the 1930s. On the left is Cosme T. Padua and on the right is a friend of his—or perhaps yet another relative I never got to know.

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