By Lydia Esther Ochoa firstname.lastname@example.org
Music and rain played a good combination to see Faustino Oramas Osorio off two years ago in a burial that congregated thousands of people in Holguín.
His fellow-men could not believe the Pun King had yielded his crown forever, away from his earthly existence in the kingdom of Cuban idiosyncrasy where guaracha and music, loud laughter and reverences stood up for symbols.
Several generations kept him company in a non-stop journey while his music goes on being a reason to rejoice, and the lyrics, an alibi to make use of good humor.
Singing with the band "El Guayabero"
Faustino Oramas did know how to walk life trails when back in the 1930s –he was born in 1912- he was already a young minstrel singing his sorrows and joys at different places in Holguín, even on buses.
He was like an ebony Quixote facing poverty's mills in a society that divided Calixto García park in two, for whites and blacks, while the outcast artist passed his hat for tips among bus passengers living in the city between Jigüe and Marañón rivers.
The Guayabero would tell many years later he took off his hat after ending up singing and say coming close to passengers: “Cooprate with the Cuban artist”, and thus one and another day, until he could push his way through an unjust and unfair world.
When evoking those times he did not do it with grudge. It was joy rather when remembering his first self-taught artist years as a son singer, a street minstrel and a lifetime troubadour, able to overcome fate in the mid 20th century, a lesson of constancy and love for his homeland.
As Faustino Oramas said, “… and then the Cuban Revolution came”; and so did acknowledgement for his work linked to his merit, “… that I did not deserve but receive thankfully. He shared the stage with Pablo Milanés, Silvio Rodríguez, Pancho Amat, Eliades Ochoa and other big Cuban artists.
Unveiling his natural size statue at the Provincial Center for the Music and Shows in Holguín.
His home was a meeting place for music goers and singers who could not do without sharing the stage on improvised concerts lasting till dawn, just like his no-end birthday parties, with people stopping by to congratulate him very early in the morning and leaving next day, June 4th, with the sun rise.
The Pun King, the greatest Cuban Minstrel, the troubadour, the son singer, the Guayabero are Faustino Oramas’ nicknames, who passed away on March 27, 2007, when he was about to turn a hundred years. He lived in two different centuries and jumped in the new millennium bringing about a storm of laughter in his natal Holguín, as well as in other towns and cities of