The town of MAO in the northwest region of the Dominican Republic “I left Valverde Mao, to play to the region, I come to Corporán, to gets me an accordion”, so sings the merengue Arsenio Bernardino Guzman in the party of his 111th birthday, after stating that his great dream is to play his accordion on the program of television host Rafael Corporán de los Santos.
The centenary accordionist complains of not having found anyone to help him in his desire to meet Corporan, by whom he says he feels a great admiration.
Don Bernardino still plays his accordion, not with the skills of his years of youth and adulthood, but with the enthusiasm of a music lover who identifies the Dominican people.
The centenary merenguero recalls the trajectory of his life, including the economic difficulties he has suffered, his water vendor days in the streets of Mao and several episodes of history, among which he mentions the political struggles between Los Bolos and Los Coludos, the battle of the Barranquita and the Era of Trujillo, among others.
On each anniversary, his children organize a “little party” in which he plays the accordion for his family, friends and neighbors to dance and enjoy.
“I feel very happy; I say, in the sense of taste, because we must have taste for everything, “answered Don Bernardino before the question about how he felt on his 111th birthday.
As in the old days, the long-lived accordionist enjoyed the family holiday, evoking the days of parranda to which he was accustomed for long periods in his more than a century of life.
The labor and tasks combined with family harmony and the pleasure of dances and social drinks have been the formula used by the accordionist who celebrated in this city the 111th anniversary of his birth with a party enlivened by himself and the well-known announcer Robert Pérez.
Arsenio Bernardino Guzmán, along with several of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other relatives, as well as friends, relatives and neighbors, was the center of attention of his own birthday party, in which he played several merengue and even took some drinks of champagne.
Guzman, who was an activist of the political force known as Los Bolos, liked to smoke cigarettes brand Crema and took rum from the well-known “El Torito”, recalls his long life since being baptized at the age of seven years old.