Published On: Thu, Jan 1st, 2009

It’s New Years Day and I am thinking about Papi…

It's 2009?

Where have the years gone? It seems like it was just yesterday that I was rocking the furry Kangol with the Adidas track suit and the shell tops with fat laces, common gear for a Latino in NYC in the late 80's. It has been a long time since then…this year I brought in the new year bien tranquilito with some close friends and family. My youngest son was DJ'ing for the first time with his new IPOD MIXING DJ SET he got for Christmas (Shout to Tommy Tunez on the 1's and 2's). It was shortly after the midnight hour that I got that feeling that comes right after that initial elation of having brought in el Año Nuevo and that it the feeling of emptiness I feel knowing that on New Years 2001 there was no happy new year…my father, Jorge Luis Torres passed away. I recieved the news after celebrating New Years with my Reina at a Marc Anthony concert at Madison Square Garden…it was days after a severe blizzard and there were no planes leaving from JFK. Miraculously somehow a few hours later I found myself on a plane en route to Florida…about to bury my dad.

I had just spend some time with Papi earlier in 2000 after years of not speaking, and when we saw each other we made peace with everything that kept us apart. I found out things I never knew and it was like everything that ever made me angry…never happened…I knew then that he always loved me. I remember how he showed me Puerto Rico for the very first time…El Yunque, Las Pargueras, Luquillo Beach, El Morro, Plaza De Bombas, Fiestas Patronales y Parrandas…everything I love about mi isla querida. I know that culturally / socially / politically I was shaped by Mama (my Grandmother) and my crazy Nuyorican side of the family…but without having met my dad, I would not be The Urban Jibaro that I am today. He showed me what being a Boricua in Borinquen was like…and I miss that.

I say all this to say…I want to dedicate this year of my continued effort to connect Latinos with their culture to my Papi, Jorge Luis Torres Sr….and in that spirit I want to play a video that reminds me of the countless concerts we saw in Puerto Rico together. Bendicion Papi que te lo aproveche en en cielo...

As I am,

George L. Torres Jr.

The Urban Jibaro

It’s New Years Day and I am thinking about Papi…