he died when I was thirteen years old. it was the first experience I had of a person dying, a person close to me. an interesting fellow, my grandfather. he was, as some wag said of all Spaniard men, "short and choleric". indeed.
he was also a French and Classics teacher and scholar, a big music lover. he loved my grandmother dearly, but I have no doubt he'd run away with Maria Callas in a New York second.
to him I owe a love of reading, a passion for Egyptian and Greco-Roman arts and a deep appreciation of Beethoven's music – especially the joy that mounts and spills over the symphonies.
the first and last movements of Beethoven's 7th are glorious, and overwhelming with joy.