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Toro Stories Last Updated: Feb 19th, 2008 - 11:39:12

The Whirlwind called El Fandi
By Ric Polansky
Feb 19, 2008, 11:12

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The Whirlwind called “el Fandi”



I have never made any excuses.  For the last eight years my favourite Torero has been Jose Tomas, even tho he wasn’t always performing.


My aficion kept me attending and I have seen magistral faenas by El Juli, Enrique Ponce, Cayetano and Morante de la Puebla, to name just a very few. Nevertheless, when I have visitors from America, who beg to be taken to a bullfight I have no other recourse than to ferret out one where the human cyclone “El Fandi” is performing. 


He is a super athlete that always gives a good show and it just might be enough to help neophytes get interested in Spain’s Fiesta Nacional.


This week I was on Andalucia TV program promoting tourism for our famed Moorish village—Mojacar.


The alcaldesa spoke very well about the fact that more than 60 different nationalities live on the beach and in the hilltop village where the “lingua franca” is now English. Nevertheless, we did all the interviews in “Christiano” as my close Spanish friends like to call it.


It is not what I would call a fun outing. A bus trip of five hours, stopping at every 29th palm tree on the right for a toilet break. I am now 61 tacos and was the youngest by some twenty years. I attended primarily because it gave me a chance to show my photos on television and answer questions from startled and doubting blue bloods than any Yank could know anything about their bulls.

Five hours below lights is a long time. The interview went well and all the commentaries about our village were good too. During one of the breaks when the station was beaming the weather the weekly commentator of the Thursday night Toros program was impressed enough to ask me to stay behind and help him interview David Fandila, who was to be on just at the end. WHY NOT I thought? it would impress my locals and maybe break lose some of the building permits I had pending in the town hall.  

Now I have enjoyed Fandi for years. Saw him as a Novillero and how he grew and became better  and more exciting each time he placed the banderillas. He is good with the cape, wonderfully exciting and getting better with the muleta. Two year’s ago I felt ashamed the he wasn’t  awarded a tail for a magnificent  complete faena on the last bull of Almeria’s feria.


















So what does an American aficionado say to the greatest bandillero ever ?


Well first I said that I had followed him and seen him grow. The fact he had been carried out of Granada’s Puerta Grande 30 out of 31 times was a record and I was there too for the day he didn’t get carried out.

“Wow”, he said to me, “we really got wet that day”. And so we did braving torrential summer rains.


Maestro David I said, why not just put in two sets of banderillas and leave the third pair out. Hold up the muleta and let the crowd know that  you  too are changing in your style, like Joselito, el Juli and Ortego Cano did. You want to concentrate on the muleta.


The applause from my home crowd was rapturous and long. Then again, I don’t recon that any of them have probably seen a corrida, other than on television.


So here I am two days later with my typical morning “Resaca” (hangover) wondering if I am the only American on this planet to tell the greatest Spanish bandillero EVER — to quit puttin’  em in.


Well, at least some of them!            ©  Ric Polansky   2007  - Travel and Adventure - Business


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