Why Does The Old Man Say He Is So Old Interview with: The Monkey Man of Lima [Don Cipriano]

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Interview with: The Monkey Man of Lima [Don Cipriano]

[Interviewed Don Cipriano, by: Dennis Siluk 4/17/2006] He is a little old man, maybe five feet two inches tall, a hundred pounds, more or less; he has been in the Monkey Man business for 56 years. But no one really knows how he started, until now. He was twenty years old, working in the parks of Lima as Gardner. The year was 1950 when he changed jobs, at that time there were many men in this business, the Monkey Man business that is: they all had a monkey or two, and a three-foot box for the monkeys to enter, and a music box made especially for this box, nailed to the top of the upper box of this work: so, it was, a kind of stage for the monkey to dance on, while the master of the monkey finished the music sheets inside the box. , and the people danced (those were the days he said); the man who used to bring him the strings of music, has not returned in twenty years, so only a few notes come out of his old Monkey music box – not at all loud (and the dancing has stopped. ): the box is: red and blue, made of wood . There is a stage base that is attached to the top of the box, the monkey jumps around: it looks like a forest place, the real picture is to believe.

The way he got into the business was when he stopped working at the park, and an almost 80-year-old man gave him his first monkey, probably his first break: called Martina, and with that monkey he borrowed someone’s music. -stage (or box), making money.

It was a little before 1970, when he bought his own stage and music box, that now he carries his backpack and crosses the street full of people in Miraflores Park, in Lima, Peru, every day, every day of the week, like the sun. they go down. He paid $50.00 for the box, and has been offered up to $2500, for the box. He said: “People want to buy the box, put it in their homes to decorate; they say it’s from Italy, and there’s no place to get another one. He adds, “Before there were six or seven of us in all the parks,” but of course that was then, and now, it’s just Mr. Cipriano, the last of his kind.

Me, my wife and I, that is, we talked to Mr. Cipriano for the last six years, and maybe that’s why he talked to me about his fifty-six years of doing this work. He said that the box is worth only 300 dollars, but it is his job. He adds in many words: money comes and goes; selling the box would get me out of a job like my friends.

He is a small man, about five feet two inches tall, maybe, 100 pounds, as I mentioned at the beginning of this story, seventy-six years old, wears a white hat, blue pants usually, white shirt, some. his white beard is visible when he is unshaven, and he loves his monkeys. His second monkey, Rosita, is retired; He is probably 40 years old, and he lives with his wife in Lima. The monkey he works with every day is called Martina, about 12 years old, a happy female monkey.

In the past, his monkeys used to participate in the theater, and once in a New York City newspaper, he is proud of this. And I also used him for a book I wrote a long time ago called: “The Mumbler,” I used him to explain the story, and I gave this book to Mr. Cipriano, he and his son loved it. Chusty, a famous artist from Miraflores, and a friend of mine, painted the Monkey Man watercolor on the cover of the book.

He is a humble man, and seems happy with his life. Mr. Cipriano should continue to meet the Lord, and I do not want this, who is left to entertain all the young and old people in Miraflores park, I hate to say: no one of his ability, he remains alone. His business, if it can be called business, would seem to me to be a job that one should put his heart and soul into, and live in it every day.

I don’t know if it pays well, but he’s raised a family, and sent his kids to school, and I think as long as his back is steady, he’ll carry a heavy stage and music box across the busy street, and grind on the handle, and tell his monkey to go into the drawer and pick out a piece of paper from every person who he wants to spend money (33 cents), to get a chance.

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