Mando is a little guy with charm, a convertible and a panama hat. Not as young as he once was and in poor health, he spends his days in a tiny apartment, writing about his past glories. Oh, once he was so sexy with that shiny black hair curling from beneath his hat and those striking blue eyes.
He almost gave up the dream of writing since his command of English was not anything he was proud of, and he never did go to school after he came to America. Only, recently has he found a group of other writers who are genuinely interested in his work. It is so good to be involved in something again after all this time.
His daughter tells him, “Papa, you stay in and keep warm today. I’ll be back after work and fix you a nice dinner.” The minute he sees her car head down the street, Mando grabs his cane, plants his Panama on his head at just the right angle, and heads out the door. The men at the cigar shop will be waiting for him to begin the morning’s card game, and he can’t wait to light up one of those Cuban cigarettes.
He hobbles out the door and climbs into his battered old car. The top won’t go down anymore since last time his daughter took it to her repairman…he wonders why.
Luckily, there’s a parking place right in front of the shop, and as he pulls in he can see his friends sitting with their morning coffee, waiting for him. “Hola, Mando, you finally got away from that big black horse you’re training. Come, tell us when he’s going to be ready to race.”