By Bill Cranfield
Arriving too early one afternoon, I found a vacant spot on the fence circling the town square and proceeded to squat there, clutching Raul’s cape, muleta and wooden sword, ready to hand them to him when the bull appeared. What I hadn’t reckoned with was that my feet were dangling within easy reach of the animal’s horns, so I spent an uncomfortable couple of hours trying to avoid them.
In the evenings, we would trawl the taverns and pick-up joints in the then notorious Calle Echegaray, drinking rough red wine at a couple of pesetas a glass, including complimentary tapas. I remember the tiny baked sparrows that one munched beak and claws and all.
Some years ago I rang Raul’s peña with a view to visiting him after so many years only to be told that he was suffering from dementia and would not recognise me. He may have lacked imagination as a torero but now he was left with nothing but.