As a young boy in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez would piece together wood and cords to create his own instruments. He first learned to play the Puerto Rican cuatro and later graduated to guitars.
At home, he loved listening to music, including that of Los Panchos, a trio known for their romantic ballads and boleros. At school, the guitar was his greatest companion.
According to Rodriguez, neighbors told his father that he would become a musician someday.
“Papi would tell them ‘You think? You think?’… ‘But listen to him!’” Rodriguez said.
The 74-year-old sat with crinkled eyes inside Orlando Latin Market, laughter erupting from his lips as he recalled his childhood.
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