Mall Housekeeper, Self-Taught Musician Shares The Joy Of Music With Local Shoppers

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A Central Mall housekeeper is using his musical talents to spread cheer to shoppers even after Christmas.

For four years, Tito Urquilla has been working as a housekeeper at the mall, but what sets him apart to shoppers is his singing and guitar playing.

Six months of strumming the guitar strings is all it took the 73-year-old to teach himself how to play.

"I want to play the guitar," Urquilla said. "I (bought) the guitar and I started to play the guitar. I bought the books."

That was five years ago and now shoppers said Urquilla always has a smile on his face and tells everyone "hello".

"I walk the mall every day," Jonita McClure said. "He's always greeting me and everything. He's got a really great personality."

Those who work with Urquilla said he brings his co-workers together and makes work days better.

"Whenever he plays that music, it makes everybody happy," Stella Monari, Central Mall manager of housekeeping said. "Especially now, we are so busy with everybody lining up and down with the Christmas stuff, he makes everybody happy."

Urquilla said peoples' reactions are still a shock to him, but he loves seeing shoppers' faces when he starts to play.

"I never think of this reaction from people," Urquilla said. "I never think of people's reaction being positive."

Urquilla plans to keep playing his guitar, hoping to spread the love he has in his heart to others.

"I practice every day," Urquilla said. "It's exciting when I see them and they listen to my guitar."

Urquilla plays his guitar all around Central Mall in Fort Smith, and everyone is welcome to come out and watch. Most of the time, he said he plays once he's done with his work duties.

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