MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you grew up in Miami, chances are you know who Walter Mercado is.
The famed astrologer and television personality is an icon not just in South Florida, but in Puerto Rico and all over Latin America.
And now, a small slice of his personal history is on display for all to see at HistoryMiami.
Mercado is known for dishing out horoscopes in his own eccentric style with colorful capes, giant jewelry, and of course lots and lots of love.
The exhibit opening Friday, August 2nd is named “Mucho, Mucho Amor” in honor of his signature sign-off.
It features mementos from the past 50 years of his career as a television astrologer and pop culture icon.
“I feel so grateful to the people here in the museum because they are going to touch a little of my essence,” Mercado said.
Black and white photos from his childhood in Puerto Rico and early career as an actor and dancer, hang in contrast to the vibrant capes he’s famous for.
Despite the glitz and glamour, Mercado says he’s a humble human who loves to love.
“I go on giving the best version of myself. It’s the only way to live. Giving, giving, giving. Forget the ego. I’m not ego. I see all those paintings. Thank you, thank you. But that’s not Walter. Walter is humble, down to earth, very practical, and a helper,” he said.
No doubt these bright and colorful capes will be a crowd favorite at the exhibit, including the famous bedazzled Puerto Rican flag costume he once wore.
But for Mercado, his favorite thing at the exhibit is a simple pair of castanets.
“The greatest dancer of flamenco was Carmen Amaya,” Mercado said. “I was very small, but I was very intense, passionate about flamenco, she gave me two castanets. Take them with you and my intention is to give you good luck and I carried them for 50 years. Can you imagine?”
When CBS4 anchor Lauren Pastrana interviewed Mercado earlier this week, she wasn’t expecting a reading, but he asked to see her palm.
This is some of what he told her.
“You have a power of recuperation that’s wonderful. You can feel (bad) sometimes and then you recuperate easily,” Mercado said.
“You love what you do. You love your work. For you, it’s quite important to do the best in your work,” he added. “You used to be a little stubborn. When you want something, you are very stubborn. But life makes you now to change. And now you’re more flexible. More adaptable.”
Now, at 87 years old, Mercado says his mother often told him he was destined for greatness, for a life and legacy he truly believes was written in the stars since the beginning.
“I was very sick, but always dreaming,” said Mercado. “Always asking about the stars. Never looking to the earth or to the mud. The mud is not for me. To the heavens. I was a dreamer. And dreams come true.”
A special public program with Walter Mercado this Saturday at the HistoryMiami museum is already sold out.
But if you want to see the exhibit, it runs through August 25th.