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Havana 1929

By: Rainbow

 

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Havana 1929

A Cuba Story in Canada ...

I did a job yesterday for an elderly mother of one of my customers. I heard she was up in years but sharp as a tack. I walked into her apartment and was confronted with a large black and white picture of a beautiful young woman, a man, a model A Ford, a sea wall and Castle Moro in the back ground. It was obviously Havana. I asked her who the people were and she replied that that was her and her new husband in 1929.

They had arrived in Havana the night before on a cargo ship after escaping Argentina and another "Revolution". She was 19 years old and the daughter of Methodist missionaries.

As soon as she started to talk about the Havana she remembered, you could see the years strip away from her face. She brought out a photo album and it was amazing the number of places I recognised in the pictures. Plaza de Armas has hardly changed and you can see the cobble stones on the road. Horses everywhere, cars, and crowds of people. She talked about all the food that was availible and some of her favorites like big slabs of liver and bacon in the courtyard of the "English Hotel. She also grossed me out with her tale of "brain fritters" and dipping sauce!!!!!!! She talked about pineapples the size of footballs and ham steaks that hung off of the sides of the plates. The dresses, the dances and balls, the parties, the huge church gatherings in the parks.... on and on for about 2 hours. Screw the next job.... this lady was cool and remembered every little detail.

She then started to get angry when she talked about Batista and the"Whoring of Cuba to the Americans". She talked about the sale of Cuban land and treasures to the Americans for pennies on the dollar and the slave like conditions in the fields controled by the America Fruit Company. "Cuba was sold to the Americans like she was a cheap third rate hooker" was her comment. "If Casto had not come along when he did, then someone else would have stepped up to take his place." Pretty strong stuff from a 93 year old woman.
She had her dander up now and started to turn her guns on Fidel himself.
"Stupid old coot had a chance to restore Cuba to where she was before the gangsters and Industialists raped her but what did he do with it???? NOT A DAMN THING!!!!" (The old girl was cooking now). "Between the Americans and that damn embargo, and the uselessness of socialist government workers and politicians, the people of Cuba have suffered like at no other time in their history.

Next she turned her ire at her own church. "Damn usless fools, they are refusing to send any help except prayers and nice letters of encouragement. The last thing the Cuban people need is more usless words!!!! They get enought of that from their own government. They need money and constuction supplies, not vebal BS".

I got to tell you, two hours with this fiesty old gal flew by like nothing. I have to go back to the building next week and you gatta know I'm going to drop in and see her again. She said she was going to treat me to a real South American lunch. Dear God..... Please don't make it Brain Fritters

 

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