Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Remembering when the Catholic schools were closed in Cuba

(My new American Thinker post)

Just read a story about a man known as Padre Gilberto, an American from Mississippi who is a priest in Cuba:

The parishioners at La Merced church in Old Havana, one of Cuba’s most important shrines, know their bearded, soft-spoken priest as Padre Gilberto. 
But his real name is Gilbert Walker. He’s from Gulfport, Miss.
Walker, 56, has been a priest at La Merced for 12 years. He was the only American Catholic clergyman in Cuba when he arrived in 2003. 
Today there are two others, but over the past half-century of strained relations between the United States and Cuba, no American priest has been a missionary on the island for as long as Walker.
“I felt at home in Cuba from the first moment I arrived,” he said, speaking at the rectory where he lives behind the soaring 147-year-old church, set along narrow streets among crumbling apartment buildings. 
“I can’t imagine myself any other place.”
“Sure, life would be easier and more comfortable in the United States,” he added. “But I didn’t become a priest to have an easy life.”
Good for Padre Gilberto!

Pope Francis will visit an island that kicked out priests and nuns many years ago.    

In fact, I remember that quite well.

In the 1960s, my younger brother and I attended The Maristas School in Havana.  It was a pretty traditional Catholic school for boys.   I can still remember that we wore a blue shirt, put on a white tie and those light colored pants.  I will never forget the big baseball diamond where the older boys played against other schools.   We used to dream of making the team and wearing those fancy uniforms.

Our education was interrupted one day when the schools were closed and all of the religious people expelled.   All of a sudden a vibrant center of education turned into an empty facility.   

Sadly, the building eventually became a political prison and well known for torture.    Armando Valladares, one of Cuba's most famous political prisoners, wrote about it in his book "Against all hope".   I remember reading the book and feeling terrible that the classrooms and spaces where we spent our youth later tortured Cubans.    It took me a while to get over that.

Why did Castro target the church?   Like many other groups, the Catholic Church kept reminding Fidel Castro that he promised elections as soon as possible.     Of course, Fidel Castro did not like being reminded that he promised elections and a few other things.    Dictators don't like that!

So he threw the priests and nuns out of the country.

My brother and I eventually moved to a public school, along with all of the other friends from Maristas.   We were quickly reminded that education in Cuba was more than teaching kids about reading and writing.  The schools became the regime's indoctrination center.  History was rewritten and the US became public enemy # 1.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Remembering Peter, Paul AND specially Mary's beautiful voice!

Image result for peter paul and mary images
A few days ago, I put my Peter,  Paul and Mary CD in the car and enjoyed some of their great songs.

Mary Travers died in 2009 after a long battle with cancer.    Peter and Paul are still around but I'm not familiar with their solo careers.

I have always loved folk music. It's fun and very nice to sing along to.

Enjoy another Peter, Paul & Mary song, and pay special attention to Mary Travers' voice.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

George Jones

Image result for george jones images
We remember George Jones who was born on this day in 1931.

You don't have to be a country music fan to appreciate George Jones.  He was an original, a throw back to old school country music.

Jones died at age 81.  He had been ill for some time.  Jones had 170 chart hits over the years.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Remembering Buddy Holly! (1936-1959)

The late Buddy Holly was born September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas. He is also buried there.

Buddy, along with Richie Valens ("La Bamba") and The Big Bopper, died in a plane crash in 1959.

Most of us learned of Buddy Holly's life because of Don McClean's "American Pie", a song that told the story of the day that Buddy Holly was killed.

He was only 22 and a big recording star. He had huge hits, such as "That'll be the day", "Oh Boy", "True love ways", "Maybe baby" and "Heartbeat".

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

September and a Carole King song

Image result for carole king it might as well rain until september images

It was not a big hit but it showed her ability to write a good pop song......



"What should I write, what can I say, how can I tell you how much I miss you?

The weather here has been as nice as it can be, 

although it doesn't really matter much to me

For all the fun I'll have while you're so far away, it might as well rain until September

I don't need sunny skies for thing I have to do, 

cause I stay home the whole day long and think of you

As far as I'm concerned each day's a rainy day, so It might as well rain until September

My friends look forward to their picnics on the beach, 

yes everybody loves the summertime

But you know darling while your arms are out of reach, 

the summer isn't any friend of mine

It doesn't matter whether skies are grey or blue, 

it's raining in my heart 'cause I can't be with you

I'm only living for the day you're home to stay, so it might as well rain until September

September, September, oh it might as well rain until September"...."




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