(Left to Right: Photo of Dad, Vavo, Nina and Visitors to the Farm, c. 1928.)
There are three unforgettable storytellers here, and they left an indelible impact upon me. My father and Tia Rose told the stories of their growing up in their new country throughout the early decades of the 20th century. Tia Rose vividly recalled Armistice Day (November 11, 1918). She often described to me what people were doing when all of the church bells in Fall River peeled throughout the latter part of the morning on that day, which marked the end of the hostilities on the Western Front of World War I (28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918).
It was as if they were immediately able to transform themselves into the past. The child who was from the 1950s listening to them was taken with them back into the past. Ironically, the past became more real during those times than the present.
When my grandmother sang, even when in her 70s and 80s, I could literally see the years slip away from her. She became a brilliantly inspired woman, young, passionate and filled with the fire of life.
Of all of those people mentioned here who filled my childhood with their own light, darkness and life energies, only my father remains. I hope I can do them, and him, honor. Perhaps, I have told an American fado of my own making . . .
Jogo do pau:
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