Ah, Cuba. My
father’s college roommate’s mother – are you following so far? – was a travel
agent, and had gone on one of these agent junkets to Havana. She danced with
the dictator Batista at a formal ball, and returned to the US with stars in her
eyes. When my parents married, nothing would do, she insisted, but for them to
honeymoon in Cuba.
Thus, I tell my Latin American friends, was I conceived in Cuba, and this also explains, rather unscientifically, my fondness for the music of that island.
A good tale, even if the calendar math doesn’t work out quite right. What makes it even more dubious is the oft-repeated family story of my mother falling ill during the luna de miel. I think she was just a nervous bride. In any case the result was my Dad, sin ninguna palabra de Español, scurrying around the Havana streets, inquiring “el drugstore” to people who had no idea what he was saying. Forehead smack when he rounded a corner and saw a big sign “Farmacía.”
Mom and Dad must have done something to destabilize the place, as there was, you’ll recall, a revolution five years later.