Links, Images, and Family Ties
No doubt the reader can't help notice the large banner in the links section labeled "George Quiroga Photograpy." And the reader would be forgiven for thinking, "Aha! So there is a mercenary reason for this blog - it is to help some relative sell photos and photo art!" Nothing could be further from the truth. This is why I added that link:
1) My cousin George was another Habanero, though now a happily transplanted Floridian, by way of California; 2) I think he does darn good work with images-and, after all, this blog is about images that lead us to remember and thus live again; 3) Following logically from 1) and 2), heck yes, I'm proud-and jealous too, but in a good way-of his talent and skills in this field. So, if this helps him a bit, you might ask, why? To which I answer: Why not? Oh, I forgot: I neither solicited, nor receive, nor would accept any commission, cut, vigorish, tribute, tithe, shekel, etc., should he sell any of his work through this medium. There is already great psychic reward in doing this bloggin' and nothing more is required.
His branch of the Quirogas-on my father's side-must have some as yet unidentified gene which leads them to the field of graphics and photography. But by no means are they one-dimensional. Skills and talents are to be found too in the fields of computer science, engineering, entrepeneurship, banking and finance. Then too, the brothers and their father - my colorful and greatly missed uncle Dario - were and are "motorheads," or maybe better referred to as motorcycle fiends, as from their days in Havana and afterwards, they rode, modified, fixed, customized and did a myriad things with the motorcycle. All Habaneros, except for uncle, who, like my father, hailed from Galicia, Spain. Good Gallegos, out of Caldelas De Tuy, Lugo Province.
Uncle Dario loved to write - articles, stories, poems, you name it. And he greatly enjoyed his motorcycle. He had more than one in his lifetime, but dad, his brother, remembers his Harley-Davidson model 74 best. On a later post, when we take a look at the vehicles of La Habana - back then, that is - I hope to include a photograph of uncle's Harley. This Harley he actually shipped to Spain from Havana, in 1949, and spent a year touring Spain with his wife, my aunt Loli. Lest you think Dario and Loli were able to do this because they were wealthy, "kept" persons, you should know that part of the purpose for that trip was to write a series of articles for a sports magazine published in Havana. He authored articles for this magazine, "Cuba Deportiva (Sporting Cuba)" under the header "Entusiasta (Enthusiast)." He wrote of his Spain 'cycle tour for this publication. And wouldn't we love to have copies of all the articles! He took over 3000 photographs during this trip, but, alas, these cannot be shared with you because they were left behind in care of a neighbor in Cuba...and likely no longer exist.
They lived in a neighborhood, which could be seen from our house in Santos Suarez, called "Loma de Chaple," meaning "Hill of Chaple." A small hill, but a hill nonetheless. Their home, of which I have vague memories, was designed and built by the same architect who did our home at Calle LaCret - Aquiles Capablanca.
And so, I present to you the Quirogas of Loma de Chaple in their home, circa 1960-1961. Thankfully, all got out, although George, uncle Dario, and aunt Loli were not able to make it stateside until 1966. You see, uncle Dario was a born optimist, and he thought the happy Cuban ambiance would not let certain grouchy types thrive. He was wrong, but in the end they, like most of the family, escaped repression to thrive and prosper in a new land of freedom and opportunity.
Back row - left to right: Alvaro, maternal grandfather Oscar Banzo, Dario Jr. In the middle, between his father, Dario Sr., and his mother Loli Banzo, Oscar. Oscar, to our sorrow, left us in 2002...far too young. The baby is our talented photographer, George. Perhaps he will be encouraged to contribute some of his interesting photos of those days in God's good time.