Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Saint Valentine's Day Massacre!

Ha! Bet I got your attention. But no, this is not a blog about Chicago, gangsters, gun molls, or "typewriters." Know what a "typewriter" is? This is an update to El Dia de Los Enamorados. A timely one, as it is being written on Valentine's Day.

Remember the painting of Quiroga Hnos. and Los Tiroleses on Calle Muralla, by the Scull sisters? In the back of your blogger's mind, there was a small voice - maybe Cupid's? - saying, over and over: "But you have heard who the owners of Los Tiroleses were...you do know...seek and you shall find." The Sherlock Holmes in my mind awoke and went sleuthing. And cousin Manny came to the rescue. After all, he should know; he was there - and the aforementioned work of art is in his hands.

There is a Valentine's Day story here. The owners of Los Tiroleses were the Abascal family, seen inside their store. The older gentleman in the picture, in the street, to the left, was his wife's grandfather, Jose Maria Fernandez. The little girl was to become his wife although...they did not know each other in Cuba. The little boy was to become Manny's brother-in-law. Manny and his better half met in, and married in the United States, many years later.

Small world...isn't it interesting that all these Quirogas, or Quirogas-to-be, met or "converged" on Calle Muralla? A lovely family affair, to which your blogger owes his very existence. Seems Cupid liked to hang around Calle Muralla, Havana's Wall Street.

And that, my friends, is the whole story. Or, as we used to hear in Havana, growing up: "Colorin, colorao, este cuento se ha acabado!"


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