Thursday, July 27, 2017

An Armchair Socialist gets his wish

Al Wasserman - The Sage of Santa Cruz
By Harvey Wasserman

Throughout our time in Cuba, dad was always with us, and was always a part of what we were doing.
This pic was taken early in the trip. I kept him in a Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder bottle.
Here, dad is sharing a moment at a sidewalk cafe, having a coffee.

Old Havana having espresso

Who questions a bottle of talcum powder on the table?
Jose Marti statue in Parque Central

Revolutionaries together!

Parque Central, in Old Havana is nicely restored and a lovely setting. I left some ash in front of Jose Marti, famed philosopher and revolutionary, as well as among some plantings. 
Dad felt right at home, I think.

There is a park in Havana called John Lennon Park. There is a great statue of John Lennon on a bench where you can sit with him.

Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
I had a bit of a conversation with John about the Lennon print, “Why Not?” that dad had surprised me with by shipping it to me unannounced. I spoke of the connection I feel between him (John), me and my dad. 

It was something - very lifelike face - like he was actually listening. There is a guard that is in charge of the glasses, keeping them safe when no one is there, and putting them on John when someone is.

Trusted in the hands of John.
After the talk, I gave John some ash to hold for me in his hand. You can see it in the V between his thumb and first finger.

Then we went to a tree behind and to one side of the bench. I left some of dad there, as well.

The tree behind John and to the right
Afterward, in a seedy, local bar in Old Havana.
Al Wasserman was here. Is here. Will always be here. Viva la Revolution

Hanging in a bar in Havana Vieja
I rubbed some ash into the wall after I was done.

A night at the Tropicana

I left a bit in a planter so he can enjoy the show anytime he wants.

Granma Memorial near Old Havana

Granma is the name of the boat that Fidel and Raul used to come back to Cuba from Mexico. It is enshrined in glass along with several relics of the revolution just off the Malecon in Old Havana.

You can barely see it through the glass (maybe!).

Prima Marissa rubs some of her uncle on a tree at Granma

We found some lovely baby powder bottles at a store that I thought would be nice to use to send some ash to my sisters. They look Cuban – at least sort of – but the only problem is that they are Italian! Cuba has very few trading partners with Italy being one of them.

So, sorry I couldn’t find anything Cuban, but I did get these bottle *in* Cuba!
American cars from the 50s are everywhere. Not all of them are in great shape but it is remarkable just how many there are, and if not all, certainly most are used as taxis. 

We got into a ‘55 Chevy to take us across the river to Che’s house. The driver insisted that I get into the driver’s seat for a photo.

Afterwards, we left some of dad in the floorboards, so for many years, he shall be driving around Havana!

Che’s house, for me, was the most emotional, and I find this hard to explain.

I felt, or thought I felt a stronger connection with other places, John Lennon, for instance, but nowhere left me in tears as Che’s house.

It was good bye. It was letting go. It was a moment of great sadness and great love. 

We departed Cuba from Jose Marti airport, of course, and flew Northeast, just south of Havana. Sitting on the left side of the plane I watched the great but crumbling city glide by.

Flying just past the city, sitting on a hill overlooking Havana was and is Che’s house, and my daddy. 

This was the last that I saw as we flew out over open water. 

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