Hi Freddy

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Florencia Dranguet was cuban born in Santiago de Cuba. Daughter of two Cuban-French Carlos Dranguet and Elvira Beltran, from whom she inherited a house in the most valuable block in Santiago de Cuba.

On July 1 1883 she married in Matanzas (she was living there with her sister after their father death). Severino Rodriguez, who was an Spanish military (Civil Guard) stationed in Cuba. Born in Bembribe (León). They had 3 children:

  • Carmen, born in Remedios (Matanzas, Cuba), in 1884
  • Esperanza, born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1885 and
  • Alfonso (“el abuelo”), born on the steamship Alfonso XII, on July 12, 1889, when the ship was passing near the Canary Islands, and landed in Santiago de Cuba. Therefore he was considered born in Santiago.

El abuelo Alfonso lived 10 years in Cuba, until his father had to leave Cuba because he was an Spanish military and Spain had lost the war against the United States (1898), all Spanish soldiers had to leave Cuba.

El abuelo met abuela Milagros and got married in Cadiz (Spain)

El abuelo was a judge and had several destinations in Spain. When the Spanish Civil War started, he was a judge in Barcelona. He became the most senior judge in Barcelona, which was on the Republican side. Having lost the war, he had to leave Spain. He went to France with abuela Milagros, your mom and tia Flor. Then tio Alfonso arrived, who was put by the french autorities in a holding area. Your mom rescued him out of that field.

At that moment, the only country that accepted exiled Spanish from the civil war was Mexico, but because el abuelo was ALSO Cuban, instead of going to Mexico, he went to Cuba in May 1939.

In Cuba el abuelo could not work as a judge because he had to revalidate his law studies.
They lived in his mother's house in Santiago de Cuba, on the second floor of what used to be servants house, because the family house was rented as a store of fabrics and the downstairs of the servant house to the store owner.

The apartment was very small, and there lived el abuelo Alfonso, abuela Milagros, your mother, and tio Alfonso with tia Paulette and Maica ... while living in that house Juano was born in February 1941.

Tio Alfonso went to Venezuela in 1942, tia Paulette with Maica and Juano a little later.

Little after tia Flor arrived to Santiago de Cuba. Tia Meme arrived 1943.

While el abuelo Alfonso revalidated his studies, he worked doing what he could ... among other things selling women's bags ... he also received help from an organization of exiled civil war. On December 9, 1940 he obtained the revalidation of his law degree at the University of Havana.
When he finished his studies he did some legal work "free lance" in Santiago de Cuba.

In December 1945 he got a job as a legal advisor to the Guantanamo Sugar Co. and went to live in Guantánamo in 1946. They rented an upstairs apartment on “Los Maceo” street number 1054, to Dr. Rafael Savon, who lived with his wife and two daughters, (who are about your age), downstairs. You were in that house for the first time in 1948 with Juano and Chito. Juano spent a long time with el abuelo and abuela, and when he went back to Venezuela, I went to Guantanamo in June 1951.

While living in Guantanamo, I went to De La Salle school that was 11 blocks away from the house ... and every day I walked back and forth to school.

April 25 1954, is a very prominent day in this story, for several reasons.

That day you did your First Communion and very sorprisely, el abuelo attended Mass where your had the holy communion.

It is surprising because el abuelo was a member of the Freemasons and consequently did not believe in the Catholic religion and never went to church ... but that day your mother asked him to go. Your mother, no doubt, was el abuelo’s favorite daughter. She argued him that as he had gone to church the day tia Flor married (two years before), now that your were doing your First Communion, he also had to go ... and he went.

That day, after mass, we went to the officers club pool (that was the only time el abuelo went to the pool, because rarely, if ever, he went to the Naval Base you must remember).

People, at the Officers Club, before entering the pool had to take a shower, El abuelo went to the shower and out of the shower he slipped and felt sitting, and because he was so heavy, he hurt himself very hard, although he never complained.

The next fourteen days he could not go to the bathroom, so he visited a doctor. The doctor told him, that because of the fall in the pool he had an herniated intestine and, that he had to have a surgery to correct that. He was taken into surgery. They opened, but according to what they saw, they decided to close again... a few days later he died on May 13, 1954, 18 days after falling at the Officers Club.

La abuela stayed in Guantanamo until the school year ended. Then, I went to live at the base, she dismounted her house and went with tia Flor to Chicago and then to New York with tio Alfonso... and then to the Base with you mom ... etc. (She never returned to Guantanamo).

The 1954-1955 course I did it as a boarding student at De La Salle school in Santiago de Cuba. My legal representative to the school was your mom, and she was called by the school every time I had problems. She had to go to Santiago to talk to the principal.

The De La Salle school in Santiago de Cuba was in the same street and right in front of el abuelo’s house (and tias Carmen y Esperanza). The school had the street number Heredia 102 and abuelo's house number 103 on the same street ... but it was rented to the guy of stock fabrics. I never lived there.

I spent the 1955 school vacation at the Base and in September left Cuba to Venezuela.

Florencia Dranguet, when she got married. She was 18 years old. (Your sister Ana Maria reminds me her) Severino Rodr?uez, he was comandig the 5th Squadron of Matanzas (Cuba) in the city of Remedios. Florencia Dranguet with her 3 children, (from left to right) Esperanza, Alfonso, Carmen. Santiago de Cuba 1895 Steamship Alfonso XII, wher el abuelo was born El abuelo in Madrid (back in Spain) 1899 The house in Santiago. The front (used to be the family living part, was rent as a fabrics stock). In the backr what used to the slaves barracks. 1939 El abuelo and abuela at the balcony of the 'Slaves Barracks' 1939 Abuelo?s house in Guantanamo. Los Maceos 1054. We lived upstairs. The entrance was the door at left. Juano, Chito, Fredd y AnaMaria in Guantanamo. 1949 My guests at the terrace of Guantanamo's house The Savon Sisters (Clara Estela y Lourdes Lucila). I contacted them in 2010. Abuelo, abuela, Guido, Flor and an spoiled child who didn't like to be pictured. Guantanamo 1953 Abuelo at the church in tia Flor's weding. Abuelo at the chuch in Fredy's Primera Comunion Gordon, Chiqui with Ana Maria, Abuelo, Abuela, Roberto and Freddy Colegio De La Salle in Santiago. The wall at the right of the picture belongs to the 'Slaves Barracks'