(Draft by Eunice Ordman, 2/6/2010)


         In order to understand things we saw and heard in Cuba, we had to learn some of Cuba’s history. Cubans wanted Spain out of Cuba. Theodore Roosevelt promoted a war with Spain because he believed that Spain’s occupation of Cuba posed a threat to nations in North and South America. The Spanish American War, April 25 - August 12, 1898, resulted in the US taking over the Philippines and Cuba. At the Sudwig Foundation in Cuba we were told that Cubans felt the United States took over their revolution against Spain with the result that the US controlled Cuba instead of Cuba being free as they had hoped. The treaty that ended the war was signed in Paris with Cubans present only as observers.

         President Fulgencio Batista, 1901-1973, was the dictator of Cuba backed by the United States. Arthur Sclesinger, Jr. wrote of him, “The corruption of the government, the brutality of the police, the regime’s indifference to the needs of the people for education, medical care, housing, for social justice is an open invitation to revolution.” In 1952 Batista staged a coup and seized power three months before an election in which he was to run against the more popular Fidel Castro.

         After visiting Cuba in the 1950's, David Datzer, a US journalist wrote. “Brothels flourished...One report estimated that 11,500 of them worked their trade in Havana. Beyond the outskirts of the capitol, beyond the slot machines, was one of the poorest and most beautiful countries in the Western World.”

         On October 21, 1963 US President John F. Kennedy wrote, “I believe there is no country in the world where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. When Batista fled Cuba with money worth $300,000,000 and fine art worth $700,000,000, the US, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic would not allow him in. He fled to Portugal and died in Spain of a heart attack.”

         The US stopped all trade with Cuba once the communists took over the government from Batista. The embargo of Cuba seemed unfair not only to the Cubans, but also to Americans. Making sugar from sugar beets, as we do in the US, is much more expensive than making it from sugar cane as Cubans did. Result: people in the US pay much more per year for sugar. What a disaster for Cuba when the US stopped importing sugar! Their economy collapsed.


         When we heard that the Brooks Museum in Memphis, TN was organizing a trip to Cuba, we decided to go with the museum group. The US had been so unfair to Cuba that, before we left for Cuba, I decided that I wanted to spend some money there within the maximum of $200 we were allowed to spend.

         In November 2003 we flew from Miami with the museum group of forty eight people to Havana, Cuba to visit the International Arts Festival in Havana. Because our trip was a cultural exchange, we could go to Cuba legally. A month after our return, US citizens could no longer go to Cuba legally even through Canada or Mexico.

         My husband Chip and I have found that capital cities are more like each other than they resemble the country they are situated in. In Havana, the capital of Cuba are many parks with flowers, trees, and statues. Capital cities usually have huge hotels for diplomats and business men.

         In Havana we stayed at the huge National Hotel in which Winston Churchill once stayed. The walls of the lobby sported elaborate paneling. From the center of the ceiling hung a gorgeous crystal chandelier with many electric candles. Sparkling light surrounded us.

         In the hotel a small public welcome center wall sconces each held two electric candles. A sunburst pattern on the marble floor surrounded a waist high column supporting a marble statue of a young woman. Her long hair flowed over her left shoulder and floated downward on the right. Chiffon clung to some of her body while leaving most of her breasts and legs bare.

         There was no large coliseum in which the International Arts Festival was held. Instead our group split into small sections which went to churches, various types of art museums, and to the studios and homes of artists.

         The capital building in Havana almost exactly duplicated the US Capital in Washington, DC. Next to it mold almost entirely covered the Great Theater of Havana or Teatro Garcia Lorca. The Cuban Government couldn’t afford to rmove all that mold, but on each side above the two entrances on semicircular platforms they had removed the mold covering the marble statues of several people depicting benevolence, education, music, and theater.

         Like other capital cities Havana had many parks decorated with statues and monuments to the heroes of the country. In Havana as we went from one city park to another, I found, to my surprise, no statues of Fidel nor Raul Castro. Seemingly they are not Cuba’s heroes.

         Numerous monuments erected to Jose Marti, who wrote urging revolution for Cubans to revolt, proclaim him to be Cuba’s most revered hero. In Havana on the large Jose Marti Plaza stood the twelve story cement Jose Marti Library. A tower dedicated to Jose Marti rose seven times as high as a telephone pole next to it. At the foot of the tower a statue of Jose Marti. shows him in work clothes seated with his knees crossed. Jose Marti was killed in the fighting before he fired a single shot.

         A large park in Havana was dedicated to Jose Marti. In it we saw a statue of him twenty feet or more in height. Jose Marti’s arm extended toward us. On four panels below the statue were images of people, one a little girl. Were these the people he hoped would be benefitted by the revolution he wrote about so avidly?

         In another park in Havana surrounded by tall trees a marble statue of Francisco de Albear stands on a high pedestal. Francisco de Albear’s main achievement was the building of an aqueduct between 1861 and 1893 to bring water from Vento springs to supply Havana with water. After all these years that water supply still supplies Havana’s needs. A marble statue showed him wearing a military uniform. A wide ribbon diagonally across his chest held a medal. Many smaller awards graced his chest. On his forearm he held a tablet, perhaps with the design of the water works.

         Ernesto Che Guevara is the most important hero in Cuba. He was born in Argentina and became a physician. The poverty he saw in his travels in South America appalled him. A movie at the Brooks Museum in Memphis, TN showed his concern for the health of forces fighting on both sides. Convinced that only revolution would be able to overcome the rampant poverty in Cuba, he teamed up with the Castro brothers in Mexico. The three shepherded revolutionaries sailing to Cuba through rough seas on the overcrowded ship Granma. Two years of fighting in the jungles of Cuba brought defeat to President Batista’s forces.

         Che trained the troops that later defeated the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuban refugees from Miami. After a long stay in Cuba Che Guevara went on to foment revolutions elsewhere in South America and other places. After his attempted revolution in Bolivia the CIA captured him and assisted Bolivian forces to execute him.

         A metal outline of Che Guevera’s face covered the entire side of a nine story building near Revolution Square in Havana.

         In the former Presidential Palace now the Museum of the Revolution, we saw the ballroom with its bright blue ceiling with trumpeters on one side and women dancers with long flowing skirts facing them. Two crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling. From this ballroom President Batista escaped down a stair case hidden behind a sliding panel. He carried a great deal of gold and art with him as he escaped to Portugal minutes before the revolutionaries arrived.

         In another room of the Museum of the Revolution, a mural covered the wall depicting Ernesto Che Guevera and Camilo Cienfuegos, the leaders of the two columns of revolutionaries who brought Fidel Castro into power.

         Outside the Museum were some missiles, a propeller plane, and a big jet airplane engine, and a tank with a long gun pointing at us. These weapons were collected at the time of the ex-Cubans’ unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba April 17, 1961.

         We saw the small ship Granma which carried Che Grevera, Raul and Fidel Castro through the rough seas from Mexico to Cuba.

         The person Cubans really love most is American writer, Ernest Hemingway. Great writer that he was, Hemingway helped all the Cubans he met. One story told of him buying baseball bats, balls, and caps. He commissioned local women to make uniforms for the local kids out of castoff sugar bags. As Hemingway pitched, one of his sons played baseball with the Cuban boys.

         Hemingway’s favorite bar was La Floridita in Havana. There he drank his favorite daiquiris of rum, lime juice and crushed ice. Such was Hemingway’s popularity that the workers collected money to erect a life size bronze statue of him sitting with his arm on the bar. The bar tender keeps a fresh daiquiri next to the statue’s hand. Plenty more daiquiris await customers. Naturally we joined Hemingway in drinking a daiquiri. They were delicious.

         Before he came to Cuba, Hemingway had lived and fished for marlin off Key West, Florida in his boat, the Pilar. Cuba, ninety miles away, was a tempting goal. He enjoyed marlin fishing en route. Plentiful though those fish were in Hemingway’s time, there are few there now. 

          When he was in Havana, Hemingway stayed in the Ambros Mundos Hotel in room 511. We walked the nine blocks from the Floridita Bar to that hotel. Our group was far too large for all of us to view his room. After numerous visits to Cuba, his fourth wife Mary persuaded Hemingway to buy a house six miles east of Havana near Cojimar where Hemingway moored his boat. Overlooking the water on high ground a bust of Hemingway donated by Cubans under a round roof proclaims the Cuban’s love for Hemingway. For one third of his writing career Hemingway lived in Cuba. Hemingway’s famous book, “The Old Man and the Sea”. takes place in a village just like Cajimar. American texts describing Hemingway tend to emphasize his time in Spain during the Spanish Revolution which inspired the book “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Commentators seldom mention Hemingway’s many years in Cuba.

         In Havana we went to the out door evening night club, the Tropicana. Talk about show girls! Those show girls outdid any others. Their head pieces outshone any others in size and illumination, some including electric candles in crystal chandelliers. Their capes were enormous and gorgeous, but the only part of their costumes touching their skin was the briefest of sequin covered bikinis. The show girls danced allurngly to exotic Latin American music. The Tropicana was started in 1939. Even under Castro, the Tropicana continued its fabulous show girl performances.

         In Havana we visited a cigar factory where a public address system carried a man reading in Spanish to the workers as they did various tasks in making cigars. We wondered what he was saying. Surely it made the repetitive tasks of the workers less boring. That is the only time we heard anything but English.

         Not far away the Bacardi Rum Building stood five stories high. We never went into that building.

         Nearby stood the grey stone Saint Francis of Assisi Church with its tall bell tower. Cubans now hold concerts, not religious services, in the sanctuary. In the courtyard, a two story rectangular colonnade, held a statue of Columbus in the center. This made sense when I later learned that on October 28, 1492 Columbus discovered Cuba. He wrote, “I have never seen anything so beautiful. The country around the river is full of trees, beautiful and green and different from ours... There are many kinds of birds of all sizes...and many palms...some of medium height without any bark at the base, and the leaves are very large.” After our trip in 2003 I would agree with many of the observations of Columbus. I had forgotten that Columbus discovered Cuba. I’m glad he did.

         Connected to the St. Francis church was a building which makes fun of religion in various ways. For example a small statue of an male angel, wearing only a belt with a sword in a scabbard, is urinating on a tree smaller than the angel.

          In Havana, to our surprise, we found a museum supported by an Arab government. In it manikins wore keffiyehs like Yasser Arafat’s head dress composed of a red and white checked scarf surrounded by a thick black rope circle to hold the scarf. The manikin smoked an eighteen inch high hookah or water pipe. The bottom a glass bottle held water. In the middle hung a thin flexible hose with a mouth piece for the smoker

         In another museum were two kids skate actually boarding. At home kids wouldn’t be allowed to ride skate boards in a museum. Next to a wall we saw a girl’s patent leather shoes and white stockings peeking out below what appeared to be wall paper. We wondered what thatwas about. An old truck painted yellow, green, and orange had piled on its roof three chairs, three suit cases, a large, full plastic bag, several grey boxes, quite a few white boxes, and a lamp shade. Our museums aren’t like this. Elsewhere in the museum a huge colorful sand painting covered lots of the floor. It reminded me of the movie Mary Poppins which featured a big sand painting on the sidewalk.

         In the Belle Arts Museum we saw kids playing in a house made of small aluminum pitchers. A clown in red and white suit danced for the children. This museum convinced us that Cuban Museums like to encourage children. To our surprise museums even display the frequently encountered Cuban art of protest. A five foot tall person carved of wood had no arms and his head cut off just below the eyes. How graphically this statue displayed the helplessness of the Cuban people to bring about change.

         The Municipal Museum housed relics of the former glory of the sugar barons. From its ceiling hung a gorgeous crystal chandelier dripping with crystal pendants. We saw marble busts of the wealthy and their lovely blue, gold, and white china which reeked elegance. Cut glass stem ware gave us a feeling for the life of the wealth of Cuba’s past.

         We saw the Manaca Iznaga Tower on the highest ground around. From it agents for the sugar companies supervised the slaves cutting sugar cane. The slaves lived in houses that had only one room, holes for windows, no electricity, no running water. We also saw a water color painting of slaves bending low to cut the sugar cane and piling it in horse drawn wagons.

         In the home of Sandra Ramos, her pictures of Alice in Wonderland showed the feeling of captivity and helplessness of the Cuban people. One drawings shows Alice in a glass tank full of water surrounded by swimming fish with a man holding the glass cover on the tank. Another picture depicts Alice blindfolded in a row boat just large enough to hold her with her wrists tied together. The clouds arranged themselves to resemble large puffy wings to make Alice an angel..

         In Carlos Estevy’s house we saw his nearly floor to ceiling line drawings of wire puppets. Puppet men climbed on each other. Wire women puppets danced. Cubans, like puppets, don’t control their lives.  

         In another artist’s home we were served cocktails in their back yard. Their home had very high ceilings with fancy curving cornices. Between two doors were small ceramic figures of a naked man and woman engaged in sex. They had two Louis IV French chairs and a huge Rose Medalion Chinese porcelain jar with a cover to match. In other words they were wealthy. Artists in Cuba earn fabulous amounts of money for large paintings of protest which they sell abroad. Such artists are the most wealthy people in Cuba. They earn far more than doctors or bus drivers or even government officials.

         Even Americans can buy the art of protest in spite of the limit of $200 of U. S. Currencywhich can go to Cuba. The art is sent to Mexico, paid for there, and then shipped to the U. S. This involves two agents and two charges for shipping, but it can be done.

         Like many artists Mrs. Menocal rented space in her large house to other artists to display their works for sale. Of all the artists work on display I preferred her cheerful paintings of colorful of birds and flowers.

         “Chip, I want to buy that painting by Mrs. Menocal,” I said looking at my husband.

         “Ok, but you must get a story to go with it first.” Mrs. Menocal sat in her wheel chair out of everyone’s way beside the wall. I walked over and sat next to her.

         “Mrs. Menocal, my husband says that if I want to buy one of your paintings, I must get a story first. Please tell me about yourself.”

         “Ten years ago I had a stroke that paralyzed my entire right side. As a right handed artist my stroke was a grand disaster. In the hospital I wondered if life was worth living. When I realized that I was not going to die, I asked my daughter to bring me my art supplies. I struggled for six long months, but eventually I learned to paint with my left hand.”

         When we entered her house, we did not go in the beautiful front door with its half oval of radiating glass panels.. We went around to the back of the house and climbed a flight of stairs to the back door.

         “Why do visitors climb stairs to come into the back of your house?”

         “Years ago there was a huge flood. We had four or five feet of water on the first floor of the house. We strung a line tomy daughter’s house back there through small tables, chairs, and picture frames to protect the them from the flood water. Then the family decided this was unique decor and decided not to disturb it. Probably all that moisture didn’t do the furniture any good. What an imaginative family!

         When the water went down, we built a new floor six feet above the old floor which kept us from using the front door. Another flood can’t hurt us now. Our house was built before air conditioning so it had very high ceilings which left plenty of room for the hot air so raising the floor six feet wasn’t a problem.”

         Later we saw a water color painting of the flood with people walking knee deep in the water.

         I looked at the elaborate crystal chandeliers, the stained glass window, the lamp shade of curved colored glass. Only a wealthy family could afford such things. Obviously Mrs. Menocal was not wealthy now. The family must have come by hard times.

         “Who owned this house before you did, Mrs. Menocal?”

         “My grandfather was a city planner. He planned the lovely park here in the Vidado suburb of Havana. He bought all the land on the south side of the park. He gave the land to his relatives. My sisters, my brother and my aunt all had houses on this street. I had two sons and three daughters. My sons and one of my daughters moved out of their houses. Except for my daughter and son-in-law, all my relatives moved to other countries, some to Spain, some to Florida or Mexico. Moving caused great financial loss. You see the Cuban government will not allow anyone to sell his or her house. The best anyone can do is to trade his house for a smaller one which then becomes the property of the Cuban government when the family leave Cuba.”

          “Mrs. Menocal, I also had two sons and three daughters. I’m seventy-nine. How old are you?”

          “I’m not quite that old.” We seemed to have so much in common.

          “I really liked the movie Sound of Music. Have you seen it, Mrs. Menocal?

I met Maria von Trapp in Vermont. The short rotund woman I saw there was not at all like the slender, attractive Julie Andrews, who played the role of Maria von Trapp in the movie. Baron von Trapp was a Protestant. His love for a short, stout former Catholic nun was even more surprising to me than it had been in the movie.”

          “Oh, I also met Maria in Vermont. I told her that I would cook lunch for her if she ever came to Havana. Maria did visit me in Cuba. We had a wonderful time eating lunch together.

          “Chip, I like this painting. The picture I chose had a bird with a long beak, a bright blue back and wings, a white neck, an orange breast, and a blue head. Cattails and a plant with an S shaped string of flowers graced each side of the bird. Below the picture “Martin Pescator y Juncos Fichu Menocal 6-09-02 Habana Cuba” might explain the picture to Cubans, but we wondered what kind of bird a martin pescator was. Luckily the National Geographic Magazine had a picture of a king fisher exactly like the martin pescator in our picture. Between a Spanish and an English dictionary we learned that juncos are cattails. So our painting is of a king fisher with cat-tails. We paid Mrs. Menocal one hundred dollars for the painting. It was worth it to us, but even more we treasured our friendship with her. Mrs. Menocal and I were having such a good time together that we wanted to spend more time with her.         

          A couple days later, when our group planned to go the cemetery on the outskirts of Havana to see the statuary, we ordered a taxi to meet us there and take us on the short ride back to Mrs. Menocal’s house so that we could learn more about life in Cuba. We arrived just as she was leaving in her wheel chair pushed by a young man who took her for a walk every afternoon after she worked painting in the morning. What a treat awaited us!

          Mrs, Menocal always got a cup of coffee first on her walk. A man in a tiny booth behind a window covered with metal grating served her a cup of coffee. Through the tall trees we caught a glimpse of the cathedral she attended every Sunday. The communist government of Cuba tolerated religion unlike the communist government in Russia where churches were destroyed or converted into museums. In Cuba, even Madonnas are for sale.

          Next on our walk Mrs. Menocal showed us the huge red brick Hotel Presidente.

          “That’s where diplomats and guests of the government stay while they are here.,” she told us.. Three flags waved near the ornate front door. Ornate filagree went all across the building above the entrance and around the windows. We walked past elaborate Symphony Hall with at least three stories of very high ceilinged rooms. Unlike the mold covered Theater building in downtown Havana, the Symphony Hall was pure white with no mold at all. Above each window a rectangle contained a basrelief of two women separated by a shield. Between the women we saw the names of composers: Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and Verdi. I wondered if operas by Mozart and Verdi were performed in Symphony Hall.

          In her neighborhood we went by large homes which had been beautiful before the communist takeover. Now mold covered many houses.

          As we walked along we passed families walking with, kids on bikes. Black and white women smiled as they eagerly talked. How nice that the races get along so well.

          In a children’s playground surrounded by a tall metal fence young children ran around on what looked like cement. Two men, one black and one white joined several white women in supervising the children. Shouts of joy assailed us with the fun the children were having as they played on the swings. Between two towers hung a green flexible bridgefor the kids to run on. A small yellow house had an oval opening for the kids to climb into and oval openings for windows.

          Next we walked by a very old American car which had been lovingly repaired and repainted. Old American cars were much preferred to the Soviet ones. No one liked Russian cars, including the Russians. They were so cheaply and shabbily made. Outside of Havana there were very few cars of any kind. A few horses pulled wagons and small coaches for people much like the one my grandmother used in the late eighteen hundreds.

          Eventually we came to the spacious lawn of the park Mrs. Menocal’s grandfather planned in the wealthy Vedado suburb of Havava. In one corner of the park on a pedestal was the marble statue of a nude woman standing on a large shell as she clutched a small piece of cloth which hung from just below her breasts and almost to her knees. Below the statue water from the mouths of lions splashed into two large shell shape basins one above the other. After all these years the park Mrs. Menocal’s grandfather planned is still a beautiful place.

         In our bus on the way east toward Guantanamo to Trinidad, we stopped at a rest stop. When I saw horses just a few steps away, I lost all interest in the store. Two colts were nursing from their mothers. Quite a few others wandered around. Eight or more cowboys were gathered in a group. One man squatted down to tend a smoking fire on the ground. Most of the cowboys were mounted on their horses. One of the mounted cowboys had a coil of rope for lassoing the colts. All but three of the cowboys wore traditional cowboy hats. The cowboys wore blue or tan cotton work pants with T shirts. We didn’t see any branding irons, but it seemed very likely that they planned to brand the colts. We wondered how many animals they planned to brand that day. Some almost full sized horses wandered around without saddles. Perhaps they too would be branded. Poor colts. That hot branding iron would hurt.

         Later from the bus window we saw some cowboys herding cattle in a field with a fence around it. In America if a farmer has a fence around his cattle he doesn’t need a cowboy to heard them. He comes into the field with some salt and the horses gather around. Looking out the bus window to the north we saw forests with mountains beyond as puffy white clouds floated above them in the deep blue sky.

         When we finally arrived in Trinidad we were surprised to see herds of goats wandering around on the rough gravel streets. There were almost no cars. Horses pulling wagons or carriages were the usual transportation. Because lots of streets were too narrow for our bus, we did a lot of walking.

         We visited the clinic of a doctor. She was in the advanced stages if pregnancy. Her clinic was in one room of her small, one story home. That way she could be with her children while she worked. Several nurses worked with her while we were there. On the wall a poster warned about the dangers of AIDS. Her records lay in a pile on a table with the few medicines she had. Not a filing cabinet was in sight. She walks, even at night, to see patients unable to come to her clinic. No doctors in America make house calls even by car in the daytime. Her dedication was impressive.

         After we returned home we found that Cuba has a foreign aid program for the United States. Cuba gives free scholarships to Americans wanting to go the medical school. They train good doctors too. Our dermatologist is a Cuban. What generosity after the way we ruined their economy.

          Unlike the tall hotel in Havana our rooms in Trinidad were in small two story buildings scattered around. An azure blue swimming pool looked tempting with gorgeous red flowers on one side and a sidewalk with a slide on the opposite side.

         Beautiful as the pool was, we preferred to swim in the Gulf of Mexico. The temperature of the water was perfect. The miles long, broad, sandy beach rivaled any in the United States. Umbrellas made from palm leaves shaded tables which lined the edge of the beach. Pulled up on the beach was a sailboat. Groups of young women in bikinis added to the view. The vista was gorgeous especially when we viewed the sunset between the huge palm leaves.

         We agree with Columbus that Cuba is a beautiful place, ideal for vacations. Why must the U. S. Government keep Americans from such an ideal vacation spot just to mollify Cuban refugees in Florida.

                                                THE END

          I feel sorry for the people of Cuba. The poverty there is hard to see. One man, dressed in a T shirt and short pants with no socks, was picking in a dumpster to see what he could find. No one would do that unless they were desperately poor.  

         Nearby some rural farmers raised cows, goats, pigs, and horses. We didn’t see farms raising vegetables and fruit, but there must have been some. Surely food wasn’t imported from Russia, Cuba’s benefactor.

           Cubans must obtain permission even to paint their own houses. Cubans do not make paint nor soap. When the Soviet block supported communism in Cuba it was far easier to use donated soap and paint. Most houses, outside of Havana, were about the size of our hotel rooms. Their public buildings have elegant architecture, but most were in sad need of paint and repair. Evidently their moist climate encourages mold on the buildings which is difficult and expensive to remove. Removing the mold is far too expensive for Cuba now that the Soviet Union no longer supports their economy.

          Castro was most reluctant to have prostitution and gambling return. Economic necessity forced him to allow them. Following the fall in the price of sugar and coffee and the fall of communism in Europe, Cuba’s trade and aid partners vanished. Consequently Cuba has shifted their economy from being totally dependant on sugar cane and to dependance on tourism instead.

         In 2003 Cuba decided to encourage foreign investment but reserved 51% ownership to the government. The investments are mostly in the tourist trade.

         US dollars are legal tender in Cuba. We could buy anything with dollars and little with Cuban pesos though the prices are lower in pesos. Because they are paid in dollars, those who cater to tourists, such as cab drivers, hotel staff, and prostitutes, are better paid than doctors and government employees.

         In Havana they have two car busses that can bend in between the two cars, made in Brazil. In the countryside there are scarcely any cars. Busses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, horse drawn vehicles - yes. Cars - no.

          It seems that Castro has done some good. He has promoted sex education so that family size is quite reasonable. He has increased health care, especially clinics in the countryside. Castro has made education available to all. Students wear uniforms. Many go to boarding schools. Education is free at all levels. Some unemployed people are supported while they get more education.  

Beggars dressed as Americans expect Cubans to dress who want money

for posing for a picture with tourists.

Young black man who drew accurate sketches of people in minutes.

Performing dog 

Simon Bolivar, celebrated in all of Latin America as a liberator had only

         a bust in a museum, not a full length statue on the city square

Coed navy, women in short skirts

Art school with dreadful art eg woman’s head on the floor with an axe

          cutting into it & other dreadful or boring art

Black dancers

black teen confirmand in gorgeous white dress

Bell tower and Santisma Church in Tinidad being repaired.