Page 5 - PGA Community News - August '18
P. 5

August 2018                                                               August 2018                                                   PGA C.A.N.!, Page 5

      Letter To The Editor:

      Dear Attorney Cioffi,                             Castro started to organize his revolution. At that point, our lives   religion and close churches and temples. He is a communist,
         I read your article in the PGA Community News which   changed drastically. We teenagers could not be safe in movie   and we are out of here.”
      I found very interesting. This is an important topic to make   theaters because the revolutionaries would throw Molotov      As if Castro had given her his plan, when she announced
      people realize how lucky we are to live in this great country   cocktails, there were shootings on the streets, and eventually   to my father that we were to prepare a plan to leave, my father
      of ours.                                          martial law was imposed. We no longer could be out on the   opposed it. He was prepared to invest more money in the
         You invited us to share our story about our pursuit of   streets past a certain time, as we could be shot.  business because the future was bright. My mother stood her
      freedom. I have many stories relating to my experiences in      The night of New Year’s Eve, December 1958, was   ground and told him: “We were kids when we married and had
      my place of birth, Cuba, and as a United States citizen. I have   significant. We could not go to the country clubs or the famous   nothing. I helped you make it by working shoulder to shoulder
      started writing a book, if for nothing else, for my children and   Tropicana to welcome the New Year. One of my school   with you, if you want to stay here, I will take my half and with
      grandchildren to know and remember when I am gone.  girlfriends invited three of us to sleep over and celebrate.   my daughter will go to Miami. I will set up our home there,
         I am a Cuban immigrant, who left Cuba with my parents one   This friend’s father was a famous head anchor at CMQ, the   and when you are ready to come, if Castro lets you leave, I
      and a half years after Castro came to power. My parents had   main TV station in Havana. Despite being divorced from my   will be waiting.” He knew my mother had great smarts and
      come to Cuba in 1923, not by choice. My mother and her family   friend’s mother and having remarried, he kept in close contact   insights, so he acquiesced.
      were headed for Chicago from Poland. Julius Rosenwald, a   with his two daughters. When 12 midnight struck, we ate our      My parents left Cuba in June of 1960. I wanted to finish
      cousin to my grandfather, had sent them the affidavits to come   traditional 12 grapes, drank our cider, threw a bucket of water   my finals at the university, so I stayed in our lovely home,
      to the United States. My father who was from what was then   out the door as done traditionally and went to bed. We were   protected by our devoted staff. In August 1960, I joined my
      Poland, now Ukraine, was headed for Scranton, Pa. and was   hardly asleep, when the phone rang. It was CMQ looking for   family in Miami. All this was possible because my oldest
      traveling by himself, having left his parents and siblings back   my friend’s father. Her mother told them that he was in his   brother, a physician in New York City sponsored us. He was
      in Poland. At the time, there was a Polish quota that did not   other home. She was told that it was urgent that he came to   a U.S. citizen, and married to an American.
      allow these new Polish immigrants to enter the United States.   the station because there was breaking news. Batista and his      Initially we stayed at my middle brother’s house. Two
      Cuba was where they landed to wait for the quota to lift.  entourage had fled the country.           months later, we rented a two bedroom, one bath, apartment
         While in Cuba, near Havana, my parents met and married      In January 1959, Fidel Castro assumed power. After seven   in Miami. It was not what we were accustomed to, but it was
      young. My mother was 15 and my dad 18. Life was hard. They   years of so much unrest and killings, we were ready for peace.   a convenient location. In November my parents opened the
      had no money. My father became an entrepreneur, first selling   Fidel Castro’s message was most inspiring and comforting.   first Cuban furniture store in exile, just two blocks from our
      trinkets in the streets and then traveling the island when he could   I remember being glued to the TV watching Castro and his   apartment. We all pulled together. I learned to sell furniture,
      afford transportation. Hard work, determination and drive paid   entourage entering Havana in jeep caravan adorned with   my young lawyer brother would roll his sleeves up and drive
      off. They eventually wound up in their own store in Havana   rosaries. We rejoiced and welcomed him with great hope for   the delivery truck when needed. Hard work, business acumen
      selling fabric, which came mostly from the United States.  peace and prosperity.                     and luck, allowed the business to flourish. A few years later
         I was the baby and only girl. There were two older brothers.      As a naive, idealistic young college girl, I was very much   another store was opened in our own property.
      We would have been seven, unfortunately four died in infancy   impressed with Castro’s message. I even wore the black and      A lot of water has passed under the bridge. I married a
      in Cuba and are buried there.                     red colors of the “Revolucion.”                    Chicagoan in 1962, raised a boy and a girl, went back to
         By the time my middle brother and I came to this world,      One day, I came home from the university and my dear   school at night, and on weekends while working received my
      our parents were wealthy. We each had our own nannies,   mother was lying in her bed reading Mein Kampf in Spanish.   B.A. and M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Business, became a
      there was a cook, a cleaning lady and a head housekeeper   She called me in and proceeded to read some of the parts   Director of Latin American Sales for a multinational company,
      (was the grandma I never knew). They all lived in our home.   that she had underlined. She said, Castro will follow some of   and most important, became a U.S. citizen in 1967.
      We attended private schools, had piano and ballet lessons,   Hitler’s mandates. Castro will first take over the United States      When I reflect on my past, my life in Cuba was a good
      vacationed in Miami Beach, New York, and enjoyed the Cuban   major corporations stationed in Cuba, such as the United Fruit   one. Having been forced to leave it and start from scratch in
      beaches. Life was good. We had plenty.            Company, Shell, etc. Next will be the big Cuban enterprises,   America, was difficult as a teenager, but the best thing that
         In the early 1950s, while Batista was president, Fidel   such as Bacardi, then smaller firms like us. Next he will abolish   happened to me in retrospect. I became my own person, I
                                                                                                           pursued my dreams, made them a reality and grew immensely.
                                                                                                           That is the only good thing that Castro did for me by coming to
                                                                                                           power. It was painful to see that the many years of my parents’
                                                                                                           hard work followed by great financial achievements, vanish in
                                                                                                           the hands of a communist regime that stole all our assets with
                                                                                                                                                Ruth Padorr

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