Cuba – 1949 – My Aunt Ruby and Uncle Herb

My aunt and uncle traveled alot. Chicago, New York, Detroit, New Orleans, Mexico, Canada and Cuba being just a few places that I can remember. I only vaguely remember my parents talking about the Cuba trip. My parents received a package from Cuba which contained two figurines of a male and female Cuban dancer. Somehow I ended up with these still in the original boxes, plus all their photos. The male figurine keeps falling over so I guess that's why my mom never put them out. My aunt used to be a journalist for the Indianapolis Star in Indiana so maybe that's why she traveled so much. I really don't remember. Wish I knew exactly what she wrote for the newspaper.

Here is my Aunt Ruby on the beach in Havana:

Uncle Herb on the grounds of a plantation. He loved the Cuban cigars.

Atop the Vedado Hotel looking NW

Atop the Vedado Hotel looking SE towards the Gulf of Mexico

Looking West down the main thoroughfare in Havana

Atop the Vedado looking SW at other hotels and apartments in Havana

Morro Castle Fortress built in 1587

I don't remember the exact year Castro became in power but didn't really want to look it up as I don't care to get into politics. After reading some of my aunt's notations with the photos, I do know they had a 9pm curfew while they were there as did everyone. A horn went off or something. A year or so after they went, no one in the U. S. was allowed to go. I would somehow like to preserve these photos. There's scotch tape used all over the place.

Last but not least is a photo of me around 1949 in Bloomington, Indiana just before we moved to Arizona. Even then, at almost 3, I had a French beret and was a budding artist because I used to draw on the walls. My parents always painted around my scribbles.

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
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67 Responses to Cuba – 1949 – My Aunt Ruby and Uncle Herb

  1. L2D2 says:

    Nice pictures Pam. Must have been when marial law had gone into effect during Castro's take-over. Could be some valuable pictures of pre-Castro Cuba. Might want to look in having them restored.

  2. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks Linda. To tell you the truth, if someone wanted to buy them I'd sell them. No one in my family wants them. The only thing I'm going to do is get the tape off them and into another, more archival type album.

  3. L2D2 says:

    You could take them to a local antique dealer who specializes in memorabilia or ephemera. They could probably give you an idea of whether they have any material value or not.Contact Antiques Road Show! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. ellinidata says:

    lovely collection Pam,I hope your kids eventually would like to keep them, but if you see that they might end up in the garbage(many of my belongings I know will end up there…) here is a site that might give you a connection to sell… for sharing Pam,they are really great!

  5. Dacotah says:

    Hi Pam, great post. Nice photos. Awww, so cute you are in that last photo. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. claudeb says:

    Those photos are beautiful and possibly valuable, and their story is fascinating. I can easily picture them (pun not intended) in the Commons at Flickr. Whatever you do, don't just throw them out.

  7. PainterWoman says:

    Linda, I'd like to contact the Roadshow about my huge collection of vintage postcards from WWII that had been my dad's. There are too many weird sites I get into when doing research about them. I think I'd rather go to the library. Angeliki, thanks for the link. I may contact them to at least find out a better way of storing them and getting the tape off. Not sure if these are considered panaramic though.Carol, thank you. I don't remember that beret at all. But I have one of my mom's. Just need a black turtle neck shirt and a long black trench coat to complete the old artist look. Darko: Thanks. I love the old b&w photos too. There is such a history to them. Claude, thank you. Never would I throw them out. I would like to get them out of the album with all the scotch tape holding them in. Plus, I very much want to scan them all in and make a complete album on my Opera. I might look into a Flickr album too. It would be interesting to see the old fortress. It was built to protect the island and used to have a fifty foot moat around it. The other areas would be interesting to see as well to see how much they've changed in 60 years.

  8. gdare says:

    Nice photos. I like to see b&w photographs from the past of the famous places, especially the places I know. There is an website with old phots of Belgrade and Zemun where I always try to recognize streets or areas. It becomes very difficult when it comes to photos older than 100 years.

  9. ricewood says:

    Cuba is one of the places I always wanted to visit.These photos from another time are priceless.

  10. PainterWoman says:

    Graham, do you have any photos of your visit there? Would love to see them.

  11. PainterWoman says:

    Allan, I've always wanted to go too ever since I was quite small and saw a Cuban dancer in an old movie. Can't think of her name but she had fruit piled all up on her head and the most wonderful ruffled skirt.Graham: These photos are sixty years old. Maybe the spirit of cuba is beginning to die a bit. I took a couple of classes at ASU from an exiled Cuban. He could not do the kind of art he wanted so he left. He cannot go back, literally. His family can't come to the U.S. so they all meet in Canada. Since you were just there a few years ago, I'm assuming they let people from other countries in as tourists. I don't know about U.S. tourists.

  12. cakkleberrylane says:

    Those are wonderful pictures! So interesting to see the old styles.

  13. edwardpiercy says:

    Cube has always seemed to me from what I've seen of it (like your photos) to be such a beautiful island. It is sad that they seem to be getting his so much these days by so many earthquakes and tropical storms and hurricanes.Love the photo of you as a girl.:up:BTW I had an Aunt Ruby too, although she was in fact my great aunt (mother's mother's sister). She lived in Martinsville. Ruby Collier.

  14. L2D2 says:

    Pam, your Cuban dancer, I would think from your description, would be Carmen Miranda. She always wore the most elaborate headdresses, usually containing fruit. Was her trademark.

  15. PainterWoman says:

    Lois, thanks. I love the old style too. Would love to see the plantation my aunt and uncle visited. Of course, everything might be totally different now. Linda, that'd be her. I used to love watching her sing and dance. I'd tie a scarf around my head and put on my favorite ruffley skirt and mimic her dancing. ๐Ÿ˜† Ed, you're right. Cuba seems to always be in the path of hurricanes. Didn't know about the earthquakes. My aunt was my dad's sister. Her maiden name was Reynolds and she never married till she met Herb Woempner. They lived in Indianapolis till he passed away, then she moved to Texas. Why she didn't move to Arizona, I don't know because she had no family at all in Texas. Graham, that's a damn shame about your luggage, camera and skis! Did they even try to find it and send it to you? Did they reimburse you anything? I'd carry my camera in a small carry-on after that.

  16. I_ArtMan says:

    i was in cuba in 1949 for a few days. i just remember how balmy it was. that's a great picture of you in the beret. funny, my mother used to dress us in berets also. must have been a fad at the time.just put them in the archival book. your children will appreciate them later. that's what i am doing. but i'm also scanning and digitalizing them for posterity. with the digital cds anyone can make nice new prints whenever they like. that's a new lease on life for photos. :happy: ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  17. PainterWoman says:

    So you had a beret when you were young too. It must have been a fad as you say although I don't remember mine at all.I'm hoping to get the photos in an archival book soon. Have got to get all the scotch tape residue off first and whatever else she used to stick them in her book. Gonna call the photo shop I go to and see what they recommend using.

  18. edwardpiercy says:

    Totally off-topic, but since both you guys are here at the same time I thought I'd mention this… wonder if Davinci would have thought of anything like a Blackberry. Probably so, if he would have lived a few years longer. ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. ellinidata says:

    Pam if I recall in the link it says they also look for old pictures..if not they always always very helpful with information…go for it! you have nothing to loose !good luck!I hope you keep up posted on the outcome ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. edwardpiercy says:

    Cool :cool:Even a 14 X 9 book for that type of thing I'm sure diminishes it compared to how huge some of those works were.

  21. I_ArtMan says:

    i've had a blackberry. i'm getting an iphone; the new anyone could ever think they could study a da vinci painting on a three inch screen just baffles me. :faint:

  22. gdare says:

    Has anyone of you seen Buena Vista Social Club movie by Wim Wenders? Ry Cooder was there during 90s trying to find out what happened to the most important musicians of Cuban "son" from 50s. He was lucky enough to find some of the most important singers still alive and then helped them to get world honor they deserved long time ago. A movie is beautiful, these people are so poor but there is a general feeling of optimism and happiness. Two small excerpts:

    I was lucky to see some of them in concerts in Belgrade several years ago. Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Rubรฉn Gonzรกlez are not among us anymore but thanks to this movie a lot of people will never forget them.The movie is a "must to see" :up:

  23. PainterWoman says:

    Ed, you must really love your Blackberry. I doubt I'll ever have one though. Scott, I agree about looking at art on a small screen. I have enough art books that I'll refer to.Angeliki, I will definitly contact them about my photos. I especially want to ask them about what's best to use to get the tape residue off. I want all the suggestions I can get. Then I'll scan them all in and send them a link to my album.Darko: I'd love to see that movie. Thanks for the links. The snippets of Havana were great. Loved the old cars and the music.

  24. gdare says:

    When I first time heard about son, I fell in love with it. And the movie is fantastic, I hope you will be able to find it there ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. edwardpiercy says:

    For you artists I can see your point. But you know for us normal guys the notebooks on the Blackberry might be a good way to pass the time on the bus without carrying around a heavy book.

  26. PainterWoman says:

    Darko, that movie goes on my list the next time I go to the video store.

  27. PainterWoman says:

    ๐Ÿ˜† That's definitely true Ed. I've never been that technically oriented and the tiny buttons would drive me nuts. Plus, I think I'd need stronger glasses to see the screen.

  28. Suntana says:

    I wouldn't be surprised if all those buildings are what's still there, just in more dilapidated condition. I get the feeling that very few new buildings go up if any at all down there. At least not from the way I hear of the status of things over there.So the fortress had a 50-foot moat around it aside of it being right next to the ocean?Instead of Little Red Riding Hood …Little Beret Wearing Hood? :p

  29. Suntana says:

    Yeah, when I wrote that line about "Little Beret Wearing Hood," I actually did pause and wonder, "Hmmm? Now Hood makes her seem like some Thug." :insane: Maybe a cute little one, but still Hood is in there. ๐Ÿ˜† I actually then Googled "Little Red Riding Hood." For a couple of seconds there, I had forgotten why the word "Hood" was in that title. Then I remembered … she had a Hood, on her jacket, right?I think Mr. Cunningham even referred to Fonzie as "Hood" on several occasions. Yep, back in the American Graffiti days, "Hood" was the typical reference for … Ummm, I guess the Bad Boys of today.

  30. L2D2 says:

    Biker-type is the word usually used today. No insult to bikers intended.

  31. PainterWoman says:

    Carlos, my aunt and undle took quite a few photos of houses that looked like mansions with marble steps. These were single family residences. There were hotels and plantations with lush vegetation. I wonder too if it is all still the same but more run down. Yup, that fortress wanted to make sure no one else came into the island. It was built for protection. Hood? Now you reminded me of what we used to call bad boys in the fifties….hoods. They were the ones who road motorcycles and had shady reputations. I remember one guy named Walter who always wore a black leather jacket and road a motorcyle. Your typical Fonzie type. I had a major crush on him. He was actually very nice.

  32. Suntana says:

    I'm a Biker Type ….. :left: :right: …Uhhh, a Stationary Biker Type. ๐Ÿ˜† I just finished my Workout.So, I'm off to go shower.

  33. studio41 says:

    great pictures, Pam. the one of you at the end is adorable.

  34. PainterWoman says:

    Linda and Carlos, you two reminded me of the twenty some years I went to Bally's. Well it was 24 Hour Fitness first, then a place called LaMancha, THEN Bally's, but I did aerobics, free weights and the machines for 25 years. Stopped going about five years ago because of financial and other reasons. What a difference…the last five years. Not in a good way.Jill, thank you. My youngest daughter looked like me when she was that age.

  35. L2D2 says:

    :sing: :sing: :sing: Wait! I don't know that song! I will let you sing it for me Graham. ๐Ÿ˜†

  36. L2D2 says:

    I am sadly out of shape now, Pam. But it takes so much EFFORT to do exercises. Haha

  37. PainterWoman says:

    Well, I figure with all the home projects I'm working on, that's enough. I know it's not the same thing but I'm so dog tired after working for my ex, then working on my own stuff, I have no energy left for anything else.

  38. L2D2 says:

    Chuck, you are bragging. Yes you are. Where is my picture?

  39. Suntana says:

    La Mancha? Is that an Eating Joint?Yeah, drifting away from exercise can definitely yield different results. What's interesting is that between my 5 siblings and I, there were basically 3 athletes and 3 non-athletes back in our respective school years. I was in the Ummm, :left: :right: non-athletic group. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Don't get me wrong. I wasn't out of shape or anything remotely like that. What I mean is that I along with my 2 non-athletic siblings, did NOT have the skills to be on the actual official teams of whatever sport. My 3 athletic siblings had the skills to excel at various sports.Well, NOW and for the past several years, if anybody were to look at all 6 of us side by side and told to pick out the 3 athletes and the 3 non-athletes from back in our high school days … everyone would get them all wrong. NOW I along with my 2 former non-athletic siblings are the ones who show more signs of having been athletes. ๐Ÿ˜† Realistically only 1 of my younger sisters and I.

  40. studio41 says:

    I can see that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. PainterWoman says:

    Carlos, La Mancha should have been just an eating place with that name. It was a privately owned gym rather than a chain like Bally's or 24Hr Fitness. Linda, naw, Carlos doesn't brag….does he?Jill, it's the same with me. I looked much like my mom when she was very young.

  42. PainterWoman says:

    ๐Ÿ˜† I got my name and a photo of me typing published in the yearbook. Ooooooooo wow!

  43. PainterWoman says:

    I didn't think you were a braggart. I was one of those 'non-producers' too and was not on any sports team or in any club or anything. But I could type so I got on the Yearbook Staff.:lol: LaMance was a typo. I've since corrected it. I hate it when I come back for comments and see my mistakes. :ko:

  44. Suntana says:

    I was a "Producer" in the Spelling competitions and in the Typing competition. But, that of course, wasn't considered Cool. Getting medals in District Spelling and Typing didn't get you any Letter Jacket. Nope … I had to wear my own J. C. Penney or Montgomery Ward Jacket or whatever REGULAR Non-Producer Jacket I had. ๐Ÿ˜†

  45. Suntana says:

    Nah! Not bragging. Just an observation.Hmmm? Maybe Revenge! :devil: Back then, in that small town school, those guys who weren't on the teams were referred to as – Non-Producers! :yikes: :insane: :bomb: And that was done in the full-blown, rubbing it in yer face way. Well, Non-Produce THIS!!! ๐Ÿ˜† Pam, was it "La Mancha" or "La Mance?" I notice you mentioned both of those names.

  46. Suntana says:

    Heck, I wasn't even good enough for the Yearbook Staff. I got thrown out. Just Kidding! ๐Ÿ˜† But, I did quit the Yearbook Staff. It was either my Freshman or Sophomore year when I was briefly in the Yearbook Staff. I quit after my older brother told me he heard some of the girls on the Staff saying that my cousin and I were only goofing off in there. :eyes: :yikes: Darn it! I guess it was more obvious than I thought. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I should have gone in an Urkel voice, "Did I do that?" ๐Ÿ˜† Hey, I want to appeal. I wasn't goofing off per se, at least NOT by choice. It was those Upper Classman Girls' fault. They wouldn't teach my cousin and I anything. They'd just give my cousin and I some simplistic, menial tasks and then pretty much just conveyed by their actions and ignoring of us that we stay out of the way and let THEM do the real work. So, my cousin and I had no choice, but to goof off. But, once I found out I was being declared some goofing off, detrimental to productivity slacker nuisance, I quit.

  47. studio41 says:

    I look like my mother… my daughters a lot like me, especially the little one and myself at our young ages… it's fun, isn't it?!

  48. PainterWoman says:

    Carlos, I quit many a job in the last twelve years because of similar circumstances. Wherever I worked, I got busy as soon as I got there. I was always the 'old' one. The young ones felt that I was making them look bad, I guess, because I'd be getting their jobs done while they were standing around doing nothing. They would go to the manager and say I was the one standing around or being slow. I never said anything to anybody…just did my job. The manager would come out and observe, then go back in the office. One of the young ones who was as busy working and didn't hang with the others finally told me one day what the others were saying. I would check my schedule every day before I left to see when I had to be in the next day. One of them, changed the time after I'd left. So the next day when I came in at 2pm, everyone was saying I was in trouble because I was supposed to be there at noon. They were a bunch of manipulating and conniving little twirps. I quit right after my shift was over.

  49. PainterWoman says:

    Jill, yes it is fun. I love looking at the old pictures and seeing the resemblances. In fact, regarding the photo above of my aunt, I stand exactly like that sometimes and it almost looks like me 20 years ago, although my hair wasn't that curlie.

  50. Suntana says:

    Kudos to the Young One who broke radio silence, Pam! :up: Changing the time after you left? :insane: Day-Um! That IS sinking to an industrial-sized LOW! I think I've mentioned here and there that my oldest nephew is a Volunteer Fireman. Apparently lately there seems to be an unacknowledged agenda to make him and another Fireman quit. My nephew has caught the others having Cookouts and secret Meetings to which he and his friend weren't invited or informed of. When he questions them on it, their answer is, "Oh, we forgot to tell you." That would work ONCE. But, apparently it's become a habit.They're ALL volunteers. The theory on the agenda is:This woman just became 2nd in Command. And she's actually taking on more of the actual Big Cheese duties as the guy in Command may be leaving or something. Even though my nephew already knows his volunteer job inside out and can go from wherever he is straight to the emergency … NO! He HAS to call that 2nd in Command woman first. ๐Ÿ™„ My nephew has taken all sorts of Firefighting and First Aid / EMT classes and has a whole mess of Certificates. We think the 2nd in Command woman feels threatened by my nephew because he's next in line after her. She probably doesn't want someone quite so qualified, lurking closely in her Command rearview mirror. So, she's probably trying to piss off my nephew into quitting.

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