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Remember Me

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Remember Me - Page Text Content

S: Remember Me

FC: Remember Me | The Story of our Family

1: Table of Contents | The Fauras The Labradas Lola and Aristides Growing up in Puerto Padre The New York Years La Niña's Family Nene's Family Manena's Family Chiqui's Family Christmas in Cuba Noche Buena in New York Noche Buena in Miami Welcoming Babies - Aliñao The Christening Gown

3: Gaspar Jose Faura m. Amparo Garcia Agramonte - Dolores Faura (Lola) m. Aristides Labrada - Amparo Labrada (La Niñña) m. Pedro Legra - Maria Legra m. Armando Cintas - Lisette Cintas m. Adolfo Emilio Gomez - Melissa Gomez - Emily Gomez - Dolores Legra (Loly) m Dennis Prajka - Leslie Prajka m. Lawrence Robbins - Ethan Robbins - Emily Robbins - Jill Prajka m. Anthony Gress - Marcus Gress - Armando Labrada (Nene) m. Idalia XXX - Armando Labrada (Mandy) m. Janine Martinez - Nicole Labrada (Nikki) - Quinn Labrada - Adam Labrada m. Carly XXXX - Lucinda Labrada (Lucy) - Iris Labrada - Mercedes Labrada (Manena) m. Mario Queral - Lillian Queral m. Jesus Hernandez - Krystle Hernandez - Aristides Labrada (Chiqui) m. Delia Mayo - Percy Labrada m. Ileana Sanchez - Daniel Labrada - Annelise Labrada - Glenn Labrada m. Lourdes Fox - Lauren Labrada - Annette Labrada - Katherine Labrada | La | Familia

4: Gaspar Faura Rodriguez "Papaviejo" 1874 - 1960 | By all accounts, Gaspar Faura Rodriguez (or “Papaviejo” as all his grandchildren called him) was a larger than life character. He was a gregarious but simple man whose warm, fun-loving nature earned him the love and respect of his family and many friends. | Gaspar was born in 1874 in the village of Cartama, in the province of Malaga, Andalusia, Spain. Both his parents died when he was very young, and he was raised by a maternal aunt. Although he was a bright child, with a natural intelligence and curiosity, the idea of going to school didn't appeal to him very much. Not so much because he didn't like the idea of learning new things, but instead because he rather spend his time on what he considered more "practical" matters. From stories he'd heard, Gaspar knew that a far more interesting world lay beyond the limits of his little village, where he felt that boredom and monotony rained from the skies. Armed with this knowledge, one day he told his dear Aunt he was off to seek his future in Seville, leaving with a little bundle of clothes and a fistful of "pesetas." Barely a teenager, he arrived in the big city and quickly found a job at a local inn, where his meager earnings would help him

5: Taken at the Bambi - the family business | fund his new life. He was living large and was filled with high hopes for the future. In later years, he would fondly recount his youthful escapades in mysterious gypsy neighborhoods contrasted by his time as a altar boy, ringing the church bells during solemn occasions. In 1892, when he was eighteen years old, he was drafted into the Spanish army. In truth, this was huge complication to his life's plan. Although he was as brave as the next guy, his peaceful nature rejected the idea of carrying a weapon around all day and getting into an armed conflict with someone with whom he had no debts to settle. But the way he saw it, he was obligated to honor his country and his flag. His sense of adventure was peeked a little when he was told he was being deployed to Cuba, an island that had long taken a place in his imagination as somewhere where his future might lie. When he arrived in Cuba, he was stationed at the military base in Holguin, where he received basic training. He was sent to Puerto Padre in 1895 to finish his military duty. | "Papaviejo" with Mandy

6: Amparo Garcia Agramonte "Mamavieja" | Lola, Micaela, Amparito & Marta | It was there that Gaspar met the beautiful Amparo Garcia Agramonte.. The couple married and eventually had eight children: Dolores, Maximo, Micaela, Marta, Jose, Gaspar, Gonzalo and Amparito. Domesticity brought him a long-sought peace and joy and he often said that he had three loves in his life: his family, Puerto Padre and the far-away Seville of his youth. While his family was young, Gaspar worked as the manager and concessionaire of Puerto Padre’s two social clubs, “La Colonia Español” and the “Liceo.” His affable and social nature made him the perfect candidate for these jobs.. But he also had a fierce independent streak that always pushed him to seek other sources of income. One of his favorite jobs was as a booking agent for the various theatrical companies that presented dramas, comedies, musicals and dance shows on the town's stages. Gaspar wasn't a flashy man but his charm shined brightly, especially when he spoke about his days as a young man in Andalusia. He spoke enthusiastically about visiting Cordova and the Great Mosques; about Granada and the romantic Alhambra. But it was the image of La Giralda – a former minaret that was converted into a bell tower for the Cathedral of Seville - that played a prominent role in his stories. Papaviejo died peacefully and surrounded by his family in 1960 in Puerto Padre, He was 86 years old.

8: Jose Labrada Acosta (Pepillo) 1859 - 1964

9: Mercedes Fajardo Urquiza XXXX - 1979 | Manena, Idalia, Nene, Chiqui Pepillo, Mercedes | Abuela Mercedes and Libby 1952

12: Dolores Faura "Abuela Lola" August 7, 1902 - July XX, 1984

13: Lola, La Nina y Nene

14: Aristides Labrada XXXXXX - XXXXX

15: Aristides Labrada

17: The New York Years

18: Making our Own Fun - Picnics and Gatherings | “I remember a family picnic, I think in NJ, after eating Abuela Lola went to get water for black coffee, but the water fountain was a little away. So there goes Abuela to get the water & on her way back, one or some of the cousins ran by her & spilled all the water she was carrying. Well Abuela walked back for more water & these devil cousins spilled it again. The 3rd trip for water, while on her way back, as they came close to her again, she got them back & spilled the water all over them. Does anyone remember this picnic. I have to say Grandma was really good , but watch out she believed in revenge!”

19: "We got together by Yoyi's, and had family outings in places like Sunken Meadow Beach, Long Island, and the Jersey Shore. There were so many of us we had our own baseball games! Those were the days." - Raul J Berga

20: Loli | La Nina y Pedro | Maria del Carmen | Marcus | Leslie | Jill | Melissa | Lisette | Emily | Emily | Ethan

21: Amparo Labrada "La Niñña" February 10, 1912 -

24: Mandy | Nene y Idalia | Adam | Quinn | Nikki | Lucy | Iris

25: Armando Labrada "Nene" December xx, 19XX - April XX, 2005

30: Manena y Mario | Lillian | Krysti

31: Mercedes Labrada "Manena" October 29, 1926 - August 23, 2011

37: Aristides Labrada "Chiqui" October XX, 19XX -

42: Migrating to Miami

44: Christmas in Cuba - Memories of a Noche Buena Long Ago | My grandfather, Papaviejo as all his progeny called him, was Andalusian. Yet even as an old man, he carried with him the jovial and festive spirit of his homeland. He enjoyed good wine and hearty food; he appreciated a good joke and a lively party. In his youth, I’ve been told that he also had a taste for beautiful women and games of chance. In sum, Papaviejo liked all the things that enrich and deepen life’s experiences. Papaviejo was also a very good cook. He used to make an "arroz con bacalao" (rice with salted cod) that was a truly extraordinary culinary delight. According to him, the secret was to toast the cod over hot coals before adding it to the rice, which incidentally included little chunks of potato and lots of green peppers. Noche Buena was the family’s biggest event of the year, where Papaviejo’s skills in the kitchen really had a chance to shine. Weeks before Christmas, he began collecting all the ingredients for the big feast and storing them in a huge, old wooden armoire located in the dining room. The smells that escaped from that cupboard during that time of year tantalized all who passed by. On more than one occasion, my cousins and I were caught red handed trying to fish out a nut or other appetizing little treat from the hidden cache. The menu for Noche Buena was truly an exaggeration of riches: salads made with fresh local produce; arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) dressed with red pimentos and green olives; turkey fricasse with tender potatoes; roasted pig with garlic sauce (mojo); and casabe, a flat bread made from grated casava root that was used to mop up all the juices from the pig or turkey. For dessert, all types of fruits. Apples, pears, grapes, figs, dates. They had turrones imported from Spain: hard crunchy almond nougat (alicante), sweet jijona made from ground almonds and honey, yema tostada (toasted egg yolks) and mazapan (marzipan). This was also accompanied by homemade dulce de naranja, a dessert made with orange rinds swimming in syrup. And to round out the sobremesa or after dinner conversation, an array of nuts, cheeses, wines and apperitifs, like annisette (always Anis del Mono) and Cremas Marie Brizzard. To top it all off, a strong little cup (tacita) of Cuban coffee for the adults. They used the same grounds to brew a second pot, which resulted in a much lighter beverage for the younger crowd. Papaviejo didn’t actually participate in making the meal because on that special day, he had other things in mind; namely, partying! Early in the morning hours on the 24th, he’d set off from the house as if called to battle and begin his Christmas celebrations by visiting his old friends in town.

45: He’d make the rounds, stopping first at "La Asociación de Colonos" (the Settlers’ Association) or maybe at the "La Colonia Española". He’d pop in the bodega owned by Benigno Pereda and visit the houses of his old buddies, some of whom in their youths had shared many a good adventure. The fact is that quite a few young people, who boasted of being able to handle their drink well, succumbed pitifully to Papaviejo's staying power. A few hours before the start of the meal, the family would commission a sensible relative to search all over town and round up el Abuelo. And so, after a while, our grandfather would arrive at the house usually accompanied by a large crowd of noisy merrymakers. These last-minute guests often included the most unlikely characters; anyone from an old fisherman, to a cock-fighting judge, to the guy that loads coal into the train engine could make an appearance at Papaviejo’s holiday feast. One time, Papaviejo brought in tow a Norwegian sailor whom he’d found aimlessly wandering the streets of the town and who didn’t speak a word of Spanish. The family, of course, was already accustomed to these unexpected guests and provisions were always made for them. After dinner, we would all gather around Papaviejo for what many considered the highlight of Noche Buena, the singing of “Los Campaneiros". This old Castilian folksong was in the form of a “seguidilla” which was sung in a call-and-response form and required a “second.” Typically, Papaviejo would begin the tune by calling out "compadre yo soy sonaire..." meaning, “friend, I am a sound” and the second would respond “what instrument do you know how to play?” Papaviejo would respond “I know how to play the trumpet” and the second would respond “How do you play the trumpet” and to which he would answer by mimicking the sound of a trumpet. This chant was repeated by adding on other instruments such as drums, violins, guitar, piano, etc. Abuelo had to imitate the sound of each instrument in the order that they’d been called without forgetting a single one. At the end there was a slight variant but I do not remember it well. The joy that was felt at the end of the “campaneiros” amongst all those present was special and palpable and something that I will never forget as long as I live. At this time of year, as we recall other times and other happy holidays in our our beloved homeland, I thought it appropriate to pay this little tribute to my dear "Papaviejo", a truly extraordinary man who died many years ago but continues to live in my heart. With my best wishes for a happy and happy Christmas for all, Aristides Labrada, Jr. Miami, Florida 1996

46: Christmas in New York

48: My 1st Miami Noche Buena

50: Frijoles Negros a la Delia (makes 4 servings) | Ingredients: 1 cup of raw black beans (Goya, Iberia or Diana) 1 large green pepper 5 cups of water 1/3 cup of olive oil (Sensat is preferred) 2 small onions 2 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon vinegar 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon powdered oregano 1 bay leaf 1 spoonful of sugar 1 spoonful of dry cooking wine | Instructions: Soak the beans overnight in water in a large pot together with half of the green pepper and a whole onion. The next day cook the beans, peppers and onions in the same water until tender. When the beans are done, remove and discard the green pepper and onion. In a frying pan, sauté in hot olive oil the other half of the onion (diced) and the garlic (crushed). A little later, add the remaining diced green pepper. Once the onions turn golden, add a couple of spoonfuls of the cooked beans and mash them (to thicken up the soup). Pour the mixture into the cooking pot with the remainder of the beans. Add salt, pepper, oregano, a bay leaf and sugar. Let it cook over a low fire for at least one hour. Add the vinegar and the dry wine and simmer over low fire for an additional hour. Before serving, add a spoonful of olive oil. | Delia and Chiqui on their Wedding Day

52: One almost-lost tradition focused on the impending arrival of a new baby. When a woman announced her pregnancy, a family member (usually one of the future grandmothers) prepared a special fruit based liqueur called “aliñao." The practice and the drink originated in the old Oriente province of Cuba, where Puerto Padre is located. Aliñao is made by cooking a variety of dried fruits in simple syrup until tender, adding aguardiente and then leaving the mixture to steep for a long period of time. The recipe originally called for prunes but as it evolved, a variety of other fruits were also used: dates, apricots, raisins, figs, pineapple, papaya, apples, oranges and cherries. The whole concoction was then poured into a large glass jug or "garrafon" and stored in a dry, cool and dark place for nine months. In the old days, the jug was buried in the ground. Over time, the fruits would impart their flavor to the aguardiente, leaving a very strong but delightful cordial. When the baby was born, the family celebrated the birth by offering it to guests who came to deliver their well wishes. .As with many traditions, it served both a practical as well as sentimental purpose. Not only was this a convenient way to prepare a beverage that could be offered to large numbers of people (don't forget families were very large in those days) but any remaining liqueur could also be stored to celebrate the child's future accomplishments. Abuela Lola made the aliñao for Glenn and Leslie's births. They were the last two children who she made this special drink for. | Welcoming New Babies: Aliñao

53: Leslie was the last baby in our family to have aliñao made for her by Abuela Lola. Here they are together at Leslie's christening on September 22, 1974. | Aliñao Recipe (makes four gallons) 3 gallons of water 4 sticks of cinnamon 2 whole pods of star anise (or clove, if you prefer) Aguardiente Sugar A combination of chopped dried fruit: Prunes (without pits) Dates (without pit or skin) Apples Figs Raisins Papaya Apricots Pineapple Cherries 1 Orange (cut in slices) In a large pot, combine the water, cinnamon, anise and sugar and bring it to a boil until it becomes a light syrup. Add the chopped, dried fruit to the syrup and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes (or until tender). Remove the pot from the stove and let cool. When the mixture has cooled, pour it into a large glass vessel (a 5-gallon recycled wine jug works well).. Add the aguardiente and stir. Add the cherries and the orange slices. Close the jug and place it in a dark, dry place for the length of the pregnancy. Serve at room temperature after the baby’s birth or at the christening.

54: Our Christening Gown

55: Lillian Lisette Leslie Jill Krystle Melissa Annelise Emily

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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Remember Me
  • Family Heritage Book
  • Tags: family; family tree, relatives
  • Started: almost 7 years ago
  • Updated: about 1 year ago