CUBA CHANGESI'll be glad to return to Cuba. It will change, now that we are warming our relationship with the Island. Eventually it will be painted, rebuilt, refurbished and brought into the 21st Century.
The Cuba of Hemingway was an exotic brew of colonial aftermath and Caribbean passion but it was changed by the money of those who went to party, becoming a storied and sensual playground. After the revolution the Island fell into a prismatic melancholy, tattered and even rejected but still vibrant, alluring and intoxicating. Ghosts of the grand elegance and shadows of revolution curled like opposing shapes, unhappy companions, blown by trade winds down the decaying boulevards past crumbling mansions where squatters claimed grandeur and made their own joy. Music in alleys, dancing on stoops, laundry like flags on balconies, old cars Mad Max like, restaurants in homes, buildings falling into piles, areas of blackouts, festival spirit and poor but happy people. That is the Cuba I will remember and long to see again. But it will morph.
Obama's visit is the flipped switch that will now begin to
return modernity, tourism and business. The forbidden jewel will be accessible again and that special, unique place trapped between diplomatic war and its inherent desire to make merry will begin to disappear. The new Cuba will shine no doubt and perhaps in ways like before the revolution. But that Island stuck between Castro's rise, Hemingway's departure and Obama's arrival will shrink away. That is the Cuba I love.
Links to previous posts from the Cuba File.
The Cuba File Archive
THE BUILDER OF INSPIRATION
Once these older boys were part of a creative factory that changed radio and influenced television, advertising and promotion.
These fellows are part of Jim's team. From the left, Mike Griffin, Bob Christy, Jim Hilliard, this blogger, George Johns. Hilliard began as a young radio star who ended up a broadcasting mogul and business genius. He had that genius and ability to inspire when he assembled a team in the late 60's that created new forms of modern radio. We had fun and made it up as we went along. Recently we gathered in Cambria. For some of us it was our first time together in almost 40 years. Wow! Did the stories and memories flow.
Here's a link to observations by one of our favorites, Bruce Taylor, who though he was not at the reunion was part of that late 60's group.
It would sound like tooting our horn to detail the accomplishment and impact of that Fairbanks Broadcasting team. We just did it and back then kept moving on to the next goal. Now with benefit of hindsight, the record gives us a sense of pride. But more important was the warmth of old friendships and simply being together again. The old National PD, George put it together. He can still format winners and Jim can still lead us over the next hill. Winners, willing to pay the price.
See you down the trail.
See you down the trail.