Thursday, June 05, 2014

Cuban Gothic

These are my paternal grandparents: Manuel Campello Comba and Rita Alonso Marcos.

They were both immigrants to Cuba from Galicia, the ancient Celtic kingdom in Northern Spain; he was from some village up in the mountains and she was from Lugo. He was a stowaway on a Spanish ship, and arrived in Cuba with his brother (both penniless) in the 1920s. They both started out as ditch diggers, saved money, bought a cow, sold milk, bought more cows, saved more money.

They started a milk farm and lost everything in the market crash of the 1930s and then started again from scratch... by 1959 he was one of the largest milk producers in the country, and then he lost everything again, this time to the Communists of Fidel Castro's Workers Paradise... within a few years, there was no milk available to anyone in the area. 

He had 11 children with my grandmother!