VOL. 1, ISSUE 3
THE EXPOSURE of IGNORANCE PASSAGES from FT. BROOKE THE LOST CITY
MARCH / APRIL 2006 FREE
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T HE R ADIANT G ROUP, LLC 1320 E. 9th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605 (813) 247-4731 www.radiant.com
22 32 38 46
El Lector Remembers the Sinking of the U.S.S. Tampa The Exposure of Ignorance The Lost City
Passages from Ft. Brooke La Gitana
A Conversation with Luisita Pacheco
44 45 52 54
Lost Landmarks Not So Trivial The Kitchen Mama Knows
Visit our web site at www.CigarCityMagazine.com 8
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
FOUNDER/PUBLISHER LISA M. FIGUEREDO
EDITOR MARILYN ESPERANTE FIGUEREDO ART DIRECTOR LISA M. FIGUEREDO LEAD DESIGNER CORY SEYMOUR PHOTOGRAPHY & DISTRIBUTION ROBERTO M. AGUINAGA EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS GAIL ELLIS MARILYN ESPERANTE FIGUEREDO NEVIN D. SITLER COPY EDITOR DEBORAH FRESHWATER ART & PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS GILBERT BERNARDO GEORGE LOPEZ LUISITA PACHECO TAMPA PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM UNITED STATES LIBRARY OF CONGRESS UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA, TAMPA LIBRARY, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT TAMPA BAY HISTORY CENTER CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE P.O. BOX 18613, TAMPA, FLORIDA 33679 (813) 875-4929 WWW.CIGARCITYMAGAZINE.COM Â©2005, Cigar City Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, or use without written permission of the publisher, of editorial, pictorial, or design content in any manner is prohibited. Printed in the U.S.A.
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CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE P.O. BOX 18613
TAMPA, FLORIDA 33679 (813) 358-3455
As the Victor Hugo saying goes – “Nothing is more powerful as an idea whose time has come!” Congratulations on seeing your magazine idea become a reality! They need to be out here in Carrollwood to remind us suburbanites that we have a wonderful, historical town to visit only 20-30 minutes away. I use to work for an international marketing company in Ybor on 7th Avenue during the ’80s (when Ybor renewal ideas were being contemplated) and loved smelling the Cuban bread and coffee early in the morning. I wish you much success and beautiful stories that will fill Cigar City Magazine pages and the hearts of the readers. –Lanis Chidel
of hand rolling their cigars. Mr. Newman chose to hire young women to run those machines, as they had no preconceived ideas about how cigars should be made like the old timers did. My mother was one of those young ladies and spent several years working at the Newman’s factory. Growing up, I often heard stories from my mother about working at that factory. A couple of years ago my mother picked up a copy of Mr. Newman’s book and I took her over to the factory. Mr. Newman was there and after a brief conversation, he signed her book. It really meant a lot to her and I think Mr. Newman also enjoyed the visit. –Victoria Moradiellos Valdes
I happened to catch the article in today’s Trib regarding your new publication. I think what you are doing is absolutely wonderful. I’ve only lived in Tampa for 10 years, but as an avid cigar smoker, I’ve come to truly appreciate all of Tampa’s history in the cigar industry. I’d like to be able to receive your magazine. I live and work in New Tampa. Is there any location up here where it will be available? Could I alternatively receive a copy by mail? Keep up the good work! –Elliot Cazes, M.D.
Our distributors tell us Cigar City Magazine is flying off their shelves. To make sure you receive a copy we recommend home delivery. A list of distribution locations and information about home delivery can be found at: CigarCityMagazine.com. For $17.70 you will receive the next six issues. You can also write us at Cigar City Magazine, P.O. Box 18613, Tampa, Florida, 33679. Just enclose your check, made payable to Cigar City Magazine, in the amount of $17.70 and the mailing address. –Cigar City Magazine Editor
My family has been involved in the cigar industry as both consumers and workers. My mother, Evelyn Moradiellos, was a young woman when she was hired by J.C. Newman. At the time the Newman factory was the first to use machines instead 12
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
FROM THE EDITOR
MARILYN ESPERANTE FIGUEREDO| INFO@CIGARCITYMAGAZINE.COM
Above and cover: Photographs by Lewis W.
Hine documenting children working in facto-
ries and mines throughout the United States. Hine’s story is featured on page 22.
ampa’s evolution from a small village into the metropolitan city it is today has been impacted by many historical events. The cigar industry boom that occurred in 1886 certainly caused Tampa to change, but the establishment of Fort Brooke in 1824 also impacted growth. Four companies of the U.S. Army established Fort Brooke to protect the strategic harbor at Tampa Bay. In “Passages from Fort Brooke” read about Major E. A. Hitchcock, a “distinguished soldier”, who wrote about his experiences in 1840 in a letter to his family. His words will offer insight into how one soldier felt about the Indian Wars. Another story in this issue is a subject many Americans still do not like to talk about–child labor. “The Exposure of Ignorance” will introduce you to Lewis W. Hine, a well known photographer who traveled across America in the early 1900s to expose child labor. One man with one camera who helped to forever change the illegal child labor practices that existed. Unfortunately, Tampa did not escape the lens of his camera as he gained access to some of our cigar factories in early 1909. “Lost City” is about an area of Tampa called Roberts City that was flattened by the bulldozers of Urban Renewal. This close knit community was obliterated in the early 1960s for the sake of “progress”! George Lopez is one resident who continues to keep the memories of his neighborhood alive by making sure the rest of us never forget. And, for all the Flamenco lovers, don’t miss the interview with Luisita Pacheco. Luisita was a professional Flamenco performer who danced away with the heart of the illustrious fight doctor, painter, writer and Tampa native, Ferdie Pacheco. To add humor to your life, don’t forget “Mama Knows”. Mama doesn’t hesitate to offer advice to those brave enough to write and ask her advice. Why don’t you give it a try? But be prepared–you never know what Mama might say! Marilyn Esperante Figueredo email@example.com
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
EL LECTOR REMEMBERS THE SINKING OF THE U.S.S. TAMPA
BY GAIL ELLIS
ll of us in the Tampa community are in mourning on this day. The workers heard the news before the morning paper arrived, so when I read the headlines “21 Tampa Lads Perish; Coastguard Cutter Tampa Sent Down By Huns”, the usually noisy workroom was already silent. The cigar makers stopped their work, shaking their heads sadly and removing their hats. Some made the sign of the cross. Standing by my chair on the Lector’s platform, I read from the morning newspaper the names of those Tampa boys missing and presumed dead after the disaster which occurred 8 days ago on September 26, 1918. Charles E. Galvin, master-at arms, son of Mrs. D. J. Galvin. Wamboldt Sumner, ship’s writer, son of Mrs. Minnie H. Brummer. Louis F. Vaughn, yeoman, son of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Vaughn. Rocco Guerriero, boy, first class, son of Vincenzo Guerriero.”
The city of Tampa lost 3 sets of brothers, another set of cousins. Many others, military and civilian, a total of 131 lives were lost that day. The U.S.S. Tampa had been adopted by the residents of Tampa in part because she came to our city frequently and participated in the Gasparilla event for several years. The news that it had been torpedoed by a German UB91 Coastal Torpedo Attack Boat with so many Florida boys on it had devastated our city. Early this warm October morning–before leaving for the factory to read this sad news to the cigar workers–I sat drinking my coffee, remembering the early days of the “war to end
all wars” President Wilson has assured us this will be. When America entered the war in 1917 there was a call for patriotism and support for the new Selective Service registration. All young men between the ages of 21 and 30 were required to register on June 5th, 1917. While many heeded the call, others did not. Some local boys decided to take a trip to Havana instead. On May 23rd last year the newspaper noted that the Olivette sailed from Tampa with 208 passengers, mostly young men, an unusual passenger load for late May. Their only purpose, it concluded, must be to “escape the draft.” “It cannot be said in defense of the exodus that those leaving are principally Latins returning to Havana because of lack of work here. After four weeks of slack in the cigar industry, it is again picking up and factories are putting their workers on more hours,” The Tampa Morning Tribune reported. “Besides, Latin names are not by any means the only ones on the passenger lists.” In May 1917, when I read that article to the cigar workers, there was much discussion. Many remembered the fight for Cuban freedom barely 20 years ago in the SpanishAmerican War. This was a bitter reminder of the futility of war. Their anger flared hot once again. Some thought this war was simply none of our business. Those had sons they gladly sent to Cuba to avoid a possibly senseless death. Others embraced America fully and would volunteer to defend their new found freedom and the freedom promised to their sons and daughters before the Selective Service act was passed. This division of neighbors was common throughout our country, but felt intensely in Ybor City, a neighborhood more diverse in heritage and skin color than most others. For the next year the controversy over the war continued. Many Americans jumped on the bandwagon for the war effort. Liberty bonds were sold to raise money. Victory gar-
MARCH – APRIL 2006
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy? – Mahatma Gandhi, “Non-Violence in Peace and War”
dens were started to keep the troops fed and those at home as well. People went without meat on Tuesdays. The Boy Scouts of America planted vegetable gardens, started coastal patrols to guard America’s coast from invasion and
collected peach pits and nut hulls which were burned to make charcoal for gas mask filters. Tampa had a big parade down Lafayette Street with cheers for the “Khaki clad boys”. Its goal was to encourage the young men of Tampa to register for the draft. The newspaper voiced complaints about those who avoided the draft. Slackers, they were called. An editorial sent a scathing accusation to those who claimed exemption from the draft due to alien status. “These husky young aliens are fattening off the wages or the products of the United States and are walking around in pompous indifference, not to say defiance of the government’s plea for its loyal man-power, while the American boy is off to the camp of training or in the trenches facing the enemy.” This conflict was reflected in the cigar factories as well. Many immigrant families had sons in the war. Others did not. The factory owners wanted to introduce machines to make cigars to save money and improve production. Skilled
cigar makers were threatened and new skills would have to be learned. Explosive arguments filled the cigar factories with tension. Wages did not keep up with the higher prices due to the scarcity of goods caused by the War. The cigar workers frequently had walkouts. Many agitators–yes many were lectors – caused mobs to form and throw bricks and bats at workers reluctant to leave their worktables. Bitter resentment and accusation divided friends and family. It was a dark time. Now today, for this moment at least, we are united. The telegrams have started arriving with the somber announcement, “Regret to announce Tampa missing and considered lost with all hands. No further information received. Letter follows.” Disbelief abounds. “It cannot be so.” I’ve heard those
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
words many times today. Other parents, hopeful, are waiting for the next telegram that will announce their son has been spared. They had cork filled life jackets and were within swimming distance of the shore. Surely their strong young
sons would survive. In spite of hope, all grieve the loss of so many young men. People from every station of life in Tampa have been affected by this tragedy. Many believe it is the greatest loss any city in the country has suffered in this war. One by one, the flags of the city are being lowered to half staff. I look out over the saddened faces and continue to read the names: W.R. Bozeman, seaman, son of W. A. Bozeman A.K. Bevins, water tender, mother Mrs. Minnie A. Bevins Leonard R. Bozeman, seaman, son of T.E. Bozeman Homer B. Sumner, seaman, son of Mrs. Minnie H. Brummer Algie L. Bevins, mother Mrs. Minnie A. Bevins As I continued the list, the workers had slowly started going back to work. They had to make cigars if they were going to make any money today, but it was a dispirited effort. Tomorrow more young men may step up to go fight for our Country and to honor those who have died, but tonight we will mourn the loss of so many young lives. Note: On October 4, 1918, the Tampa Morning Tribune advised that 24 Tampa men had died aboard the U.S.S Tampa. The Lector in this story is purely fictional. Any resemblance to any actual person, living or dead is a coincidence. The loss of the U. S. S. Tampa was a major event of World War I in Tampa. I would like to thank Howard Hoover, Adjutant, Post 5 American Legion, Tampa, and Robert M. Pendleton, Historical Researcher/Writer, for their input on the history of the U. S. S. Tampa.
U.S.S. TAMPA MEMORIAL WINDOW
The Coast Guard cutter mentioned in the El Lector piece was commissioned on August 19, 1912 as the United States Revenue Cutter (USRC) Miami. From her Key West port she was responsible for guarding the waters from Fernandina to Port Tampa. In 1913 she began making an appearance at the annual Gasparilla invasion. Later that year she was assigned to iceberg patrol. These patrols of the icy waters of the North Atlantic began shortly after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. She was renamed the Tampa in 1916.
U.S.S. Tampa Memorial Window at the American Legion Post 5 in Tampa, Florida
After war was declared on April 6, 1917 the Tampa was transferred to the Navy and fitted with four 3 inch 50 caliber guns. She left for Gibraltar on September 15, 1917. She had an exemplary record and Captain Charles Satterlee was commended in September 1918 for the ship having an excellent record of efficiency and organization with minimum of shore assistance. Fourteen days later she was sunk. In 1938 the Works Progress Administration commissioned a work of stained glass commemorating the ship and those lost. The window is currently on permanent display at the American Legion Post 5 in Tampa. They are currently trying to raise funds to have the window restored. Contributions are welcome.
MARCH â€“ APRIL 2006
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection, LC-DIG-nclc-01581
Two boys working on a machine in a Georgia factory, 1909. Children would have to climb the large machines to reach the controls. Their small hands and feet would frequently get caught in the machinery and they would be maimed for life.
THE EXPOSURE of IGNORANCE CHILD LABOR IN AMERICA
BY MARILYN ESPERANTE FIGUEREDO
adly, during the 19th and 20th centuries child labor was prevalent in our country. Our children were working in mills, mines and factories 12 or more hours a day, six days a week. Americans knew the practice existed, but whether they knew the scope or the depth of the issue is still a debatable topic. But it happened and no one seemed to care.
In order to understand this issue, one must go back to a time just after the Civil War. During this period, huge industrial growth occurred and the demand for labor increased. Wages were low and families needed everyone in the household to work. Mothers and fathers struggled with the decision to take their sons and daughters out of school, but some had no choice. Children became part of the American work force. The U.S. government recognized the need to stop this form of child abuse and, in the late 1800s, laws were passed to regulate working conditions and outlaw child labor. Many states were weak in enforcing the laws, loopholes existed, and many of the laws did not apply to immigrants. Frequently exploited, these families ended up living in slums and working long hours for little pay. One of the most devastating aspects of child labor was the health problems experienced by the children. They worked long hours, did not get enough exercise, and fatigue was common. As a result, their small bodies did not develop properly and their growth was stunted. It was even worse for those who worked in mills and minesâ€“exposure to toxic materials caused lung disease. Then there were the children operating machinery that became victims of an accident and were maimed for life.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection, LC-DIG-nclc-00268
York where he earned his masters degree. In 1903, Hine took up the hobby of photography after buying his first camera. As a teacher, taking pictures opened up a new area of education for him. He found photographs could educate without a single word being written or spoken–and that he liked! In 1904, he took a short trip back home to Oshkosh and reunited with a school friend by the name of Sara Ann Rich. These three young girls–Mary 6, Lucy 8, Ethel 10–worked long hours They soon fell in love and evenin the dirt fields planting beet crops in the hot Colorado sun, 1915. tually married. This same year, Newspapers like the Cleveland Journal published Hine began photographing immigrant families when they many stories on child labor. They ran an article on April arrived at Ellis Island. As families rushed through immigration processing, Hine would stop them and ask to take their 22, 1905, titled “The Evil of Child Labor” which said: picture–most of the time relying on hand signals to commuChildren waste materials, waste time, and, if careful nicate since the majority could not speak English. Hine continued using his dependable 5 x 7 inch box calculations were made, it would be found that their labor is not economical. Of all expensive luxuries the camera with an old-fashioned bulb shutter, glass-plate negatives, and magnesium flash powder. When he took a most expensive and most cruel is child labor. picture, a loud “bang” would be heard as the powder Many articles were written by reporters trying to draw ignited and sparks flew! Although his camera equipment attention to this issue, but child labor continued. There was old, his photographic skills produced excellent seemed little hope for the children until a photographer results. He continued to take pictures at Ellis Island for the next few years, producing approximately 200 photonamed Lewis W. Hine became their champion. graphs. ewis W. Hine was born on the 26th of September n 1906, Hine was doing freelance work for the 1874, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. His father and National Child Labor Committee. The NCLC had mother ran a popular coffee shop and restaurant been investigating child labor, and the information on Main Street and the family lived upstairs in a small apartment. A veteran of the Civil War, Hine’s father had collected indicated the number of children working survived many battles, but was unfortunately killed in an in factories, mills and mines was staggering. accident in 1892. In order to help support his mother Approximately 1.5 million children under the age of 15 and sister, Hine had to go to work. He was first employed worked in industrial jobs in 1890 and their research at a furniture store where he worked 13 hours a day and showed the numbers were increasing with each passing earned four dollars a week. He also split firewood, deliv- year. The Committee felt that images of child labor ered packages for a clothing store, sold water filters door captured on film would put them in a better position to to door and worked as a janitor in a bank. At age 25, fight against these illegal activities. Lewis Hine’s Hine began taking classes at the Normal School and, a photographic skills were well known and, in 1908, they year later, enrolled at the University of Chicago, studied hired him as their full time investigative reporter. Hine was the perfect person to become involved in sociology, and became a teacher. He later moved to New
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
50,000 miles a year by automobile and train. His wife Sara accompanied him on many of his trips, but most of the time Hine traveled alone.
etting into factories, mines and mills was not easy, especially as owners began to hear about a photographer gaining access to businesses. They warned their staff to be on the look out for anyone trying to take pictures. If someone did visit unexpectedly, children would be rushed out of sight and the visitor would be told that they were there to see relatives. Owners, managers, and the children themselves would often lie about their ages. Hine had to be deceptive and figure out ways to access businesses without management finding out. One of his tricks was to pose as a fire marshal or insurance salesman needing to perform an inspection of
No time for play–young boys working in Ewen Breaker of Pennsylvania Coal Co. would spend ten to twelve hours a day working in the coal mines of South Pittson, Pennsylvania, and never see the light of day, 1911. MARCH – APRIL 2006
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection, LC-DIG-nclc-01130
this cause. As a teacher, he loved children and he wanted to do whatever he could to support the efforts of the NCLC. Experience had taught him pictures could tell a compelling story and he accepted the assignment with great vigor. He later would say, “I felt that I was merely changing my educational efforts from the classroom to the world.” As Hine began his assignment, he knew he had to draw a distinction between children working part-time jobs after school, or as apprentices or trainees, and those who were employed as cheap labor. His target would be mines, mills and factories that were exploiting young boys and girls. With his small box camera at his side, Hine set off on what became a four-year journey across America. He visited states where he heard child labor existed and took as many pictures as he could of working children. It turned into a demanding assignment as he traveled as many as
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection, LC-DIG-nclc-04506
One of Hine’s most captivating photos was taken at the Engelhardt Bros. Cigar Co. in Tampa, Florida. It was commonplace to see young boys smoking both inside and outside of the cigar factories. Some were as young as five or six years old.
the facility. He would then hide his camera under his jacket and take pictures when he could. He also carried small bits of paper in his pocket and took notes. In order to gauge the height of children, he would secretly measure them by using the buttons of his coat or would take a picture of them standing next to a large piece of equipment. Although Hine was careful to avoid being discovered, he frequently was caught and faced threats of physical harm or injury by an angry manager or guard. Being thrown out of a facility did not deter him. He would simply wait outside and take photographs as the children arrived and departed. He would also follow them home and try to persuade their parents to talk to him. If successful, he would then ask to see the family Bible, a passport or other documents to verify ages. 26
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
HINE VISITS TAMPA
ampa and its factories did not escape the eye of Hine’s camera and, in January 1909, he arrived in “The Cigar Capital of the World”. His research revealed that children under the age of 14 were working in certain cigar factories and he set out to find which factories employed them. He was able to talk his way into the A. Ramirez Cigar Co. Here he snapped a picture of two young girls using wood barrels covered with a tarp as tables while they worked with tobacco. At the De Pedro Casellas Cigar Factory he was able to sneak a picture of a young boy, with his stocking supporter’s visible, sitting among other children and adults all busily at work. At the Salvador Rodriguez Factory he found another young boy busy
Work was slack and youngsters were not being employed much. Labor told me in busy times many small boys and girls are employed. Youngsters all smoke. The next day Hine visited a Tampa cigar box factory and took pictures of children sitting at wooden tables as they placed labels on the new boxes. His written note from that day said: I saw 10 small boys and girls – has had reputation for employment of youngsters but work is slack now. It must be noted that although there were factories in Tampa employing children under the age of 14, there were a number of factories that did not. These factories refused to hire children and were against any type of child labor practices.
Some critics said his photographs were not “shocking enough”. But, Hine felt the pictures were truthful, real, and the American public would understand the magnitude of child labor that existed. When asked what he hoped to accomplish with his photographs he said: Photography can light-up darkness and expose ignorance. Another time during one of his photograph displays, Hine told the audience, “Perhaps you are weary of child labor pictures. Well, so are the rest of us, but we propose to make you and the whole country so sick and tired of the whole business that when the time for action comes, child labor pictures will be records of the past.” Hine’s photographs all had one thing in common – he captured the sadness and the silent plea for help visible in the children’s eyes. This photographic effect, shown on a large screen during Hine’s slide-shows in dark auditoriums, had a spellbinding affect on his audiences. Gasps of disbelief were heard and at other times total silence. Each picture was captioned with the meticulous notes Hine had made which added even greater impact: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection, LC-DIG-nclc-04880
making cigars. He then gained access to the Engelhardt & Company Cigar Factory. While there, Hine took a picture that later became widely used to illustrate child labor in cigar factories. The photograph was of three young boys sitting side by side busy at work. The boy in the middle is smoking a cigar. You immediately are drawn to their glassy eyes staring off in the distance, with expressions frozen in time. Hine wrote of this visit:
She said she was 11 years old. Been working over a year…some boys and girls were so small they had to climb up on to the spinning frame to mend broken threads and to put back the empty bobbins.
y 1912, Hine had taken over 500 photographs and had visited a total of 24 states and the District of Columbia. The National Child Labor Committee was impressed with his work and felt they were “Protect the Child” display poster – Hine used now well armed to go forth and He is age 14, works from 7 a.m. to 6 this fight for America’s children. p.m. – smokes and visits houses of The Committee began by prostitution. publishing Hine’s photographs with detailed reports in She was 51 inches high…Has been in the factory one year. magazines and books. Hine then traveled around the U.S. giving lectures, displaying his photographs, and Sometimes works at night. When asked how old she was she hesitated, then said, “I don’t remember”, then added confidentially, presenting slide shows. MARCH – APRIL 2006
“I’m not old enough to work, but do just the same.” In time, more and more Americans saw Hine’s photographs and heard about his efforts. Public opinion became stronger and pressure was placed on state lawmakers to begin passing legislation banning child labor. Stiffer laws were imposed and authorities began enforcement. Eventually, child labor began to come to an end. After years of dedication, Hine’s mission was now complete and so his assignment came to an end. America finally woke up and Hine’s wishes came true–“child labor pictures became records of the past.”
high above New York City. Perhaps Hine felt if he survived the rage of factory owners during his child labor days, he could definitely defy dizzying heights! During this decade times were hard for Hine as he tried to survive the Great Depression. He was a wellknown, respected photographer but he could not find steady work and by 1938 he was penniless and discouraged. He tried to secure a foundation grant for a new projec–a photographic study of foreign-born Americans. He was turned down and had to apply for public assistance. By January of 1940 he could not pay his mortgage and lost the home he had owned since 1918. Eleven months later, on November 3, 1940, Lewis Wickes Hine died in New York in extreme poverty. He was just 64 years old.
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection, LC-DIG-nclc-01824a
ine’s next job was any years have with the American passed since Lewis Red Cross. World Hine became one of War I was in progress and Hine the first documentary photogwas hired to travel to Europe raphers. His name and his and photograph their accomstory have become part of hisplishments during the war. He tory for all generations to read traveled for a number of and to wonder how we ever months photographing allowed child labor to exist. refugees and relief efforts in the Today Hine is acknowlaftermath of the war. When edged as one of America’s great the war was over, Hine photographers, but there are returned home and wanted to many who do not recognize his change direction with regards name. His photographic to his photography. He said, “I images of working children thought I had done my share of touched the hearts of negative documentation, now I Americans and helped change want to do something posithe laws of our nation. Because of this, it is incumbent upon tive.” all of us not to forget Lewis In the 1920s he began takHine the teacher, the photograing pictures of working people pher, the crusader who made a and craftsmen with a goal to difference–one man with one profile the importance of box camera who took on a human labor in the new age of Above: Barefoot children like the girl in this Vermont factory in 1910 were common. Families were poor and social cause that was in need of machinery. He called this pardid not have money to buy shoes. Opposite: Young a voice. ticular series, “Work Portraits.” mine– West Virginia, 1908. In 1930, Hine’s next Note: In 1985, The undertaking was to photograph the building of the Empire State Building. His son National Child Labor Committee began awarding “The Corydon became his assistant. It was not uncommon to Lewis Hine Award” to recognize dedicated men and see Hine climbing with construction workers and setting women who have made a difference in the lives of young up his camera. He would balance his camera on girders people across America.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection, LC-DIG-nclc-01068
Photography can light-up darkness and expose ignorance. Lewis W. Hine
THE LOST CITY
magine going to visit the neighborhood you grew up in and it’s not there! Not one single house, grocery store, bakery or church – everything gone! In a panic, you rush to your house and then your grandparents’ house and all you find are empty lots full of sand and rocks. Your mind races back to a time of big family dinners, especially around the holidays. You think of the playground where you and your friends played stickball and Bernardo’s Grocery Store and Garage where you would hang out, drink Coke, and chew on penny bubble gum. The city you remember no longer exists. If you grew up in Roberts City, then this is your story. To help understand what happened, let’s go back to when Roberts City began. In Armando Mendez’s book Cuidad de Cigars: West Tampa we learn:
Top: Ramón Bernardo stands in front of the family business, Bernardo’s Service Station. Above: Manuel “Baby Ray” Lopez, left (holding a loaf of Cuban bread), and his father Antonio outside of the Buena Vista Hotel in 1942.
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
In 1893 West Tampa business leaders were busy seeking new manufacturers to entice to the area. In January 1893, George Benjamin and Phillip Collins successfully lured brothers Julius and Ernest Ellinger to move their operations from Key West to West Tampa. The Ellinger Company was the second largest manufacturer of Havana cigars in the United States, and it took an offer of sixty lots
BY MARILYN ESPERANTE FIGUEREDO
University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Dept.
building lots and $5,000 cash for Collins and Benjamin port the needs of its residents. They included S. Conte to persuade the Ellingers to move. Grocery Store where you could buy your groceries for the The Ellingers built their factory–the first brick build- week and La Popular Bakery where you could purchase ing in West Tampa–on the corner of Green Street and fresh baked Cuban bread–hot out of the oven. Then Garcia Avenue. They then constructed small cottages there was Latteri’s Poultry Market where customers could near the factory for over 400 cigar workers and it became stop in to pick out a plump, live chicken for that known as “Ellinger City”, or as the residents called it, El evening’s dinner and hand it to the butcher to take for a Barrio de Elinche. It was bordered by the Hillsborough walk! This was the day-to-day life in this small community. River on the north and east, North Boulevard on the The icon business of the city was the Buena Vista west and Cass Street on the south. Hotel which stood tall on the southeast corner of LaSalle Ellinger & Co. operStreet and Garcia Avenue. ated as a cigar-producing This beautiful hotel was factory but fell on hard the focal point of the city, times after the death of complete with a Julius Ellinger in 1902. swimming pool and health After merging with anothclub used by many of the er company, its operations cigar workers after a long, moved to Ybor City. The hard day of work. The original brick building sat hotel also had an outdoor empty until 1909 when patio where dances were the firm of J. W. Roberts held. There was also a box& Son opened their own ing gym that drew crowds cigar factory. Soon theredepending on what famous after, residents began callboxer was working out at ing their neighborhood the time. Professional boxJ. W. Roberts & Son Cigar Co., 1954 “Roberts City”. Around ers like Chino Alvarez, that time the Garcia Carl (Red) Guggino, Tony Avenue Bridge was built, providing quick access across Lopez “Half-Pint”, Joe Ficarotta, Max Baer, or the Leto the Hillsborough River. brothers (Tony and Jimmy) could be seen getting ready for their next bout. An outdoor boxing ring was also n his book Bridging the Gap Robert W. Saunders, located at Market and LaSalle Streets. This ring attracted Sr., talks about growing up in Roberts City. “My fam- local amateur boxers who could make good money going ily had neighbors from a variety of ethnic groups, a few rounds with one another. Boxing was a major form including Cuban and Italian, as well as Black and of entertainment in Roberts City and fights were a popCaucasian families. Local children played together, ate in ular pastime. each other’s homes, fought each other, and protected o what happened to Roberts City? Why does it not each other. On the other hand, Florida’s segregation laws exist any longer? Simply put, it was destroyed! Not and traditions did keep us from attending the same by fire or a natural disaster, but by something far schools, eating in the same restaurants and even drinking worse–Urban Renewal. This ugly monster began its annifrom the same water fountains.” As the city grew, numerous businesses opened to sup- hilation of Roberts City in the early 1960s.
“It was destroyed! Not by fire or a natural disaster, but by something far worse – Urban Renewal.” MARCH – APRIL 2006
University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Dept.
Roberts City Grocers
Large areas of Tampa were being wiped clean of homes and businesses to make way for what was called at the time “progress”. Roberts City became one of its victims. Men toting cans of paint used their paintbrushes to place a death mark on the outside walls. URX stood for “Urban Renewal Removal”. The newly built Interstate 275 cut through the city. Unfortunately, both projects occurred with the blessings of many.
part, the businesses failed…I remember the ghost town appearance of the neighborhood, no people, but dogs and cats in packs, as pets had been abandoned. Animal Control quickly rounded up the dogs, but did nothing about the cats. I recall cats frantically trying to scale power poles to catch a bird that had lighted on the wire. Such was the hunger. I would go across the river and get buckets of fish heads from the fish market and just dump them in the fields. Cats would rush from all over, grab a fish head, and race to some far corner to devour their prize. Slowly the cats, too, disappeared. Then all was silent.
he Bernardos were one of Roberts City’s well-known families. Gilbert Bernardo grew up playing with the other kids in his neighborhood, and enjoyed he memory of Roberts City hanging out at his family’s store. His lives on in the minds and hearts of those who once grandparents, Ramón and Emilia lived in this thriving city by the river. Bernardo, had moved to Roberts One such person is George “Yoye” City in the early 1900s from Lopez. Lopez has spent a great deal Asturias, Spain. Gilbert’s father of time at his home in Seffner docuRamón was one of their seven chilmenting memories of growing up in dren. Gilbert was so affected by Roberts City. I had read about what happened to his neighborhood George’s passion for preserving the as a result of urban renewal that he memory of Robert’s City in an old had to express himself in writing. Tampa Tribune article. It spoke of the The following excerpt is full of the The Bernardo family, from left, Manuel, reunions George and a group of emotion he experienced at the time: Ramón, Tony, Nick and Joe friends from Roberts City would First the houses were bought up and hold to reminisce about their neighborhood. The article, families moved out. With no houses and no people, there was written in 1968, was about their third annual reunion no one to support the neighborhood businesses. So, for the most Gilbert Bernardo
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
with 1,500 people showing up at the American Legion Hall at Macfarlane Park. These large reunions have ceased, but George and his buddies still get together at El Gallo de Oro Restaurant every Monday and Friday to stay in touch and have café con leche. I knew I had to contact George to find out more about Roberts City. I found George’s number and called him. We spent a great deal of time talking over the telephone that day, with George speaking about the neighborhood he remembered with so much passion and love. We set up a meeting the following Monday morning at El Gallo to meet and talk. I arrived right at 10:30 a.m. and the place was crowded with all the tables occupied. I looked around, wondering how I was going to find George since I didn’t know what he looked like. I saw a large table of six men and thought this might be George’s friends that he called “The Roberts City Boys”. I walked over and asked if they knew George Lopez. One of them said, “Yeah, we know George–why are you looking for him?” I introduced myself and told them I was meeting George to talk about Roberts City. One of them pointed to the chair at the corner of the table and said, “George is next door having a hair cut; sit down right there in that seat–that’s where George sits”. With that, they continued on with the conversation I had interrupted. “You don’t know what you are talking about,” one said to another across the table. “Oh, I don’t know what I’m talking about, huh? What do you know? Nothing–absolutely nothing”, he quipped back. This banter continued back and forth between all of them and when it had subsided a bit, one said, “Can I buy you a cup of café con leche?” “Yes, thank you, that would be nice,” I said. Then the taunting and teasing continued at the table. As I sat there drinking my cup of hot coffee,
Roberts City Boys outside of the El Gallo de Oro Restaurant in 2005. (from left sitting) Orlando Salinero, Ernest Rodriguez, Richard Sanchez, Armando Castillo, Rico Olivera, Emilio Espinola, Tony Castellana, Joe Dario. (from left standing) Lou Matassini and George Lopez
MARCH – APRIL 2006
Buena Vista Hotel
Tomassino Grocery Store Bernardo Grocery Store & Garage
Big Cigar Company
Matassini Fish Market Latteri Poultry Market Butter Krust
Hunt Poultry Market
Juan Garcia Cigar Factory
Ray Williams Funeral Home Agliano Fruit Stand Tampa Linen
Fonte Cleaners ABC Café
Harry’s Cookies Happy Tony Billy Moore Brisa
La Popular Bakery
F. Garcia and Brothers Cigar Factory S. Conte Grocery Store
Atlantic Marble and Tile La Prinsa Café E. Dominguez Wholesalers
Saunders Funeral Home Ice House
Roberts City Garage Guggina Grocery
Clara Frye Hospital
Sanchez Ship Repair Ice Plant
Guida Grocery Store
Gusmano Filling Station
Cardinale Grocery Store
Fernandez Sandwich Shop
Papia Grocery Store La Cooperativa Grocery Store
North Boulevard Baptist Church
Cagnina Grocery Store F. Garcia & Brothers Cigar Factory
J. W. Roberts & Son Cigar Factory
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
Buckeye Cigar Businesses: Mistretta, BlasRodriguez and Salaniro and others...
I realized that these “Roberts City Boys” have been around each other since they were youngsters, so picking on one another was something they had been doing for years. I could picture them playing in a makeshift baseball field in Roberts City with one yelling out, “Bet you can’t hit this curve ball…” “Oh yeah? Just shut up and throw the darn ball!” When George finally arrived around 11 a.m., “the boys” were getting up to move to their table outside. I later discovered they move to the outside table because that’s when the restaurant’s lunch crowd starts arriving and, by that time, they are finished with their café con leche and Cuban bread. George and I talked for a bit outside but we decided a quiet meeting at his home later that next week would be better. That way he could show me all the information he had collected about Roberts City. I said goodbye to the guys and a couple of them waved, but the others were too focused on the new battle that had begun. As I walked away, I realized that these old friends have a genuine respect and love for one another and they show it with their teasing.
arrived at George’s home in the early afternoon. He and his wife live in a beautiful wooded area in Seffner just outside of Tampa. George invited me in and directed me to the kitchen table. We spoke awhile and then, with his baseball cap tipped backwards he leaned back in his chair, folded his arms across his chest, and said, “Before we talk further, I want you to read this.” He handed me ten pages of handwritten notes that were titled, “Robert (sic) City 4/1/05”. Then he got up and went into the other room, leaving me alone. So, here I was left with an assigned task–which I gladly accepted– and I began to read. My name is George Lopez. I was born in Robert City (sic) in 1928 – 806 Laurel St., 1 block west of the La Popular Bakery. There were 12 in my family; 2 died before I was born. My father’s name was Antonio Lopez (cigar maker), born in Cuba. Mother was born in Key West, Guillermina Delgado (housewife)… He wrote about the mixture of immigrant families who had come to the United States looking for a better way of life and who had settled in Roberts City. As I read, I was amazed by how much George remembered. He had listed families who lived in his neighborhood–Bernardo,
“Where Roberts City once stood are Blake High School, Presbyterian Village, Tampa Preparatory School and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.”
University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Dept.
Conte, Dario, Darrigo, Salinero, Cardosa, Papia, Flores, in Roberts City, what his parents did for a living or some Fonte, Castellano, Contreras, Cardinale, Espinola, story he remembered. George later told me there were Matassini, Sanchez, and Carbajal. I recognized many of two guys that didn’t make it back home–Nick Matassini the names of “the boys” he had introduced me to at El and Oscar Ramos. Gallo de Oro. George wrote about all the good memories Time passed quickly as George shared his stories with and the active community that had existed in Roberts me, but it was now time to head back to Tampa before City. His descriptions took me on a the traffic got bad. I thanked mental journey to this part of George for spending the afternoon Tampa that I knew so little about. with me and we agreed we would When I finished reading, stay in touch. Before I left, George George came back into the room handed me a copy of his writing and said, “Alright, so now you read and said he wanted me to keep it. what I had to say, and you know I knew I wasn’t the first person to about Roberts City”. He then receive a copy, and I surely would pulled out a sheet of paper on not be the last. George’s mission which he had drawn a makeshift has been and always will be to edumap. Lines intersected one another cate as many people as he can showing the names of streets: Short about his beloved Roberts City. Main, Main, Green, Laurel, On the drive home from LaSalle, Nassau, Arch, Grace, Seffner I decided to detour Cypress, Cass, and Garcia Avenue. through where the city once stood. A corresponding list of stores, cafés, I drove down North Boulevard service stations, barbershops, cigar and looked left and right trying to The only reminder of Roberts City, a fire hydrant. factories and other businesses were get a feel for what was once there. numbered, indicating their location I tried to remember how George on the map. George explained that the landscape is sig- had drawn the intersecting streets and I slowed down to nificantly different today with most of the streets still read the street signs, trying to imagine how they all ran there, but no longer running as far as they once did. together. I had driven down this street many times before Standing where Roberts City once stood are Blake but today sadness overcame me. I thought about one of High School, Presbyterian Village, Tampa Preparatory the last questions I asked George. I wanted to know if School and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. The Boys and there was anything left of Roberts City. He paused for a Girls Club was recently built on the corner of North minute, looked down and then back at me with a soft Boulevard and Arch Street. George told me that the city smile and said, “Only a fire hydrant.” is working on putting a plaque at this location to honor Special thanks to George Lopez and Gilbert Bernardo who Roberts City. George next pulled out an old picture album filled provided valuable information and photographs for this artiwith photographs of men in their World War II cle. I also want to thank all the“Roberts City Boys” for all the uniforms. He has collected a number of pictures of men mornings of café con leche at El Gallo de Oro Restaurant. from Roberts City who served their country bravely. As he turned each page, he would tell me a little bit of history about each serviceman–his name, where he lived MARCH – APRIL 2006
Tampa Bay History Center
Early sketch of Ft. Brooke settlement
PASSAGES from FORT BROOKE BY NEVIN D. SITLER
Dear Sam: It is the 19th of October 1840, and I am still at sea on board the ship…we are now said to be about 30 miles from the entrance into Tampa Bay… –20th of October In sight of land, supposed to be a few miles north of Tampa Bay, but the wind is ahead as usual and we may be here all day. –22nd at Fort Brooke: Arrived and encamped last evening.
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
ometimes, just sometimes, one encounters a fascinating account of a forgotten piece of time. While exploring the St. Petersburg Museum of History’s archives, the prolific writings of Major E.A Hitchcock, a little-known but distinguished soldier, were brought to life. Tampa Bay, 22nd Oct 1840: General Armistead is here as General of the Headquarters of the Army of Florida. There are now at this place 1600 to 1800 men, all of them regular army, and it is a fine sight to survey the scene. The quarters afford shelter but for a few, most of us being in tents. There are quite a number of very large Oak trees among and around us and all of them to appearances weighed down with moss. Some twenty days ago Capt. Beall took four warriors prisoner, one of whom…has given General Armistead statement of all the bands of Seminole Indians, with the whole number of warriors amounting to 707 men. The General told me last evening that with regard to one or two bands he has other information coinciding with this account…This is exclusive of about 150
“Creeks” who have strayed into middle Florida and who are supposed to be among the worst desperados we have to deal with. It is also exclusive of the considerable numbers of Indians in the southern part of Florida who it appears the Seminoles have never had anything to do with. They are a mixed people with the Spaniards and run away negros, who are using the State of War for every species of license that might characterize freebootery.
Library of Congress
sible hostilities weren’t enough, just that morning a dead man was wrapped in a blanket, a few stones tied to his feet, and slid unceremoniously down the ships plank and into the tea colored bay. Absent an onboard physician, the ship’s steward speculated congestive fever to be cause of the soldier’s demise. Life was hard aboard a vessel for weeks at a time, with unrelenting sicknesses, storms, tight working quarters, and deprivation being the norm. “I came as a volunFood and water were teer, willingly, making constantly cached and every effort in my power coveted. Both often ran to be of service in out. Survival in 19th punishing as I thought, century frontier Florida the Indians,” continued was equally challenging. a tired and frustrated If backcountry scrub, E.A Hitchcock – grandmarshes, mangroves, son of Revolutionary mosquitoes, and War patriot Ethan swampland weren’t suitAllen. “I now come with able obstacles, then the persuation [sic] that malaria, alligators, outthe Indians have been laws, soldiers, and Major General Ethan Allen Hitchcock wronged and I enter Florida Indians aggraupon the most hopeless vated life on the frontask that was ever given to man to perform.” Penned tier. It truly was a challenge that few desired, or even over three days in late October 1840, 12 longhand sheets dared to attempt. Distraught, exhausted, and penniless, update brother Sam and family back in St. Louis, of the many early pioneers left, leaving behind a few persevercontinuing Indian Wars in Florida and Hitchcock’s traving homesteaders and a growing number of soldiers. els to Fort Brooke. Major Hitchcock and the men under the command Seasick for most of the 17 day voyage aboard the of General Armistead (a hero of Gettysburg who had Isaac Hicks, Hitchcock, Major of the U.S. Army’s recentrecently succeeded General Taylor) were faced with not only their own survival but in the removal of Florida ly created 8th Infantry, arrived in Tampa Bay on 20 Indians. Having the home-field advantage and often October 1840. Death and uncertainty shrouded the vesemploying sabotage, surprise hit-and-run raids and other sel. For the night prior, an encampment fire observed on guerrilla-style tactics, marauding Creek and Seminoles the shore all but confirmed Indian presence. And if pos-
“The Indians have been wronged and I enter upon the most hopeless task that was ever given to man to perform.” MARCH – APRIL 2006
University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department
present day downtown Tampa. The fort bordered the Hillsborough River. Massive moss-laden Oak trees festooned the grounds. Fort Brooke had become established as the southern anchor (with Fort King to the northeast) of a U.S. military offensive line that spanned Floridaâ€™s peninsula during the costly Seminole Wars of Removal. To heighten the situation, it was Fort Brooke where Major Francis Dade and 108 troops began their journey to Fort King in December 1835. It was along the 100 mile Ft. Brooke Ft. King Trail where Dade and his men were ambushed and massacred. This was the opening battle of the second round of Florida Wars.
Seminole Hunters, 1880
(as well as other loosely banded Indians and runaway slaves) proved more resilient and resourceful than expected. It seems to be the opinion of officers who have been here a length of time that five years exertion has not been merely wasted on our side but that the Indians have gained in confidence and means of security. Both boys and girls who were so, five years ago have grown up in familiarity with the danger and privation and with rooted hate of us, while the old are fiercely proud of having withstood the power of the whites for such a length of time, being fully informed of all our measures, extensive means, grand preparations and signal failures.
ompleted in 1824 and considered one of the largest and most important fortifications of its day, Fort Brooke sat on 4 square miles of what is
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
As to my individual opinions upon this war, I go back to the beginning and say that the whites were wrong. In 1836 I thought otherwise when I heard of the massacre of Major Dade and his command. My impression then was that the Indians had made a treaty to emigrate in good faith and had violated their engagements, signaling their violation of faith with the most wholesale and barbarous murders. In that opinion, as you know I entered Florida as a Volunteer, being on furlough at the time. I no sooner reached Fort King and had access to officers who had been witness to the proceedings of the Government, than I entirely changed my mind and I ascertained the history of the matter to be substantially this; That some 10 years ago a treaty was made at Fort Moultrie by which the government undertook to secure the Seminoles in the peaceable possession of this countryâ€Śthe Indians have always held one language in regard to their understanding of the Treaty. They have under-
“Fort Brooke, captured in 1864 by Federal troops during the Civil War and subsequently abandoned, was eventually decommissioned by the U.S. Army in 1883.” standing of the Treaty. They have from first to last uniformly declared that the deputation to examine the new Country had no power to confirm the treaty, but were to return and report the results of their observations, when they, the tribe were to assent or dissent. The immediate consequence was the murder, by the Indians of the principal Chief who was favorable to the emigration, which was followed by the murder of the Indian Agent, whose arrogance and insolence had been conspicuous in Council with the Indians, extending the usurpation of authority by which he confined Osceola in chains and went through the form of degrading sundry Chiefs from their dignity in the tribe, as being unheard of before and impossible in execution from the nature of the case.
condition opens a field for runaway negros and desperate white men, where they are rather growing stronger than weaker every day and there is reasonable doubt whether fewer than 20,000 men could quiet the country short of five years to come and it might require ten years.
n less than two years the war was over, but the ceasefire was short lived. Tension and fear mounted with the 1842 removal of federal troops until a series of conflicts initiated the Third Seminole War. Once again, soldiers were garrisoned at Fort Brooke. From 1856 to 1858 the fort quartered, fed, trained and prepared troops to trample through the wilderness in a vain attempt to flush out the remaining small bands of Florida Indians. Defeated and exhausted, both sides were
…we are now after five years exertion and some 30 millions expenditure no nearer its termination than when we commenced; while Florida, from its present
University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department
ssentially spanning some 40 years with intermittent interludes of serenity, three wars were fought by the United States against the Seminole Indians of Florida from 1817 to 1858. United States policy that had once favored treaties and territorial purchasing gave way to the Andrew Jackson sanctioned Indian Removal Act. The 1830 bill authorized the exchange of approved lands west of the Mississippi to Indians currently residing in any of the states or territories. While the Indian Removal Act contained specific language issuing consent and compensation to be made accommodating tribes, the reality of the situation was that those who did not go without incident were forced. In conjunction with the Treaty of Moultrie Creek (which restricted Indian Territory to swampy, uncultivable lands in Central Florida) the Indian Removal Act delivered the needed catalyst for the perpetuation of the longest and most expensive Indian war in U.S. history.
General Brooke, 1819
MARCH – APRIL 2006
University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department
Ft. Brooke soldiers in formation, 1880
clearly at a stalemate. Refusing to surrender their native homeland, a persistent and proud people remained. Expensive and unpopular throughout the nation, a general consensus regarding the Indian Wars had been reached: The decades long conflict was too costly to continue hunting for a few desperado tribes hidden in Florida scrub and swampland. The United States, after decades of warfare and millions of dollars, had decided to unilaterally remove troops and allow the small number of natives to remain. Fort Brooke, captured in 1864 by Federal troops during the Civil War and subsequently abandoned, was eventually decommissioned by the U.S. Army in 1883. The small support community of “Tampa Town” surrounding the fort continued to idly survive. With the coming of the railways, and the opulent Tampa Hotel in 1891, change was imminent. Having railroad
king Henry Plant’s newly laid rail line and the wisdom of three influential Spaniards: Gavino Gutierrez, Vicente Martinez Ybor, and Ignacio Haya, Tampa quickly became known as the Cigar Capital of the World. The cigar trade ignited Tampa Bay with a wave of new residents and immigrants seeking a fresh start in the New World. Tampa’s “Cigar City” was a true cultural melting pot. Cubans, African Cubans, Spaniards, Italians, and a small number of Germans and Romanian Jews all contributed to Ybor City eventually out-producing Havana in cigar production. Nearly gone is the art of hand rolling cigars and forever gone are the ramparts of historic Fort Brooke. Ironically–and seemingly in Florida fashion – the footprints of the fort are filled with a city parking garage and the Tampa Convention Center; while Seminole remains discovered on the site made way for legalized
“…we are now after five years exertion and some 30 millions expenditure no nearer its termination than when we commenced;”
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
he 1980 construction of the Fort Brooke parking garage in downtown Tampa uncovered the graves of Florida Indians buried in the 1830s. As Seminole Chairman, James Billie secured the current 8.5 acre site near Interstate 4 and Orient Road as a location in which the bones could be re-interred. The surprise to many however, was when the Seminole Bingo Hall opened to instant fanfare and fortune in 1982. Relocated 20 years later to make room for the Seminole Bingo Hall’s replacement (a 12 story Hard Rock Hotel and Casino), a small unceremonious plot of land pays homage to those Indians buried at Fort Brooke whose remains made this possible.
s for Ethan Allen Hitchcock, he left Fort Brooke in 1841 for a brief stint as chief of the Florida Indian Bureau. At the end of the Second Seminole War, Hitchcock went on to serve in the Mexican war with honors before resigning his commission. With the Civil War raging Hitchcock (reactivated as a Major General) completed his service as a war advisor to President Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and remained a vocal opponent to the maltreatment of America’s indigenous peoples. The history of Fort Brooke may not be the stuff of which school books overflow–however, Major General E.A Hitchcock’s personal narrative of the Seminole Wars and Fort Brooke is Tampa Bay history, and rightfully so. Once home to small bands of fishing Indians, an occasional bartering Cuban boater, and Indian hunting soldiers, Tampa Bay has become home to several of the largest and most populated cities in Florida. The bay and its surrounding glen, boasting an active seaport, several convenient airports, award winning beaches and many outstanding museums, play host to international trade, commerce, and tourism. In addition to the rich culture, architecture, and heritage, Tampa Bay owes much to the forgotten men and history of Fort Brooke. Nevin Sitler is currently a graduate student and G.A with the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Nevin is a volunteer at the St. Petersburg Museum of History and an avid kayaker. He has provided historical review and freelance research in several Florida fields and recently was selected for publication in the forthcoming FSP book: Rivers of the Green Swamp: An Anthology.
MARCH – APRIL 2006
The building on the right stood tall on Florida
Avenue in downtown Tampa. Academically speaking,
the institution exists today but at a different location.
Hint: If you frequented this building you might have
a sweater with the letters, â€œSHCâ€?. That is, if you kept it in mothballs!
Recognize this lost landmark? You can win a Cigar City Magazine t-shirt by cor-
rectly identifying this landmark. Simply mail the
name of the structure and your contact information
to Cigar City Magazine at P.O. Box 18613, Tampa,
Florida, 33679 by April 1, 2006. All correct entries will be entered into a drawing and one name will be selected as the winner. Good luck!
Previous Lost Landmark: The original First National Bank building
USF, Tampa Library, Special Collections Dept.
This institution was established in 1883. Most of the residents of Tampa frequented this small wood structure located on Lafayette St. while others had more confidence in their mattresses. None of our readers were able to correctly identify this First National Bank Lost Landmark.
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
NOT SO TRIVIAL
On June 2, 1898 Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders arrived in Tampa from Lakeland. It is thought they set up camp one mile and a quarter due west of the Tampa Bay Hotel (University of Tampa), or near present day Armenia Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard. They awaited orders to leave for Cuba to fight in the Spanish American War. March 1, 1908 the fire alarm sounded at Station #4 and Captain T. S. Leggett and his crew hitched up the horses and headed to fight the fire. The Antonio Diaz boarding house at 1914 12th Avenue was on fire. It quickly engulfed everything from 20th Street to 16th Street and from 12th Avenue to Michigan Avenue (now Columbus Drive). The destruction covered a total of 55 acres. At the end of the day, over 300 buildings were destroyed and thousands of people were left homeless and unemployed. In 1887, Charlie Turk of Ybor City was the first person in Tampa to die of yellow fever. His family said that he contracted the disease by using a blanket that belonged to Pepe, an Italian fruit dealer. In 1824, Levi and Nancy Dixon Coller became some of the first settlers to arrive in Tampa from North Florida. Levi was born in 1791 in Springfield, Massachusetts and he died in 1855 in Tampa. On November 24, 1924, the Gandy Bridge, connecting Tampa with St. Petersburg, was opened. Many dignitaries attended including Governor Clifford Walker of New Jersey, one of 16 visiting governors. Also attending was D.P. Davis, the developer of Davis Islands. When the bridge was first opened there was a toll charge, but during World War II it was lifted.
MARCH â€“ APRIL 2006
La Gitana A Conversation with Luisita Pacheco
BY MARILYN ESPERANTE FIGUEREDO
Courtesy of Luisita Pacheco
uisita Pacheco is the wife of Ferdie Pacheco, a talented painter and author of numerous books, who was once the Fight Doctor for Muhammad Ali. I wanted to know more about this captivating woman whom I met in a small art studio in Ybor City. I interviewed Luisita on October 11, 2005, while the Pachecos were vacationing at Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. They were in town to promote Ferdieâ€™s latest book, Blood in my Coffee. They are residents of Miami and have been married for 33 years.
Luisita Pacheco performing Flamenco
CCM: Luisita, so much has been written about Ferdie and his career, but little is known about your career as a professional Flamenco dancer. You performed under the name Sevilla, correct? And are of Spanish and American Indian heritage?
Luisita: Yes, the Spaniards could not pronounce my first name, Karen. They said it sounded like one was talking with potatoes in their mouth when they said my name. They asked what my middle name was and I told them it was Louise. From there it became Louisa, Maria Louisa and finally, Luisita. I took the name Sevilla since that is where I learned to dance Flamenco. My ancestors are from Spain and came to New Mexico where my great-great-great grandfather fell in love with an Indian princess. He married her and they migrated to Colorado. My great-grandmother lived on a reservation – she was Navajo. On my father’s side, my grandfather was Jicarilla Apache. Nine generations of my family are from Colorado. My last name is Maestas. CCM: So you were born in Colorado? Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Luisita: I was born in Denver and I have two brothers and a sister–Greg, Michael and Kathy.
CCM: When did you first realize you wanted to be a dancer?
Luisita: From the time I was very young I danced. I would dance in front of the house for people who passed by in their cars. My mother put me in dance class when I was just a few years old and I studied ballet. She would take me to concerts where I saw ballet and Spanish dance concerts. We would see performances by Roberto Iglesias, Jose Greco and Carmen Amaya. It was then I told my mother I wanted to be one of those dancers. That is what I wanted to do–that was my dream. My mother would always say, “You and your dreams.”
CCM: How long after that did you begin to dance Flamenco?
Luisita: When I was 14 years old, Jose Greco’s troupe came to town and I told my mother I wanted to audition for his company. She asked how I was going to do that since I didn’t know how to dance Spanish dance. I told her I was going to fake it. So when I met Greco, he was kind and he let me audition and of course, I was terrible. He said, “Well, you are very talented and you are a very beautiful girl, but you have no technique.” He told me I needed to go to Sevilla–he didn’t say Barcelona–he said, “Sevilla”. He also told me I needed to learn to speak Spanish. I came home and told my mother that, even if I had to swim across the ocean, I was going to go to Sevilla and become a Spanish dancer. My
parents did not come from a wealthy background, so they sold their life insurance policy and the next month my mother took me to Spain. CCM: That was a wonderful thing for them to do for you.
Luisita: Yes, it was. When we arrived in Sevilla in 1959, my mother put me in a convent, and arranged my lessons in Spanish and dance. I danced every day for hours and learned to be the best! My castanets had grooves in them–that’s how much I practiced. In four months I learned to speak Spanish because no one could speak English. The Spaniards I met would call me La Gringa (the American)! But then I became more Spanish than the Spaniards as I lived in the convent and learned about their foods and customs.
One day, while practicing at the studio, a gypsy woman came in and said she wanted to read my palm. I told her to go read the other girls palms because I was finishing my dance. So after she had read everyone, she came back over to me and said, “tú eres la última (you are the last one)”, and she had to read my palm or it would be bad luck. She said I was going to cross water and see the world. I asked if I was going to be a famous Spanish dancer. She told me I was going to make money, and a man was going to fall in love with me, marry me and become a very important part of my life. While I was married to him, he was going to become famous. Now I’m 15 years old and I don’t want to hear about any man – I just want to be famous. CCM: So you weren’t happy with the fortune that was told by the gypsy?
Luisita: I was furious with the gypsy. But I will tell you I did travel the world–I have been to China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Europe and the Caribbean, and I did meet Ferdie in my travels. CCM: How did your professional career get started?
Luisita:: I danced at the Hotel Christina when I was just 15. Roberto Iglesias, the famous Flamenco dancer, came in and saw me dance. He said, “yo quiero esa gitana (I want that gypsy) to put in my company.” I was very flattered that someone of his caliber would want to take me into his troupe–so I guess I was pretty good–(laughing)–I can say that with all modesty, I was a very good dancer. I left Spain after about a year when my parents said I needed to come home. When I returned home, I explained to my mother I needed to go on tour with someone. I had been in Sevilla dancing and I wanted to continue my career. So I went to New York. MARCH – APRIL 2006
Luisita: I met him in Miami in August of 1969. I was dancing with a group called Los Chavales de España. Ferdie and I were unaware of a mutual friend named Barry Sinco. He was the entertainment director of the American Hotel in Puerto Rico. He told Ferdie that he met Ferdie’s “wife-to-be” and that I was a Spanish-American who spoke Spanish. He said I was a talented Flamenco dancer and that I had “no baggage”, meaning I had never been married. He told him if he ever saw Los Chavales de España to introduce himself and he would never regret it. Ferdie told him he was engaged to be married and was not interested in meeting anyone.
CCM: So how did the two of you get together?
Luisita: Ferdie was watching a football game with Gil Clancy and Hector Mendez, a promoter from Argentina, and they were talking about boxing. Hector suggested they go with him to see Los Chavales. Since they were discussing a business transaction for boxing, they decided to go and finish their business there. That was 35 years ago and I looked beautiful with my long dark hair pulled back in a bun, slim figured with wonderful costumes, doing what I loved most in life. Ferdie saw me and he fell head over heels in love with me – it was love at first sight! My first impression of him was his humor. He could be a stand-up comic he is so funny. He made me laugh as he does every day. His beautiful voice and vocabulary also impressed me.
ing patients for $5 a visit. He did not charge people over 65 or children under 2 years old. He treated all the boxers and their families for nothing including Muhammad Ali. He treated and helped the Cubans when they came to his office at S.W. 8th Street. He was the first doctor to get boxers that boxed on television safety measures, and the first to have ambulances at each boxing match in case of emergency. A boxer had died in his arms because the doctor was getting a hot dog and wasn’t in attendance. Ferdie, at the time, was working as a commentator. I was proud when he left Ali because he knew (Ali) was being damaged and told him to quit. Ferdie was a physician first and a corner man second. He could not stay and watch this happen.
Courtesy of Luisita Pacheco
CCM: How did you meet Ferdie?
“I told my mother I wanted to be one of those dancers. That is what I wanted to do–that was my dream. My mother would always say, ‘You and your dreams.’” – Luisita Pacheco
CCM: Ferdie was a doctor in Miami and also Muhammad Ali’s doctor. I understand he treated families in poor neighborhoods?
Luisita: Yes, he was important in the ghetto as a doctor treat48
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that is what I did.
CCM: After you met Ferdie, was that when you decided to settle down and stop dancing?
Luisita: Before I married Ferdie I wanted to open a dance school and I did eventually open my studio in Miami. I started teaching and I had a school for many years. I am very proud of what I did and I gave of my talent. I wanted to have roots. I lived out of a suitcase for 12 years and I enjoyed every minute of it. I would not change a thing. After I had my daughter I knew I had to change my life because I wanted to be with her. I didn’t want to be in the studio all the time. I wanted to raise her, so
CCM: So you and Ferdie have just the one daughter? Luisita: Yes, her name is Tina Louise Pacheco.
CCM: You have stayed busy helping Ferdie with his work, haven’t you?
Luisita: With Ferdie, I have grown so much in other avenues. I edited 15 of his books and typed each one. I learned the
hadn’t written a book, sold a painting, or been on television. CCM: Thinking back, was there anything in your career you wished you had done?
Luisita: Yes, I wish I had worked with a dance company in Spain and grown that way. But opportunity came and I didn’t take it. Sometimes you have to take the opportunity when it comes, but things stand in your way and opportunity is lost.
CCM: Do you still have family back in Colorado?
Luisita: Yes, I have my mother, my cousins, my aunts, my sister–they all live in Colorado. My brother from Louisiana is staying with us in Miami. He lost his home due to the hurricane and is very ill. (On Christmas Day 2005, Luisita’s brother Mike died.) CCM: It sounds like you stay very busy.
Luisita: When Ferdie had a stroke 3 years ago I had to take over everything. I had to take care of him. But, since his stroke an astonishing thing has happened. Either blood went into another part of his brain and opened a new avenue of thought, I don’t know; but ever since then, he has dreams every night. These are stories that have a beginning, middle and end. So far, he has written 50 of them and had them published in La Gaceta Newspaper in Tampa. He is on a fast track now. It’s like he is in a race and can’t wait for the finish line
until he has done what he needs to do before it ends and he wins the race or dies.
CCM: I understand you had a very strange dream shortly before Ferdie had his stroke.
Luisita: Two weeks before his stroke, I had a dream that we are driving to Tampa and, as we arrive, he is having a stroke in the car. I stop the car and run up to some people to ask for help with my husband, and no one helps me. I told Ferdie about my dream and he said, “I hope that doesn’t happen to me”. Two weeks later, we are driving to Tampa and he starts to have a stroke in the car, but this time I knew what to do. I called a childhood friend, Dr. Victor Martinez, who came over, took him to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital and saved Ferdie’s life. I love that man – can’t thank him enough. CCM: So before his stroke you were just helping him but now you are doing more?
Luisita: Right, except I don’t paint and I don’t write. He still paints and writes even though he had a stroke. I paint also, but no one knows about it. I have to manage his work so I don’t have much time to paint. Most of my paintings have gone to my family and friends. CCM: What do you like to paint?
MARCH – APRIL 2006
Flamenco is a genuine Spanish art and, to be more exact, a genuine Southern Spanish art. It exists in three forms: Cante (the song), Baile (the dance), and Guitarra (guitar playing). There are many influences, which is not a surprise in a country that is made up of diverse civilizations and cultures. Among them was the legendary Tartessos as well as seven centuries of Muslim occupation. Certainly their presence impacted this legendary dance. The first time Flamenco is mentioned in literature is in Las Cartas Marruecas of José Cadalso in 1774. Its origin was most probably between 1765 and 1860. The first Flamenco schools were created in Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera and Triana (Seville). In this era Flamenco seems to have been purely vocal, accompanied only by rhythmical clapping of the hands. It was left to dedicated composers like Julián Arcas to introduce guitar playing. During its Golden Age (1869-1910), Flamenco was developed in numerous cafés cantantes to its definitive form. Canta jondo, a more serious form expressing deep feeling, dates from then. From 1910 to 1955 Flamenco singing is marked by the opera flamenca, with an easier kind of music. Beginning in 1915, Flamenco shows were organized and performed all over the world. A sort of Flamenco Renaissance began in 1955. Outstanding dancers and soloists soon made their way to the great theaters and concert houses.
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Luisita: I paint women and children–kind of primitive, Indian faces. CCM: Maybe we need to do a Luisita Sevilla art show?
Luisita: (laughing out loud): I’d have to start painting more. CCM:: Has Ferdie’s painting changed since his stroke?
Luisita: He still paints as fast he did and he doesn’t have a model–it all comes from his brain.
CCM:: Luisita, you are an example of someone who had a dream and pursued that dream no matter what! Plus, you had these wonderful parents that helped you with your dream by making personal sacrifices. Luisita: I have used creative utilization since I was very little, but I didn’t know what it was. I would see myself in another time, in another place. I kind of did that with Ferdie’s art. I told him that his art was good and he needed to start painting big! So he did, and it has kind of snowballed since. CCM: You visualize these things in your mind?
Luisita: Yes, it is like an arrow or laser pointing and telling me this is going to happen. If you really focus on something you can make it happen.
CCM: Maybe you have some ancient Indian ancestors guiding you. Luisita: Yes, I think I do.
CCM:: So what do you see in the future for you and Ferdie?
Luisita: He is a narrative painter–a historical painter of Tampa. I feel he will be recognized, as he should be. He has written many books on it and painted hundreds of paintings on it–I think he will be recognized. CCM: Sounds like that old gypsy woman turned out to be right. I’m glad you let her read your palm that day–she set you on the right course. Luisita: I think she did.
Cioppino - San Francisco Style “Zuppa di Pesce” BY
Cioppino (chi-o-pino) is a seafood dish created by Italian fishermen that settled in San Francisco years ago. These immigrant fishermen used local products to recreate their native “Zuppa di Pesce”. Cioppino was not a Pardo family tradition until the 1980s. My family and I dined at a seafood restaurant on the California coast. We noticed a dish on the menu called Cioppino. The description of crab, lobster, shrimp, clams and mussels swimming in a rich broth mesmerized us; so naturally, we ordered the dish. When the huge pot of glistening seafood swirling in an intensely aromatic broth arrived it had an almost sensual flavor of the fresh seafood and rich broth. After returning to Tampa we experimented until we made the perfect Cioppino. Since then, it’s been a dish for special occasions. To our surprise, my Nanna Cacciatore said she used to make Cioppino, and couldn’t remember why she didn’t continue making it. As far as we were concerned, a family recipe had been lost in the ’30s and rediscovered like buried treasure in the ’80s. In a large stockpot, sauté the following until the onions begin to caramelize: 1 large Spanish onion (chopped fine) 1 medium green pepper (seeded and chopped fine) 1/2 cup celery (thinly sliced) 8 large cloves garlic (minced or pressed) 1/2 - 3/4 cup olive oil (just enough to sauté the above)
Add the following to the sautéed mixture, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes (covered): 1-28 oz. can peeled Italian tomatoes (diced) 1-8 oz. can tomato sauce 3 bay leaves 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 16 ounces clam juice or fish stock For more flavor, add a few pieces of crab (fins or bodies) or mussels 52
CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE
to the mixture at this time. They will be over cooked and can be discarded later.
Add the following and simmer for 10 more minutes (uncovered): 2 cups dry white wine 1/2 stick butter 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped) 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
After the above has simmered for 10 minutes, taste the broth and adjust spices to taste, prior to adding the seafood.
Add the following and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until the clams and mussels open and the shrimp turn pink. Layer the seafood into the broth in the following order, with clams on top: 1 pound firm white fish (cut into 1 oz. pieces) 2-3 oz. per person 1 doz. large sea scallops 2 per person
1 pound (30 count) shrimp or 12 large prawns (peeled or with shells split) 5 shrimp or 2 prawns per person 1-1/2 doz. mussels 3 per person 1-1/2 doz. small clams 3 per person
(Note the suggested per person seafood quantities if preparing for other than 6 people)
When the Cioppino is removed from the heat, garnish with 1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, lightly chopped. Serves six. Buon Appetito!
The Florida Orchestra 2005/06 SEASON A Star-Studded Season Bursting with ...plus Jazz, Broadway, Gospel, Swing & More!
Just a Sampling of the Fabulous Line-Up of Concerts! Pink Martini
Garrick Ohlsson Plays Dvorak
SUSAN HAIG, conductor Karen Gomyo, violin
TCHAIKOVSKY: Suite No. 4, “Mozartiana” PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1 MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL: Pictures at an Exhibition Sat, Mar 4, 7:30 pm / MAH Sun, Mar 5, 7:30 pm / REH Mon, Mar 6, 7:30 pm / PAC-FH
Keith Lockhart Conducts KEITH LOCKHART, conductor Artur Girsky, violin
MOZART: Symphony No. 34 BRUCH: Violin Concerto No.1 LUTOSLAWSKI: Concerto for Orchestra Sat, Mar 25, 7:30 pm / MAH Sun, Mar 26, 7:30 pm / REH Mon, Mar 27, 7:30 pm / PAC-CMH
Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony STEFAN SANDERLING, conductor Janice ChandlerEteme, soprano Leon Williams, baritone Master Chorale of Tampa Bay Richard Zielinski, music & artistic director
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1 VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Symphony No. 1, “A Sea Symphony” Sat, Apr 8, 7:30 pm / MAH Sun, Apr 9, 7:30 pm / REH Mon, Apr 10, 7:30 pm / PAC-CMH
STEFAN SANDERLING, conductor Garrick Ohlsson, piano
DVORAK: Piano Concerto BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 3 Sat, Apr 29, 7:30 pm / MAH Sun, Apr 30, 7:30 pm / REH Mon, May 1, 7:30 pm / PAC-CMH
Beethoven’s Pastorale STEFAN SANDERLING, conductor Mark Kosower, cello
SIBELIUS: Symphony No.6 BOCCHERINI: Cello Concerto No.6 BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.6, ”Pastorale” Sat, May 13, 7:30 pm / MAH Sun, May 14, 7:30 pm / REH Mon, May 15, 7:30 pm / PAC-CMH
TICKETS: $15.50, $22.50, $35.50, $42.50, $50.50 HALL CODES: PAC-CMH – Performing Arts Center / Carol Morsani Hall / Tampa PAC-FH – Performing Arts Center / Ferguson Hall / Tampa MAH – Mahaffey Theater / St. Petersburg REH – Ruth Eckerd Hall / Clearwater
THERE’S MORE! Morning Coffee Concerts Sunday Matinees at River Ridge Outdoor Park Concerts
Bravo Broadway RICHARD KAUFMAN, conductor Debbie Gravitte, vocalist Doug LaBrecque, vocalist Christiane Noll, vocalist
It’s a night of Broadway hits from Phantom of the Opera, Music Man, Wizard of Oz, Mame, West Side Story, Cabaret, Chicago, Wicked and more. Three of Broadway’s brightest stars bring the music alive, just as they have on Broadway, where they sang in Les Mis and Phantom, among other shows. Fri, Mar 17, 8 pm / PAC-CMH Sat, Mar 18, 8 pm / MAH Sun, Mar 19, 7:30 pm / REH
Eileen Ivers: Irish Fiddle On Fire RICHARD KAUFMAN, conductor Eileen Ivers, fiddle
The New York Times calls ninetime All-Ireland Fiddle Champion Eileen Ivers “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin.” As the original fiddler of the internationally renowned show, Riverdance, Eileen Ivers will leave you awestruck by her masterful musicianship and dazzling array of Celtic tunes. Fri, May 5, 8 pm / PAC-CMH Sat, May 6, 8 pm / MAH Sun, May 7, 7:30 pm / REH
Pink Martini ensemble Susan Haig, conductor From the Hollywood Bowl to the Cannes Film Festival, the 12-piece band, Pink Martini, has dazzled audiences with their very chic blend of Cuban rumbas, French cafe tunes, Brazilian sambas and romantic ballads. Variety hails them as “intoxicating” and The New Yorker calls them “breathtaking.” Fri, May 19, 8 pm / PAC-CMH Sat, May 20, 8 pm / MAH Sun, May 21, 7:30 pm / REH
A Tribute to The Beatles SUSAN HAIG, conductor
Last season, people were dancing in the aisles, so, we are bringing back members of the acclaimed Classical Mystery Tour for an encore performance with Twist and Shout, Penny Lane, Yesterday, Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby, Strawberry Fields, I Saw Her Standing There and many more...in an amazing lookalike, sound-alike salute to the Beatles. This concert is a benefit for the musicians’ pension fund. Mon, Apr 3, 8 pm / PAC-CMH
Call for a FREE 05/06 Season Brochure 813.286.2403 or 1.800.662.7286 Order On Line! www.floridaorchestra.org
GOT A QUESTION FOR MAMA? EMAIL HER AT: MAMA@CIGARCITYMAGAZINE.COM
Dear Mama: I was researching my family history at the public library and found my grandparent’s listing in a city directory from the early 1900s. It listed my Nonno’s name and his occupation, then my Nanna’s name and her occupation…stripper! My sweet little Nanna was a stripper! Then, to make matters worse, this is published in a city directory for all of Tampa to see. All of my life I have been told that my Nanna worked in a cigar factory. I don’t know if I can ever look at her in the same way. – Ruth who can’t handle the truth Dear Ruth: You’re a complete babba! A stripper was someone who worked in a cigar factory and stripped the tobacco leaves from its stem. – Mama
Dear Mama: I offered to take my elderly neighbor around town to run a few errands. But I have no idea where she wants me to take her. I haven’t lived in Tampa very long, but I thought I knew my way around. Can you tell me where Guolmar, Besbai, and El Pobli are? – Need a New Map Dear Map: You don’t need a new map, you need a lesson in Spanglish. Guolmar is Wal-Mart, Besbai is Best Buy, and El Pobli is Publix. Just in case you offer to help her on a regular basis, Quemar is K-Mart, Guindici is Winn-Dixie, and Wagrin is Walgreen’s. – Mama Dear Mama: My car broke down, and I needed transportation to work for a few days. My neighbor suggested I take a wawa. He speaks limited English, so he couldn’t really explain what a wawa is. Do you know? – Whatsa Wawa Dear WW: Wawa is Cuban slang for bus. The name comes from the sound made by the horn “waaaaaaaawaaaaaaa”. – Mama
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