I grew up in a small town of Matanzas Cuba, my maternal grandfather was a “Carretero”, taking sugar cane from the fields to a centralize location with a bullock ox cart. This was a big two-wheel cart pulled in many cases by one to three pairs of oxen, the workers were paid by the weight of their cargo. Many times, the work consisted of walking along the cart while guiding the oxen.
I remember riding with grandpa on horse. I have early memories of him teaching me to identify the birds by their calling sounds, the trees and learning to orientate myself on the land. My love for nature comes from those early memories to this day I like to listen to bird callings and been able to identify them, it always takes me back to those days.
My grandpa’s name was Leopoldo Garcia, he was an honest and hardworking men, he will collect everything he found on the fields, every nut and bolts, every piece of iron or rusted tool. He kept these “treasures” on his backyard shack, friends will come to the house asking him for permission to look thru the boxes in search for something need it. Grandpa build this little chair I’m sitting on this picture.
Abuelo Leopoldo was so generous, I also remember him sharing part of his crop from a small garden in the backyard with neighbors and on a weekly basics he will take groceries by horse for a friend who lived in a nearby mountain, I will tag along for the ride uphill and enjoyed the rest of the day fishing on a lake near his friend’s house.
Looking at this picture It brings me back to those days to my grandpa. As a kid I used to run around the town with friends hunting with a slingshot, collecting fruits, and playing. I feel very lucky to have all these memories as a kid and I fell also very fortunate to have the sample of Abuelo Leopoldo, his honesty and work habits.