June 12, 2021

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the moon that shines in my dreams and memories

The school that today bears his name is located in the Rubias neighborhood, on the border between Yauco and Maricao. I attended his dedication with my daughters and my granddaughter Lena María.

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I long for a woman with a severe soul,

that although capable in the feast of the kiss,

do not give yourself to the passion of all excess;

but when it happens, let it be found.

Jose Antonio Davila

To Mrs. Gladys Esther Tormes González, director of the Historical Archive of Ponce, who has done so much – quietly and lovingly – to preserve intact and easily accessible the documents that support the history of this city, with my admiration and collective gratitude.

To Lunita Hisas Sánchez, my great-granddaughter, Valeria Valentina Adams Núñez, Mrs. Juanita Jusino and to the memory of Dolly Martínez from Yauca.

When I left Isabela for Ponce to start my university studies in August 1957, I was not yet 18 years old. I fulfilled them on September 18, a month after arriving.

He came in love with what I guess with a young girl two years younger than me. That first love, although it only really existed “in my crazy fantasy,” went so deep that I could never pull it out.

A little over a year later, I met in the Villa Grillasca de Ponce urbanization a young woman from Yauco, rather short, so thin that she only weighed 93 pounds, with blonde hair that she usually combed in a “horse’s tail” and blue eyes. celestial, like the triangle of the national flag that Don Antonio Vélez Alvarado designed for us.

Everyone, her grandmother and mother, her five double-bind siblings, friends, neighbors, classmates and fellow students called her LUNITA. On the whole, perhaps the thing I liked most about her when I met her, a romantic poet at last, was her name. Moon.

On the other hand, I was left with the impression that she did not like that name, perhaps because she considered it another extravagance of those that characterized her peculiar and very famous father, Don Chalí Franceschi: matters that she did not like, because more Later in his life he suffered several of its consequences.

(For added contradiction, I love the eccentricities that are still told about his father today; those that the Yaucana cultural leader Jenny Rivera collected and published; and the filmmaker Javier Ramírez is working as part of a documentary film).

To tell them that one of the oldest children in this relationship, LUNITA’s double bond brother, was born on a Tuesday, at dawn, and as a male his father named him Martes Alba; and to some twins, also her double bind siblings, she named Apollo and Artemis, the twin brothers sons of Zeus, in Greek mythology.

Lunita had the bearing of a princess, although at the time I met her she was a low-income young lady, being the daughter of a second relationship and as a consequence of the death of her father, Mr. Alejandro Marcial “Chalí” Franceschi Antongiorgi, who in at one point he became one of the richest men in Puerto Rico, but at his death she was not yet two years old.

Suffice it to say that his father was the owner of the plant that supplied electricity to Yauco and Guayanilla, among many other assets.

By the time I met her, she had already completed the application and other requirements to be a flight attendant and was ready to go as a flight attendant. I was just in time to stop her.

The mixture of Basque blood and Corsican blood (Basque for the Irizarry; Corsican for the Franceschi, Sinigaglia and Antongiorgi) that ran through her veins made her brave, determined, resolute and, when it came to the case, frankly malicious. In a way, a precursor of the prototype of the daring, independent and combative woman of the present.

She was very discreet and selective when it came to friendship, as a result of the negative experiences her family underwent from the moment her father passed away.

With that stoicism so his he faced his life, never easy, with admirable courage.

Academically and professionally, he regularly studied a Pedagogy course lasting two years in a row, with which he obtained a Normal Diploma that allowed him to start his career in teaching, in some of the most distant and uncomfortable rural schools in his town. .

Later, he continued his studies outside the walls, at night and on Saturdays, until he reached his Master’s degree, with the academic qualification of cum laude, at the same time that he devotedly attended to his mother, Mrs. Luisa, in our home in the Río Canas de Ponce urbanization; his grandmother, Dona Dominga; her three children, Lenita, Coco and Francisco Alfredo, “Macho”, and her husband, the one who tells them, ashamed of not having helped her enough, for being involved in activities of social demand and patriotic remembrance.

As mother and daughter there have been very few like her. I think God took her before she faced the murder of our son, Francisco Alfredo, “Macho.” She, with all her personal courage that I highlight here, could not have tolerated it. That was his Achilles heel, his children.

She was a dedicated teacher with a deep-rooted vocation, in rural elementary schools of her town, such as the School that today so deservedly and justly bears her name in the Rubias neighborhood, on the border between Yauco and Maricao, high up in the mountains, at the that he went daily to teach classes in public service cars.

In Ponce she was a teacher, distinguished for her exemplary dedication to her students and devotion to her vocation, in the Lucy Grillasca schools, in the Amalia Marín Parcels of La Playa de Ponce; Librado Net in the San Antonio urbanization; and the Olimpio Otero on Villa Final Street, where he was still teaching classes when we learned of the aggressive cancer that eventually caused his death.

Convinced that this cancer had no cure, with the courage that always characterized it, she left the hospital and went to wait for death, to disdain it, as she did, in our room, in our home, in La Rambla urbanization , where Coco lives today, while I read to her and sang poems and songs to her that I wrote to her, especially throughout our university life and that I published in 1963, in the collection of poems titled Pavesas En El Tiempo Hondo.

That return of my Moon to its sidereal firmament turned 25 years since it happened last Friday, November 20.

This week, on December 24, 2020, it will be 55 of the day we got married at the Santísimo Rosario Church and celebrated the wedding at the Yauco Casino, after having been engaged during all my years of studies, seven to be exact .

When she requested her birth certificate, a requirement for marriage, I found out that my LUNITA is really called Lena María, like our oldest daughter and our first granddaughter in that way, and the school in the Rubias neighborhood of Yauco.

Knowing his determined character, that he “did not eat stories”, I do not rule out that he had hired a lawyer to take a name change procedure to court during one of the seven years of our courtship.

Everything I have related to you seems to me a fantasy, a dream not really lived. Lord, all these years couldn’t have passed this fast!

His mortal remains rest next to those of our son, Francisco Alfredo “Macho”, in the La Piedad Camposanto, in Ponce.

Friends of both of them tell me from time to time that nine months after he left, she sent for him.

With nine months of distance between one death and the other, I was left without both.

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