My memories of Fidel Castro are bound up around the hum of hushed voices in the junior high school cafeteria. Normally, this place was so loud, we couldn’t hear what was said at the other end of our eight top rectangular tables unless we raised our voices above the din.
Yes, we contributed to the general chaos of the clatter of plates and forks of the nearly 300 diners eating there. Our food was better that year, since my friends and I had instigated a food strike one Friday when we were 8th graders. We encouraged enough people to bring a lunch from home so that the food couldn’t be held over for leftovers on Monday. That was 1961, the year of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
Tensions were higher yet this October of 1962, and we were all too quiet. My mother always said trouble was brewing when things got quiet. She never worried when noise was going on! Having missiles in your neighbor’s backyard s cause for concern. The children know this, even early teenagers such as we were then.
I was glad the grownups in charge had cooler heads in the final sum of things, but I’ve always wondered why people have to posture and strut for the appearance of power in the first place. This only shows the absolute weakness of your position to your perceived enemy’s . It shows you operate from fear, rather than courage. Or as my Texas friends say, “Big hat, no cattle.”
Do we know if Fidel Castro’s Dream for Cuba will persist beyond his memory? Do we know if our American dream will continue beyond a third century? Perhaps all we know is those who come afterwards in both countries will embroider their visions upon these ideas in quiet hums, mass movements, and communities of shared struggle.