On June 6, 2005, Maria Thompson (María López Martínez) wrote:

I lived in that house during my Kindergarten year (1960). My parents had decided to send me to Camaguey to get the proper education since Nicaro had no private schools. I also started piano lessons in Camaguey and practiced my lessons in the family piano located in the sala. After Kindergarten ( I never quite finished it because Fidel closed all the catholic private schools) I went back to Nicaro and was home schooled for a couple of years. We still went back to Camaguey quite often.

For third grade I was sent back to Camaguey with Manolito and Miguel to attend what were then public government schools. Our parents stayed in Nicaro with the rest of the clan. After the third grade I went back to Nicaro for fourth grade and back to Camaguey for my fifth grade, without my brothers this time. It was at the end of my fifth grade that Mamama, Papapa, and Toto went into exile, and that day is still vivid in my memory. My parents came to Camaguey to say good bye and to see if they could take some of my belongings with them; however, they were not allowed. They tried to at least get the piano to Nicaro to no avail. I left with one suit case and many tears. It was so quick that I never had a chance to say good bye to my school friends.

I had an idyllic time at that house surrounded by so many loving adults, including Patita and Mimi. Toto used to help me with school work and I used to tag along with Papapa and Mamama to visit the old aunts (Celita, Conchita, and Margarita are some of the ones I remember) every night after dinner.

My first bedroom was #4 in the diagram, next to Papapa's and Mamama's bedroom. I slept under mosquito nets during the hot months and a few times I slept on the cold tile because the heat was unbearable. I was at the house the day Patita died but I was taken away to spare me the sadness. Shortly after her death, I was moved to Patita's room (Bedroom #2) because her room had nicer furniture. I knew she had died in that room and I was apprehensive at first but I never told anyone. I ended up really enjoying the room.

This room was next to Mimi's room. I was in that room the night Mimi died. Not sure if the adults knew, but I was awake all night and I listened to all that was happening. There was a lot of commotion all night; Toto [Antonio Martinez] was the first to come to the room. He was very close to Mimi and her room was between his and mine. It was early morning when I heard the adults saying Mimi had died. Once again, in the early morning I was whisked away somewhere so I didn't have to view the body.

Thought you might enjoy reading some of my memories of the house and that era. Thanks for recording our history.