[gfa] A story worth telling


When I first met Ana, she didn't tell me that both of her grandfathers had been in prison after the civil war in Spain. That's understandable, but when I first visited her parents place, there was a framed yellowing newspaper article on the wall which was unavoidable. And it spoke of her grandfather, of his time in a dungeon in Venezuela, and then the rest of the story came out. More or less. Because there are an incredible amount of contradictions in the story, but it is a story well worth telling. So after many years, and false starts, we've begun investigating, and now we have the tools to tell thae story as we go along.

Here's the introduction Ana has written on the "project" blog:

Tenemos una tendencia a mejorar nuestros recuerdos, a cambiar los hechos a nuestra conveniencia, no es mal intencionado pero cuando hablamos de un pariente explicamos nuestra versión, y no nos preocupa, demasiado, la veracidad. Si le queremos solo explicamos las cosas buenas y sino ya sabemos que hacemos…

Me gusta escuchar a mis padres explicar historias de nuestra familia, pero como los dos son hijos únicos acaban pronto. Pero hay una historia que siempre ha captado mi interés, la vida de mi abuelo paterno, un hombre que siendo muy joven emigró a América, que estuvo diez años en una mazmorra venezolana, que salió de esta porque le dieron por muerto y le tiraron a los cocodrilos, que le robaron su fortuna, que regresó a España, que lo encarcelaron durante tres años al final de la Guerra Civil , que contrajo matrimonio en artículo mortis, y que como él dijo en una entrevista: "lo que no pude desde entonces es huir de aquel recuerdo…, huir de mí…"

Mi interés por saber qué sucedió, dónde ocurrió y por qué, me ha llevado hasta aquí.


We have a tendency to improve our memories, to change the facts to our liking, it is not malicious but when we speak of a relative we explain our version, we are not  too concerned about the truth. If we liked the person we just explain the good things and if not, well, you know …

I like listening to my parents tell stories of our family, but as both are only children the stories end soon. But there is a story that has always captured my interest, the life of my grandfather, who as a very young man emigrated to America, spent ten years in a dungeon in Venezuela, who came out of this because he was thought  dead and thrown to crocodiles, who had his fortune stolen, who returned to Spain, was imprisoned for three years at the end of the Civil War, who married in articulo mortis on his deathbed, and as he said in an interview, "what I could not do from then on was escape this memory… run from myself …"

My interest in knowing what happened, where it happened and why has led me here.

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