Sharing a few pictures and memories, not necessarily mine. This will be my first Sepia Saturday post, a quick and simple adventure into the pictorial history of my Mother.
Growing up, we were always entertained by stories of my Mothers time growing up in Colombia South America. My Grandfather was an engineer, and made his living building dams. One of his jobs took him and the family to Colombia South America, where they lived until completion of the dam. It was a time that apparently left an impression on Mother, for she had many fond memories of that era of her life. Even dedicating numerous chapters of her memoirs to the eventful time of her youth.
Mother was 10 Years old when they first moved to Colombia. Much like many kids her age, even in this era, she knew very little of anyplace other than “home”. Home was of course Denver Colorado, or more appropriately a farm on the outskirts of the city. That now, is well within the city, and could hardly be called the outskirts of anything. At this tender age, she set out on an adventure of a lifetime, accompanying her mother, sister, and little brother to a country, fresh out of a revolution.
1949 / 1950 the adventure began with a series of flights on Delta and Eastern Airlines DC-4’s, and Pan American Clippers. The first few months in country, were spent in the capital city of Bogota. They stayed in a hotel there in Bogota, The Continental, while awaiting the arrival of the remainder of their luggage that had been shipped by sea. She spoke of the buildings that lay in ruins from the recent conflicts, and how they were not allowed to go anywhere alone. She also speaks fondly of her first “culinary adventures” in Colombia. The food must have been fabulous.
After they moved to their home near the work site, Hacienda San Francisco, in Sisga, Colombia, she spent much of her free time riding horses. Her favorite horse was Gitano, provided by a nearby hacienda for their riding adventures. Schooling was tutored by her parents, my Grandmother grilling her on her spelling, and making her practice her handwriting. Grandfather would provide her with the specifications of the dam project to instruct her in mathematic. Requiring her to complete graphs on the completion of the project and learn percentages. What time was not spent riding, or learning was spent reading.
All the food was cooked on a “carbon” stove (coal). they had a garden in which vegetables were grown, along with chicken, lambs, and other live stock for meat. The butchering was completed by servants. She remembers my Grandmother asking them to chop the chickens head off instead of wringing their necks, I suppose she thought it was more humane. They never bought meat from the markets other than to feed the dogs. All fresh fruit purchased at market was pealed prior to consuming it. Clothes were washed in a washing machine when they had electricity, and by hand when they didn’t. Water for the house was supplied by collecting rainwater in an averca (concrete container) and overhead cistern.
Mother speaks fondly of “the most romantic event” of her young life, a midnight, moonlight ride from Sisga to Las Fuentas, a neighboring hacienda. Dancing to a small band, in a setting among the kerosene lamps of hacienda life was a first for my young mother. I have a feeling she had a few suitors, some she wrote about, and I would bet many she didn’t.
I would love to be able to post actual excerpts of Mothers memoirs, but I promised her I would not. I don’t think she would mind this