For the king of the household.
For the Waterston family, Christmastime at the hotel Rosita de Hornedo in 1958 was just as it had always been. The children swam in the hotel’s two pools, played in the sandlot with their Cuban cousins, and trekked the rocky walkway next door to the Casino Deportivo, a country club where even kids could play the slot machines. To them, there was little outward sign Batista would soon be out, Fidel in.
Michael received an alarming letter from Sara, his trusted bookkeeper, dated June 27, 1960, describing the aftermaths of an explosion that was a stone’s throw from the shopping district in Havana, an event also reported in the New York Times: “Arms Dump Blast Shakes Havana-Two Killed, 200 Reported Hurt—Castro Hints at Sabotage Charges”
One evening in Havana, my father, my brother David and I strolled into the famous restaurant frequented by Hemingway, and known as cuna de daiquiri, the birthplace of the daiquiri. Before long, a violinist named Omar Gonzalez Alvarez came to our table, with two accompanists to play a beautiful, affecting Besame Mucho.