There were many evenings when Marjorie would sing La Habanera and dance like Carmen while Maxwell metamorphized into Don Jose. Louise and her two siblings would sit cross-legged on the floor, fully enchanted by their parents.
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.
I also found the business card for the store on Calle Muralla, Numero 424 on the corner of Villegas among my father’s papers. The logo features a slender, queenly figure draped in a full circle of fine fabrics, her head topped with a crown. The tagline reads “Telas Majestuosas”—Majestic Fabrics.
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.