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The year 1931.

My grandparents married during that year.  I’m a historian at heart (I majored in History for a while, until I realized that 36 credits in History weren’t going to put food on my table), so as much as  I loved studying Russia’s history through the eyes of the great Tolstoy, I simply turned my back on my first love.   Knowing my background, you can probably guess why a year isn’t just a year for me, it’s much more.

What was happening the year my grandparents decided to tie their lives forever?  What social-economical problems did they face?  Who was the governor?  Where did they live?  Who were they?

TIME Magazine Cover: Rexford G. Tugwell -- June 25, 1934

Governor of Puerto Rico in 1931

A man named Rexford Guy Tugwell  became the last American appointed governor for our Island after the North American Occupation in 1898.  This man was a visionary, a futurist, someone people didn’t like to much because he also was a bit of an extremist, that’s why he probably got the name Red The Rex. It was the 30’s the worst thing to be said about you, which would also get you into plenty of trouble was linking your name with the communists.  It’s like being called a terrorist today.

Governments affect people’s daily lives, no questions in this bracket.

They probably didn’t get to live a nice place when they married, you should get a look of the little huts people lived in during those time here on the Island.

via google images
They could have gone to live maybe in a house like this one. Which is a typical rural house of the 1930’s.

Seven years into their marriage, World War II began and I don’t know why, but Papito (as we called him) didn’t serve in the Army.    Times were tough, but they kept moving forward.  Divorce, separation or any other thing wasn’t an option for them. They had promised to be together till death pull them apart, and that’s how exactly it would be.

News didn’t travel with the speed of light, or better said of fiber optics.  People who lived in the mountains or countryside didn’t know exactly what was happening in their world.  So, probably they weren’t aware that the Island had been the blank of the first war’s attack on U.S. soil in the Atlantic on March 3, of the same year they married.  As the newspaper “The Palm Beach Post” informed.  Nevertheless the submarine attack was harmless, leaving shelling on the cliffs of Mona Island about 5o miles Southwest of Puerto Rico.

5oth Wedding Anniversary

5oth Wedding Anniversary. My grandparents are standing behind the table to the right side.

They remained married until June 30th, 1988.  The day my grandfather passed away.  During that year they would have celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary.  They remained married for almost six decades, raising a huge family and teaching us valuable lessons along the way.

They made each other promises and they kept them, without taking into account the difficulties of just being able to survive such harsh and unforgiving historical times.  Their children never went to bed on an empty stomach and they worked to put food on the table.  My grandfather always took  pride  in not taking anything from the government, he would support and feed his children with the sweat of his forehead.  He lived his life based on his values, his morals and never regretted it.  They  promised each other to stick it through and they kept their word.  Which only makes me reflect on how things are today.

What has happened with the promises we make today?  What are they worth?

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