MY LIFE  IN  LISBON
(1958-1964)

 

 
Returning to the past!
A few images from my years in Lisbon!

 
Going to Lisbon was exciting.

I  loved S. Miguel,
but Lisbon was a "new world", 
a big city, 
... lots of people,
... lots of things to do, etc. 

For the first few months we lived in two rooms that
my father had rented in Rua Domingues Sequeira.

Then, we moved to Avenida Infante Santo, 
where I  lived until leaving for the USA. 


 
 I lived here until  December 1964.
(middle varanda)

 
This was my room.
On the wall ...some of my favorite singers and movie stars.

 
That's me in front of my house.
I was 17 years old.
How about that "goatie"?
Didn't last long!

 
The Sousas

 
Taken during a visit of my father's cousins,
the Saldanhas.
These cousins lived in Boston. (1960?)

 
With our cousin Francisco Amaral, and my parents' godchild, Venicio.

 
During this time Francisco was studying
at the university and living with us.

 
When "all of us" were still home.

 
This is what I call a "precious picture".
(The Cartwrights)

 
Another get together with friendswith our friends the Camilo family,
during the Christmas Season.

 
 
Life in Lisbon was good. 
Somehow, as I think of it, what comes to mind first, is friends, 
and the good times we had together.
Here is a picture with some of my best friends.
From left to right: my brother Jorge, Mario Jorge, Rute, my girlfriend,
me, Zé Augusto, Edite, Helder, my best friend, and Dulce.

 
She had a nice car, ...but she was not the right one!!!
Just kidding!!!
That was some stranger's car
that we decided to use as a "nice background!!!

 
With another gang of friends.

 
The three musketeers...  me and my best friends:
Helder Lemos  and  Mario Jorge Camilo.

 
Then, ... out of the blue, ...my life was about to change forever. Summer of 1964. 
Our friends Mr. and Mrs. Leite decided to visit the Açores and the Continent. 
In  Lisbon they stayed in our house. They arrived with their two youngest daughters, Stella and Mary Alice, ...and things happened
This picture was taken at a Fado house in Alfâma.

 
"Making the bed" for the newly married couple,
my brother Renato and his wife, Florinda.

 
This special party was the welcoming reception
for my sister-in-law, Florinda,
who had just arrived "married" from Luanda, Angola.
Little did I know that 10 months later I would also be married!!!

 
Around this time that's when the romance began.
That's my other good friend,
Victor,  next to Mary Alice.

 

 
Saying good-bye to the Leites at the airport.

 
The Leites were returning home, ... and I was deeply "confused"!
What now? She lives 3,000 miles away!
Well, to make a long story short, here begins what I could have never imagined. 
I have to believe that "fate" has a lot of power.
I was finishing high school (7 ano), and she was in America!
I had no doubt that a very strong feeling had taken over me.
I suggested to Stella that I could volunteer to serve in the army to satisfy my national obligation, because 
NO ONE left Portugal without serving in the armed forces. 
Her response was swift and clear: NEVER! 
"If something happens to you, I don't want that in my conscience!" 
So, what now?
It seems that my future father-in-law suggested "Try to come over for a visit, then we'll see what happens." 
Well, that certainly sounded like a crazy idea. 
The government would never give me permission to go abroad.
Somehow, we decided to try, but not believing it could happen. 
My parents spoke to 4 different people who could "pull strings" and so I applied for a military license. 
To my amazement, I obtained it with no obstacles.
My father, however, was interrogated by the PIDE, but still, I obtained it legally. 
Given my age, 19, that was necessary to apply for a passport. 
So, I applied for a passport. 
Two weeks later I received a phone call telling me that my passport application had been rejected.
I was devastated, even though I never believed I would succeed. 
However, a few days later, the governement agency called back saying that 
"somehow my passport had been approved and it was ready to be picked up." 
It seems that one (or more) of those family friends who could "pull strings" had succeeded! 
This seemed like a dream, but I still had another hurdle to overcome.
I still needed a visa from the American Embassy, and they were not known for giving visas that easily.
From America, Mr. and Mrs. Leite sent an "official" letter inviting me to spend Christmas with them, 
and they would be financially responsible for me.
On November 15, 1964,
I entered the American  Embassy, 
alone,
feeling like a fool,
but,...without giving me any trouble I was issued a visa to visit the U.S.A. 
My family was incredulous! 
They were supportive, but never believed I would succeed. 
Call it fate, but my life was about to change forever.
I was about to embark into a (romantic) adventure, and what a trip that turned out to be!

 
Ready to leave for the airport.
December 1st, 1964

 

Where are the smiles?  Nowhere to be seen!

The only thing I remember  is the moment I presented my passport at the Pide (the Government Police), as I was ready to board the plane. 

He looked at my passport, ... looked at me, ... at my passport, 
...and finally, he stamped it! It may have taken a few seconds, 
but it felt like "hours".
If that cop had said " You are not leaving!", 
that would have been the end of the story.
Anyway, I boarded Pan Am on the way to Boston on November 30, 1964, my last day in Portugal as a Portuguese citizen. 
When I returned in 1969, 
for my brother Luis' wedding, 
I was already an America citizen.


 
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