Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

23TH April 2020

Adventure - Cuba - Culture - Geopolitical - Timeless - Timely

Back to Havana – wrapping up

So that was 32,000 words about visiting Havana, for those that may not have seen it yet. The Table of Contents is here, BTW. In the time I was there, I met a lot of memorable people. I also learned a lot of the amazing history of the Island; some from my friend and partner John Caulfield, some from the seminal book Havana Nocturna, and plenty from just casually observing the place that hasn’t changed much in 60 years. It is as close to the “Land that Time Forgot” as anything I have ever visited. The idea for time travel came from a lunch at 304 O’Reilly. While everyone at the table wanted to imagine what the future of Cuba held, we all agreed that it would be much more […]

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10TH April 2020

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - Cuba - Legends and tales - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 12 – Back to Havana

Chapter 12- Grand Prix Build up TBD Illustration- Map/ aerial view of race course from Nacional Penthouse scene The course was a simple 2.6 mile triangle beginning outside the garage near the Nacionale. After a brief straightaway, the course travelled uphill on Calle 23 , also known as Las Rampas for the Hill to the Sea. The course passed by the sugar mansions of Vedado until arriving at Calle H where the drivers had to downshift before a tricky downhill right-bank turn onto Avenida Presidente, a split six-lane boulevard. After a brief straight downhill, there was another tricky roundabout at the half-built monument to Calixto García Iñiguez, a general in three Cuban uprisings, part of the Cuban War for Independence. Although any race driver stopping to ponder this wouldn’t make […]

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10TH April 2020

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 11 – Back to Havana

Chapter 11- The Bet   Illustration – Fangio and Esteban seal the bet and shake hands amid the garage gang – Blanco. This was no ordinary garage that Jorge and Ralph were pulling into: bays of McLaren, Lotus, Ferarri and Maserati were divided by immaculate tool sets, superb lighting, and staffs of jump-suited attendants cleaning up from the day’s work. It looked like the pit of any other race on the Grand Prix circuit, but all compressed into one spot. Ralph still had not put it together that he was in late 1957, and as the Buick came to a halt he assumed he was in another classic garage of another rich patron who needed a special part for a tune up. Jorge had never seen a time-traveller be so […]

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10TH April 2020

Adventure - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 10- Back to Havana

Chapter 10 – Dream a Little Dream of Me TBD Illustration- Genetta and Nat singing in Club Room Genetta was wrapping up her modelling shoot as the sun set over the Malecon. The last shots were usually what the photographers waited all day for. She was modelling for a Cuban dress designer named “Salome,” who had this wonderful knack for dressing Havana’s most stylish women in the sheerest of materials while maintaining a simple iconic look.  The jewelry was from an avant garde designer named “Rox,” and the pieces were big, bold statements that started conversations without being ostentatious. They went well together. As the “magic moment” approached, Genetta positioned herself on a large rock in the garden overlooking the Malecon, framed by the setting sun but nevertheless visible to […]

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10TH April 2020

Adventure - Cuba - Havana Culture - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 9 – Back to Havana

Chapter 9 – For whom the Bell Tolls Papa rocks the Floridita. Illustration by Ermitas Blanco. Havana. When the Bacardi tour was over, Pablo sensed Nina had had enough culture and suggested they hit cocktail hour at a little bar down the street: the Floridita.  “Hell, yes — liquor me up in the late afternoon, please,”  Nina thought to herself. “Then do with me what you will. If I’m going to travel 60 years in a day, I sure as hell want my money’s worth.” Pablo wasn’t used to such fast women — in any era. But he was adjusting quickly. They walked the two blocks to the Floridita hand in hand, enjoying the long shadows across the Capitolo and the Opera House before ducking into the noisy bar. Two […]

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04TH April 2020

Adventure - Cuba - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 4- Back to Havana

Chapter 4- The Tropicana Tables Illustration by Ermitas Blanco- Action at table five. Havana, Cuba. Sal had been sitting at the bar for awhile, when Snowball finally joined him. The “Trop” was always slow as hell between when the showgirls ended their afternoon rehearsal and the Special guests began to arrive for late dinner. That suited Sal just fine. His investigative style was “laid back nice guy,” who preferred to chum up his marks and ply them with liquor or women, while getting more information than any waterboarding had ever managed to do.  He’d trained in Tampa directly under the head of the FBI Interrogation Unit before heading down to Havana on a minor assignment for the gaming commission. Turned out, he had Cuban roots in the family, but they […]

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03TH April 2020

Adventure - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 3- Back to Havana

  Chapter 3- The Tesla Fuse Jorge- Illustrated by Ermitis Blanco. Havana. Jorge jumped into a cab outside the Nacionale with the mobsters in bumbling pursuit.  “Where to Amigo?”  “Make a right on 23rd, up La Rampa to Havana Libre, now cut down [street] to the end of the park and hang a left. Yeah, there. It’s one way!  Yeah I know just do it. I’ll make it worth your while! Now into that little garage on the corner, by the Marti statue. Ok, pull to the back and I’ll close the door. Wait here while I get dressed. Grab yourself a cerveza from the fridge. My dad loves to drink them when he tinkers on his babies.”  Jorge hustled upstairs, while the driver looked around. He’d never seen such […]

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02TH April 2020

Adventure - Havana Culture - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 2- Back to Havana

Chapter 2 – Go to what you Know Illustration- Nacionale entry- Ermitas Blanco Shot number three of Bacardi is even better than shots one and two, and the trio begins to feel loose enough to consider the fact that somehow, along the Malecon, that freak, giant wave has transported them back to [1957].  Pablo and Finn look around the veranda, feeling like they’re in some crazy dream.  Because there’s Edith Piaf in the corner, drinking coffee. Over there, Bogart and Bacall are quietly canoodling. A small string orchestra pauses, as the MC announces that a special guest has agreed to sing “The Sea and the Sand” for one of the celebrities in the audience celebrating a birthday. At that moment, Nat King Cole steps up to the microphone. It’s a […]

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01TH April 2020

Adventure - Culture - Havana Culture - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 1- Back to Havana

The last flight for Havana is 12:55 this afternoon, says the US Embassy alert. And so, for a time, the only way for Americans to visit Havana now is by fantasy, and time travel. One might argue, that was the best way all along. Here is the first of sixteen Chapters, written to cover the average Corona quarantine. Hopefully, it makes for a fun escape. It’s time travel historical fiction (think Midnight in Paris, for Havana) written shortly after being ushered out of the country for suspicion of assisting entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy “Back to Havana”. I did help the entrepreneurs. Chapter 1- First Time in Havana? Illustration from Ermitas Blanco- ‘57 Chevy hit by Malecon Wave Finn and Nina (friends with benefits) decide on a weekend adventure and […]

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01TH April 2020

Adventure - Cuba - Havana Culture - Timeless - Timely

Back to Havana – Characters Notes for Artist

All of these wonderful drawings were created by Ermitas Blanco, at the direction of Gabo Pere, a creative team based in Havana, Cuba. The sheer dedication just to download and read the script- in Spanish- shows how resourceful modern Cubans have become. Wifi is spotty and extremely expensive. Everything is censored. And these artists’ only impression of America- let alone history- is what they have pieced together in paquettas, facebook, and visits from friends. Politics and Corona have shut that all down, entirely. What follows are my notes and direction to Gabo and Ermitas, and the sketches they delivered as a result (each one took about a month, for all the reasons cited above). Protagonists     Nina- present and 50’s E. European porcelain doll type, early 30’s, tragically single, […]

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