Today is Holy Thursday, March 29, 2018, the first day of the Triduum period for three (3) days when Roman Catholics and Christians reflect upon the Passion of Jesus Christ on the Cross after he was betrayed by Judas who turned to the Romans and Jewish patriarchs in exchange for silver coins at the Last Supper in Jerusalem. Afterwards, Jesus Christ was crucified with two thieves to set an example for other criminals, outlaws, and protesters against the Roman and Jewish government lawmakers.

During Holy Week, I always have time to reflect upon the Passion of Jesus Christ since I was a young child because my Mother would give me the family Bible with the Old Testament and the New Testament to read and ponder while I was off on Holy Week during the Easter holiday break from elementary school and high school in Santiago de Cuba. At the time, my Mother would not allow me to go out during the Triduum beginning on Holy Thursday. Fifty (50) years have passed and nowadays, I do not even have a Bible, neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament because the ones I have had and received by Catholics and Christians, have been stolen, removed from my possession, and withheld from me, so I do not have them any more…

When I was ten (10) years old, I lived in Santiago de Cuba, with my Father and Mother, and my youngest brother. I still remember some of my family relatives whom I have not seen in fifty (50) years. My Mother’s second brother, Alberto Fong Ramos, is known as my Uncle “Betico” aka Alberto in Santiago de Cuba, a butcher who worked at his own Butcher Shop at the corner of Avenida Estrada Palma and Calle 3, in the neighborhood called La Trocha where my Grandfather Alberto Fong had a General Grocery and Hardware store, as well as in other places.

My Uncle Betico had worked as a Cuban policeman riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle earlier in his young life, when he met my Father who was a young lawyer at the Municipal Courthouse and City Hall in Santiago de Cuba, as well as a Dean of the Business and Economics Department at the University of Oriente in Santiago de Cuba, Oriente. Afterwards, my Father was introduced to my Mother, before they were married on March 23, 1957. Dr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor was 26 years old when he married my Mother, Gardenia Fong Ramos, when she was 19 years old at the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba in the Municipality of Oriente, Cuba.

My second Uncle Alberto “Betico” Fong Ramos was married to his first wife Mirta Chacόn in 1956, while my Father and Mother were engaged to be married. At the time, my Father and Mother were sponsors of his wedding ceremony, reception, and party in Santiago de Cuba. Afterwards, my first cousin José Alberto Fong Chacón (García) was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1957, one year before I was born later.

While my Uncle Betico lived in Santiago de Cuba, he worked for my Grandfather Alberto Fong and also as a Butcher next to the General Grocery and Hardware Store at the corner of Avenida Estrada Palma, Carretera del Morro and Calle 3 in the neighborhood called La Trocha in Santiago.

My Uncle Betico was arrested after the Cuban Revolution headed by Fidel Castro succeeded in overthrowing the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, since Alberto Fong Ramos had worked as a Cuban policeman riding a motorcycle in Santiago de Cuba. My Father, Dr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor defended my Uncle Betico while he was imprisoned and released him to obtain his freedom in Santiago de Cuba. Afterwards, his first wife Mirta Chacón and first son José Alberto Fong Chacόn (García) decided to leave Cuba with the family of David Palmer, her sisters Dorita, Cuca, and others to be exiled in New Jersey, United States of America. Since my Uncle Betico had been imprisoned, charged, and released by the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, he could not leave Santiago de Cuba while he was on parole as an ex-convict in the Cuban Judicial Court System. So, his first wife Mirta Chacόn filed for a legal divorce and custody of their son, José Alberto Fong, in order to leave for New Jersey in the United States of America.

Later, my Uncle Betico met another Cuban woman whose name was María and got legally married in Santiago de Cuba a second time. His second daughter Aixa Fong was born afterwards. In the Cuban summer time, when I was not in school, I used to stay with my Grandmother Irene Ramos Mejías at her home in Calle 3 entre Reparto Mariana de la Torre and Calle 2 en Carretera del Morro y La Trocha. When my Uncle Betico would visit my Grandmother Irene and I was there, he would invite me to visit his second wife María and play with his second daughter Aixa Fong where they lived in Reparto Sueño, Santiago de Cuba. Since Alberto Fong Ramos liked Harley Davidson motorcycles, he owned an American classic motorcycle in Santiago de Cuba, which he used to ride and visit my Grandmother Irene in Carretera del Morro, Calle 3 y La Trocha. So, he asked me to go with him on his vintage American Harley Davidson motorcycle from my Grandmother Irene’s home to his house in Reparto Sueño, then he would take me back to my parents’ home where I live at Desiderio Fajardo No. 5 entre Avenida Martí and Santo Tomás in Santiago de Cuba. Alberto Fong Ramos used to drive and ride the American Harley Davidson around town, up and down the hills of Santiago de Cuba.

Afterwards, my Uncle Betico left Santiago de Cuba swimming 99 miles to Miami, Florida, and I have not seen him, met him, or reunited with him in the last fifty (50) years, since 1968.

While I reflect in the present about the past, now I do not even have my own motorcycle, the Derbi Boulevard 150CC I purchased from Champion Cycle Motorcycles on Western Avenue near Addison Street, near Lane Tech High School in Chicago, Illinois.

Fifty (50) years may seem a lifetime for someone who has grown older, wiser, and cynical about life in general.

“A Triduum For Reflection On Thursday, 29 March 2018”

By Gardenia C. Hung, M.A., B.A.
Consulting Social Media Arts Communications
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A Triduum For Reflection On Thursday, 29 March 2018 By Gardenia C. Hung.pdf