Antero Joaquim de Sousa 
Maria da Conceição Gouveia Borges de Sousa
December 8,  1934
(my parents)

My parents had a major impact in my upbringing. 
When I think of my mother, the word that always comes to mind to describe her is "loving". 
She was always happy so long as she was surrounded by people, especially her family. 
She was the one who always needed a kiss, a hug, and that was enough to make her feel good. 
She lived for her family.
When she was sad, her tears would flow very easily. 
My father, on the other hand, may have seemed  not as expressive as her, 
but he was a man who also felt a very strong love for all his family. 
When I think of him, a few words come to my mind very easily to describe him.
All his life he was a man who placed integrity and honesty above everything else.
He was a very hard working man, someone who felt fulfilled at work.
He started working at the age of 14. 
His father passed away when he was very young, and he became the man of the house.
It is a great feeling to think of your parents and come up with nothing but warm feelings.
They were great parents, and I am what I am because they always loved me and raised me well.

One of my favorite pictures 
of my parents.
Lisbon,  1954

I was born on September 15, 1945, in S. Pedro, Ponta Delgada, S. Miguel, Açores. 
I was born in the house where I lived for 12 years in S. Miguel, Rua da Boa Nova 33.
My life there was indeed very nice. 
Life was simple, but happy. I wish I could remember a lot more about my years in S. Miguel,
but most of what I do remember is linked to pictures I have. 
However, the following things are very clear in my mind. I loved our house. It was big and confortable.
The attic was an added attraction because many good things took place there.
My friends and I created and acted in many skits which we would then show other friends, and family.
During the warm months, a section of the yard used to be covered with greens (like a canopy)
and our dinning room table moved there. We used to eat there, it became the main gathering point 
to receive friends, to play cards, to spend time with family and friends. 
Who could ever forget the games of "king", our friend Urbano laughing when he would be stuck 
with "the King", and so many other happy moments. 
Christmas was also very special. Our "presépios" used to be beautiful. 
My father used to buy rolls of grass, which, with sawdust, we used to build our beautiful "presépio" (manger). The smell of incense, the greens, oh what a time! And we were happy with very simple presents.
We always had friends over the house.
My mother loved being surrounded by her friends. Fun times. However, the one thing that stayed in my blood forever was the ocean. Across the street there was another row of houses and behind them, ...that gorgeous ocean. The hours we spent in the "calhau", the rocky coast! I'm amazed to this day how we were always there and we had no adults supervising us! The "poça das lagosta" was our natural pool. 
The crazy things we used to do! But somehow we never had any serious accident. A few close calls,...but nothing major.  The Holy Ghost festivities, the streets all decorated, the precessions, and of course, the Corpus Christi (Festas do Sr. Santo Cristo) the annual festivities.    Hearing that hymn to this day brings tears to my eyes.When I'm retired I hope to go there during that time and "relive" happy past years. 
What else do I remember clearly?
Sundays,... our small allowance would buy a pocket full of pumpkin seeds and a ticket to go to the movies, 
the Cinema Maritimo. Renting a bike from the store right across our house! The many times that we organized excursions to Furnas, Sete Cidades, etc. What LONG trips! 
The memories just keep on streaming through my mind.The days I spent in Lagoa and Ribeira Grande 
with family, ...always family, the most precious thing in life. However, one thing stands out above all others,
... the "saudades" (longing) for my two older brothers who were studying in Coimbra. 
Oh yes, that feeling still is very strong in my heart. My two older brothers Renato and Luis  were the center my life, and I missed them a lot. When they used to come home for the Summer, life was beautiful again. 
The family was complete again! 
In 1958 my father decided to move to Lisbon. He got a nice job as the treasurer of a big ship building company, and he left. We stayed behind to sell the furniture and other belongings. A couple of months later my mother and Jorge left. I had to stay alone for a few days to complete my 7th grade exams (segundo ano). 
I then joined them with a full smile in my face because! I had passed those miserable exams!
The trip in that old ship ... was also a  miserable experience (7 days), ... but I got to Lisbon safely!

My roots ...! 
A bit of my family history

My MMy maternal grandparents, my grandfather 
José Cândido Borges and his wife Maria Estrêla Gouveia.

From left to right: My father's mother,
her mother, my father, and his aunt.

This is how I remember my 
"querida avó", 
my maternal grandmother.
She lived with us in Ponta Delgada. She was the only grandparent that I ever knew. 
She still remains as one of 
the greatest loves of my life. 
I was frequently her companion, especially  during the Summer,
when she used to go to
Ribeira Grande 
to visit her brother, 
as well as Lagoa, to visit her son,  João Pedro, 
and her other daughter,

This is my grandmother's brother. 
This man had a profound influence in my young life. He was a true man of the church, a true man of God!
Padre Evaristo Carreiro Gouveia.

This couple also had a great influence in my life.
That's my mother's brother, João Pedro and his wife (Tia Amaral). These people were like "our parents". We always felt at home in their home because they were very loving people. Their five children were like our siblings: Jorge, Natevidade (Titaia), Margarida (Guida), Francisco (Chico), and João (de Sales). I have great memories with them to last a lifetime, 
both in Lagoa and in my house in Ponta Delgada. 
What great times!

Click here to see my maternal family family tree in greater detail.

That's me..... 
João Pedro Borges de Sousa.
(alias, John Pedro Sousa)

Here are a few shots that will show how the family grew.

Proud parents showing off their first born, Renato. 
(September 7, 1935)

First family portrait.  My mother was pregnant for me.
From the left: My brother Luis, my mother Conceição, my brother Jorge,
my father Antero and my brother Renato.

First complete family portrait

Click here to get a glimpse of our life as we grew up
in São Miguel.

Taken during a Mardi Gras Ball in the Coliseu. My brother Renato wearing his white tuxedo, and
Mr. & Mrs. Leite, good friends of my parents, who ... 
turned out to be my father and mother-in-law.

Who would guess that I was having my picture ...
taken with my future wife.
That's right, that's me (left), Stella, Iolanda,
Mary Alice, and my brother Jorge.

The Leite kids and the Sousas.
(Campo de S. Francisco - 1956)

One of the many excursions we took in the Volkswagen van.
How did we all fit in that car?

First communion
My brother Jorge, our friend Rui, and me.

Guess who is that cute young lady behind me?
Who would say?  That's my Stelinha!

Finally, ...that's me 
on the way to Lisbon.
I was the last one to 
leave S. Miguel.

Here I am with 
my neighbor and friend, 
Rui Pacheco, 
ready to travel
in the "great" 
Carvalho Araujo. 
What a trip!!! (1958)

(I only returned 
to São Miguel in 1994.)

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