(1958 - 1964)

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 1st, 1964.
That's my mother, on the left 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 living at home.

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

Another get together with 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 Mário Jorge Camilo.

Summer of 1964
Our friends Mr. and Mrs. Leite decided to visit the Azores 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, Renato and Florinda.

This special party was the welcoming reception for my sister-in-law, Florinda,
who had just arrived 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, 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?
Her father 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, secret police, but all went well.
 Given my age, 19, I needed that military license to apply for a passport. 

Two weeks after turning in my application for the passport I received a phone call telling me that it had been rejected.
I was devastated, even though I never truly 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 or not, 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!
I had found my soulmate, the love of my life.
On June 26, 1965 we were married and so began a life full of love and happiness.

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 to the Pide officer (the Government Police), as I was ready to board the plane.
He looked at my passport, ... looked at me, ... looked at my passport,
...and finally, he stamped it!
It may have taken a few seconds, but it felt like "an eternity".
If that officer had said " You are not leaving!",
that would have been the end of the story.
Anyway, I boarded a Pan American plane on the way to Boston on
December 1st, 1964,
 my last day in Portugal as a Portuguese citizen. 

When I returned in 1969, for my brother Luis' wedding,
 I was already an American citizen.

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