SUMMER OF 1969

My first visit to Portugal after leaving in 1964. 
This was an exciting trip for me for various reasons. I was returning home with my beautiful wife and our precious
two year old little lady, Michelle. It was exciting to be back with my family, whom I missed so much.
I was happy to be back for my brother Luis's wedding. I was proud to return as a Senior at Providence College,
on my way to become a teacher. Not bad for a kid who had embarked on what was unquestionably a "romantic adventure", not having the slightest idea what the future would bring. However, I must admit that I also returned 
with a "quiet", but very serious, apprehension. This was my first time back to Portugal,a country still controlled
by a tyrant government, and the awful PIDE, its secret police.  I returned "home" as an American citizen.
But I  would still have to cross the customs check controlled by "them", and I just didn't trust "them".
I  just didn't want any problems. Thank God I didn't have any, but the hidden fears were very much in my mind.
What was also interesting to me, is that I was returning home, but .... I didn't feel at home anymore. It was strange
to be in "my home" and not feel anymore that I was "home". Home to me, as early as that first visit, meant the USA. 
That was a disconcerting feeling. Of course, we also feel that we are going to find things as we left them, 
and ... we never do. Life moves on for everyone. I hardly saw any of my friends. They were away, or I just did not "connect" as I had hoped. Being with family, however, that yes, ... that was the truly sweet part of the trip.
It's hard to be so far away from those you love so much.

Boy, did she enjoy herself! She loved it,and 
everyone loved our Mich - 2 years old.
Luis getting ready for the "big moment"
It's official! 
Dr. and Mrs.Coimbra signing the registry.
The Reception
Michelle chasing pigeons again?
Marquês de Pombal - downtown Lisbon
Our visit to the north of Portugal - Alcobaça.
Renato is holding Alexandra.
Coimbra - Penedo da Saudade
On the left of the picture is a good 
friend of Renato, Dr. Ormondo.
Lagares da Beira, where Biota's family 
has a beautiful house.
We spent a couple of days there.
Sesimbra - a nice day at the beach!
That's what you call a real nice family picture!

The first family dinner at the newlyweds' home.
During our stay we had the opportunity to spend a lot of time 
with them. They were great during our stay, 
and we have great memories from those days.


And so ended this first trip.
I must admit that I returned home, sad to leave my family behind, but happy to be back in 
the US. What was clear to me is that once I left Portugal, my mother country, my heart would forever be divided. As the years passed,I often tried to make some sense of these confusing feelings. After many years, I reached this conclusion:
My heart is unquestionably American, but my soul is and will forever be Portuguese!


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