Hija Del Cabezon

You could have knocked me down with a feather when I got Val’s email. I did that open mouth kinda thing, you know the “what me?” In my reply I promised Val that someday when I get maudlin, read that three sheets to the wind, I’ll write about what discovering Babalu meant to me. And I will. But for now, suffice to say that after a lifetime spent removed from others like me, I found I was not alone. So I am honored to join the writers here. I only hope to do my part.
There is only one nickname I want. Some have illustrious forbears, important people. My father was none of these. Like Willy Loman, his name was never in the papers. He was a Cuban everyman. He had nothing in Cuba, and he liked to say that he had thirty five cents in his pocket when he landed at JFK. What he did have was an enormous heart. He carved out a good life in the United States for himself and the family he loved so fiercely, but he lived and died a Cuban.
He earned the nickname El Cabezon because of his unshakeable belief in himself and his opinions. Annoyingly, many times he was right, like when he was the only one in his circle of Cuban expatriates in NYC who did not support fidel castro, or when having moved back to Cuba, he got himself in trouble by insisting that fidel was a card-carrying Communist way before fifo came out of that closet.
So I figure that I could do worse than la hija del cabezon. I certainly couldn’t do better.

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