Like many of the Cubans who did not grow up in Miami, we used to get our doses of “Cubanismo” by buying Cuban LP’s in the mail.
As I recall, my father subscribed to a Miami-based “Record of the month” club and we got Cuban music that way.
To say the least, it was a moment of upmost emotion when my mom would call my father and say: “Mi vida hoy llego uno de la Riverside.” Then they would start talking about the time that they danced to Tito Gomez and that wonderful “orquesta.”
One of my biggest “exilio” memories was our family buying an LP of Christmas songs and hearing Olga Guillot sing “Blanca Navidad” or an adaption of the Bing Crosby classic.
It was too much for my mom who said: “Pero muchacho en Cuba no hay blanca Navidad. Que es eso?” (But son, in Cuba there is no such thing as a white Christmas. What’s that?)
It was quite a day in our home!