Monday, September 03, 2007

El tareco still works

In 1966, upon declaring that he was taking his family out of Cuba, my father was sent away to a hard labor camp (la granja) to cut sugar cane. This left my mother alone, to provide for her two sons. Nevertheless, we were one of the lucky ones. We had family that owned farms, and we owned a GE refrigerator (affectionately called el tareco - the old clunker). My mother would make frequent trips to the country to visit her family and bring back fruits, vegetables and meats. The GE refrigerator would store these items, keep them fresh and minimized the long trips that my poor mother had to endure. The good GE was also a source of revenue for the family. My mother would make strawberry “durofrio” (a sort of frozen Kool-Aid concoction) that she would sell to the neighborhood kids for pennies. This lasted as long as long a supplies lasted, which wasn’t very long. We also sold ice, a “cubeta” (an ice tray) for 20¢ each.

No wonder Cubans are upset that the government is trying to retire the old reliable GE and replace them with Chinese scrap metal.

“They took away my señor and replaced him with a little guy,” said a 47-year-old cook who lives in the Reparto Zamora district in western Havana. Welcoming a visitor to her kitchen, she pointed to the slim, white Chinese-made Haier that had taken the place of the bulky, pink Frigidaire that had been in her family for 24 years.

Poetic justice would be to bury the Havana cadaver in an old GE. No, wait a minute that would preserve him for another 50 years...never mind. The full story [here].

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