Posted by Ron Coleman on April 16, 2008
They live in Boynton Beach, actually. But Miami is not that far, and, conceptually, it is dominant in the area. In my mother’s case, in particular, it is always interesting, because it is truly a multi-national city, the main nationality being Cuban, like my mom herself. The Cuban staff members at the hospital — from orderlies up to senior physicians — get a kick out of the surprise bursts of Cuban Spanish (Spanish so bad that if there had not been Puerto Ricans, Cubans would have invented them) from the 60-something Jewish lady recovering from abdominal surgery. (Thank you to the well-wishers in the comments! Her prognosis is very good.) They are even more surprised to hear it from her fair-haired younger sister dressed in orthodox Jewish garb.
The Cubans really do connect with each other, and across generations, too. At this point, of course, there are three generations of emigres that that have made South Florida their home and, for most, likely permanent exile. My grandparents, Polish-born Jews who emigrated to Cuba in the ’30’s, left Cuba in 1956 for New York, retired here and are both buried here. There is a rapidly growing orthodox Jewish community throughout the area, too, concentrated in North Miami Beach, so there are plenty of resources for me when I’m here. Also plenty of palm trees, which it’s hard for me not think are being planted just to demonstrate to everyone what a warm place this is, Disney-style. Why does an American place need palm trees?
Right now it’s unusually cool, but frankly until they air condition several counties I don’t expect to be here that often. Hopefully Mom will be up and at ’em as expected, very soon, and I won’t have to come for undesirable reasons. Heading back up tonight.