Subject: extended, rtw trips?
Enrique was a Merchant Marine, maybe for 10 years or so, right after World War II. He did sail around the world and was PAID to do so, of course! He has many many beautiful, thrilling, romantic, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes educational stories that he tells to anyone who will listen. His contact with the world was only with the Port cities, of course, though he did travel inland sometimes. He did not always stay on board his mother ship while in port either, for instance in Denmark, Lithuania and several other countries he was invited to stay in folks' homes. When this happened in Brooklyn, New York, in 1957, he was invited to stay and be sponsored for citizenship here in the States (something not so easily done these days, what with the Immigration laws so much more difficult!) The lovely family who made this offer did go through with it; he lived with them for quite some time until he got a job on the waterfront.... he's retired now, in his seventies.

Of course, he has as many sea faring stories as ones about being in port. There was the time he and his buddies decided to take a little boy shopping for the holidays and buy the gifts that the li'l fellow could not afford to buy for his family, but would if he could. The family invited them all for the Christmas dinner, it was a small town in South America.... then there was that fight in a Pub in Barcelona, they barely escaped alive! Another trip, a man offered him his wife to sleep with, that was in Denmark or Sweden. Oh and the family in Lithuania had never seen an orange! They placed it at the top of their holiday tree. Then the whole family had one slice of it each, for dessert, and of course he was given one slice too.

Maybe one day I shall write all his stories for him. If I should get him to sit and tell them to our nephew when next he visits, I could tape him telling them and then get all those little details right!

Yours, Sheila & Enrique (Henry) Barrera Clearwater, Florida