среда, декабря 13, 2006

A Few Facts About My Grandfather

On the day of my parents' wedding, my grandfather Solon disappeared. Not a very unusual occurrence (read below), and then it was very clear that it was meant to show he did not approve of the marriage. His brother walked the bride to the groom inside the church. Guests at the wedding thought that "Solon" looked younger.

Once he discovered he had to undergo an eye surgery. Not a very big deal, but it would scare my grandmother. So he disappeared, and a couple of days later, when my grandma and my mom were thinking about calling the police, he re-appeared, his eyesight corrected.

Before anyone could think about chatting online, he - and many other people around the world, obviously - used a short-wave radio to communicate with users far away, in his case as far as Argentina. He kept the radio in a shack in the back of the house, which functioned as a sort of office. On the wall, a poster of the winner of the National Soccer Championship in 1989: the glorious Clube de Regatas Vasco da Gama.

He had one of the most awesome things mankind could invent: a typewriter that used a different font, something more akin to a very correct and uniform cursive handwriting.

Since I had come here, he had started sending me postcards occasionally. He and my grandma. They are postcards from the seventies, the eighties perhaps. Some of them still show the old differential diacritics that were used before the reform in 1981 (e.g., "Govêrno Abreu Sodré - Secretaria do Turismo"). Some of them show roads, bridges, buildings of concrete, very uninteresting things perhaps; to me, they are beautiful mementos of a strange-looking Brazil, one in which new roads were novelties that figured in postcards, and one in which people wrote "periòdicamente" or "relêvo" like this, with accents.