|Rosa 'William Shakespeare 2000' 25 August 2022|
mother, grandmother and I moved from Buenos Aires to Mexico City in 1953 our first
house was in Colonia Anzures. The street we lived on was Guillermo Shakespeare.
When we took taxis home my mother would pronounce for the benefit of the driver
the name in this way “shakes-peh-ha-reh”. There is a tradition in Latin America
of translating the first name into Spanish of people from other countries so in Mexico City you have Plaza
Jorge Washington and one of the better known Argentine authors who was born in Quilmes, Provincia de Buenos Aires is known as Guillermo Enrique Hudson.
It wasn’t until Rosemary, our two daughters and I moved to Vancouver in 1975, that I became acquainted with going to a Shakespeare play.
In 1966 I was madly in love with an Argentine girl called Susy. When I found out that they were screening the 1936 film Romeo and Juliet with Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer I was keen to take her. I had seen the film with my mother who adored any film with Leslie Howard. It was at the film that Susy told me, “They are much too old to be that romantic couple.”
In 1984 Rosemary and I went to see a Richard III at Vanier Park in a just new-to-happen-moment that prefigured Bard on the Beach. It had Christopher Gaze as an evil hunchbacked king.
In the 90s David Austin introduced an English Rose, Rosa ‘William Shakespeare'. We instantly bought it and it did well for us but Austin de-listed it and in 2000 introduced the unromantically named Rosa ‘Shakespeare 2000’. Our original rose died. We then purchased the improved one that is not very vigorous in our Kitsilano garden.
But I love to look at these photographs of my granddaughter Rebecca who often posed for me with that rose.
I hope that the time will come when Rebecca might say to me, “Papi I would like you to take a portrait of me with William Shakespeare.”