|Rebecca Stewart & Brother Edwin Reggio,C.S. C. - Austin, Texas 2010|
Afew days ago I sent the paragraph below to my eldest granddaughter Rebecca who is now 25.
Statistically you & I are in an extraordinary occurrence. I first met my Manila born Tía Fermina in Buenos Aires when I was 8. You met her in Houston when you were 11. I met Inecita,my godmother and first cousin when I was 8 at my birthday party (I don't remember her from my baptism!) & you met her when you were 7. I had Brother Edwin, C.S.C. as a teacher in 1958 & I was 16. You were 10 when you stayed at St. Joseph's Hall. Also statistically nice, Abi [my wife Rosemary] not only met and we lived with my mother but also my grandmother. And of course she knew Inecita and Brother Edwin. Abi and I watched my mother die. You and I watched Abi die. You even met my half brother. You and I cannot escape this bond. It is a wonder.
That is quite incredible. Never thought of it until now.
In my life there are multiple instances on the whims of why
things happen. In an open letter, in my desk that I have never read written by
my mother’s paramour when she was in Manila I know that in the contents he
confesses that he is gay. My mother, sister, brother and widowed mother
immediately moved to Buenos Aires. Which is why I was born there some years later.
In 1977 I participated in a coup (with 1906 Mauser in hand) against the then president of Argentina, Arturo Illía. He went home in a cab. In 1972 he gave a lecture at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City where I was teaching. After his lecture I told him about our connection. He gave me a big hug.
When I left Buenos Aires after my two year conscription in the Argentine Navy I was able to get on an ELMA (Empresa Líneas Marítimas Argentinas) Victory Ship called Río Aguapey that took me to my mother’s home in Veracruz. Only 10 years ago I found out it had been built in the Burrard Shipyards in North Vancouver.
At the end of 1967 after a short trip to San Francisco I had my hear, hippie style to my shoulders. I was laying around in a Veracruz beacn not knowing what to do with my life. I moved to Mexico City and my friend Raúl Guerrero Montemayor instructed me on the Berlitz method for teaching a language and he put me into a school where we were sent out to teach the executives and secretaries of American companies. It was there where I first set eyes on Rosemary. We were married the next year. I was 25 and Rosemary was 23.
While working washing cars at Tilden-Rent-a-Car on Alberni Street in 1977 I was taking stroke improvement classes at the YMCA. A lovely woman from Montreal in my class found out I was a photographer. She asked me to photograph her. I did not know that she worked in the gift department of Holt Renfrew and that she placed my portraits of her in frames there. That led the whole Army & Navy Cohen family to hire me for portraits which ultimately took me from Vancouver Magazine fashion editor Gabriel Levy to art director Rick Staehling and editor Malcolm Parry. My magazine photography career began then.
The coincidences thanks to Vancouver Magazine, the Georgia Straight and the Globe and Mail have placed me facing with my camera many of the local (and foreign) politicians, celebrities, actors, persons of ill repute, etc, so that my files and my blogs are an extensive history of the events of our city, a city with a poor memory for its past.