Wednesday, February 15, 2012



There are many blogs, perhaps too many, about this and that.  Some are a pass time, others pretend to leave a trace, become a reference.  Mine is in the last league. Not that it will/would make any difference since knowing history, has never stopped  people, the silent majority, from making the same mistakes over and over, back and forth.

I just read an article from a 2001 TIME, a blind fellow claim to fame: climbing/reaching the Everest.  Others sail the world by themselves, with or without some GPS. The silliest, swim, run and go in a bicycle 300 miles. My claim is somewhat modest: collected over a hundred, coined/defined a few terms, practiced guerrilla without irrigation maintenance, collaborated with urban nature, the garden on a roof, insulted and denounced quite a few bastards/bastardettes, (not enough), destroying our environment with stupid landscape practices and or polluting,  but perhaps most important; I have witnessed the destruction of  agriculture and  scaffolding of our society in Puerto Rico, for the last half a century.

I remember with the same anger, sadness and nostalgia of that clear afternoon, around 3 PM, when the sun starts fading, s l o w l y, away in the tropics..when the bright becomes opaque, watching the trucks moving east on Georgetti street,  opposite corner of Farmacia San Rafael,  in the Caguas Country, with cattle like, mostly black fellow men in raggedy clothes,  their hands grasping the wooden handle bars on top, holding with the other,  their machetes in homemade paper/newspaper/string holders , carrying their human cargo home, swaying sideways, back and forth with the truck, returning from their  brutal under heat/sun sugar cane cutting activities. It was 1959.  I was in third grade.

There were plenty of trucks, some like those in India, Colombia or Mexico with folk art or signs, carrying, overflowing mounts of cut canes to the refining mills or centrales.  Adults and children  often picked the falling from the streets to consume as a treat later.  

How can anyjuan forget the tiny ashes of the burned sugar cane fields, to ease the cutting, black, fluffy, melting in your hand,  snowflakes, flowing with the wind, landing in every imaginable space, in or out...

I will have to finish this tender story here with a not so tender truth.

The cut cane was bought at lets say, 14 a pound, by the USA sugar mills companies and sold for 3 or 4 times that, in paper bags.  I imagine tons, probably two thirds of the molasses, were used to make the so called  Puerto Rican Rums.

So called?  Inquires the inquisitive, looking a little redundant?
Well if whisky, whiskey is made with this or that in the country
of origin, such like, vodka, or wine or whatever distilled alcohol for consumption  is manufactured,  with locally grown ingredients...then, there is not such a thing as PUERTO RICAN RUM, just like there is not a puerto rican scotch or vodka since molasses are imported from Dominican Republic.  If I am mistaken, in the future we could also distill bourbon, champagne and else...if it is just a matter of labeling...or an aluminum steel distillery. Caveat emptor. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts