Saturday, May 23, 2009

lydia serrer

I met Lydia this afternoon in the coffee shop. She is a cute older woman rocking a gray bob with bangs. She has a thick Cuban accent, so thick she had to spell her first name for me to understand. She spoke of her time in Havana, being one of two females who attended the University... with Fidel Castro. He was in a gang and was such a big threat that the University closed down for two years. Lydia wasn't able to finish her degree.

One story she shared was about him and his gang urinating on campus as she was sitting on a bench working. He came up in front of her (exposed) and asked if she liked what she saw. This is why I love Lydia; she responded to him (without looking up), "I've seen better." Years later, she reconnected with him at a conference he was speaking at. When she introduced herself to him, he said, "I remember. You've seen better." She said that Castro remembered everyone and everything and that's how he got so powerful.

Lydia had to immigrate (the right way, she stated) to the States when her dad's newspaper company was taken from him, but she moved to Puerto Rico for 26 years to raise her kids "away from all the Cubans in Miami" and even worked for 6 years in the US Embassy in Argentina.

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with her for the 3-minute window I had before the next customer came in. Oh, and she's in Denver now because her kids made her stop working and move close to them!