Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Funeral

My father Edgardo Vega Yunqué will be laid to rest at Calverton National Cemetary this Friday at 1PM. He served in the Air Force towards the end of the Korean War. He was stationed in the Azores and learned Greek and Portuguese. He referred to it in a journal as "three years of total decadence." He operated the radio, hung out at the beach and drank with the ladies (some perhaps shady). Then he returned to the States and fell in love with my mother. He was only 25 when they got married. It must have been some contrast.

He was not a patriot. I am not sure he would choose to spend eternity buried amongst his fellow serviceman but he didn't leave any instructions so I made the choice. He insisted we speak English and that we do so very well. Spanish was never spoken at home. He married an American woman and produced three pale children with blue eyes and straight hair. He preached independence for Puerto Rico but he did not raise us to be Puerto Rican. I think he really did love America. He just did not like that he was not 100% accepted as American. It was a shock to him in 1954 to get on the train to South Carolina heading for basic training and be told that he needed to be in the last car with the colored enlisted men. The Irish kids in his neighborhood in the Bronx never let on that he was any different from them. He was always grateful to the Irish for that.
Maybe we can get them to put McVega on the headstone?


Allison Guerriero said...

McVega and Swede-O-Rican were two terms TMV used to use. Best wishes for you, Suz, Sachi, Pat, Ruby, Brian, Paul and Matthew on Friday.

Sanguinetti A! said...

I was friends with your father for the last year or two of his life. Just tonight I was thinking about him and did a search of his name, mostly to see if anything new had happened with Zoraida Delgado. A series of clicks later, and I ended up on your blog. He talked about you frequently. I just want to say that it's so nice to see you speak fondly of him here. You can only learn so much about a person from their perspective. Ed was a handful, I don't need to tell you that, but he taught me more than I can articulate. Best to you.