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1 Spanish Civil War Oral History Project Oral History Program Florida Studies Center University of South Florida, Tampa Library Digital Object Identifier: S64 00020 Interviewee: Laurence Pazo (LP) Interviewer: Ana M. Varela Lago (AL) Interview date: Au gust 26, 1997 Interview location: Tampa, Florida Transcribed by: Unknown Transcription date: Unknown Interview changes by: Mary Beth Isaacson Interview changes date: November 25, 2008 Additional changes: Arlen Bensen Additional changes date: January 5, 2009 Final edit by: Maria Kreiser Final edit date: January 26, 2009 Ana M. Varela Lago : This is an interview with Mr. Lorenzo Pazo. Larry, I would like to start by talking a little bit about your family. Why did they come to Tampa and what did the y do here in Tampa? Laurence Pazo : My family, as you know, it was just after during or at t he ending of the Spanish War. So they had to immigrate to Cuba. AL: Where were they from originally? LP: My grandfather came from Islas Canarias. And my grandmoth er, I think she came cmo se dice esto? Madrid. Their brothers, some fought in the Spanish American War, on either side. My grandfather great grandfather created families in Cuba. And then they decided to open up. And my grandfather came to Key West in, w e can say, 1840 in the '40s it had to be, because they would have been 120 years old. And this is 19 so, in the '48, '44. And my grandmother got married to she was Lopez, and got married to Nales: N A L E S. His brother was a lawyer. And he was very intell igent, very but he started a business with a w agon in Key West, selling tripe, mondongo y patas AL: Mondongo y patas ? LP: Patas AL: What is that? LP: Pig. Mondongo is guts. And patas son las patas [legs]. AL: Okay.
2 LP: He would have a big, big big boiler in the back yard, or two. And he'd boil all this. And he would go with his wagon and horse through all this colored area, and all of Key West, and sell it. People would come out with a pot, dme un real, dme un medio ; mostly colored people. Mondon go AL: How did you eat that? Do you cook it? LP: He cooked it all night. When they were still in those big things, they were still warm. And then they'd warm them themselves. You know, at that time there was not such a thing as refrigeration or anything else. So he went all over the town and by two o'clock he was through. And he did that. And then, about 81 years ago 81 years ago would make it 104, I mean 1904, my mother got married to my father. AL: Could you tell me their names, your mother 's name LP: My mother's Carmen. AL: Carmen, and the last name? The maiden name? LP: Nales. N a l e s AL: And your father's name was LP: Raymond, Ramn, Pazo. And then they had the first child in 1905. AL: So your mother was born in Key West? LP: My mother and father were both born in Key West. AL: Oh, he also? LP: They were following the cigar they started almost the cigar industry. They came from Cuba very poorly. But at that time Key West was the largest city in the state of Florida. Miami was beac h combers only. There was nothing, you just plain pineapple not pineapple coconuts and mangoes and things, wild country. So then, there was a train that used to run from Key West to Miami. And in fact her [Mrs. Pazo's] father went over in '9 [190 9 ] or '10 [ 19 10 ] to Miami, in one of those trains and when he saw Miami, and he had some land coming. And when he saw Miami, how wild it was, and how beat up he came back and said "Forget the thing." And he stayed in the cigar business. So my father was a cigar make r. And he had another daughter, which was two years apart, and then the First World War broke out, and my father was gonna go into the First World War, and he was gonna be drafted. And he had all the papers to go, but since my mother was expecting, they gave him a resting period I can't think of the word now.
3 And I was born; the war finished in November and I was born in February, 1919. I was born February the 17, 1919. We stayed there. We came to Tampa in 1920. But it was during the time of the cigar f actory, there was always a strike. For anything, they'd strike. So we came; there was a strike in Key West, my father said "Let's try Tampa." We stayed here about a year and a half. But it was too tough, so we went back to Key West. So, in 19 give and tak e '23 or '24, my father decided to go to Cuba and see what was doing there. Because since he was a very good cigar maker. So we went to Cuba, we stayed there about a year and a half. After a year and a half my grandfather was living in Key West got sick. They told my father that, so we came back. All these trips were made by boat. And we stayed in Key West until 1925. Key West got bad, because of a storm. The bridge was blown. The only work was working on the bridge that would unite Key West and Miami. Bu t he it was not the thing so some friend of ours came from Tampa to Key West, said Well, Raymond, let's go to Tampa. I'll find you something to do. See? I'll get you a factory." All the factories here were full bloom. They used to go in the morning, nigh ttime yet, and come back at six o'clock which was nighttime. So we came here in '25. And we had it fairly good. But in '28 he went to work one day. And he had a little cold. And the lady in back of him opened her window. And he go t pneumonia, double pneu monia, T uesday. We called the doctor; he came most every day. They used to come to the house. Dr. Gonzalez was the doctor at the time. And he'd sit by the bed, and Saturday around ten o'clock, December the 7, I think, 1928, he passed away. They used to fix them in the house, and put the casket in the living room. And we buried him in 1928. Then they left, my grandmother, after her husband died, she stayed with us. AL: That's on your father's side? LP: On my mother's side. AL: On your mother's side, I see LP: Nales. AL: So your father's family I mean your grandparents on your father's side LP: Stopped staying in Key West and they came to Tampa too. Because everybody came to Tampa. Tampa [Key West?] was so deserted for awhile. Because there was no wat er, and there was no work. And they had caused so much trouble with the strikes, that almost all the cigar factories moved to Tampa. So. My mother was illiterate, and she was not a cigar maker. We didn't have no income. My grandmother was a widow. She didn 't have no income. AL: Because your mother never worked? She took care of the family?
4 LP: She worked there as a cigar stripper. AL: What did they do, the strippers? For people who don't know. LP: They get the tobacco leaf, and they pull that cord from the middle. In Spanish, despalilladora AL: Despalilladora I see. And they didn't make much money as strippers. LP: Maybe three dollars, two dollars a week, or so, when they need them. And you had to have pool work. In fact, when my father died, Bloun t Funeral Homes which used to be on Morgan Street buried my father, and my aunt used to get, she was living in Tampa, my father's sister. And she had five boys and two girls. So they helped us. We paid the funeral, my mother gave a quarter, and my aunt gav e a quarter. We paid fifty cents a week for the burial. So at that time AL: Was that in one of the clubs? Was he buried through one of the clubs? LP: There was no club. AL: You didn't belong to any of their mutual aid societies at that point? The Cent ro Asturiano, the Centro Espaol? LP: No no no. No. At the time they were just starting. That's '28. In fact, it was about fifteen cents a week or a quarter a week for it. But we couldn't have it. So I lived on Albany Street right there across the J. W. Young box factory. And the man, night watchman, was a friend of my father when he was living. So he said, if I wanted, he gave me a job sweeping the box factory with two other, my two cousins; fifty cents a week. So when the workers finished at four, we w orked around by nine o'clock sweeping up that box factory it was about two blocks long. Which is Albany and Beach Street, which used to be Ponce de Leon. So then, there was a restaurant in the back of it, next to it. And they saw me, they liked me so muc h, and they knew what conditions and things we were up against, that he said if I want to work for two dollars a week, but I had t o work hard like a man. I said, "Gladly by that time I was almost ten, or nine. So I started. My job was to be there at five in the morning, peel potatoes a big number three tub about five or six pounds of onions, six or seven heads of garlic, eat something and go to school. Come back at three, and at that time this was when Spanish people were coming from Spai n and living in b oarding houses and they were living upstairs and they came, they were boarders. And so I swept the place. Because people long time didn't use, they were not modern in thinking of things. They used to have that big restaurant big long table and the wait er instead of putting the threw everything to the floor. You pro bably [haven't seen this before ]. And then I had to come sweep it all, set the tables, and get those long cups
5 and make sure you could see through, because they were very particular about glas s cups. I mean, you call them cup? A L: Yes, um h m. LP: And they used to be perfect shine; sometime they h ad wine. And I had to fix. Then around 4:30, he'd let me go to the Boys' Club. That's when I joined the Boys' Club, in 1925. I was already going ever y time I got a chance. So I would run there, and around 6:30, I ran back. And they'd have finished eating. I'd clean all the tables. And the food that was left, not eaten, food that were cooked since there was no refrigeration, they didn't keep very little things could be kept overnight. And if they did, they were taking chances. So he gave me food to take it home for my family. So then I kept on a couple of years AL: Cigar workers were the people who mostly ate at this restaurant you worked for? LP: No There were Spaniards that came. The cooks. And all the cooks used to AL: What was the name of the place? LP: El Argentino AL: El Argentino. Tell me about that. Why did they call him El Argentino, because he came from Argentina? LP: Because the peop le that had it before us came from Argentina. They were Spaniards that came, immigrated to, and they sold it to us. And we kept the name. AL: I see. So, who would eat there? LP: All the boarders and for nighttime it would be the people that were boardin g upstairs. And boarding in different private homes. So there wou ld be, in the evening, about 20 to 30. But for lunch, there would be around 150 or 200 people. AL: And these boarders, what did they do mostly? Were they related to the cigar factories in an y way, or just different people? LP: No no no. Different people. Most of them were eating good were the owners of the factory or the management. And they'd appoint them, or give them the privilege of delivering coffee to the factory, to the workers. And they had a big basket, they carried about 100, a batch each, and a big cafetera AL: Like a coffee pot. LP: Coffee pot, big one. And pour it. They carried two like this, and back milk, coffee. And then at three o'clock they used to take pineapple juice or coffee. So, that got there
6 but started getting bad. They moved to Ybor City the factory. 1930 came, and the Spanish thing came. In fact, that morning I got up and I finished doing my work and was ready to go to school and I came by my house and all thes e people from the Sidelo cigar factory and Regensburg factory in West Tampa, were marching, striking. AL: That's 1931? LP: 1930. Yes, I'm almost sure it's '30. They would parade, six blocks long, three [persons] wide. So it'd be, like six. They went 'rou nd and 'round. And they were singing, juedo cantarlo ? May I sing it? AL: Sure. LP: (sings) Avanza pueblo, ser comunista / Bandera roja que triunfar / Viva Franco! Muera Franco! / Y viva la revolucin! And they kept going, I said, "Mama please let me stay home!" To watch, because all the excitement, and everybody that were not in the parade were looking around like it was something like a circle. So my mother says "No, you gotta go to school." We had enough; we were so poor that if you don't go to sch ool you'll never get any place. So I went to school. That noon I came running like hell. I said, "Mama, Mama, where are they? What happened?! What happened?" She says, "The police came." McKay was the chief of p olice. And he and his cops they beat the hel l out of about four people. And they took them to jail. Regensburg factory never went to work again. It's still closed. They are on Cherry and Albany. The cigar factory with a clock on the top. AL: Why were people striking? What was the cause? LP: Well, they used to strike for most anything. It was something that came from Cuba and Key West, and they were just if you didn't feel like working and one says Vamos en huelga! Vamos en huelga! and eve rybody wanted to be [part of it ] to the other one and we nt. A lot of time it was the conditions. The cigar, the tobacco, dries a lot, and sometimes you can hardly work it. And they wouldn't let no windows and they had no heater. They didn't have no toilet; they just had boxes in the back. And they didn't take n o break, no water. So it was. You went in there, and you're just like an animal. And they were making at the time before the boom they used to make a little money, but then came the '29 and they went down to nothing. They would make seven, eight dollars a week. And they left, like I said, they went in at night in the morning, and nighttime they got off. You saw your parents only when you went to sleep, you didn't see your parents during the day. AL: Who took care of the children while the parents worked? LP: Children would take care of the children. AL: I see.
7 LP: Grandmothers. See? T he grandmother there was no nursing home, none of that crappy stuff. My grandmother, for many many years, my mother or my grandmother was to me so close I could hardly te ll them apart as far as love or, she was AL: Like a mother LP: So then, I went AL: Do you remember the readers' strike? LP: Hm? AL: La huelga de los lectores The readers' strike, do you remember? LP: Yes, during that time, yes. They came out. Cig ar workers used to give a nickel or a dime a week and the readers would do their that's when the readers went out, in '31, around that era, in that period. She [Mrs. Pazo] didn't reach it. And they kept busy about the nickel and the dime. And I think the m anufacturers wanted to cut it out. And they did. And then this Spanish thing was going on and there was too much friction. Now the Spanish people themselves here in Tampa were not considering themselves any different than the Cuban or the Puerto Rican. The y were pretty leveled. Each one had the club: the Spanish people went to the Spanish Club, and the Italian people went to the Italian Club. But they would not fight back and forth like in New York or anything like people got along here like a big family. In fact, the kids that lived across the street from me were Italian. And in school there were Italians, Spanish, Cubans. Cubans started coming in be cause of Machado going in. The s ame thing as [Fidel] Castro, during [Gerardo] Machado's time was something almost like it. He wasn't in a coup. Because people AL: Were there a lot of people from Cuba in the '30s here, then? LP: Yes, they were good cigar makers; they came in. AL: So they had to leave Cuba because of Machado? LP: Some of them, because polit icians. The one in Cuba, whoever was with the party lives good and the other one will just starve. Not like here, we have elections, that's over. Over there they fo ught, and anybody didn't have a chance. So I decided that that restaurant really was no good So I started selling papers. So I went to sell papers in front of the Rick & Cliff Cafeteria. It was in the YMCA building on Zack [Streets and Florida Avenue. That was '31. I was in the restaurant when I started going there. And I went and sold papers th ere. And I shined shoes o n Saturday morn ings. And on Friday nights I sold peanuts at Benjamin Field. AL: And you were still going to school, also?
8 LP: Yes. AL: What school were you going to? LP: A. L. Cuesta, West Tampa Junior High. And I worked over there. I sold papers. And I would sell, finish, get out of school. And I didn't have a bicycle so I used to run from West Tampa to the [Tampa Daily] Times which was on Washington and Franklin Street s I went under the bridges you came out on Lafayette Bri dge there, and the Times was on Franklin and Washington. And I'd get my paper. I used to buy two for a nickel and sell them for a nickel. So I bought the four of them. I was a little smarter, and with the pressure on me with the family I had to be more con scious of the money. So I bought four papers and ran to the end of Franklin Street and then I went back to the Rick & Cliff until it closed at seven. Well, the other kids, some of them were, they had fathers and all that; they wanted to make some money. So they would come and buy six papers. And they'd sell then, went around and around. And when they couldn't sell any more, they used to come to me, sell them to me for three for a nickel. But since everybody went, everybody came to me, and so I was the onl y that stayed until ten o'clock at night making all the restaurants. After Rick & Cliff closed, I would make all the restaurants until I sold the last one. Then I used to go to Fortune Street, walking across the bridge and hung on the back of the street ca r to Roberts City, to West Tampa. A lot of the time I got a conductor would come, try to chase me off and I'd pull the trolley off of the street car. And the street car would stop, with no electricity. Sometime they had a policeman there, but by the time he got out during that time we had only one policeman; he used to stay in Roberts City, on Main [Street] and Boulevard. [He] had a Model A Ford, and he'd yell, but he couldn't get us. Sometime we got attacked by the colored people. When colored boys used t o go downtown we'd beat the hell out of them. When they got us in our area, they'd beat the hell out of us. AL: Really? Tell me more about that. LP: I mean AL: Yes. You mean they LP: Fighting. AL: The kids more than the grownups? LP: Kids, yes. Gr ownups would never bother white people. They were afraid. Policeman would get a colored man for anything, he'd beat the hell out of him. AL: Why did they ?
9 LP: They were just scum during slavery and they were just mistreated. Anything they were treated i n fact, on this area around here, that side of Swann [Avenue] they couldn't go after six o'clock. They put (inaudible). During that time Joe Louis just as I went to work in the box factory [was] when Jack Dempsey and [Gene] Tunney boxed. And then in '28 [ Charles] Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic. But I started selling paper during Joe Louis by that time I had a bicycle I bought for three or four dollars. And I used to go to Central Avenue. That was the colored area. From Cass way out to Columbus Drive. The w hole street, Central Avenue, was colored people all the business and all that. And when Joe Louis boxed I used to get on my bicycle and go out there and sell papers like hell. When there was a story I would go over there and sell them. I was here when Max Baer AL: And you never ran into any kind of problems there? LP: No. Well, because I was too fast and I moved I didn't fool around. When Max Baer came here with his brother, I sold papers, I mean, I sold peanuts in Benjamin field. And, like I said, on Sa turday sometimes Tamp a U [University], came into the picture in 32 and I would sell peanuts or cold drinks. 1936, I'm still selling papers in front of the YMCA, Rick & Cliff Cafeteria. Which was two br others, Rick and Cliff. They had fought in the First World War. They came back together and made a restaurant. They were Jewish but very nice people. And I opened the door and sold the papers there. About 7:30 then I took the streets and made the rounds like I said. 1936, Mr. L. M. Anderson, owner of the An derson Dental Supply Company, his wife took a liking to me because of how fast I only weighed around 85 or 90 pounds they liked the way I worked. So they said did I want to work for them. Well, I said I was in the eighth grade, I think. So I worked in the box factory some, so I had to quit school. Worked in the box factory some, sold papers in the thing, and back and forth. And I said "Yes, what is it?" He said Well, will you come Friday?" which was November the 9, 1936. He interviewed me. He was a very clever man he gave me three or four figures. Like, 6 and 8, and 9. Gave me a pencil and a paper, said "Can you add?" I said "Sure I can." I was very good in numbers. Spelling I'm not too good, but numbers I am that's what I majored in college. So he gav e me a paper and a pencil. He gave me three, four, six, add it up. And seven or eight, nine. I wrote them down. He said "You're the man I'm looking for." He didn't want me to just guess. He wanted me to be thorough and I was afraid, I was very petrified. I wrote six of them I thought it was going to be a big list of numbers. Maybe if I thought he was giving me three small numbers I would take it in my head. Well, anyway, he said, "I'm gonna start you with ten dollars a week." Cigar workers were making se ven and eight. During Christmas they stopped for three weeks. And no credit or nothing, social no checks. Fourth of July, they stopped for five, six days. And the poorest then they started calling back the ones they needed the most. So if you were, you did n't have no people that knew you, or you were not a good cigar worker they used
10 you to fill in. In Ch ristmas some people were [fired ] before they were called in, and no eating. But every body would cook a [pot of roast ] and spread it with everybody. So I worked from '36 there until '42. I joined Pearl Harbor was attacked, and I couldn't so I ran to the Post Office and I joined the Army, regular Army, I wasn't drafted. I went into the service. And when I came back the first time, in '46, they hired me right away because I was a merchandise man I knew merchandise. And I did that in the Army. And I did cleaning I cleaned teeth, prophylaxing, and helped pulling teeth. They gave me, so badly needed, when I went in the Army we were training with wooden guns. And most of the equipment we were using to train with was from the First World War. They sent me to Fort Custer, Michigan. I'd never seen snow in my life. I'd never been out of state. So I went to Fort Custer, Michigan, which is between Battle Creek and Kala mazoo. There, when they knew I had experience in the dental business, they put me that's where I was pulling the teeth and all that and all my friends, some of them were getting killed, I wanted to go overseas. And I kept bitching, "I want to go overseas! I joined the Army to fight. I didn't join to stay." So finally, in '44 they sent me back to basic training, to refresh, to Camp Ellis, Illinois. That's between Peoria and Springfield, Illinois. I stayed there about seven or eight weeks. They were making un its general hospital. They were making a general hospital and they put me o n one of them, 229 General Hospital. So they shipped me to Killman, Camp Killman, New York. And we left for Europe on an old ship. And there I was. And I didn't go to England beca use the convoys we left New York and there were about 20. And they didn't let us go up de ck, and we kept looking to the po rthole and the convoys got bigger and then by eight or nine, well, outside Spain or England, the Germans attacked. It was a sub. So we ran the [boom ]. We landed in France. Le Havre, Fecamp. It's a big port maybe you're familiar with it. We stayed there in Camp Lucky Strike about three weeks. and then they sent us clear North to Flemish France, Valencienne, France. That's close to Mons, B elgium, and all that. And the Spanish people were there. In fact, you could find more Spanish people in Valencienne, France than in Santa Marta, Spain. All the people that left from Spain went to France. AL: The refugees? LP: Refugees. AL: When [Francis co] Franco won the war? LP: Yes. AL: The people who had fought with the Republic had to leave? LP: Yes, and they were there most of them were coal workers. They couldn't own nothing. To own anything in France you had to be French. Or you had to work for the
11 you had to split your so AL: So what did they do there, the Spanish? LP: Work in the coal mines. Coal miners. AL: Were they mainly men, or did you see ? LP: Men worked, the women stayed home. In fact, I have a couple of pictures from over there. So we went into the Battle of the Bulge. And they would come back. And they started, from Berlin. And that's when the war finished. So they just called us in. I said "H ey. They called, they had a big line. He says "There's two options. This line goes t o the Pacific, this line goes to the States. If you go to the States you get eight weeks and you get sent to the Pacific. If you take this line, you go direct to the Pacific." I said "Hell, I said goodbye to my family once, I'm not gonna tell them goodbye again." So, I got in the line to go to we were gonna go to Suez Canal. But then there was too many Japs in the mouth of it. So they sent us straight we left, from Northern France they sent us completely across to Mar sei lle, France. Then we stayed about three wee ks. That was Camp oh hell, I can't remember. We left there in June. And we turned all our equipment, and we took a boat. There were five thousand aboard. Three thousand, a little bit over three thousand, were colored troops. They had deserted in Africa and all that. They were gonna use them right for the and fifteen hundred of us, and nine hundred, between Navy and nurses. And we started, sort of like we're going North. He said, "We're going to the States! We're going to the States!" I said "Oh." And first thing and we went to the Panama Canal. And we stopped there in P anama. In Balboa. In Camp [Cory ]. We were there five days. Everybody was all excited that we everybody brought monkeys and parrots and what have you. We had first time we had ice cream. And we really raised hell. So they got aboard again and we started zigzagging the Equator, to the Pacific. And during that time the bomb hit. We were scheduled to go to Luichow, China. We were taking Chinese lessons aboard ship. Because one thing a lot of people don't like the Jewish people but Jewish people learn everything. They got a fundamental grammar, they can adopt any language like that. And when we were going to France they were teaching French. Then when we got there, they were teaching us Chinese. Then the bomb hit. And they didn't know what to do with us, so we ended up in New Guinea. Fifty days aboard. Fifty days zigzagging the Equator, about three air attacks. Every time there was an air attack, all the Army, they lock you in the bott om and the Navy (inaudible). And every morning they gave you quinine. A Marine Sergeant, a Marine Corporal, they'd come with the thing and they would make you take it right there, not "You can take it later." We'd stay about two and a half hours in line t o eat, two meals and it was hell. North Atlantic was the roughest thing you can see. North Atlantic, the waves, two waves go over two waves hit the deck, and one goes over the ship. That's how rough the I don't know if you, coming out of Spain there is a l ot of bad water
12 around there, tough water. So we landed in New Guinea and we stayed in New Guinea there for three weeks. Still aboard living from ship and working out of the ship. And then they decided to send us to the Philippi nes. We were outside of Ma nila B each and the war finished before the but they were signing the papers in Philippine Manila. And we stayed in Manila about a month or a month and a half. We left Manila to go to Japan. We left Manila, we went to San Jose, San Fernando, San Juan White Beach. We left White Beach to go to Japan. We were three days at sea. In that big typhoon in '46? '45 or I don't know if you read about, or heard a typhoon about fourteen feet high. They took us back to White Beach. They kept us up for two weeks, and th en we took the ship and went to Japan. We went to Japan. I stayed in Japan four months, almost four months. I left Japan January the 4th, 1946. I spent my Christmas of '44 in France. I spent my Christmas of '45 in Japan. And it was something. And I came ba ck in '46, got discharged the 14th of February. Valentine Day. I went to work back to Anderson. AL: Were you already married at that time? LP: No, I married in '49. No, '47. And I went to Cuba for my honeymoon. Come back, I haven't finished high school, so I went to night school. I was working nights, going to night school. Took me about three years took me five but it took me three before the Korean War. But I stayed in the Reserve. So I was in Camp I was in Atlanta, Georgia. And I went out to Phoenix, Alabama, between Columbus and Phoenix, Alabama. That camp was one of the most famous camps there is, but I can't remember it. I came back we used to go in and out like we wanted I came back, I was with two others in the Jeep and they pulled us and they sea rched us, and I said, "What the hell's the matter with you people?!" Just like that because I was a sergeant, we talk different. He said "Shut up, Sergeant! Don't you know Korea just started?" So, somebody told me Well, Sarge, you'll be in uniform in nex t to three months." In July I was already in uniform. And that, the Korean War, when it started it was called World War Three, for six months. They sent General MacArthur back. And two of my men and one of his thing, but General McArthur was a great man. He said fight forward, north, but they wouldn't let him go, he couldn't go over the 8th parallel line. So I stayed there about a year and a half. When I left here I was just married and had a baby eight months old. So, I got out of the service then. Aga in. And went back to the Reserve. And for the Cuban thing I was gonna go again. I went to summer camp every year. And I spent, completed 32 years of service. I was a First Sergeant. I was, during the Vietnam War, they called me back. And I was working here behind the desk, placing people; they were coming from the draft to the Reserve. Anybody that was gonna be drafted they called me. From all over the United States. It kept me in the Reserve that's the only way they because at that time, you would be draft ed and in 13 you were dead. Vietnam. And that time was, the beginning was just a slaughterhouse. So everybody was crazy. Nobody wanted to
13 send their kids; they went to Canada, they were desperate. But the National Guard and the Army Reserve sent, they used to pick units, they used to pick a unit and say, would send to China, send it to this, but they didn't and then the people, civilians complained so much they caught that they were gonna send everybody. Now is different, they got an understanding. Reserv e will go any time in groups. Nobody's there's no exceptions now. But during that time there were exceptions for everything. So February 17, 1970, I finished. I retired A 8, First Sergeant. When I was in the Reserve I was going to college at night. Got my degree in commercial science. AL: Where did you go to college? LP: West Tampa Central Florida Business College. AL: And you got a degree in accounting? LP: In accounting. I didn't go for my C.P.A. because at that time, to be a C.P.A., finish school, y ou had to go apprentice with somebody. But, they were gonna give me fifty dollars for a week. I was making a hundred at the dental supply. And you had to be a year. If the man didn't want you, he didn't give you the C.P.A. Now you go, you finish school, yo u are a C.P.A. You have to take your internship, but you are a C.P.A. from the beginning they can't use you. So, I couldn't afford it. So I went back, the dental supply was paying me good. I was merchandise. I was inventory controller. And I helped them se t up the, what do you call it? Everything goes in the computer, what do you call that? The machine that would go everything, it's a computer. All the businesses and computers. AL: You helped them set up all these ? LP: I set the regular system. I convert ed the regular system into the computer. Worked there until I was about 70, I mean, 69. Something like that. And then they closed. AL: So now you are enjoying your retirement? LP: Well you know. I worked, they called me back for different things and I w as all right until I had my cancer. One day I first one I had a pain, and I had a pain. So they know where to find it. They put me in a treadmill but since I was so much fit, that it wouldn't show. When they put me on the machine, my heart didn't show any difference. They kept up for about three weeks. So finally somebody come up with putting ink when they did, right away I had a blockage here. So they wanted to do an open heart, open your body. So one doctor that was good enough, said well, let's just try angioplasty. So they took the angioplasty, and it came out good. I came out and I started taking the training, I went back to my weight. I was working on one of my old houses. Somebody said "Hey Larry, you turned yellow." That's a whole don't give me no bullshit what do you mean you're turning you're turning yellow! So I came home, my wife said
14 "Yeah, you're turning yellow!" So I went to the doctor. So he would start checking and checking and couldn't find anything they thought it was my liver. So it was, they found a spot on my pancreas. So they said "We're gonna operate and see." So they opened me up, and they bypassed my pancreas; they went from my pancreas to my liver. And in three months they opened me up again. So they took me, they wanted me t o get strong. And they took my pancreas out. Oh, they gave me radiation and (inaudible) treatment in between those three months. So, when they took my pancreas out, I was all right, but instead, the gall bladder gave out. So they had to take it out. I was about four, five weeks in May, intensive care. Everybody thought I was dead. That was 19 the heart was in '90 my pancreatic cancer was in '91. So then I went to Doctor George and Doctor Blanco and they say George had gone to school with my daughter. He s aid, "I'm not telling you what to do. But if I was y ou I'd take chemo." He says, "If you have a feather of cancer in your blood system, it will land in your lung or in your liver. And if it does, you'll be dead in six months." He says "The chemo is hell i t's bad. You may lose your hair, you may have all kind of So. It's true. Second time I went and do like this and all my hair came out just this is my second hair. And my daughter saw me in the morning and when she came in at night I didn't have no hair, she couldn't see it. So it took about a year to come back. I'm pretty solid, for 78 years old. And now I got I have about seven doctors. I'm diabetic. Because of my, I don't have no pancreas. Dr. Papachristo[?], Greek doctor, very good, very rough, opera ted on me. And so far, so good. I don't weigh as much as I used to. I could do more, but my wife, she's losing her memories, so I have to, you know. I eat most everything. All that time I was in the Boys' Club, in the Board of Directors. I'm the oldest, si nce I've been there since 1927. I'm a lifetime Board of Directors member. And they gave me the Man of the Year [award] three years ago. And last year they gave me another ribbon for being the oldest member. I never missed any meeting. During that time I wa s Scout master, I had a Scout troop and all that. So. Here I am, looking at you. AL: Congratulations! That's quite a life! LP: I got a memory like a book. I can tell you everything since I was three years old. AL: Let's turn the tap e around. Side B A L: Okay Larry, I would like to talk now a little bit more about the Spanish Civil War and your memories of it. What do you remember of the war? When did you learn there was a war going on in Spain? Do you remember how did you learn ? LP Well, I was selli ng papers. Ethiopia was hit. And the Italian people hit those poor Ethiopians. They had wooden spears and all that and the Italian people that was, to my
15 knowledge was a testing ground. Between the Germans and Franco and all those people. And then came the '36, came the Spanish which they'd been fighting among themselves for a long time. And everybody that was here that was Spanish, either born in Spain or Spanish extraction. Like I'm Spanish yet, some people say no no; they are German, but no they're not German. I'm a Florida cracker but still I'm Spanish extraction, and very proud of my country, my fore country. I was selling paper and every day I'd read about Franco, and what was taking place and how los milicianos were advancing and what have you. And t hey were doing very good at the beginning. And everybody here started making collections. Picnics. Dinners. Sending money; people started sending clothes. And then they discovered that some of the clothes was not getting there. So some of them got wise a nd they would send a pair of shoes, they'd send in one package they'd send one shoe. The next package another shoe. So, they either got, the party got the shoes or nobody got them. So that's one thing they used to do that I remember very well There was a lot of clothes sent. A lot of collection time. Money was very scarce. And there were a lot of people, volunteers wanted to go but at first they didn't want to take them. AL: Who didn't want to take them? LP: Because they didn't have no facility for them. But some went. I know about six or eight. Miliciano was one, el Miliciano used to AL: That was Francisco Vazquez. LP: Yes, I think so. And he was a little nutty. But he went. And another fellow, worked at the J. B. Wilson used to drive an ambulance, we nt I don't know, eight of them. And a lot of people were willing. Everybody wanted to g o. And everybody would give 100 percent back to the poor people. We didn't look at them, comunistas We looked at the working people who were trying to get on their feet Which was the main parties wasn't the thing. And then, all of a sudden when everything was going so smooth, and everybody was contributing, they threw the blockade in. Blockade blocked everything. There was a lot of money in New York. They could have rea lly but the money stayed in New York. I don't know whether they gave it to Franco or what. And all the clothing and all those things were there in warehouses. And that kept going. And we know that that was another testing ground for Hitler. And the war a ctually started there, the European war. The Germans started before we went into it. They were already fighting with England. That's where the whole thing started. Rolling and rolling, testing all the heavy equipments and things like that. Germany started making before that they started making ships they invented that thing that instead of put in boats they would weld. First World War, there was a law that Germany couldn't have warships that they couldn't weigh over a certain amount of pounds. So they came out with a welding; instead of putting the boat, which make the different of the weight of the cockboat so many more poundage over that. And they came out with a lot of subs and ships. One thing I know, they had a hell of a Navy.
16 AL: Was your family in an yway involved with what was going on here in Tampa in support of the Republic? LP: For what? For Spain? AL: Um h m. LP: Well everybody gave support. My family couldn't give hardly, we didn't have hardly anything to eat. When I came at eight o'clock, te n o'clock at night, the corner store would stay up to midnight. And we'd go and get three cents of sugar, two cents of coffee, a nickel of potatoes. And that, we had two, three families that didn't have any money used to come and eat with us. So there was no money to be giving. The dances we used to go, they had a flower dance for a nickel to go in. The Centro Espaol used to have a flower dance, and another dance. And you'd come through, and you'd give a nickel and they'd let you go in. So then, some of th e people used to throw the flower over the back balcony, so the other one could come in. It was that way. Fellows would go to the dance and dance with a girl, and they heard when the intermission was coming up, they'd say "Excuse me, I have to go to the restroom." And they'd hide. Because they couldn't take them to a cold drink. During Christmas, people that were engaged used to break up, so they wouldn't have to give the girlfriend a there was no money! Shoes? They were given from one family to another family. Or your neighbor says Well Pepito outgrew the shoes, here they are." And things of that nature. Now the business people, you went to, like Las Novedades [Restaurant]. The head waiter would give a quarter. That man Regla went, he opened his pocke t book, he had been there, only thirty five cents I have been out all day. So, the dollars were very scarce. AL: And cigar workers used to give money to it. LP: Every all cigar workers used to, because they were workers, they were pretty undertreated peo ple. Most everybody was undertreated with the exception of a few (inaudible). And Latin people, especially Spanish, they didn't give them jobs downtown, post office there was only one post [office]. I mean you were Spanish. They wouldn't give us jobs. Onl y cigars. When I say the American people I mean the crackers, the people there were Spanish probably in backbone, but the English names would get the job post office, everyplace. Policemen, they used to bring the policemen from Georgia big red big ones b astards. And they were mean. And they'd get that (inaudible) especially black, a nd they'd beat the hell out of b lack people, left and right. AL: So you feel Latins had a rough time? LP: Latin people had it very bad. Very rough time. Now the Spanish peopl e, the real Spanish people that stayed Spanish, they were a little more reserved. They were a little stingy with themselves. They had a cow, and they invested. They had a cow and bought a little house. The Italian peo ple start together and did the s ame. Th e Cubans came, and all
17 they want to go dancing and had a straw hat, and a couple of women, like they had in Cuba. And, they didn't have anything. They get out of the cigar factory, Friday. By Monday they were going to the corner man to buy money, gabela C arrotero they used to call him. That's the man, he'd lend you four dollars and you'd pay five by Friday. Or you get three dollars, you'd give carrotero AL: Carrotero I see. So there wasn't much difference? LP: There wasn't much to give. In New York tha t thing went big. Remember? People used to work in the had to give the but here's it's such a small AL: Do you remember any of the people from Spain coming? The Republican figures they would have here? LP: Dominguez. AL: Marcelino Domingo? LP: Domingo That was a Mexican? And then a Mexican. AL: Yes, the Mexican is a different person. LP: Well, I heard them both. I heard them speak at the Centro Espaol de West Tampa. The Centro Espaol was loaded and the park across the street was all loaded and e verybody yelled. I don' t know how many people there And they were all screaming 100 prcent for the against Franco. AL: What did they scream? LP: Screaming, people screaming, yelling, whistles and everything. Everybody was a hundred because a lot, most of those people here, Spanish here, left Spain under the pressure of the King. And Franco was a continuation of a dictatorship. So they wanted to see Spain out of that so that someday they'd go back. That's a dream of all those Spanish people to go back. Her [Mrs. Pazo] father left when he was fourteen; never went back. He never had the chance and then he had a family. So. AL: Do you think that a lot of people didn't go back because Franco won the war? LP: No no. It was too late then. But Franco ruling before Franco was similar. It was that poor man, there was two types of people, the poor and the and the poor people didn't have a chance. Even before Franco. Franco was something the people got tired of the conditions and they build the and Franco was the head man, but that thing existed in Spain for years. It was not only Franco, I mean, I know enough history. Becaus e my great great grandfather, on the Nales side, came to Cuba in the 1400s as a governor of Cuba. You spell it a little different. And a lot of my family came way, way before the Spanish American War.
18 AL: I see. Where in Spain were they from? From this area in Asturias? Were they from there? LP: Vizcaya. Some of them. My mother had blue eyes, and kind of reddish hair. I got some niece with bl ondish hair. Now I have, like Martinez like Elvin Martinez you heard of him? AL: Uh huh. LP: He's my second cousin. The story that was given to us, during the war they had in Ireland, a lot of the Irish people immigrated to Spain. And that's where you ge t the Spanish people with blue eyes and black hair. They went over there and found a girl, got married, se casaron y se quedaron ah. AL: I see. LP: In fact, I had a history teacher, he used to come here. He was from Venezuela I think. And he knew, and he even told us when they got rid of the Jewish in the 14th century. AL: Yes, 1492. LP: It was, they did almost like Hitler did. And he explained to me how the Spanish people got their names. Do you know? Well at that time they didn't have Spanish peopl e, real Spanish people had schooling, the Cuban people, it was the Dark Age there, if you remember. But the names in Spain if you lived by a rock, De la Piedra; by a bridge, Del Puente; if you were an orphan you were Iglesias, and everything. If you were e l Camino, and that's how the names in Spain were developed. You knew that, didn't you? AL: Yes, now that you mention it, yes. LP: And when the Jewish left Spain, they cut across. And some of them stayed, they hid in Italy. That's why Venice is all Jewish And they went to Germany. Germany was strong, smart people, but no brain as far as and the Jewish were the ones that made Germany. Then Germany got jealous and took it away from them. But the Jewish people are the ones that made Germany and all that. N ow, the reason, like my wife is Espolita, there's Italian people with that name, there's some people here named Longo, Spanish and Italian. Well, the soldiers used to travel with the family. As they came across, they were fighting back and forth. There was no Italy. Which you probably don't know. There was no government. There were people but there was no government. So as they came across, they were fighting, and they brought the family with them. So they got that mad than they broke away and they stayed. There may have been Italians that stayed in Spain and there may have been Spanish that stayed
19 in Italy. So we have Spanish names in Italy, we got Italian names in Spain. AL: Were the Italians here involved in what was going on with the Spanish Civil War, do you think? Were they supportive? LP: Support a little bit in the factory, but not much. Italians were in it for themselves. See the Italian people AL: Because [Benito] Mussolini was helping Franco in Spain. So, were there any ill feelings here again st the Italians? LP: The Italians, they were for Mussolini. Italians never were fighters. It took them six months, or a year, to climb the Alps during the First World War. When the Germans hit them, they came back in a day. Second World War, it was the sa m e thing. Italians went in and they, you know, they did not fight. And when we were there, I wasn't in Italy, I was in France, but a lot of Italian people, they're all moochers. And over here, the Italian people were up in New York and in Chicago. They wer e very heavy in Chicago. They started coming south to New Orleans. And wherever they went, they took, like they did in New York. They went in a gang and everything. In Tampa they did the same; that's where all this killing originated from. When they came to New Orleans, they were pulling the tricks over there. And they went and killed the chief of police. So the people of New Orleans got together, says "We'll give you 24 hours. Any Italian person we find on the street, we hang them." So they hung around 19 of them. So the rest of the Italian people came to Tampa. So that's how we got them from New York and from New Orleans. Now in Tampa they came and did the same with the bolita we had the bolita It was controlled by the Spanish people; restaurants. They came in and they did the same. That's why there is killing, for control. Mafia. AL: And how about the Cubans and the War in Spain? Were they supportive ? LP: They supported, but they didn't have much money. Cubans help anybody. They don't help themselve s. They love the women, dancing and all that: happy go lucky. But they were for the because most of the Cubans' grandfathers were Spanish. See? I see, we're in Cuba two generations, they call themselves Cuban. But they're actually Spanish. AL: How about t he Catholic Church here? That was another force that in Spain was siding with Franco LP: I stayed neutral. They stayed neutral, I think. I think they stayed very neutral. They didn't that's what everybody tells you, uh? AL: Well I've heard that, you kn ow, somehow the parents of the children were LP: Were pulling from
20 AL: Yes. LP: They did. AL: I was wondering, do you know about that? LP: No. AL: What happened ? LP: Because most of the people going to church here, it was just poor people going in from Spain, and all that. For awhile Catholics were a lot of Catholics didn't like the Catholic [Church]. I'm born a Catholic but I don't go to church. Especially in Mexico, they work like hell on the field. And some injustice was done to them or to th e daughter or the wife, and they would come and tell the priest and confess. The priest would tell the patrn and next day they'd beat the hell out of that fellow; they'd kill him. So a lot of that went on, in Spain and here, and all these South American countries. So the religion was there people believed in God but they didn't trust the AL: Priests. LP: The priests, los cardenales yes. AL: I see. Were there a lot of Spaniards here going to the Catholic Church? Do you have that feeling ? LP: Some fa milies. Some family that came from Spain. And they come here, and marry a Spanish fellow and live here, have kids born here. But they were Spanish extraction, they didn't some of them, few came to New York, but most of them came to Cuba. They were, just st ay by themsel ves; even the food is different, Potaje They were more reserved; they saved a dollar, all that. The Cuban didn't save nothing. The Italians saved it all. And they stayed together, Italian people like this they still are. But now since so many Italian fellows married Spanish and Cuban and Puerto Rican, now the Negroes, it's getting to be, (inaudible). Doesn't have to be. AL: Do you remember, Larry, any of the demonstrations that took place during the Spanish Civil War? LP: They were they got mixed up a little bit with their own problem in the cigar factories. AL: How so? LP: They were for the Spanish people but they were, the same people, fighting for the underdog. And anything they could do, any clothes they had, any money, they would give it, because they knew they were the underdogs. And they were underdogs! Spanish and
21 Cubans. Italians. AL: So the people who would join, who would be working with the labor unions would also participate LP: Mostly Spaniards. They were 100 percent t heir cause was almost the same as Spain. We had the same cause. AL: What demonstrations do you remember? Did you attend any of them? LP: Well, they had a collection; they talked about it, to back up, to protect, to collect, to send clothes there. What they co ncentrated mostly was in clothes. Because that's all they had. AL: So you didn't actually go to parades, or ? LP: She [Mrs. Pazo] went to a parade. No, I was selling papers, I was working I had to feed five. I used to box at Benjamin Field the days I was selling cold drinks. They had, if they needed an extra one to go in there? For three dollars. I used to go three rounds. And at that time, if you didn't show blood or show some they didn't pay you. So. I didn't have time for that. My friends would play ba ll. And I went, one time, in later years I became a tumbler and did headstand and everything for the Boys' Club. But at earlier stage, I used to sell papers or come in, just off and on, I couldn't be there all the time. I've been working since I was eight. Never stopped. And that's been my story. What else you have? AL: Yes, I was gonna ask you how did people here get news about what was going on in Spain? You mentioned before the newspapers. LP: Mostly New York papers. AL: New York papers? What kind of papers were those? LP: I don't know. And the paper here would have a story. And then we had La Gaceta, y tenamos cmo era el otro? AL: La Traduccin? LP: La Traduccin. AL: How about radio, do you remember listening to radio? LP: There was no radio. The radio came in around '30. And then during the Second War you had a radio and there would be five or six families coming to you. In '36 you could buy a radio at West Auto for eighteen dollars and you'd pay a quarter a week. It was like a dome. And they brought stories from Cuba, and the bolita and Charlie Pol A Chinese
22 story that used to come every Charlie Pol. And he used to come on that radio, and they had that radio just like a magic eye. It was like a dome with a green thing; a magic eye. But very few people had it. AL: I see. So the newspaper was the major source of information. LP: Major thought. The [Tampa Daily] Times had it. I used to sell it; I remember when anything big happened, and I'd yell the, try to yell the headline of the paper to s ell. AL: How do you think Americans reacted to the war in Spain? What do you remember of that? Did they participate in any of their events ? LP: We didn't know. There was no radio, nor TV or nothing near. You just heard what you heard from a neighbor, or a group Centro Obrero did a lot of work, but that's what AL: The head quarters was there, of this com mittee. LP: And the Spanish Clubs themselves. They had dinners and picnics at the Columna park, and everything, to send money, that's what. But the Amer ican people, they had was just neutral no interest. AL: And what did the Spaniards think about the neutrality of the United States? Do you remember how they felt about that? LP: Well, they couldn't do nothing. There's nothing It's like you got a neighbor who doesn't get along with you. So you ignore him and let him do his thing, and you do yours. Some of them, if you had a neighbor who likes you and le gustaba Espaa he'd probably say, Ven I have some clothes." And if you came by with the collection th ey even gave you a nickel or a dime, something like that, but they weren't overboard over. AL: And how about the embargo? You mentioned before the embargo. Were Latins here I assume that ? LP: The people here were very disappointed. Well, they we re, New York, the other Californ ia, and all those people didn't care much anyway. Because the Spanish people there were Mexican and they'd been through almost the same hell with, before Pancho AL: Pancho Villa? LP: Pancho Villa and all that. See? We just came o ut before the First World War, we just came out of war with them. We fought. You knew that, didn't you? Well you're in history. AL: They weren't happy about that, the embargo?
23 LP: They didn't care. I don't think. We were too far, there was no radio or a nything. What they did I don't know. But most of the thing doing was through Florida and New York. That was the main support that Spain got. AL: You mentioned before Marcelino Domingo. LP: Who? AL: Marcelino Domingo, the former Minister who came to talk here at the Centro? LP: He was very well, liked. And he talked very good. He united a lot of people. He united the thought and the condition of the poor people that were going through, under Franco. AL: What else do you remember of that? Tell me all the details. LP: I didn't hear the speech. AL: Where were you listening to the speech? LP: Columna Park or Centro Espaol. But the one with the Mexican, I was at the Centro Espaol. He was a good talker. He talked very good. AL: That's General Philemore? LP: That's the one that took all the money. AL: And then he took all the money. How did people here find out about that? LP: I think he married, or took a woman, went with him. He was they took him in and fed him and gave him a home and everything else and he, and then the news came back to reality. AL: I see. And do you remember any other speakers coming and talking about Spain? LP: No. They came, took it as a group, for our cause. In other words, we weren't looking at some individuals coming and tal k, we were looking at it as a condition or situation. AL: So w hat would happen in one of their meetings? LP: Well, most of them, they had dinners, and they charged maybe four dollars. And they paid for the food and their profit was given to the and they kept people all together to donate money in the factory. In other words, they brought the cause up to date. To let the people know what the hell's going on. Because a lot of people didn't know. AL: What was the feeling here when Franco was gaining ground and the Republic was
24 losing? LP: People got disgusted. And then we started having our own. That England went to war almost right there. And then, all the thought was England. And Americans went to England, to fight for England, and gave up their citizensh ip and did another things. So, that almost closed it. Our Spain was not important enough. And we knew Hitler was with him. So they kept a foot down on him. He didn't gain much territory as to the '40s. But he had control already, so. And then the people th at were with him were getting used to the situation and didn't fight no more. I don't know when they stopped fighting over there or whether they were still at it. AL: Yes, '39 they stopped. What did the people here in Tampa do when Franco won? Did they st ill collect money, or ? LP: Franco never came; they never did anything for Franco here. He was like an animal, like Hitler or Mussolini. The Italian people loved Mussolini. And they sent clothes and mone y to Mussolini like barrels. AL: Did they? From her e? LP: Wedding rings and everything. AL: From here? From Tampa? Do you remember that? LP: Yes, Tampa. People were crazy with Mussolini. In fact they used to kid them, they s aid, "All they do is running," said "They shoot themselves in the back, they ra n so fast." Los tabaqueros they used to kid themselves. Corriendo se matan ellos mismos AL: So there used to be a lot jokes about Italians? LP: O oh. Italian people would just shut up and didn't say nothing. And they'd tell them about t he outcome and ho w long it took them in the First War, and the Second War, they did the same thing. And they were traitors the Italian people during the Second War the y were traitors; they bedded with Germany. AL: How about the people here who supported Franco all along? I mean a lot of people supported the Republic, most of it. But how about the people ? LP: They kept it under cover. They were spotted. People hated them. They couldn't stand them. Hablaban de ellos: Fascistas! They didn't have much to do but they were bi g head factory men, or gente de dinero They'd send money to Spain, yes. They did, not the people. Los capitalistas, protegiendo el capital AL: So they did send money to Spain? Were there conflicts between the two sides, do you remember?
25 LP: No. The one s that had the money, people didn't have nothing to win and they kept it secret. If they agreed with Franco, they kept it a sec ret if they had, did things under because if they showed themselves the other Spanish people would beat the hell out of them or, like, bolt them out of any place they could. And they had to be careful with it, because they were the ones that were running the big money and factories and all that. AL: So when Franco won, do you remember them, you know, the people who had supported hi m being more out in the open ? LP: No. They still. As to that, a lot of them started making trips over there. And then they started helping more, despues del embargo They started doing more, and sending money and buying land over there, land that was des erted in Spain, that belonged to their grandfather, and claimed it and did this and that. AL: I see. And how about the people here, the Frente Popular, when Franco won? How was the feeling? LP: The feeling was for, down with Franco. They were Puerto Rica n people that used to come from New York that were communist. And they were against Franco because Franco was one of the objectives. AL: Did the fact that he won have an influence in Spaniards here in Tampa, in terms of ? LP: No, because it was so much c onfusion and the war was on. They started the draft. We had, the first regular station was in 1939. I went with my brother in law, my two brothers in law. We had to register. So they'd start drafting people. And they'd send them for one year. And after on e year they came back, and they would be standing by, ready in case of war. And everybody was singing, "I'll be back in a year, little darling." They used to tell their girlfriend, "I'll be back in a year." Some of them came back six years later, five year s later. Some of them got back and never went back in the service. But they started drafting in '39. '39 '40 we started making our army, our army started building, and then sending, going to England. Then we found out that we were because if it wasn't for us, England would have fallen. England was down. They were in the shores. If the Germans would have only used their head instead of hit the Russians concentrated on England they would have taken it. And then they would have had a chance, because that was a stepping stone for the Americans to Europe. AL: So at that time, when World War Two starts, the situation in Spain is forgotten? LP: Something of the past. They let it be. Some that wouldn't agree. You couldn't send anything to Spain. You couldn't even go to Spain if you were not with Franco, because you got in trouble. The only ones that went to Spain were los fasci s tas They made trips and deals and everything else. Despots, they were. AL: Before concluding this interview, I would like to ask you, is there anything else you
26 would like to include in our conversation that we maybe didn't discuss? Some topic that you think should be included? LP: No. Well, myself personally World War Two. I would have probably stayed working for Anderson in that little j ob and I wouldn't have finished my schooling. And to me World War Two, I went around the world. I was in 16 camps. So to me it was an education. Plus, I never saw snow until October 1944. '42. And when I saw it I went crazy, I went running and throwing it all over myself. I didn't know what the hell. And I went to the Panama Canal. I went to Balboa in Panama. I was there four days. New Guinea, I never would have gone to New Guinea, so close to Australia. Then I wa s in the Philippines to Minchon I was all o ver the Philippines. And then I went to Japan. I was in Nagoya. Nagoya is the second largest city in Japan, that's a silk they make silk. Have you seen the picture, or heard of the picture, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo ? That plane they hit? The last plane t hey hit? And amazing, what we Americans, or the Air Force, does. This is a whole town. Here is a church. Here is a school. Here is a hospital. We bombed the hell out of everything black! And these things were black, but they didn't hit them. They were able I don't know how, no le daban a los churches, ni a las iglesias, ni a los colegios They missed purposely. I went in Nagoya, maybe 20 blocks, and there were ten churches and schools and they were not touched. They were all black from the thing with the Because we hit Japan before the war finished. It was amazing. And the people there are very clean, very clean. In fact, I got, I may find this picture of Spain. I mean yes, I got some pictures here. AL: This concludes the interview with Mr. Lorenzo Pazo. And I would like to thank you, Larry, very much for part icipating in this projec t, and look forward to looking at the pictures now that you are going to show me. End of interview
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h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Ana Varela-Lago.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (79 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (digital, PDF file)
Spanish Civil War oral history project
Supplemental material available in the USF Tampa Library Special Collections area.
Laurence Pazo describes his life in Ybor City, particularly during the Spanish Civil War. Particular emphasis is on how the Latin people in Tampa got information about the war overseas.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Interview conducted August 26, 1997.
Ybor City (Tampa, Fla.)
y Civil War, 1936-1939.
Varela-Lago, Ana M.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
USF ONLINE ACCESS