Once in the Bronx, Oscar was the unfortunate target of bullies, ultimately viewing the negative incidents as life lessons that shaped his personality. In NYC he was the "Cuban kid" and in Cuba he was "The Yankee," never feeling accepted in either environment. Ozete's stories of immigrating to the USA after WWII, provide an incredible history lesson filled with colorful stories and recollections.
The memories he shared had me turning the pages in anticipation of the next story. He tells of having a disease while in Cuba at the age of three and was treated and cured with snake venom! Coming to the U.S. was a tremendous adjustment to him socially, geographically and academically. While considered quite bright in Cuba, he was often viewed as "behind" while in U.S. grade school. Oscar skipped a grade in the U.S. and spoke no English. America held many changes the youngster and he soon found American bread and cold milk to be "a turn off!"
Attending college was a goal that seem unattainable at times, but his endurance and ethic pushed him. He became a teacher in Florida in 1960, colorfully telling the story of 14,000 Cuban students that were airlifted to the U.S. for what was called the "Peter Pan Program."
Although he shares hard stories, his persona consistently stays uplifted as he exudes an upbeat attitude with humor.
It is a great pleasure to interview Mr. Ozete on my radio show next week. Tune in to hear his vibrant Animo!
You can listen live, Tuesday, August 18 at 11:00 a.m. CST - or listen to the archived show which posts immediately after the show ends. Same link for either show:
You can pick up a copy of Oscar's book here:
You can find Oscar Ozete on Facebook & LinkedIn.
My Music Nugget O' the Day
I knew that Oscar had the element of cool when he asked that we play this song on the radio show (which I'll try to do). It's a well known Cuban patriotic song & it is FAB! Take a listen here:
Peace & Animo!
twitter: @RecipeRecords or @LaneaStagg
BEATLES AT THE RIDGE - WALNUT RIDGE, ARKANSAS - September 18-19
BRITBEAT IN TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA
Our faves - BritBeat will be in Southern Indiana
Saturday, November 21 ~ Indiana Theatre in Terre Haute
This show will put you in relaxation mode before the holidays kick in! Watch my blog for a chance to win 2 tickets!