National Geographic : 1947 Jan
Cuba-American Sugar Bowl We wandered around the Parque de la Liber tad, swarming with sightseeing countryfolk and photographers. A honeymoon couple were having their bridal pic tures taken (Plate X). We climbed the hill on which Monserrate Hermitage is perched to view Yumuri Valley, a natural amphitheater. Limestone hills, 600 feet high, surround the green bowl, floored with cane fields, pastures, and royal palms. "The river has cut an opening gorge," Pro fessor Massip told us. "If the land here should subside 100 feet, the ocean would flow into Yumuri and form an other bottleneck har bor, like Havana, San tiago, or Cienfuegos." We passed a base ball game, close to the bay's edge. A beau tiful double play, a peg like lightning from first to third, stopped the game as we watched. Backdrop was the col orful city and blue harbor, whipped by whitecaps from an ap- Rodolfo Allo proaching squall. A This fighting-cock bri mile farther we saw train from Cumbre to ' another game before a the cock is ready for t thatched cottage, and still farther a third with Negro players. Instead of roadsters, horses were parked at the side. "During the struggle for independence, Cubans played American baseball to taunt the Spaniards," Dr. Massip said. "It became a symbol of liberty. Now baseball is our na tional game and we are proud of the 60 Cubans who play in the U. S. big leagues." Most Cuban farmers economize on fence posts. They cut a branch of a tree and stick it in the ground. It soon sprouts and be comes a living post that never rots. We saw one such fence with flamboyant trees for posts. The bright-orange blossoms set the blue sky on fire. We passed two prosperous sugar planta tions near Coliseo. vs Passengers to Pet His Favorite Gallo eeder from Mor6n carried his rooster in his arms on the Trinidad. Feathers will be plucked in another year when he pit (page 25). "Millowners give pet names to their cen trales," said Dr. Massip. "Popular are names of girls or wives: 'Conchita,' 'Mercedes,' 'De licias.' Even countries, like 'Australia,' 'Cuba,' and 'America,' and heroes, such as 'Washing ton' and 'Maceo,' are recognized. Indian words, too, are popular, like 'Jaronu.' " American Minister Paves Cardenas Streets Bursting out of an afternoon rain squall, we came to the brow of a hill and there below lay Cardenas, bathed in sun, gleaming beside a turquoise bay. On nearly every door or house front in Cardenas was painted the word "Mil." "Does 'Mil' indicate some secret society?" I asked.