National Geographic : 1947 Jan
Cuba-American Sugar Bowl tims and casualties were thrown to the sea wolves. Down in the dungeons I marveled at the wax figures, clasped in the tight grasp of Spanish torture machines. With Dr. Domingo Ramos, an old-time friend, I visited the National Capitol (Plate I). As it was a hot day and we were coatless, we were obliged to rent coats for 25 cents before we could enter. In the rotunda a huge gilded statue, repre senting the Cuban Republic, greeted us. We wandered through the marble halls where the Senate and House of Representatives meet. Each desk had its microphone. I roamed the narrow streets and drank coffee in the tiny open-front cafes. In the evenings I strolled with all Havana along the tree-shaded Prado, which cuts straight across the heart of the city to the Capitolio. Along the benches at its side people rested and couples made love. Boot blacks, lottery ticket sellers, and souvenir vendors constantly accosted me in English and Spanish (Plate III). One afternoon we climbed the hill on which Principe Castle is set to view the city. While photographing the old gate and deep, dry moat, we found ourselves under arrest. The castle now serves as the Havana prison, we were informed. Our photographs might help prisoners escape! I sent my card in to the prison director. At once our guards became our escorts, and we were shown into his office, an old gun room of the fort. The director told us about Principe. "After the British marines and American colonials captured Havana in 1762, this castle was built to guard the Capital's rear ap proaches," he said. "It was a case of locking the door after the burglar had walked in. Nevertheless, Principe stands as one of the finest Spanish star-shaped forts." Some 1,400 prisoners in neat dungaree uni forms were drawn up around the blue-and gold-tiled patio for evening colors. "The prisoners make all their attire, from shoes to clothes," the director told us. In a gunroom we saw a statue of Jose Miguel G6mez, a prison inmate from March 8 to September 24, 1917. I asked if this G6mez was the former President of Cuba. "Yes, President G6mez occupied this very room. Even the present President, Ram6n Grau San Martin, served time here in 1933. In fact, many distinguished leaders of Cuba today are proud to call themselves 'alumni of Principe.' " Not until I planned my motor trip did I appreciate the tremendous size of the moon- Hog Feed Is Lowered from a Palm Top Seed clumps weigh 50 to 60 pounds. If chopped off 60 or 80 feet up, the berrylike seeds are scattered by the fall. Royal palms are known as one- or two hog trees, depending upon the seed they produce. This Pinar del Rio climber goes up quickly with the aid of stirrups and a rope strap around the trunk.