National Geographic : 1962 Dec
Spain's Gibraltar of the Caribbean in colonial days, massive El Morro rises 140 feet above the sea at the entrance to San Juan Bay (see cover). Its guns fought off many attacks by pirates. Tele photo lens frames the bastion from a palm-shaded greensward across the breeze-swept bay. Long-silent cannons peer from gunports in El Morro's scarred walls. Visitors skirt the moat. lectures, concerts-all have their place in Operation Serenity to deepen spiritual and cultural life. It begins with education, from the many new elementary schools to the two sprawling campuses of the University of Puerto Rico, at San Juan and Mayagiiez. Many of the university's 21,500 students attend on scholarships, which are offered to young people of other countries as well. Busy Life at 86 for Pablo Casals Late one afternoon, Tony Stewart and I visited a man whose name is a cultural rock in any land. Pablo Casals, the world's most celebrated cellist and the founder of the Puer to Rican Casals Festival, lives on Santurce's beach; the ocean is his metronome. 792 The short, stocky maestro settled contem platively and put a match to his pipe. Then he took up his cello, and the room filled with a Haydn sonata. Afterward the maestro moved to a couch. His eyes were a startling blue and his face almost unlined. But when a jet roared over, he began to recall the early days of aviation and I remembered that Pablo Casals was almost 86 years old. At age 80, after a brilliant career spent mainly in Europe, the Spanish-born musi cian kept a promise he had made his Puerto Rican mother to return to her native island. "When I came here, I told Governor Mu fioz Marin that I could not become just an old man who is retiring," Mr. Casals recalled.