THIS warm, sometimes funny, and deeply emotional memoir tells what it was like growing up more than half a century ago in pre-Castro Cuba. Roberto López recounts a very personal story of family, school experiences, and friendships. He relates what it was like to be Cuban and what Cuba-in those days-looked and felt like: the streets of old Havana and his lively neighborhood where streetcars were so crowded passengers might have to climb on top, where peddlers plied everything from fi sh to sweets, and where men gathered in the bodegas to play dice on shiny mahogany counters while drinking beer or downing cup after cup of hot, black, sweet, and wickedly strong coffee. López wrote Island of Memory primarily as a tribute to a people and a place but he also tells what it was like when things ruptured-when the communists took over- and made it impossible for him to stay, or to return.
Roberto D. López came to the United States in November 1960 with his wife Milagros and daughter Carmen. Forced, as were most Cuban immigrants, to start their lives over again, he worked briefl y as a busboy, then as a salesman, studying English and business at night. He retired as Vice President/ Treasurer, Systems Services Division, Planning Research Corporation in 1987. López died in 2002.
Virginia Croft López helped Roberto shape his wonderful stories into this memoir. She is an editor/writer and retired director of the Research Center, Aerospace Industries Association.