“The Chelo”, ideals, determination, survival (Part II)

I am down in the garden from the back side of house, where we used to have breakfast all summers during our stay in the village.
I sat in the stone bench that is sculpted in the wall at the back of the garden. Leaning the half of my body back in the seat, I stare the mountain focusing on the imaginary turtle shell that remains in the slope. It is formed of granite crags, which have always caught my attention since I was a child.
I open the notebook to page two:
“I write this notebook down to account my witnesses of the active resistance of a group of extremeños facing the coup d’état, for the purpose of keeping the freethinking spirit alive.
This 1942 summer is ending, the Chambergo and Miguelillo felt tired of waiting a possible assistance of allies, so that they have fled away to France. They trust nobody.
I am hiding in el doblao of the house of my friend Antonio that is the owner of the land property where my father worked as a tenant farmer.
Winter is coming and the picoletos have recruited more snitches. Living in the mountains is getting steadily difficult.”

I quit reading and I look at the mountains, my thoughts move to that time. I was concerned about the intense resistance of maquis in Asturias, but not the struggle of my land fellows. To say the least, I did not notice that there had been maquis in my village.
Moving a few pages forward, I read in the half part of the book: “It has been 15 years since the coup d´état and I have hidden here for 9 years. Doro, the son of Sir Antonio goes upstairs each night to bring me some goods. He does not longer repeat me: we should have flee together after consummating our relationship in the canyon; 28th of March 1936, a dream whose only dreamer was always him. We celebrate his saint pretty well, no doubt”.

I look up from the notebook. The name of my father is Doroteo, and his saint was always more important than his birthday. This thought puts a smile on my face, while I am watching the mountain.

Maqui extremeña

I keep reading. “That Saturday of March in 1936, I feel the happiest woman ever. The next day was a splendid Sunday and we went out hunting. I will never forget Doro’s face when I was hunting partridge birds and rabbits. “

At the time my mind keeps wandering, a photo falls from the pages by relaxing the pressure over the covers of the book. I hold the photo with both hands, it shows a woman carrying a partridge bird with some rabbits placed next to her feet. Overleaf I read: “March in 1936. Dolores, the future mother of my sons.”

I am driving back home with my father by to Tietar meadow. The notebook is in the wingman seat. I did not feel like to keep reading. Suddenly, I realize that we are in March of 2016. The day is awesome.

———-

Doblao: is the common name in Extremadura to describe the garret at the top of the houses.

Picoletos: referred to Guardia Civil in slang, which is a rural police squad created in Franco dictatorship.

Maquis: people, either military or civils, that opposed to the victory of the coup d’état in 1936

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Discover the places of the unique legends from Comarca de la Vera, located in Sierra de Gredos (Spain). Link in Conyegar

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