“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

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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