Two Infinities

Thu, 13 Oct 2005

Quintana-Liu Wedding

October 9, 2005, Chi-Te Liu and Maria Quintana exchanged wedding vows on Watson Is., Miami, Florida. Maria is closer to home. She came to Miami from Cuba with her father and mother in 1979. Thirty years earlier, Chi-Te's father, Tze-Nan Liu, fled across the "Formosa Strait" from the forces of Mao.

Tze-Nan's flight was made in haste and with the expectation it would not be long. He was warned his life was in grave danger, and the subsequent fates of his father and older brother and even infant daughter demonstrated the urgency of the warnings. Tze-Nan was joined in Taiwan the next year by his wife, Tsuei-Chi Chen, and their 6-year-old daughter. (Tsuei-Chi had taken only one daughter to the train station in order to avoid the appearance of flight--Tsuei-Chi's sister was to have brought the infant separately; however, her sister decided the trip was too arduous for Tsuei-Chi to bring both children and that, besides, the exile would be temporary.)

I do not know how the Quintanas escaped Cuba nor do I know how Tze-Nan got to Taiwan, but I have often heard how Tsuei-Chi paid what gold she had to a "yellow buffalo", a man who carried the young daughter, Shuei-Ching, on his back and led Tsuei-Chi through the Mai Po Marshes in the night from Shenzhen to Hong-Kong, how Tsuei-Chi somehow booked passage to Taipei and searched for half a year to find her husband on a strange and chaotic island. ("How could you give all your gold away at a time like that?" her daughters would later ask. "Because I knew I had my education," she would reply. Tsuei-Chi's father, a scholar, was very forward looking at the time and had provided an education for his daughters.)

In 1965 Tze-Nan and Tsuei-Chi's eighth child and only son was born. In 1988, after thirty years of work and service in Taiwan, Tze-Nan and Tsuei-Chi emigrated to the USA. Miami, Florida, to be exact. I believe the principal reason they came to the US was to provide a better future for Chi-Te. And, indeed, Chi-Te finished his military service in Taiwan, came to Florida a year later, and immediately enrolled in college--something that had not been possible for him in Taiwan. Chi-Te and Maria met at MDCC in 1990 and were friends for fifteen years befored they married today.

Miami is a port city, gateway to Latin America, so it was not so surprising that Maria's good friends flew in from Germany and Honduras or that the full range of human skin from dark to light was scattered about the ballroom. But there was still that common thread that bound the families. Both had braved great adversity, both had endured the pain of exile, and both had risked everything. Both were scarred by the major social upheaval of the twentieth century, and both have survived to witness their children start a new life together in a foreign land.

Double happiness, Chi-Te and Maria!

posted at: 23:14 | path: | permanent link to this entry

US 287

Biked from Harrison, MO, to Cardwell and back, mid-July, 2005. Funeral in Harrison that day. An 80 yr old rancher, accident while working, death not expected. Whole town attended, even the US 287 restaurant closed down. Restaurant is run by a young couple. They bought it in December. Their new sign leaning against back of restaurant, waiting to be put up. Wife rushes about, husband chats with guests. Water good, from restaurant's own 65 foot well. We had the "miner's special"--in fact could see pit and tailings at nearby Butte along ride. Big older gent chats up high-school age boy about football.

Cute small school-house at Cardwell, across the street from the pottery store. Having watched Elephant since then, it seems like a dream of another world.

Another guest had been reading a ranchers' mag; he thought it interesting they raised white-tailed deer in Ohio. He must have been reminded by the magazine I was reading. It tickled me to find a current copy of "Science News" on a magazine rack (a la doctor's office) along with Nat'l geographic and a ranchers magazine. Guess hubby has more time to read.

I noticed a young teen jogging towards his destination, going behind the restaurant wearing the latest style basketball shorts. Small town where everyone knew everyone and yet interconnected with the world at large.

posted at: 22:47 | path: | permanent link to this entry