Day 4


I wonder if blue, green and red were the only pigments available at one point in time in Austin. In my mystical thinking I decide that people chose these colors in order to bring the nature inside the house: the sky, the forest, and the clay. Today I interviewed Seu Albino. He came from Portugal in 1954 to work at his brother’s bakery. He never got married nor had kids. He lived to work. Now he is retired and lives from bar to bar drinking and hanging out with friends. In the afternoon I went to meet Dona Hercília. Hercília showed me a lot of her memorabilia. She was brought up in a ranch, moved to Austin in February 1943 after her grandfather died and her father fell sick. Austin was a hope for healing, but he died a year after moving from a brain tumor, or “that illness” as most people I spoke in Austin refer to cancer. Hercilia was thirteen. She and her sisters were split among their unties since her mother could not afford taking care of them. Hercilia started working soon after. She describes having learned to do all sorts of things. She met Alberto Vasco’s son, Jaime. Alberto is the one who came from the Açores and established the first grocery store. Hercilia and Jaime met at the grocery. They got married and had kids. Dona Hercília never stopped working tho. She says she’s done “everything”. She is the happiest person I've met in Austin so far. She told me the story of her mother in law, who she never met. She said “the portuguese”, referring to Jaime’s mother, "killed herself by jumping in front of the train". She said no one ever knew why she did it. The room where I sleep has blue walls and red floor. Marta, married to another memeber of the family who previously owned the orange farm, migrated from the northeast of the country. She doesn't seem to have friends in austin. She offered me to stay with her next time I come. People seem very needy of affection and attention in general.

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