Mariana is a Maryland Prats Generation One. The text is addressed to each of her grandchildren (Generation Three).
|Mariana M. Prats|
This memory book is dedicated a todos mis hijos y nietos y a mi sobrina Natalia María Salces que me regaló este cuaderno. … to all my children and grandchildren and to my niece Natalia Maria Salces who gave me this book.
BY Mariana Martinez Prats
DATE begun Christmas 1984.
My given name was Mariana Guadalupe and I was named that because mi abuela paterna se llamaba Mariana y la abuela de mi mamá se llamaba Mariana y el abuelo Mariano. … my paternal grandmother was named Mariana and my mother’s grandmother was named Mariana and her grandfather Mariano.
I was born in Camagüey Cuba at my home attended by the midwife Altagracia the 12 of December 1926.
The rest of my family included … I was the first born, after me were born Elia Maria, Ofelia, Joaquin Ventura, Juan Antonio and Natalia. I had special names for them, a Elia Maria le deciamos Mamia. … We called Elia Maria “Mamia”. The house where we lived was large, with 14 rooms and in it lived Mamá, Papá, my godfather Antonio (Toto); Mayo, Panchita, and Menina [aunts]. [My aunt] Natalia lived nearby and spent her days there.
Our Family Tree:
Your grandmother (me): Mariana G Martínez
Her parents: Joaquín V. Martínez Martínez, Elia Rodríguez Casas
Her mother’s parents: Gaspar Rodríguez Porro and Araceli de las Casas
Her father’s parents: Joaquín V. Martínez Dias and Mariana Martínez Seijas
|Gaspar Rodriguez Porro and his wife Araceli de las Casas|
Joaquin Martínez Díaz (1863–1918) and his wife Mariana Martínez Seijas (1865–1914)
Your grandfather: Benito Humberto Prats
His parents: José Prats Amat; Eduvigis Respall
His mother’s parents: Casimirio Respall and Rufina Pereira Ortega
His father’s parents: Enrique Prats and Paulita Amat Roig.
The earliest ancestor I know on my mother’s side of the family was the Rodriguez Porro ancestors’ names that were Mariana and Mariano.
The earliest ancestor I know on my father’s side of the family was José Martínez from Guines, Cuba.
My surname comes from España and means Son of Martin.
Certain foods and family traditions that come from national and/or religious origins. Some of ours that do are: Sidra, Arroz con Pollo, Pierna asada, pudín de pan, arroz frito, flan, pastelón camagüeyano, arroz con carne de puerco, y plátano pintón. … sparkling cider, chicken and rice, pork leg roast, bread pudding, fried rice, flan, camagueyan [chicken] pot pie, rice with pork, semi-ripe (yellow) plantains [typically boiled].
|Mariana as a Toddler|
at Republica #208
I went to school at Las Salecianas on Luaces street in Camagúey for grades Kinder thru 2nd. Then I went to school at El Angel de la Guarda in Havana for grades 2 to 10th. I graduated Bachillerato [a bachelors degree in arts] from Institute #1 in Havana while I was still boarding at El Angel de la Guarda. Then I spent two years studying in Canada, first in a College in Montreal and then in a high school in Chatham, Ontario [so I could attend secretarial school in town].
|Elia Rodríguez de las Casas|
|Joaquín Ventura Martínez|
|A young Mariana hiding behind|
the callas in the patio
of her childhood home
My brothers and sisters: I am the eldest. After came Elia Maria with 3½ years difference, then Ofelia and then Venturita. When Venturita was 7 or 8 years old Juan Antonio was born and then Natalia.
|Mariana and her Cousin Fina|
(Josefina Martínez Álvarez)
on the roof of Republica #208
My pets: A fox terrier called “Cupey” and another called “Prince” and “Cosita” [Little Thing]. In my house in Retiro [name of the subdivision where Honduras #55 was] we had “Valentina Tereshkova” [named after the first Russian cosmonaut in space] and here in the US a canary named “Piolindo” and “Peanuts” and “Chester” [dogs].
The dances they were dancing: El Botecito; the chachachá, bolero, and danzón.
The music they were playing: Benny Moré, Frank Sinatra
The books we were reading: Novels by E. M. Kelly, Corin Tellado, Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen.
What people were talking about: The second world war.
The fads that were popular: A radio soap opera that lasted a long time called “Mamá Dolores”.
What I wanted to be when I grew up: An engineer that made cosmetics and perfumes.
Some relatives nicknames: Peralta, Aunt Conchita’s husband, was called “El Perro.” Papá was called “El Burro Alegre.”
A sad time: El fracaso de la Bahia de Cochinos. La ida de mis hijos y dejar my patria y mi familia. … The utter failure of the Bay of Pigs [invasión of Cuba]; sending my children ahead and abandoning my country and my family.
This was special to me.
I had one dress I’ll remember: The shoes I wore to my First Communion had holes like little stars.
|Mercedes Prado and Conchita Blanco|
Dressed in the uniform of
Mariana Lola Alvarez’ school.
A vacation I’ll never forget: A vacation in Baradero Beach in 1941 in a DuPont house we rented. We spent two months. We bathed in the sea twice a day. We played bowling and I tried to learn how to ride a bicycle without success.
|Pamela Style Hat|
When I was a little girl: We would ride horses in Songorrongo [her mother’s ranch], [first] on a horse called Tropicál, a white horse that did not want to walk and that allowed one to mount by climbing up his legs.
|Benito H. Prats|
Mariana’s future husband
We were married on June 9, 1951 at la iglesia del Sagrado Corazón by the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, Mos. Perez Serente. I was 24 years old and grandpa was 33. The wedding ceremony was at 8 in the morning in the Mass of the Veils.