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Month: July 2016 (Page 1 of 3)

The Stella Cabeca Story Then and Now Part 16

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Part 16

The following week I drove myself nervously to club Elvis for the line dance lesson. I was terrible, did not understand when they said to do a vine or jazz box and kick ball change. Even though I tried my best to follow along I felt like an idiot, but I loved every crazy minute of it. I went again the following week and several times when one night a lovely lady came over to me and suggested I go to a place called Davie Junction on Sunday afternoon for family day beginner classes. Her name was Marilyn she was an older lady dressed in pretty skirt and cowboy boots and hat, very well dressed a real southern lady.

I went to Davie Junction the following Sunday afternoon was a real Country Bar, nice wooden floor with bar and stools to sit all around the dance floor, big stage at the front of dance floor. Also had a train track between bottom floor and upper level with a train that travelled round the entire room. There was another bar in the back away from the dance area that seemed to be full of locals and real American Country folk. I loved it even though I felt like a fish out of water I stepped on the dance floor for the lesson trying to hide in the back.  There was a big crowd on the floor so was easy to hide.

I hoped no one would see all the mistakes I made. I learned 2 dances one was called Redneck girl and Cowboy Boogie. This was the greatest feeling to be able to go out on the floor and dance even when the live bands came on I waited all night for the 2 songs I knew so I could dance.

I was hooked on Country Line dancing from that moment on. I went to Davie junction 5 times a week with my husband on weekends and alone during the week. I learned every dance I could in classes and then went home and practiced for hours till I had them memorized. My husband did not ever dance at this time but came with me every weekend sitting bored to tears all night while I danced. George did not drink ever so you can imagine but he was happy for me.

Till Next installment… Keep Dancing.. Stella

The Stella Cabeca Story Then and Now part 15

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I worked in a bank on Normandy Isle on Miami Beach, Dade Savings a small branch.  We were cross trained as teller’s/new accounts CD’s and other aspects of banking.  Just 7 staff total including one armed guard which did not help the day we were robbed at gunpoint. I hated the job but loved the interaction with customers and my co-workers.  We were like a little family. The benefits were good and George thought I could make a career of it when they offered to train me for manager. But soon realized this was not for me and so I started my own business buying close-out merchandise and selling it at flea markets.

I sold shoes, books and then Toys. I did well with the toy’s demonstrating and putting on quite a show at Gulfstream racetrack and Thunderbird swap meet. I drove a big van; up at 5 am and off to swap meets in the dark. I also burned to a crisp in the hot sun despite awnings; umbrellas and sun screen. My Lilly white skin could not take it, so I moved to indoor market in one of highest crime areas. Business was good but after my car was stolen, my purse then followed up with my house broken in too and a fire bomb was thrown into bathroom as armed robbers stormed in to jewelry booth next to me. I decided that this was probably not the place to be.

Oh what is a woman to do, here I am in the land of opportunity and I still don’t know what I want to do now that I was all grown up. Then a lady, in my neighborhood, asked if I could help  her out with shopping and driving her to doctors and before I knew it I had a nice group of elderly people and their families who did not live here all year round to help them with every day needs. So I had a little work and George was, as always working 2 jobs and taking care of me and all the bills.

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The Stella Cabeca Story Then and Now part 14

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part 14

We got married on Valentine’s Day February 14, 1981 on Miami Beach at a small bar in a hotel owned by a friend.  It was all decorated with hearts and flowers. The wedding ceremony was right there on the dance floor in the bar. A friend and co-worker of George’s who was a minister performed the ceremony and George’s son George junior was our best man.

We left the next day for Philadelphia where we spent 2 weeks meeting George’s family in Doylestown, Rhode Island and New Bedford. We went to Valley Forge and New York. I was made very welcome even though they were shocked to suddenly meet me the NEW WIFE.

When they did not even know George was divorced. His family wonderful people mostly Portuguese people who seemed to be so glad to see as they said George so happy for the first time in many years. I got to meet his brothers and their family. I was made to feel like I was welcome to his family even though I know they perhaps had their doubts about the marriage being able to succeed.

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The Stella Cabeca Story Then and Now part 13

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I had the best date ever with George, I talked a lot, he listened a lot, we ate I drank a lot.  George did not drink never drank in his life but he sure got me many doubles. I felt well taken care of, like I had a made a great friend, but not in a romantic way. We went out almost every day after that, he would drive me everywhere back and forth to work and spend many nights sitting with me in the bars on Miami Beach at night after we closed the restaurant.

Even though George did not drink or smoke and I did both, he seemed happy just to be with me. I did not feel this was a serious relationship at that point. I started to date other guy’s and tried to push George away. I did not see a future with him at that time, even though he was in love with me. Just the age difference, the end of his 28 year marriage, the 6 children and grandchildren oh and did I tell you his oldest daughter and I are the same age.

Nevertheless, I had grown to care for him but was dating other guy’s and trying to make a life for myself. George had helped me move out of my friend’s house and get my own apartment before I had stopped seeing him. He had driven me to and from work and just really helped me so much as I had nothing and no one and was so lost.

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The Stella Cabeca Story Then and Now Part 12

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part 12

I cannot go in to too many details of the next couple of months on the grounds that it may incriminate me and others who went out on a limb to help me stay here and work and make money to survive. But I can tell you I did get a job that was created especially for me as a hostess at the International House of Pancakes aka (I.H.O.P.) on Miami Beach.

There had never been a hostess before, but at that time Freddie Laker was flying the Brit’s in by the thousands for such a low price that every day working folks who had never traveled outside of Great Britain before were taking advantage of this deal. Coming here on package deal which brought them to the hotels such as the Carillon and included a bus trip 2 days Disney world. Most of them stayed in the hotel and walked across the street to our restaurant every night for dinner, went to Disney on the bus got severe sun burn and heat sickness and returned home, with the blisters and story to tell of their trip to the United States Of America.

The line outside our I.H.O.P. every night went down the street, I used to go up and down the line with glasses of cold water for everyone and sing and dance and have fun with my fellow countrymen as they waited in line or in the Queue, as we say. They were happy and appreciated me as someone from back home, able to make them feel welcome. Some of them actually lived one street away from my sisters and knew them .Anyway I made very little money and no tips, but I got free food and was eventually made night manager closing the place at night and partying in the bars across the street till morning.

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