Posts Tagged ‘Spanish Civil War’

May 20, 1964 what it was like to face death?

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

C. Michael Bennis – Author and Speaker   http://www.cmichaelbennis.com

The festival of San Isidro, Madrid’s patron saint, begins the Friday before May 15.  It lasts for 9 days of continuous partying with music, dancing, and sensational bullfights.  The Capitol is spotless, flowers boldly accentuate the beautiful avenidas and glorietas, and the warm weather is delightful.  This is a time for fun, for romance and for death in the afternoon bullfights.

In 1964, El Cordobéz was scheduled to enter Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas at 5:00 p.m. This is the most beautiful bullring in Spain, built in 1929 in the Neo-Mudéjar style.  Manuel Benitez Perez, a.k.a. El Cordobéz had fought in over 400 corridas to sold out crowds but he had purposely shunned Madrid, where the critics continually insulted him.  He was illiterate, he had no apparent saving grace.  Worse, he was an insult to the legend of Manolete.

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US Author Recalls Madrid’s Carabanchel Prison

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

January 1964. The cold permeated through the wool sports coat, the cotton shirt, the pullover sweater and the light wool slacks and sox, and I tugged the grey wool blanket more tightly over my shoulders. It would be hours before I could open the single window to the sun’s warmth. Warmth was not a consideration in a high-security lockup that was built by political prisoners for political prisoners.

I had spent the night reading by the light of a single glass bulb until I hunkered into a tightly drawn ball, where I spiraled downward in deep slumber until emerging back home in full color on a hot summer’s evening. I was about to share dinner with my parents and younger brother. Before me was a delicious charbroiled hamburger on a sesame bun with slices of Bermuda onion, summer tomato, and copious condiments. There were also ample servings of buttered corn-on–the-cob and Mother’s delicious potato salad.

In the other place, Moorish Trumpets blared and metal doors slammed against the wall in my corridor. The sound of military boots moved toward my cot. In moments, I felt the pressure of a boot pressing downward against my rump… ‘This could not be happening. I was safe at home.’ When I looked upward, there were green uniforms and a brown wooden paddle, inches above my face.

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