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The Rhythm is Gonna Get You

In The Engaged Partner, Vero Beach artist Perez Vidal ingeniously used symbolism to contrast the life of the Cuban national with that of the Cuban-American.

In The Engaged Partner, Vero Beach artist Perez Vidal ingeniously used symbolism to contrast the life of the Cuban national with that of the Cuban-American.

When my husband Don and I moved north to Vero Beach from Miami, our introduction into the community was a gala. We noticed that something was different as soon as we picked up our table assignment. It wasn’t the antebellum theme in which the gala chairwoman wore a hoopskirt and a liveried black man greeted guests at the entrance.

It was something more fundamental, something you couldn’t identify right away, like a refrigerator without a hum. For one thing, all the men’s arms were in their coat sleeves. No one wore his jacket draped like a cape, Hidalgo style, over his shoulders. For another, everyone appeared en punto, with the precision of the caesium frequency standard atomic clock – unlike Miami, where arrivals to any function might cover a two-hour span, and where on occasion, dual invitations to the same parties announced either Anglo time, the exact time, or Latin time, one hour earlier, to ensure that everyone showed up more or less together.

Read the entire article in the January 2011 issue