Although he was 21 years old and had completed some undergraduate work at the Cuban Naval Academy, Teobaldo (Teo) Cuervo had to enroll as a freshman at CNC in the fall of 1963, when the college was still in the Daniel building. His beloved homeland, under the control of Fidel Castro, viewed him and his family as traitors, so the Academy would not send his academic records to America. Teo (called "Ted" by his CNC classmates) was the first Cuban refugee to enroll at our young college; his brother, Herminio, then a Newport News High School senior, would be the second, entering CNC in the fall of 1964.
The article reprinted below describes how Teo and his family first supported Castro, seeing him as their nation's savior, but later fled Cuba when they realized he was, like Batista, also a dictator--and worse, was making Cuba a Communist dictatorship. The article is from pages 3 & 4 of the first edition ofThe Captain's Log (Vol. 1, Issue 1, Nov. 7, 1963).
NOTE 1: In 2013, Teo's brother, Herminio, wrote a 3-part article for our website titled Operation Pedro Pan and I, with subtitles FromHope to Horror (part 1), From Fear to Freedom (part 2), and Learning to Adapt (part 3). Parts 1 and 2 of this exciting, vivid narrative cover Herminio's boyhood experiences (at ages 12-14) of living in Cuba before, during and after the Revolution, when Castro executed his enemies while establishing his Communistic dictatorship. Originally supporters of Castro, the Cuervo family deserted their positions in the new regime, hid in Cuba from Castro's secret police, and plotted their escape to America. Part 3 describes Herminio's lonely plane flight to Miami (at age 15), his experiences in a camp provided by Operation Pedro Pan, and his discovery of prejudice against Cubans in Miami. This series is located in our Website Archives (tab in left margin) under the sub tab Your Memories.
NOTE 2: Because The Captain's Log was printed on folios too wide and too long to be reproduced on our website in easily readable form, we will not publish the issues in their entirety, as we did with Chris's Crier. Instead we will publish articles from or about the issues separately.
Are you currently FOR or AGAINST legalizing marijuana? What was your opinion on this topic in the 1960s? Has your opinion changed since then, or not? Why?
The article above, in which eight CNC students stated their views on legalizing marijuana, was published December 12, 1969, in CNC's student paper,The Captain's Log. Recently, copies of it were emailed to the four First Decaders quoted in it for whom we have contact information. They've been requested to send their current views on legalizing marijuana. So far, one of the four has replied (quoted below).
Robert (Bob) Schlagal wrote: It should be clear by now that marijuana should be legalized. There are many more reasons to use weed in 2019 than were apparent 50 years ago. These include the mitigation of pain, the improvement of sleep, the reduction of seizures, the lowering of elevated eye pressure, and the lowering of general stress--besides my earlier "aesthetic contemplation." The argument that its use is a gateway drug is no longer tenable; neither research nor personal experience support that claim. I did not go on to harder drugs nor did my friends from the 1960s. But sadly, I am no more enlightened than I was 50 years ago--perhaps because I stopped smoking so long ago?
Bob earned his BA in English at CNC in 1971, then his MA and PhD at UVA. He retired from Appalachian State University as professor of language, reading and exceptionalities. He and his wife, Kathy, a retired elementary school teacher, now live in Mexico, where Bob continues to teach Tai Chi.
We hope to hear the "Now" views of the other three First Decaders quoted in the 1969 Log article in time to publish those in our August 9th issue. We also eagerly await your "Then and Now" views on this topic! Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Replies received no later than August 6th will be published on August 9th.
Published July 26, 2019
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