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Like so many mid-century jíbaros, he made my streets his third home. Here he kept a poor house in whose yard he raised fighting cocks, a vestige of his country origins. He witnessed and participated in the feast of modernity without great fuss, as a master builder. He became a close acquaintance of Muñoz and Albizu. Here he raised eight children and became a widower. He cared for his ailing sister as long as his strength allowed. He sold lottery tickets to survive. A lifelong nationalist, the prison at La Princesa became his second home. He died like a hermit, doubly discarded: a centenarian, and poor.

The Castaway

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