Please sign the Guest Book and leave a post to your Classmates. It does not matter if you're attending or not, we would love for you to sign and post.

Take a moment to read Guest Posts from our 2013 Reunion. 

Blasts from the Past.



 
  JORGE ULFE
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Today I realy had a chance to send you this letter I do not how to stsrt giving thanks to all the people was involved in the brondel hall reunion all the love we got from all the brothers and sisters present and not present .Thanks to Makoto Sylvio and Diane our parents Jim and Jo Ann and everyone involved Thanks mario Toca for keeping us togrther in Miami and all things you did for this reunion.  Thanks to God Soraya is finally put back in the waiting list for her transplant Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes Hopely I  will be able to tell you she had this operation soon so she can enyoy more of this life. Keep us in your prayers We are going to have our reunion of the brondelitos soon in Miami .Hopeluly we can start talking about our  next reunion soon .Right Mario. Before I finish i have to tell you how happy i am thinkig of our Helena reunion ann sharing with all of you our time together and the ones to come    Thanks to all of you to make me feel so bless to have friends like you. Thanks Syvio I love you man and all your beautiful family  We will see you soon                    Jorge and Soraya Ulfw
yurr family
 
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  Manuel Perez-Capon
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Well, what can I say.  Our reunion was above excellence, we can give thanks to the ones who organized it.  Everything was done with unpecable detail, everything I should say fell in place.  Well organized and planned.  My KUDOS to Silvio, Diane, Mario and Matsumoto.  For years and years I kept on thinking where the rest of the guys would be.  At one time I remember putting one of the guys names, Gregorio's in the Police Dept. computer and I got caught and told if I did not have a legal reason to do so I could not do it.  I know if would have given me at least the last whereabouts of him and for that matter of fact, everyone else.  I consider this lack of contact my fault for not continue to write to the guys in Helena after I left.  But things at the begining after leaving got rough as it probably happened to many of us once we left and went on our own.  Maybe a section should be created on this website in which all who attended can record their name and address and phone number under some kind of password so no one else can view it.  I have the e-mails of some but these may have change as it happens often when people change servers.  Me and my wife had a blast, I felt very happy in meeting y'all again after so many many years and of course your families as well.  One can tell is getting old when one gets introduced to one of the guys not kids but GRANDKIDS !  It was indeed a pleasure to meet Diane and husband.  She is indeed a Western Peach, very sweet and loving.  Silvio has not changed and his wife is another sweetheard like Diane.  Mako has not changed either, same friendly happy go lucky attitude and of course his same old walk, it was quite a great satisfaction to meet him again as well as everyone else.  I could go on and on and make a remark on each but it is easier to say that their friendliness, and good hearts still prevail for which I thank God almighty and for having allowed all of us to meet once again.  I had memories of the guys at the Hall but after the reunion my memories have grown better and I am glad that we ALL have had our own careers and successes and raised good families.  To end, I must say that my mind just went into retrocess and while listening to some of the speeches, the image of one individual who was the first person we ever met when we arrived in Miami kept coming back over and over.  I will NEVER forget the bar of HERSHEY's that a kind, unforgettable and helping man by the name of George Guarsh RIP gave me on April 23, 1962 when he answered it is me, after I asked "Where is George", the learned words to say upon arrival at MIA so we could be taken care by the Catholic Charities so well managed by the late Monsignor Walsh, may he also rest in peace with the Lord.
I again Thank the organizers, I thank you all for coming, thank you for the effort you made in doing so, and thank you for allowing me to hug you, kiss you and shed a few tears of joy so long overdue.  GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS MOM AND DAD O'NEILL FOR THEIR HELP IN SUCH STRESSFUL AND SAD YEARS OF OUR LIVES.!
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  Julio K. Morales
Monday, June 24, 2013
Hola de nuevo.  Que gusto poder haber asistido a la reunion, aunque solo pude hacerlo el viernes.  Visite con viejas y nuevas amistades.  Que bien que el porvenir al fin produjo buenos resultados, no embalde como comenzamos.  Claro, yo tuve la ventaja de poder estar con mis padres en Helena, pero de todos modos regocijo en la prosperidad de todos Uds. Mil gracias a los que se dedicaron para poder producir esta linda reunion, que de veras es cosa historica en questiones de inmigrantes.  Un abrazo a todos, y recuerden que en Missousla tienen su casa.  Julio K. Morales ( jmorales@jmoraleslaw.com )
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  Makoto (Hector) Matsumoto
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
To my dear Brothers and Sisters:
 
There is no telling how far you will go while chasing a dream. But imagine how great you'll feel when you get there…(unknown.)
 
I have kept this quote in “My Dear Diary” for many years. And yes, I have been chasing a dream for the past 50 years. The dream that became a Reality in the past five day. The dream to be with all of you and renew our friendship and love for each other, and to be reunited with our house parents that played such an important part in my life.  And, YES, I feel GREAT!  I know you all feel the same way I do. 
 
The time I spent with you in the past five days was filled with emotions; tears of Joy and Sadness; and, with a lot of Happiness and Joy.  I missed our “Little Brother Jimmy”; but my heart was filled with joy knowing that he was watching us from above.  My heart was also joyful because I could embrace Robby as I used to do when he was a little boy and tell him how much I love him and his parents. What a Joy that was! I was saddened because John and Joan McCarvel were not there; but I was comforted knowing they were safely and peacefully watching us from their home in Heaven, and from knowing that they were proud of being represented by Robby and Rhonda.  I also missed my brothers that have gone to the Lord. You and your families filled my heart with Joy and Happiness, what more could I asked for? I am blessed!
 
As I wrote in “My Dear Diary” last night I tried to write a recap of the highlights from the past 5 days, they were numerous that I could have been writing all night. The proudest moment for me was watching our brother Tony deliver the homily at Sunday’s mass. Thank you, Tony for the beautiful and powerful message. The reception I received from the merchants I visited in Helena was heartwarming. The devotion and love from our classmates Curt and Sue Chisholm, Bob Robinson, and Carrie Larson are greatly appreciated.  I love you folks.  And our friends in Helena that once again opened their arms and hearts to make our reunion a success.  For all of these things I am grateful.
 
To the Committee especially Diane, Jaye, and Silvio for the time and love they devoted in making my (and your) dream a Reality. And my appreciation and thanks to those that assisted the committee.  Gracias de todo Corazon.
 
To my Brothers and their wives (my new beautiful sisters), let’s keep the Dream alive.  Let’s don’t wait too long to meet again.
 
To my Brothers that could not attend the reunion, please keep in touch.  I will love to hear from you.
 
Until we meet again.
 
Los amo con todo mi Corazon.
 
Makoto. 
 
 
 
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  Carmen Romanach
Friday, June 14, 2013
Wishing you all a wonderful Pedro Pan reunion in Montana....
Enjoy a  beautiful and meaningful reunion in brotherly Pedro Pan love.
Hope to see some pictures of your events. Best wishes from Miami.
 
Carmencita Romanach
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  Mary Anne Shepherd (Aafedt)
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Greetings to all!!  I lived at St. Joseph's from 1954 to 1965; learned so much about Cuban culture during those youthful years.  This site is very interesting; knowing that so many have done so much with their lives.  Thank you for sharing!!
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  Lynn Guarch-Pardo
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In memory of Jorge Manuel Guarch (1920-1991)

 

A message from George’s daughter…

Jorge “George” Guarch, an employee of the Catholic Welfare Bureau, was responsible for receiving the unaccompanied Cuban children arriving daily at Miami’s airport. He is fondly remembered for calming the thousands of frightened children by offering candy and gum to the new arrivals. Although many children believed he was American, George was a proud native of Antilla, Oriente, Cuba, learning English while attending high school in Berea, Kentucky.

As he drove the children to the various camps and homes, he encouraged them to honor their parents by being brave and proud because they were now in the United States and should be valiant representatives of their Cuban homeland. As the years passed, and George watched the Pedro Pan children grow into strong, responsible men and women, he marveled at their resilience, and felt great pride in their strength of character.

While his work with the Catholic Welfare Bureau was his job, it was much more than just a job. Working with the children of Pedro Pan was a pivotal experience that enriched and defined the rest of his life.

In the ensuing fifty years, Pedro Pan children have honored the heartrending sacrifices of their parents by courageously forging ahead and becoming solid citizens of the United States, all the while maintaining and fostering the love of their Cuban homeland.

George passed away on May 13, 1991. He did not live to see the amazing reconnecting of the children of Pedro Pan and the formation of Operation Pedro Pan Group. But there is no doubt that the unique fellowship that you share would have made my father very proud.

As you have embraced our family as one of your own, I am especially honored to be included in the special brotherhood and sisterhood of the Pedro Pans. My father felt very fortunate to have been given a special role in your exodus. I feel very fortunate to have been blessed by my association with all of you. As you have shared your stories and your memories of my father, you have added immeasurable joy to my life.

Congratulations as you celebrate your very special 50th anniversary!

With my appreciation and respect, Lynn Guarch-Pardo

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  diane langenfus
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Hi Diane,

I have been reading through all the wonderful information and messages on your Brondel Hall Reunion website!  What a great job you've all done.  The reunion plans sound marvelous, and I truly wish I could attend. 

However, as I suspected, the dates conflict with previous family commitments and I won't be able to make it.  The possibility of combining a both a visit to my family in Montana and attending your reunion would have been absolutely wonderful...and I am very, very sad that I couldn't make it work.

Some of the "boys" have contacted me requesting their airport log page, and it has been a pleasure to provide them with their copy.  Many of them remember my father and have shared a story or memory with me, which is a special treasure for a proud daughter.

In a separate email, I am sending you a message for all of the Pedro Pans, which I had hoped to be able to deliver in person.  The children of Pedro Pan have always had a very special place in our family's history and heart.

Wishing you a most successful and heartwarming reunion! 

Abrazos,
Lynn Guarch-Pardo
(George's daughter)
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  paco gutierrez
Sunday, May 26, 2013
My sister Tita and I were among the first wave of "Pedro Panes" that arrived in Helena on the 28th of October of 1961. We were taken directly to St Joseph's home where we happily lived with the nuns until we were "foster adopted" by a family.  We went to St. Mary's elementary and middle school and I attended Catherdral High for a year where I got to meet all of the second wave of older kids.  Played in Cathedral High B squad basketball team along with some of the other Cuban kids (it seems that we played pretty good basketball in Cuba).  I love Montana like one loves a good dream.
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  Damaso Santana
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Changing my previous criptic message from "will Try" to I will be there.   Damaso
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  Wally Johnston
Monday, May 13, 2013
I am part of Freddy Santana's Montana family.  I graduated in 1967' from Cathedral and was in 6th grade when meeting the Santana twins.  My wife Michelle and I will be joining uou for parts of this celebration and hosting Freddy at our home.  We would like to extend an invitation and open our home during the reunion for any gatherings you would like to share with Freddy and looking for a place to gather.
 
Looking forward to this event that has been as much a dream for many of us in Montana as it is for many of you....
 
Soon......
Wally Johnston  Class of 67'
 
 
 
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  Rita Lasko
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Hello, My name is Rita Lasko and I am from the Class  of 67'.  I am freinds with Victerero and Makoto and I graduated with Fernando and Damaso and all the guys coming from the Class of 67'.  I only heard about this reunion at dinner the other night and decided I would love to participate just to say "Bienvenidos"......( Diane taught me that), I understand many of us forgot to say it 50 years ago.
 
This is History in the making all over again! Excited to be a part of it.
Rita
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  Oreste J.Rodriguez
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
WOW.....today was the first day I actually had the time (I mean real time) to look
at this website.  What work!   Thanks to all of friends in Montana for taking the time and having the vision to pull all of this together.  We all needed that nudge.
 
Miriam and I are really looking forward to the trip...You know, after this reunion we can say that , like the song....we will always be seeing each other in all those familiar places....
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  Norb Roth
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Looking forward to seeing all of you. Have a safe trip on your way to the " 'Ol Hometown".
 
Norb and Sue Roth
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  Fernando Santana
Monday, April 15, 2013
To all let us not pass this opportunity to gather one more last time  yes as I it will more likely not happen again let us all hug each other in a good strong Cuban  abrazo and  let it flow as it should    love and abrazos to all see you in Helena or as the song says "Meet me in Montana"
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  Jim and JoAnn O'Neill
Monday, April 15, 2013
To Our Brondel Sons from Dad Jim and Mom JoAnn   Our time together at Brondel Hall provided some great and maybe not so great memories.   As we took our first tentative steps to adulthood we went many separate ways.  The nicest aspect of the Brondel reunion is realizing that while the faces and bodies are older, we are still the same kids.  Technology is wonderful but nothing can match the feelings, memories, emotion and excitement that will happen at our gathering.  The sensation of being connected to each other will be overwhelming and takes over any other feelings.  It is a ripple in time that encompasses all we have become and condenses it down to who we are at the core— kids who spent time together learning, supporting each other, arguing and growing up.  What a wonderful group we were then and what great people we still are now.    If you are undecided about attending, please join your brothers at this special one time event to reconnect with your Brondel Family.   Be there to honor yourselves, each other and those no longer with us.  God is bringing us together again.  Much love to you all from Dad Jim & Mom JoAnn
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  Ana (Plasencia) Toca
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
I arrived in Helena in October 1961 with my sister Martha, Aurora and Lourdes Menendez and Ofelia and Ernesto Sanchez and we landed in St Joseph's Orphanage.
By Christmas that year we went to live with Luke and Dona Rivers and their six children and remained with them until our parents came to Miami in 1964.
As fate would have it, I met Mario Toca when he came to Miami to visit his mother in 1966 and our next door neighbor in Miami who was his neighbor in Cuba.  We were married in 1968 and have a daughter, Michelle.
 
We have kept in touch with many friends in Helena and have come back to visit several times.   We are looking forward to seeing everyone and becoming reaquainted.
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  Aurora Menendez (Candelaria)
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
My sister and I arrived at Helena on Oct. 1961, we were the second flight to St. Joseph Orphan Home.  We stayed there for less than 2 months and we went to Kalispell, Mt to a foster home, we were there until June 1962, then we went to Miami where we live now. I"m retired from the University of Miami, I'm married with 2 sons and 4 grandchildren.  My sister and I are planning to go to the reunion. 
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  Mario
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Greetings to all!
 
I have been asked to write a few lines to reassure all of you that this reunion is for real.  It is going to happen.
 
After reviewing the schedule of planned events, our gratitude goes to the organizing committee for an outstanding job.  No stone has been left unturned, except that they have  "failed" to provide time to relief our bladders from hiperactive prostates and for siesta time to rest the old bones.  Just in case in addition to suntan lotion, do not forget your pampers.
 
Silvio, Jay (the boss), Di, Enrique and Makotico kuddos, multiplied to the i to all of you.
 
I know that lots of you have never been back to face our American roots, now is the time.  We will share quality time with the O'neills, the Powells, Msgr/General D. W. Shea, Msgr. J. Harrington the former dean of men from Carroll, Pat Connors our English teacher at Cathedral (I never learned English from him), just kiddding; and with each other and families.  We will get to say "estamos igualitos" and that we have aged like fine wine.....................
 
Let's get moving  and show up in order to set Helena on fire for a weekend.  Remember "if you have not done it, you are lateeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
 
See you on June 13th,
 
Mario & Ana
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  Fernando Santana
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Grateful thanks to Lynn Pardoning a flash she provided me with a part of my past, my arrival log which her Dad kept for so many years   Thank you Lynn!
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  Venancio Fernandez
Friday, March 22, 2013
 
  Just a few lines to communicate to you all I am coming in June. I will bring you up to date then. It will take a lot of  bites to go over my last 50 years.
 I will  share with you all with details then.
 
  I the mean time ..........
 
  Gog Bless You All
 
   Venancio
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  Martha Plasencia Bustillo
Thursday, March 21, 2013
I was in Cathedral High School from 1961 to 1963 and I have many good memories.  I remember Linda Walker, Sue McNamera, Kathy Hines and many others.
 
I am looking forward to seeing everybody in June, 2013.
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  Julio K. Morales
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Hola.  Yo vivi con mis padres en Helena mientras atendi a Carroll College, pero me acuerdo de muchos de Uds.  Espero visitarlos.  Escriban si quieren.  Soy abogado en Missoula.  Julio K. Morales
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  Antonio (Tony) Rambla
Friday, March 15, 2013
Dudes, I wouldn't know where to begin...Lets just say I'm stunned. After half a century of  cold storage, in silent archival mode, a call out of the blue retrieves hazy memories of long past events. Surreal. Unlike most of you, I didn't graduate from CC. For whatever reasons, God knows, my life was a mess at that point, emotionally and mentally. My last  clear memory is that of leaving Helena. In fact, I hitched a ride East with Oscar in his 1956 (I think) Bel Air, stopping only as necessary until we hit the Big Apple. And that's the last time we saw each other as well. If it had not been for the obit entry posted on this  site I would not have  known he's in better hands. So God's plan for my life has taken me along a great variety of paths, some good, some not so good, yet all of them fit for my learning and meant to remind me who's in charge. I did return to Montana twice. First at  the end of my military stint during the Vietnam episode in 1968, but not to Helena. I was heading East from my discharge base in California, with a stop at Bigfork to visit them who I fondly called "foster parents". And yet again in the mid 70's when I took my own parents to meet them. I could go on blabbering but I'd bore the heck out of everyone.   I'll just say I'm pleasantly surprised anyone even remembered me at all. And although I'm an old "F__T", I am still working (consulting in the IT field) so I'm not yet sure if I can commit to seeing y'all, but will try.  Best regards, Tony
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  Amaro Taibo
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I want to thank Silvio Rodriguez for this fantastic reunion idea.  I returned to Helena once in 1986.  At the time I was assigned as Electrical Engineer to the Ammunition Equipment Directorate [USACAP] at Tooele Army Depot, Tooele, Utah.   There was a Law firm based in old Brondel Hall.  One of the lawyers gave me a tour of the facility and I saw graffitti with names that brought back memories of long gone days.  I specifically remember the name "Aldo Montoto" carved on the very fromt window leadge of the first floor bedroom.   Awesome experience that tour.A4D8
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  Aldo J. Montoto
Monday, March 11, 2013
Special thanks to Silvio, Enrique and Diane for coming up with this great event.
I'm looking forward to seeing all of you in Helena. I have not been back to Helena since 1966. I am a member of  the Pedro Pan working group of  California.
I can not wait to see you all.  Best regards, 
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  Jose A. Amaro Reyes
Thursday, March 7, 2013
I am a member of the History Committe of Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc. One of our primary objectives is to document and preserve the history of Operation Pedro Pan for future generations. For instance, just recently we were able to have the State of Florida declare the former Operation Pedro Pan Florida City Camp a State Heritage Landmark.  To that effect, we have both a resource page in the organizarion's website (www.pedropan.org) and a Facebook account (www.facebook.com/OPPGI) devoted  to its preservation and dissemination.  I am taking the liberty of posting a link to this website in order to call attention to the fact that the Brondel Hall boys are holding their 50th anniversary in June of this year. We will be glad to post any additional information as per your request. Similarly, we hope to be able to show photographs taken during the reunion. I think that many of you will agree with the notion that our history is worth preserving, if not for the world to know, for our children and their descendents to remember; a history which by the way it is still in the making and will be in the making for as lomg as there is a Pedro Pan child still alive. Wishing you a very happy reunion, Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes.
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  Lynn Guarch-Pardo
Thursday, March 7, 2013
> Name: Lynn Guarch-Pardo
> E-mail: pardoarch@comcast.net
> Telephone: 305-442-1241
> Comments:
> I am the daughter of Jorge "George" Guarch. He worked with Monsignor Walsh and the Catholic Welfare Bureau during the Pedro Pan years, receiving the unaccompanied Cuban children at the airport in Miami and either delivering them to waiting friends or family, or taking them to the camps and homes run by the Catholic Church. Upon arrival, the names of the children were entered into the "airport log". If any Pedro Pan who arrived between May 26, 1961 and December 31, 1962 would like a copy of the page listing their name, please send me an email. I need the date of arrival, and your full name as it would have appeared on your passport, in order to find your page. Although occasionally I can't find the name of a Pedro Pan, in most cases the names are in the log and I will mail you a copy. I need a postal mailing address as I have no way to send the page via email.
>
> My father felt great pride in the strength of character of the children of Pedro Pan. In his memory it is my pleasure to offer this little bit of your history to you.
>
> All the best,
> Lynn Guarch-Pardo
> Coral Gables, Florida
> pardoarch@comcast.net
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  Enrique Sainz
Monday, March 4, 2013
I want to thank Silvio and Enrique and Diane for coming up with the idea for the reunion and for all the good work they've done to make it a reality. I suspect we have all thought at times how nice it would be to have such a reunion but we did not step up to the plate. But they did. My hat's off to them. I'm looking forward to seeing you all, to try and recognize you after all these years and to hug each and everyone of you who were such an important  part of my life for such a long time. I can't wait to reminisce with you all about the "good old days in Brondell Hall"  and to listen to all the crazy stories that I know will be shared by all of us. And more importantly, I'm really looking forward to learn about your lives, your families and your accomplishments, which I'm certain have been many.   I have not been back to Helena  since 1985 and even then I did not go into Brondell Hall, I'm not sure I was ready for that. But I am now and I think it's going to be a wonderful experience, because you will all be  there. See you  soon. 
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  Martha Plasencia Bustillo
Monday, March 4, 2013
I am looking forward to this event.  I was the only female in  cathedral high school when the photo was taken.
 
Martha Bustillo
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  Manuel Perez-Capon
Monday, March 4, 2013
Hello everyone, I am so glad this reunion is going to take place.  To tell you the truth, it was very lonely if not for being with my wife when I returned to Helena for the first time in June of 2009.  I was able to visit the Hall, a very nice lady allowed me to tour it completely and I saw my room in the basement as I left it.  Unreal but true.  It brought back memories and a lot of nostalgia and some tears knowing this was my home away from home.  Can not wait to see you all, there is sooo much to reminisce and joke telling that I can not wait.   See you soon
 
Manny.
 
PS. Remember when they used to shout PING PONG ABAJO CAPON in Matecumbe ???   I will never forget that, to this day, I don't even know why they used to shout that at me.
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  Fernando Santana
Saturday, March 2, 2013
My wife and I were in Helena a few years  ago we had a chance to see our friends from Helena Wally and Norbert, Diane and Tom Christian we also saw Jorge and Alicia Casellas and Enrique Victorero it was quite emotional  and also a great time it was as if we had seen each other all the time Diane did a great job for our 40th reunion and her words when welcoming the Cuban brothers  to the reunion Inwill never forget .  Thanks Diane, Wally Norb and Tom you are also my family
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  diana macaraeg-langenfus
Saturday, March 2, 2013
We are hoping all of you join us here in Montana for a very long overdue reunion of the Cuban brotherhood and your Montana friends. Join us once again.
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  Damaso V Santana
Friday, March 1, 2013
I will try to be there.
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