Photo: Maestro Goodman University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Bernard M. Goodman, Director
1964 South American Tour, “Virtual 40th Anniversary Reunion”

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 15:33:45 -0400
From: Dean M Wade
Subject: Politics

Politics were very important to many of the students (and others) we met on the tour. Two instances stand out in my memory.

In Venezuela as we were traveling about with several Venezuelan students on one of the many INCRET (Instituto por la Capacitacion y Recreacion de los Trabajadores) busses, we were having conversations in mixed Spanish and English. Some of the pronunciation on both sides of the opposite language was, shall we say, somewhat unique, and led to some interesting misunderstandings which tended to show what was most on someone's mind. We had been discussing the recent election and the upcoming inauguration of the new president who, if I remember correctly, was of the Copei party (pronounced Co-pay) but often mispronounced by English-speakers as Co-pie. As you may remember, those busses had a fold-down seat (for a 'conductor' or tour guide) in the entry stair well. As part of one of the mixed conversations, someone mentioned the "Co-pilot seat", and one of the Venezuelans immediately corrected that to Co-pei (Co-pay), thinking that the Americans must be talking about the main thing on the Venezuelan mind -- the politics and political parties.

Then there was the night in La Paz when we all saw a series of fires burning on the high hills outside of town. It looked like a celebration, and indeed it turned out that it was in a way. A closer look at the fires through binoculars showed that they were arranged to spell out "Cuba Libre Socialista", and we were told that it was 'rumoured' that Che Guevara was in the neighborhood.

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