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                        "Remembering"                 

Childhood memories
By Maria Angélica 'Tota' Bialade de Cremonte- Translated by Marta Elena Gasper                                                          

As time passes, I recall more and more often the times I spent in that little country town_General Guido_ where I was born.
My father Augusto Pedro Bialade_in sef-imposed exile from his native Uruguay_ arrived to Argentina after 1900. He had befriended
Mr. Juan Roncoroni and Mr Julio Solanet who encouraged to move to Argentina where they lived.
He met my mother at a dance given by the Solanets. She had graduated from Teaching School and her first assignement was to Guido's elementary school. They married in Castelli, where my mothers parents lived.
The newlyweds moved to General Guido. Like Castelli and others, the town  is one of the many rural villages in Buenos Aires province.
There they made a home at a humble apartment in the school west wing.One of the few buildings of concrete in town, hence it was considered very good. The east wing was occupied by the Civil Courthouse. The rest was the school per sé; 3 clasrooms  for 1°, 2° and  3° grade.
The house communicated with the other rooms and backyard by ways of a lateral door done up in chicken wire.
In the playground_all ours during  vacation_ father installed two set of swings. Each year, the swallows would return to nest in the gallery's crevices.  I recall vividly watching the birds through the rose trellis. Houses of that time located their privvies out back; that is where ours was.
Dad built a room with wood  by the kitchen and installed a zinc tub wich connected to the kitchen coal-burning stove(which was also fed with corncobs and woody brambles from nearby marshes) so that we could have hot water.
Out back was where our vegetable garden was. A man by the name of Charnelli helped Dad with it. The produce came in  a wheelbarrow up to the kitchen door. There was always an abundance of vegetables at home. They were in our menu most days except Sundays, on that day it was pastas or meats. For me it was so often that until this day I separate the vegetables in my plate.
We also had a small fruit orchard with a grapevine, fig and quince trees. Mom was an excellent cook and was always making jellies and jams. When she needed fruit, we would pick it for her, basket in arm. By the orchard there was a windmill. My dad planted watercress around the mill's tank, its overflow kept it lush.

Soon sons and daughters started arriving; first it was Augusto, then Haydée, then Juan Carlos. He didn't stay but for a few hours, the only brother I didn't know and the only one to remain in Guido. I was next and then Julia Esther, Juana Elida and  Alberto. At that time most households had domestic help; ours specially because our mother worked. They were country girls from the town and surrounding areas. They would tell us ghosts stories, the "long dog", the "lame pig" and others. Very scary. Of course, we loved them.
I liked going to school, but did get to skip class more than once. Sometimes there was no domestic in the house and, being one of the eldest children
I managed to prepare a meal or take care of the baby. Only problem was that I was mischievous enough to venture in the school halls and peek in a open classroom door. Then I proceeded to make faces at the children who would giggle until the teacher made them to stop.
Between the family house and the school there was a  room used as book repository. When I learned to read , that was one of my favorite hideouts.
I'd find a nook and devour Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and Tom Thumb.
My first grade teacher was Miss Felipa Sarasola; my mother always commented how good a teacher she was; in july her class already knew how to read and write (classes started in march).
Second grade was taught by Miss Rodríguez; her family was in charge of the Post and Telegraph office on the other side of the square.
        
Like most kids, I loved live things; ie flowers and birds. Mom recalled how I grew restless and impatient to return when we'd visit relatives in Uruguay. I contended "there were no flowers nor birds around".
We traveled often to Fray Bentos, Uruguay, where my aunts lived. We went to Buenos Aires by train and from there would take the ship up the Parana river to Fray Bentos. I recall the ship's name was "Triton"; Mom said she was always commended on "how well behaved the children were".