28th of September of 2014 ,
How did it go?… Well, I don’t remember exactly.
I had always heard talks about my great-grandfather, the painter, the bohemian, the adventurous. There are many “urban legends“ about him in my family, and that makes him an intriguing man.
I guess I felt attracted by what was explained to me about him by “l’Abuelita”, her daughter-in-law and my mom, his granddaughter who still adores him; for his paintings that have always decorated the walls of home, our home, and the ones from my family; also, because my grandfather, his son, loved me a lot, and I felt the same for him, and I know that they were a lot alike.
One day Pep and Ana, my parents in-law came for diner at home. I commented things about my great-grandfather, Pep decided to look up the Catalan encyclopedia and he found a reference about him. I found out then that my great-grandfather was acknowledged outside the small and secret circle of the family, and that there was a trail that I could follow. I felt that this impressed Pep, and I am certain that pushed me to search and investigate more.
I wrote to the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya seeking for information, with more enthusiasm than hope. But some days later, coming back from Osca with the train, after leaving my bags on the upper shelf and sitting down next to the window I turned on my phone to look for unread messages. I had an answer from the library, they were saying that a dictionary had some references about the art exhibits that he participated in, and that they also had a letter written by him which they attached to the email, it was a letter written as the president of the Centre Català de l’Havana to Joaquim Mir. I was so exited! There are great things like this that it is not enough with enjoying them by yourself, you feel the need to share them so you can enjoy them even more. I send a copy of the email to Clara, my wife, aunt Montse, aunt Poli, my uncle Nino.. to the whole family.
From that moment, it has been discontinuous continuous of looking and filing information about my great-grandfather. On the internet, on the Biblioteca Nacional, la Llotja… Every piece of information that you search, unveils three more that you would like to search too, and with every answer, you find six more questions to be answered. Everyone has been so nice, it has been such a big pleasure…
I know that I will never end finding information about this man’s life, obviously I will never know everything, for me, that’s a worry and a pleasure at the same time. But every little breakthrough, every update, every gut feeling, every confirmation, it’s like an unexpected lucky strike, like a gift, like finding a treasure.
I have found many treasures.
© 2016 Jordi Fina i Garcia