Viva la Ropa Interior

I can’t remember a better Easter weekend here in Louisville. We spent a good chunk of it indoors of course, but after the last service was over yesterday morning we were free to revel in it. We threw an Easter party in the afternoon and evening as we usually do, and as per usual the attendance was heavily Spanish-speaking (note to self: learn Spanish for next year…or hire translators). Spaniards dominated, though I was delighted when two Cuban women we know walked in: a student of Mrs. Pastry’s and her 80-year-old aunt who always has stories to tell about the Cuban Revolution.

My favorite one takes place in the late 50’s, when — let’s called her Maria — was a young woman. The town where she lived was well-known for garment-making and was located in the foothills of the Sierra Cristal mountains. One day to the surprise of everyone Fidel and Raúl Castro, Che Guevara and a ragtag band of guerrilla fighters rode into town. Their demand: underwear.

Maria and her mother promptly measured the men and sewed together several pairs. Saddle bags stuffed with underpants, the Castros, Guevara and the rest of their July Movement comrades trotted back up into the mountains to continue the Revolution free of itching and chafing. I love that story, because whether you admire the Castros or hate them, consider Che a hero or a monster, you’ve got to admit that their exploits are seldom examined through the lens of undergarments. I can no longer look at one of those t-shirts — you know the ones, with Che in a beret staring sternly outward toward the bright Marxist-Leninist dawn — without thinking: I know who sewed his shorts. Were they striped or polka dotted…decorated with little martini glasses, smiley faces or helicopters? Maybe just little profiles of Lenin. I’ll have to remember to ask Maria the next time I see her.

12 thoughts on “Viva la Ropa Interior”

    1. Very good, Kitty. Those are a go-to for pretty much every man. Nice!

      – Joe

  1. Happy Easter to you too. That story is hysterical, great way to begin the week!

    1. The beauty of the story is that it’s true. But everyone needs undies, even revolutionaries. We tend to forget that.


      – Joe

  2. Can we share pictures of Easter baked goods? My lemon ricotta pie was once more a failure, and my koulourakia dough was oddly dry, but my Bread of Easter Brightness was it’s usual superb and dramatic self, and I defy Cake Wrecks itself to find anything wrong with my lamb cake. (Unlike last year, when the head fell off.)

    1. Great idea, GL!

      I’ll put up a post asking for submissions. Great idea!

      – Joe

      1. Oh bummer I didn’t get a picture! All I had was a plate full of crumbs left and now that is washed! It was delicious… an Angel Food cake. Tonight will be the Golden Cake.

  3. Uh… and I thought that mean guys were well… mean… because they DIDN’T have clean underwear. Maybe these guys lightened up a bit once they had some nice new ones (fully bunnies and all!). 😉

    Glad to hear you had a nice Easter! ¡Felices Pascuas!


  4. What a uniquely utopian blog you write Joe… documenting the rocky road from Revolutionary Underwear to World Peace Cookies has to qualify you for some sort of left-wing literary prize. All kidding aside, you’re a treasure!

    1. Oh I’m agnostic on all things that have to do with politics. Can’t stand them in my food…that medicine-y aftertaste. Blechhhh

      – J

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