Friday, February 9, 2007

Proud of Our Ancestry

From left to right , Dr. Fernandez's sister Lola, Adalberto Fernandez Sr., (his father), baby ,his wife, Clara G. Fernandez holding Raul Alfredo Fernandez, and Dr. A.J. Fernandez, flanked by the priest.

"I am very proud of what my parents were able to do, and of how courageous they were."

The story of Dr. A.J.& Clara G. Fernandez.

La Habana Cuba

My father, A. J. Fernandez, came from a very poor family and no one had money to help buy books to study and fulfill his ambition of becoming a doctor, so he taught himself to play the violin and played at cafes for tips in order to buy books and put himself through medical school.

After becoming a Doctor at the University of Havana, Fidel Castro came into power and all private property became property of The State.

Here is a picture of Havana, Cuba around the time my father became a Doctor.
Havana, Cuba was a prosperous city and Cuba was called “The Pearl Of The Caribbean”.

July 5th 1946

My father left Cuba and went to Boston, Massachusetts to do his medical internship.
Meanwhile, my mother, his fiance, was still in Cuba awaiting his return. Her father, Jose Jaime Hurtado, a banker in Camaguey, Cuba, did not want my mother to marry my father because he came from such a humble and poor family.
My mother flew to Boston, Massachusetts, joined my father and it was there they were married.

My grand parents - "Clara G. Fernandez's parents".

Upon their return to Cuba, Clara's father, Jose Jaime Hurtado and her mother finally gave Clara and A.J. their blessings and gave them two pieces of land. One parcel was in a remote location. On my fathers free time he would go to the property and pull the 'Marabu' weeds. He appreciated the land and loved to work it.

Return To Cuba

Dr. A.J. Fernandez could not wait to get back to his homeland Cuba to practice medicine and help his people. He missed the land, his family and the Cuban culture.

Finna -"La Hormiga" - Camaguey, Cuba 1946.

The beginning of "The Working of their Land" -

Finca - "La Hormiga" Camaguey Cuba 1946

Dr. Fernandez started off with a couple of Bulls that were given to him, and in time his herd was three-fold.

The land was his passion and he worked the land until it became prosperous with produce. 'that's him on the left'. The cattle were of the best quality.

Liceo 1947

Dr. Fernandez and his wife, Clara G. Fernandez enjoyed a social life in Cuba. Their plans for the future never seemed brighter!
Like a scene from a "Hollywood Red-Carpet" debut, this young couple were part of the elite back-drop of Cuba.

A.J. Played Baseball for the CC Camaguey Team

Dr. Fernandez, from left to right, is standing, sixth person in photo.
Sports was also his interest and he considered it therapy and exercise for the mind, body, and soul.

Villa Clarita

On the other parcel of land my father used his newly acquired medical license to establish a clinic that he called 'Clinica Villa Clarita' in honor of my mother Clara that he affectionately called Clarita. Villa Clarita was located in Camaguey, Cuba just off of Carretera Central.

Circa 1950's

A.J. and Clara are together in the background, and A.J,'s father is seen holding the baby. Also in this photo, Mrs.Lola Abaroa, who is A.J.'s sister.

Clara's Family Posing Together.

Che Kills A.J.'s Friends

In 1959 Fidel Castro came into power and all private property became property of the state.

My father never liked politics and refused to discuss them, but some of his best friends who had studied with him in Havana, and were also doctors, had strong opinions about Castro's revolution.

One night several of his best friends were rounded up by Che Guevara whom without as much as an explanation to their bewildered family lined them all up and shot them.

Escaping Cuba

Since my father never protested nor got involved with politics, Castro never consider him a threat, and doctors were disappearing faster than Fidel could import them from China, Russia and Czechoslovakia, so he offered my father a cushy job and would allow my father to stay on his properties with security and prestige. But my father refused to meet with Castro's government officials and had made plans to leave Nuevitas by having a friend with a boat take him across Cayo Romano in the dead of night at the risk of meeting the same fate as his friends should he have been caught .
That's my father on the bow and the young boy next to him, is yours truly, Raul, better known as "cyberray". Lucky for us a Visa for a vacation to Spain was approved and the plans to leave Cuba clandestinely were aborted.

A.J. Arrives as a Poor Cuban Immigrant & Went to Help the Coal Miners.

Harlan Kentucky

Cobb Memorial Hospital - Phenix City Alabama

Upon his arrival from Cuba with not much else but the shirt on his back, A.J. soon found out his license to practice medicine was worthless in the United States, so he set out to study night and day, and this time in a foreign language. He studied all his nights until he passed the Medical Board Exam and became a doctor one more time.

A.J. realized that they needed Doctors in the coals mines of Kentucky so he packed up his family and took them to places like Pikesville, Hazard, and Harlan County, Kentucky. Working his way South to places like Cobb Memorial Hospital in 'Sin City' Phenix City, Alabama.

Whtesburg, Kentucky

Whitesburg, Kentucky

Appalachian Regional Hospitals

A.J. started writing for the American Medical Association

A.J. wanted more than anything to be close to his beloved Cuba, but he realized that jobs in Florida were being vied by thousands of contestants, everyone wanted to be in the nice warm weather so he realized he had to do something different to set him apart, so he took up writing for the American Medical Association.

He Wrote Articles Such As This

A.J'.s Writing Generated Interest From Around the World

These were "old fashion" trackbacks....

A.J. Moves to Key West, Florida.

Now that Dr. Fernandez contribution in the Medical field was recognized, and his reputation firmly established, he received many jobs offers from all over the United States. A.J. had an opportunity to pick Key West, Florida, and it was to this city to which he unselfishly gave the rest of his working medical career to for the next 20 years until he retired.

A.J. dreamed of seeing his beloved homeland of Cuba once again and I offered to take him there many times, but he refused to give one(1) dollar of revenue to the cold blooded assassin that had killed his friends and took everything he had worked so hard for.

Governor Reubin Askew

The Quincy of the Keys

Navy Honors A.J. for Services to His Country

Medical Sleuth

State Attorney's Office

Bob Martinez

Cancer Research


Key Colony Beach

Florida Department of Law Enforcement


Chief Of Police