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From the Vault: News from the Thursday, Dec. 20, 1962, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 12/19/18

Cuban family joins in yule celebration; their first Christmas in the United States

The warmth and joy of the Christmas season has more than a yule card meaning to the Jose Aguero family, who …

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From the Vault: News from the Thursday, Dec. 20, 1962, edition of the Press & Journal


Cuban family joins in yule celebration; their first Christmas in the United States

The warmth and joy of the Christmas season has more than a yule card meaning to the Jose Aguero family, who reside at 50 Ann St.

This Christmas — their first in the United States — will be one of great personal happiness for the Agueros, whose residency was made possible by the sponsorship of the Middletown Presbyterian Congregation.

Since their arrival by chartered airplane at the Harrisburg-York State Airport on July 27. the Agueros and their two children have become proud Middletowners. Bright-eyed Concepcion, who will be 3 years old soon, and Lucrecia, 14 months, have looked in awe at their first snowfall in Middletown. Pennsylvania’s frigid weather of the past several weeks is an extreme opposite of their native Cuba, where the average mean temperature is a comfortable 75 degrees. But Jose and his wife, Lucrecia, have adapted themselves well to this weather variance. When the Journal visited them, Aguero was studying newspaper advertisements of an item that would never be needed in Cuba — snow tires.

Their home on Ann Street these days reflects the brightness of any America home as Christmas approaches. Decorative reindeers line a portion of the living room wall along with the lettering “Felices Pascuas” — wishing all visitors a Happy Christmas. The traditional Christmas tree fills one corner and rekindles a happy return to a custom they once knew in Cuba before Fidel Castro.

Aguero said trees are enjoyed in Cuba just as much as they are in this country. Before Castro rose to power, yule trees were shipped in by boat from the United States and Canada. Since Castro, however, trees are no longer permitted in the country. Last Christmas, the Cuban dictator allowed residents to cut a branch or two from a native tree in lieu of the pines and cedars which once came from the United States and Canada.

Jose was warm in his praise for Middletown’s “pretty” downtown decorations and the colorful lights which glow at night. He said they remind him of similar decorations which once brightened the streets of Havana, the capital city.

Several weeks ago, Aguero beamed with pride after successfully passing Pennsylvania’s vehicle driving tests. Earlier this week the operator’s license was a valuable asset as he started a new job in Annville.

American television is an all-family enjoyment for the Agueros. Mrs. Aguero told how Concepcion is fascinated all day by video programming. Both Aguero and his wife remarked how they enjoy American programs — a far cry from the almost continuous communist propaganda directed these days on Cuban viewers.

Jose is an avid sports fan and particularly likes baseball — one sport which flourishes in Cuba as well as here in America. As the Journal writer visited his home last Sunday, he rooted in vain for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is looking forward to seeing scholastic basketball as played by Middletown High School, and is anxious to do some softball playing next spring.

Jose and his wife were warm in expressing their appreciation for the kind welcome they have received from Middletowners.

“Please write ‘Fences Pascuas,’” said Jose. Again, we repeat, that means — Happy Christmas.

Joint effort saves pooch stranded in river ice

The owner of a pet dog will have a happier Christmas through the efforts of borough police and firemen this week.

The dramatic rescue of a mixed collie and cocker spaniel dog was touched off Wednesday when a call was received at the radio communications room that the dog was stranded on the ice where the Swatara Creek empties into the Susquehanna River.

George Cleland, of Royalton, a member of the Rescue Hose Company, reached the dog in a boat by breaking the ice with an oar and brought him safely to shore.

The dog apparently broke through the ice as part of his body was under water and his hind legs were frozen fast. The owner of the dog is unknown, but he is receiving good care at the Dauphin County Humane Society shelter in Harrisburg.

Fire destroys Steelton homes

More than a dozen families were made homeless when fire gutted a row of houses on the west side of Steelton early this morning.

According to the report, the fire broke out in the basement of the home of Mrs. Roberta Sloan, 215 Christian St., and rapidly spread through eight other homes and a storeroom in the row.

Firemen from Steelton, Oberlin and Bressler were called at 2:17 a. m. and battled the blaze in the frame structures for more than three hours before it was brought under control. It is believed a defective furnace touched off the blaze.

Arrangements were being made this morning to set up emergency shelters for the fire victims.

Hot buys

• Musical Santa Claus, $2.33. 1 3/4 pound boxed chocolates, 99 cents. Transistor radio, $14.88. Cannon or Beacon blankets, $3.95. Kresge’s, Olmsted Plaza.

• Ground beef, 3 pounds for $1.25. Boiled ham, 99 cents a pound. Black walnut meats, half-pound for 75 cents. Pineapple juice, two 46-ounce cans for 49 cents. Lettuce, two heads for 35 cents. Cains, Spruce and Columbia streets, Middletown.

• General Electric Mobile Maid dishwasher, $138. General Electric Spacemaker range, 23-inch master oven, removable oven door, $249. Portable General Electric television, 19-inch, $8.64 a month. Middletown Supply Co. 626 N. Union St., Middletown.

• RCA Victor portable TV, The Modernette, 17-inch tube, 156-square-inch picture. “Priced for the budget-wise, engineered for performance! RCA Victor’s Sportabout TV with super-powerful New Vista tuner for extra picture pulling power. All-new aluminized tube for brighter, easier-on-the-eyes viewing.” South Union Supply Co., 220 S. Union St., Middletown.

• For sale, 1,200 turkeys, live or dressed, any size. Edw. Stover Jr., Phone LO 6-1616 or LO 6-2242, Hummelstown.

Other headlines

• Candy airlift to brighten yule for Vietnamese tots

• Raider matmen divide in two matches

• Borough firemen complete 15-week training course

• Cars rifled at shopping centers