Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Winter in Havana

Photo by Francis Miller, LIFE Magazine. Havana, 1958.
While taking another dive through the records on Ancestry, I stumbled onto a fascinating set of records for my Nana, her mother and grandmother in the Florida Passenger Lists database. In December 1955, Nana (then Betty Jeanne Goff, before she married my Gumpy in 1961) went on vacation to Cuba with her grandmother Laura, her mother Marie and Marie's husband Bert Sexson, Nana's husband at the time William Goff, his son William (my Dad's half-brother) and daughter Pamela.
Source: Ancestry. Florida Passenger Lists, Image 631 of 1182.

They flew on Cuban airline Aerovias Q, returning to Key West from Havana on 24 December 1955. It is unclear from this record how long they had stayed in Cuba. I can only imagine where they stayed, enjoying the beaches of Cuba and nightlife in pre-Revolutionary Havana.

Marie and Bert traveled to Cuba in 1946, before they were married in June 1947. In November 1946 they took a weekend trip to Cuba, possibly to escape the onset of Indiana winter for the warmth and excitement of Havana. Marie and Bert appear on a Pan American World Airways passenger list from Havana to Miami on 2 December 1946. If I am reading it correctly they had arrived in Havana on 29 November 1946.
Source: Ancestry. Florida Passenger Lists, Image 288 of 1451.
This isn't even the earliest record of someone in Nana's family traveling to Cuba. Nana's grandmother Laura made the trip to Havana in 1938, returning by seaplane to Miami on 13 February 1938. The seaplane had 27 passengers and 5 crew.
Source: Ancestry. Florida Passenger Lists. 
As a frequent traveler, this is such a cool find. A photo of a Pan American seaplane likely similar to the one taken by Laura to and from Cuba is below.
Photo by Bernard Hoffman, LIFE Magazine. May 1940.

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