World War II was no party for
the people of Europe, but Brazilians weren't greatly impacted. Some
Brazilians did ok supplying Europeans with the things they couldn't get anymore
because they were murdering each other and blowing everything up. Oscar
Santa Maria and Carlos made a bundle. Oscar invested most of his profits in
Panair [the airline]. Carlos moved to a healthier climate of Ceará where he bought real estate. He took Geni and his five oldest kids to Ceará.
Oneica stayed with her mum Lida in Macaé.
Before they left Rio, Carlos
and Geni got married on February 26, 1942. Two days later a baby boy entered the
world, son not of Geni, but of the now discarded Lina. He was small, blond, and
pale. Influenced by numerology, Carlos began to have a preference for the letter
"R." He named his son "Reyson." Because Lina was
young, uneducated, unskilled, and from the lower social class, she not
surprisingly lacked the means to raise a son alone. She handed him to Carlos.
Oscar liked the boy and saw that Carlos didn't have the wherewithal to take him
to Ceará with the other kids. Oscar offered to raise him. But the
responsibility of surrogate parenthood was more than Oscar bargained for. He
hired a babá to take charge of Reyson. One day he discovered that the babá
left Reyson unattended. He lost his confidence in babás after that and
handed the boy over to his brother Marcilio, who had small kids and could
probably cope better than Oscar, at least until Carlos could take over.
In Fortaleza Carlos, Geni,
and the five kids stayed at most upscale and posh hotel in the North and
Northeast, the Hotel Excelsior in the center of the city, in the Ferreira Park [praça
do Ferreira]. Carlos rented a house in Iracema Beach. Carlson and Robson
enrolled in Colegio São Luiz. Geisa went to the colegio de freiras Imaculada
Conceição. Rose and Sonja were too young for school. They stayed home.
Although Brazil was still
neutral in the European War, local folks went on a rampage against businesses
owned by Germans and Italians while the police stood by and did nothing.
When Brazil was pressured into joining the Americans, English, and Free French
(and Russians) against the Berlim-Roma-Toquio Eixo [Axis], the situation in
Fortaleza became tense.
In those years access to
telephones was restricted. People had to communicate across distances by letters
or telegrams. Carlos and Oscar generated a vast correspondence of about 2,000 letters. Carlos also had an intense correspondence with Helio,
especially after 1946 when Carlson, Robson, Geisa, Rose and Sonja went to Rio to
live with him and Margarida. Unfortunately, Helio didn't save the letters from
Carlos, so only the letters from Helio were preserved. The majority dealt with
Oscar's letters concerned
daily matters as well as business. Oscar would write to Carlos to ask him what
color of pants he should wear, what food he should eat, what he should do when
his brother Marcilio became seriously ill, and about investments. The mental and
psychological subservience of Oscar Santa Maria was complete, which did not
The spiritual entity with
whom Carlos was in contact, was constantly evoked, not only by the name of
Egidio Lasjovino. Most of the time Oscar referred to her [ela] as "A
Fonte" [the source], "A Senda" [the path], or "Nosso Amigo"
[our friend] or simply
"ac." Oscar numbered the letters that he mailed daily so that if
Carlos was late in replying, he [Oscar] could be sure that he [Carlos] didn't
Reila lists a few of the
topics they discussed. They included bank deposits, Reyson, death, hair,
health, toothpaste, and more.
Censorship of the mail
motivated a curious incident. Carlos and Oscar's letters included such phrases
as "rice doesn't mix with beans," bananas don't mix with melon,"
and "the occult master advises against getting into the business,"
etc. The censors thought that this was a code used for secret communications
with nazi spies. They investigated Carlos and found suspiciously many large
transfers of money and a voluminous amount of banking activity. When they also
discovered that Carlos' dad, Gastão had ties to Germany [he had gone to school
there], the censors had no doubt: Carlos must be a spy.
In the mean time, Geni, not
knowing that Carlos was being investigated, was suffering from a crisis of
jealousy and believed that with Oscar's complicity, he had a girlfriend in Rio.
She denounced him to the authorities as a spy. Without fear of the consequences,
she wanted to cause confusion in Carlos' life to avenge his supposed treachery.
But the authorities were also investigating Carlos because of their interest in
the potential benefits of his dietary theories. Carlos took the opportunity at
that time to talk about jiu-jitsu. Jose Goes de Campos Barros, secretary of the
Police and Public Security, was charmed by Carlos's niceness and
originality. He offered Carlos a job teaching jiu-jitsu to the Special Police.
The two became friends and that is how Carlos introduced jiu-jitsu to Fortaleza.
João Gentil, the
banker and real estate man, was the father of two of Carlos' private students,
Fernando and Luiz. Carlos began to invest in real estate. He bought a place in
Pacoti, which was replete with the bounties of nature, and he and his kids lived
off the land.
Carlos needed a car to
transport a wife and five kids. It had to be big. Carlos liked to drive
fast, so it also needed to be sturdy in case he crashed it. He bought a blue
Lincoln. Fortunately because on several occasions Carlos did in fact crash his
cars. One time, he wasn't paying attention to the road ahead and when a man
pulling a donkey carrying straw baskets suddenly appeared in his view, he
swerved to avoid it, losing control of the Lincoln, which rolled over twice
before stopping just short of a cliff. The kids were seated in the back.
After checking that they were alive, Carlos left to get help. The owner of the
donkey, curious bystanders, and the donkey, helped get his Lincoln back on
the road. Carlson, Robson, Geisa, Sonja, and Rose were shaken up by the
Chapter 21. Dieta Gracie
(c) 2013, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.