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Global Training Report

From Brasil, Thailand, Japan, and Korea

Est. 2000



Book Review

Carlos Gracie: O Criador de uma Dinastia

Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2008

By Reila Gracie

Reviewed by Roberto Pedreira  

Posted  July 19, 2013


Chapter 21 

Fortaleza, Década de 1940

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 business matters.

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 displease Carlos.

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 miss one.

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 experience.



Chapter 21. Dieta Gracie



(c) 2013, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.













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