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Cuban Refugee Happy Here

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Mauro Garcia, a refugee from Castro's Cuba, is happy with his choice of Ann Arbor as a place to live.
Garcia arrived here a little more than a year ago.
He's run into a certain amount of struggle with the American way of life, but Garcia thinks this is all to the good.
Still lacking a high school diploma (though this is something he's working toward), Garcia remains impressed by the University and all its facilities.
He plans to go there some day to study business administration.
Alone in his room at 515 S. Fifth Ave., Garcia often thinks deeply about this country and Americans. Noting some things, he can't help but wonder if maybe we aren't a little shallow.
We do, he thinks, live a little too fast, think a little too superficially and react a little paradoxically.
Garcia was at the Michigan Union when the assassin's bullets cut down President Kennedy. A coed wept - for almost two hours, Garcia says. But he later saw the same coed in a local drinking spot, laughing gaily.
Why American girls, especially teen-agers, are in such a rush to get married is beyond him. "In Cuba," he says, "you could have fun on dates. Three dates here, and they start thinking about marriage."
It is an almost academic point with Garcia, who has time for little more than working and studying. Ever since his arrival, he has been deadly serious about his goal of getting a high school diploma.
From 4 p.m. to midnight, six days a week, he works in the cafeteria at the Michigan Union. In spite of weariness, he spends his mornings at Ann Arbor High School.
His speech is studded still with the rich Latin flavor of Spanish, but he "digs" such American slang as "in the bag," "bamboozle," "goof," "odd-ball," and "crazy, man!"
Garcia hopes to become an American citizen. In school, he is studying American history, literature, civic and English. He hopes to graduate next June.
Agonized over the several times he has missed classes because of fatigue, Garcia walks to school, because he hasn't saved enough to buy a car. This includes last winter.
He is hopeful that by saving his money he will be able to pay the $800 passage to bring his mother and sister from Cuba, whom he had to leave behind.
Whenever he has time, Garcia watches TV, goes to the movies, reads American newspapers and books.
Now 23, Garcia wants to show Ann Arbor and the world "what a Cuban really is like." A pre-Castro Cuban who is studying at the University rooms next door to Garcia.
Just recently a Cuban family of refugees came to make their home in Ann Arbor, but Garcia hasn't yet met them.
Garcia arrived at Willow Run Airport on Oct. 6, 1962, when the autumn leaves were just beginning to turn colors, and Garcia had yet to see his first snow.
The bitter cold was more than he had bargained for, but Garcia took it in his stride.
"Opportunity" was the word Garcia thought of when he accepted the invitation of the Bethlehem United Church of Christ to come here under sponsorship of its social action committee, and Garcia believes now he foresaw correctly.
In Havana, Garcia was forced to quit his schooling in the 10th grade and went to work as a bookkeeper.
Garcia is thankful for all the help he received when he first arrived in Ann Arbor. He's happy now that people are leaving him to his own devices for coping with life in America.
The Cuban thinks his proudest day is yet to come - when he becomes a U. S. citizen. He can hardly wait.