E letter
Letter to Don O'Hara June 27, 1994 about the trip to Europe

Elena's letter about her trip to Europe in 1958

Elena wrote a letter to Don O'Hara, General Manager of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company about her trip to Europe in 1958 with her mother, Nena:
"Twice I went to Goodyear, Akron. The first time was soon after Daddy died. I went to Akron alone, leaving my mother in New York City because she and I had recently flown in from Europe. I met her in Geneva, Switzerland where we met Ambassador and Mrs. Oscar Ledesma (Mrs. O. Ledesma is the older sister of my late mother), after a few days in Geneva where my uncle was attending a conference lasting 3-4 days, we motored through Bordeaux, France to Lourdes in France. Mom and Dad were to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes (his favorite) and to Fatima (Mom's favorite), so we four children prevailed on Mom to continue with the pilgrimage she and Dad had planned and since I would spend less money because I lived in San Francisco, California, then, I could easily meet her in Geneva. After Lourdes, we went to Paris, flew to Rome after several days in Paris, spent more time in Rome, flew to Estoril, Portugal, hired a car with a lady guide to drive us to Fatima. Saw all the sights in Fatima after a beautiful winding coastal drive from Estoril to Fatima, Mom was on her knees in the middle of that small shrine, praying the Rosary. After the Rosary, we went back to the car, then the guide showed us the small house where Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were born and lived. Two are dead and only Mother Lucia is alive. Driving back to Estorial we took another coastal route, passing a lot of olive trees and trees where cork comes from, pointed to us by the guide. It wa a beautiful and lesirely way to spend a beautiful day. Next day we flew to Madrid, Spain where we made side trips again to the Valle de los Caedos, to Barcelona where we went also to Toledo and saw Goya's works, where he used to live. It was like living in the past. In Montserrat, my uncle was able to go into the Benedictine Monastery. Only males are allowed inside, so we women whiled ourselves by visiting the huge church there and saw the famous Our Lady of Montserrat, The Dark Virgin, holding Baby Jesus in ther arms, both of them carved in dark wood. You can pass right in front of them. Standing in front of them, my goose pimples stood out, the first time anything like that happened to me standing in front of statues of saints. I will never forget that till I die. From Barcelona, we flew to New York City, then I visited Akron."

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