#5: Anthony Carreño

“The recollection I have – and I’m going to go back to the scene of the Cantina and the Centro Español – it was very sensory, it was olfactory. There was always that strong aroma of nice tobacco. Almost all the old Asturianos and Gallegos they all smoked cigars, so when one walked into the Cantina you would smell this wonderful cigar smoke. There was always café brewing what we would call in Tampa café cubano. They would always have that café brewing and there would be pasteles in the oven, and they would be toasting Cuban bread, which was our local bread, so it was this wonderful mélange of smells and also sounds. The dominant game at the Centro was dominoes, and we’re talking a large area with perhaps 40 tables and each table with five or six guys playing dominoes, so there was this constant sound of the dominoes being shuffled and mixed in with the pontificating by a lot of the old guys on politics and the state of the world. So that’s probably some of my fondest memories of my childhood, quite honestly.”

(Tampa, Florida. March 21, 2013)