ALEX-DE-LA-CAL-oil-portrait-by-artist-Elizabeth-Reed-FACeADE-Project-A portrait of diversity

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Alex de la Cal

2020

Oil on Linen

20 x 24″

Painted February 18, 2020.

ER: What is your Name?
A de la Cal: Carlos Alexander de la Cal.

ER: What is your nickname?
A de la Cal: Alex.

ER: Do you have a childhood nickname?
A de la Cal: No.

ER: How old are you?
A de la Cal: 67.

ER: What is your favorite saying or quote?
A de la Cal: Live a meaningful life. Dedicate your life to family and friends. Treat those less fortunate than you with generosity.

ER: Where were you born?
A de la Cal: Havana, Cuba.

ER: Where did you grow up?
A de la Cal: Cuba, Spain, and Portugal.

ER: Where do you call home?
A de la Cal: Coral Springs, Florida.

ER: Where are your parents/grandparents from?
A de la Cal: Mother: Peculiar, Missouri. Father: Havana, Cuba. Paternal grandparents: Grandmother: Galicia, Spain; Grandfather Castile, Spain. Maternal grandparents: Grandmother: Cass County, Missouri; Grandfather: Massachusetts.

ER: How did they influence you today? (big question)
A de la Cal: I was too young when I knew my grandparents. I do remember them, though. I recall my father’s parents were hardworking and frugal. They came from agricultural families in Spain, established themselves in Cuba, and lived a working class lifestyle.

My maternal grandmother was a school teacher in Missouri and active in the suffragette movement. She had a Master’s degree in education which was quite advanced for her time. I don’t know much about my grandfather except he had family in Massachusetts, formed part of the Army of Cuban Pacification after the Spanish American War, and had a small business in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was buried in an American veteran’s cemetery in Havana, Cuba, after my mother brought him to live in Cuba his last year of life.

In terms of my parents, I learned kindness, loyalty, and love of family from my father. My mother on the other hand, is one of the most amazing persons I have ever met. She was driven, intelligent, open minded, kind toward those less fortunate, respected by people of all social and economic levels, and an educator and journalist. I learned the importance to lead a meaningful life and be self sufficient, and care for family and friends with all your might.
ER: What is your heritage (ethnicity)?
A de la Cal: Caucasian. Ancestry.com says I am 50% Irish; 19% English and Northwestern European, 18% French, and 12% Spanish, and 2% Portuguese!

ER: Why do you live here?
Artist’s note: Alex and his family are my oldest neighbors and friends. He and his wife, Denise are the main reason I stay in Coral Springs. International perspective and lively conversation over many dinners at each other’s homes. We can WALK home from each other’s dinner table which has proven to be very advantageous in the past!

A de la Cal: Weather; international environment; excellent location to travel from.

ER: How did you get here?
A de la Cal: I wanted to move for the reasons mentioned above, and was offered a good job.

ER: Do you speak another language?
A de la Cal: English, Spanish, and Portuguese fluently. Working knowledge of French.

ER: What is your favorite color?
A de la Cal: Blue.

ER: Do you have a pet(s)?
A de la Cal: Not for many years.

ER: Do you have children?
A de la Cal: Yes.

ER: How many?
A de la Cal: Four.

ER: How old are they?
A de la Cal: 27, 32, 34, 36.

ER: Tell us about them.
A de la Cal: Two females and two males. Oldest two are the females. One has worked many years in retail and merchandising and lives close by. The other is a professional French horn musician at a prestigious US Army school. The two males are involved in software and digital media.

ER: What is your passion?
A de la Cal: Traveling, exploring, learning about other cultures, and politics and economics.

ER: What are you doing when you are most happy?
A de la Cal: Traveling, spending time with family and friends, discussing politics and economics.

ER: Do you have a mission? A reason for doing that which is your passion?
A de la Cal: To live a meaningful life. To understand how the world works, understand how to work with others, and make a difference. It’s what I saw my mother do and why she garnered respect in her community in Lisbon, Portugal.

ER: What is / was your profession?
A de la Cal: Corporate banking and telecommunications financing. I studied economics at Harvard College in Cambridge, MA.

ER: Is this profession what you were meant to do?
A de la Cal: I wanted to work in international business. That’s exactly what I did. Why? As mentioned above, I enjoy exploring different cultures, and getting to know people from different economic, political, and cultural backgrounds. I worked for 37 years in international financing around the world with multinational corporations.

ER: What are you really good at doing?
A de la Cal: Communicating, facilitating, analyzing risk, engendering trust. Why? As a banker and financier I had to identity financing solutions, negotiate with people of different cultures and meet commitments.

ER: What do you do that might change the world?
A de la Cal: Strive to be a good citizen, parent, and friend and make this a better world. Why? Each of us should do what he or she can to make this a better world.

ER: What makes you feel like part of a community?
A de la Cal: Friendships, activities with others, respect, others seeking my advice or guidance. Why? Gives meaning to our existence.

ER: What is the most interesting thing you have ever done?
A de la Cal: Live in Bolivia and travel throughout the country and Andes region. Exotic!

ER: What is your greatest accomplishment?
A de la Cal: My family.

ER: What are your regrets?
A de la Cal: Never being able to do all the things we can think of.

ER: What are your struggles?
A de la Cal: Making sure my children and our lives are stable and fulfilled.

ER: What are your greatest adventures?
A de la Cal: Bolivia, Morocco, Turkey, Bulgaria.

Practicing for Nyeopi in Bali

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art urges voyages,

and it is easier to stay home."

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