Gilberto "Doc" Colina
March 18, 1914 - February 01, 2009

Full Name: Gilberto "Doc" Colina
Date of Birth: March 18, 1914
Date of Death: February 01, 2009
Country of Birth: Cuba
Place of Birth: Casilda
Place of Death: Charlotte, NC

Reflections of Cuba 

My name originally was Gilberto Bautista Colina y Dalmau. 

It was changed to Gilbert Dalmau Colina when I became an 

American citizen on October 4, 1943 in Charlotte, North 

Carolina. Had I left my name as it originally was, then Dalmau 

would have been my legal last name instead of Colina, so I 

replaced my middle name with the mother’s maiden name.  Now 

that I have cleared my identity, I will continue my history with 

my grandparents.  All my grandparents, as far as I know, were 

of Cuban heritage, except my grandfather Tomas, who was of 

Catalan heritage from the Province of Catalina, Spain.  Both of 

my grandmothers were homemakers.  My grandmother, 

Mercedes, was a striking reserved woman with an aristocratic 

look.  One thing I remember about her was that she could make 

the best hot chocolate ever. Also, in her days, cosmetics were 

not what we have today, and she would make her own face 

powder by finely pulverizing eggshells. She was a wonderful 

woman, I called her “Abuela Merci”.  My grandmother, Isabel 

was the opposite of Grandmother Merci. She was outgoing, very 

jolly and had a lively personality. She was a frequent visitor at 

our home.  In Cuba, normally when people visit they are offered 

espresso-like coffee. However, she always had a good glass of 

“Vino Tiento,” a red wine from Spain. She was happy to 

chaperone the dances at the town club. She was an excellent 

seamstress, making me shirts, jackets, etc. and was a great little 

lady. She was tiny and that is the reason I always called her 

“Abuelita Isabel”, the diminutive of Abuela, meaning 

grandmother.  Now that I have described my grandmothers, let 

me tell you about my grandfathers. 

Rafael was better known to me as “Abuelito Rafaelito.” He too, 

was what appeared to me as a straightforward man and was 

rather reserved. He was known as the community taxi driver, 

except it was a horse and carriage. He would transport the local

people to the next town, Trinidad, about two kilometers from 

where we lived. I was not as well acquainted with him as with 

my maternal abuelo but to this day, I remember an afternoon we 

spent together. He took one of my aunts and myself to Trinidad, 

As we were in one of the women’s apparel stores and she was 

going to shop,  I spotted a fancy fan, which in Cuba was always 

carried by the ladies. I asked my Aunt Teresa to buy it for me 

and of course she refused to buy it. I became very angry and 

threw a tantrum in the stores, showing some disrespect to my 

aunt. Even by today’s standard it would rate ten on a scale of 

one to ten and I would be considered a spoiled brat! My 

grandfather, who was also in the store. was waiting patiently for 

my aunt and proceeded to teach me a lesson with his belt, 

mainly for being disrespectful and put me in the carriage until 

we were ready to go back home. By the way, I was all of five 

years old.  As I said, he was stern and rather serious. 

Grandfather Rafael eventually died when I was away at school 

in Cienfuegos. 

Grandfather Tomas was very different from Abuelo Rafael. He 

was easy going, jovial, and a good kidder.  He always had a cigar 

in his mouth, wore a big mustache and always walked at a slow 

pace. He was a character. He worked as a supervisor at the pier 

in Casilda. He often ate lunch at our house and was a lover of 

coffee and his cigar. He also loved animals. At one time, he had 

about fourteen cats. Everyone in town knew when Don Tomas 

was coming home because all the cats would come out of the 

house at approximately 4:30 pm and walk down the block to 

wait for him and follow him home. It was a sight worth seeing. 

He also befriended a squirrel that would come to him every 

evening while he sat and rocked on the porch. There was also a 

bullfrog that would come to his bedroom window, which he 

would feed and play.

My Grandparent’s Family 

My paternal grandparents family included: 

Rafael Colina y Bandomo, my grandfather, son of Maria de la 

Caridad Bandomo and Rafael Colina 

Mercedes Porro Munoz, my grandmother, daughter of Carlos 

Porro and Desideria Espinosa 

Fausto Colina y Porro, my father (1898-1970) 

(Gregario) Urbano, the happy-go-lucky uncle who brought me to 

the US and had a daughter, Carmen Rosa 

Gonzalo, my gambling uncle 

Benito, whom I don’t recall 

Three other sons of Fausto by a concubine, not unusual in Cuba 

Elio, who died at an early age of 18 or 19. 

Oligario, who was the cook 

Chino, the store clerk 

Hilda, my sister who married Victor “Tata” Devesa and had a 

son Evis. 

Aleida, my sister, who went to nursing school and then went 

into the convent and left after twenty years. She moved to 

Miami and cared for a family in Fort Myers, Fl. 

My maternal grandparent's family: 

Tomas Dalmau Arzaga, my grandfather of Catalon heritage 

Isabel Lara Perdomo y de Leon, my grandmother 

Elvira Dalmau Perdomo, my mother 

Lauro Eleno, my uncle, the town mayor, who married 

Nicomedes Toledo y Castellanos . Children are Tomas, Rosalina, 

Digna, Silvia, and Victorino 

Lorgia, “Cocha” my Godmother, who is a school teacher and 

married Telmo Yturraide and had Lorgia Elena, Isabel, Maria 

Teresa, Roberto, and Manuel. 

Teresa, my aunt who finally married after thirty years her 

sweetheart, Gregorio Sotolongo. 

Alberto, my uncle who ran a shipping firm, married Ana Luisa 

Martin y Hernandez and had two children, Alberto Julio and 

Josefina Epifania 

Engrazia, known as Titi, my favorite aunt that married Jose del 

Cueto whose children are Lilia, Consuelo, Violeta, Jose, and 


Fausto Colina and Elvira Dalmau 

My father was small but all energy and never stopped. He 

was a man who helped many, be they friend or foe.  My father’s 

partner was Telmo Herraldi, and he and my grandfather ran the 

grocery store in our little town. It was opened up at 5:00 am so 

my father could supply the fishermen of the community who 

would them give him their daily catches. Normally, the supplies 

would consist of coffee, sugar, canned milk, bread and rum.  My 

father would close the store for lunch then reopen and it would 

stay open until sometimes 9 o’clock.  Many nights when I was 

small, I would go to sleep on the counter, close to where my 

mother would sit every night till closing time.  My father would 

never turn anyone down who wanted or needed groceries.  If he 

had collected all the money in the book, he never would have 

had any financial worries.  The store and our home were all 

under one roof, and my father hardly ever left the premises, 

except for funerals or when someone was sick.  He was one true 

special person, well respected by the community and a great 

husband and father.  He and my mother hardly were away from 

each other. Their relationship must have been made in heaven, 

as they were inseparable.  On Sundays the store closed after 

lunch and my parent’s social ritual was to sit in their rocking 

chairs on the front porch, greeting and talking to every 

passerby. This was the height of their entertainment. I never 

heard any arguments between them. My mother was 

homemaker and housewife.  She was a short, rather heavy, jolly 

woman. Her life was her husband and the children.  She was 

also very conscientious of her parents. One thing she always did 

was make sure their lunch and supper were delivered to them 

on a daily basis, making certain that enough food was prepared 

for us and whomever came around mealtime. There were 

always one or two extra persons at the table, uncles, friends, 

etc.  My mother seldom cooked or cleaned house, she always 

had two or three Negro girls to do the housework and our cook 

Nana lived with us as a member of the family.  Our family was a 

close family, especially on my mother’s side. During Christmas,

my father and mother would have all the members of our 

families to our house and have midnight dinner.  I always 

remember my father would kill a hog and barbecue it. The entire 

hog was placed on the dinner table with an apple in its mouth, 

and the rest of dinner would consist of black beans, rice, yucca, 

avocados, and fruits, wine, and beer. The event took place about 

11:00 pm and at midnight we all went to church, a midnight 

mass in Cuba was called “Mesa de Gallo”, translated as “Mass of 

the Rooster”. After mass, everyone in town would go around in 

groups singing songs. I don’t think anyone slept until 5 am. 

Growing up in Casilda 

I was born in Casilda, a fishing village on the southern 

coast of Cuba in the Province of Santa Clara; population about 

250. This small village was about 2 miles by water or about 4 

miles by land to a most beautiful beach called “El Ancon” and 

about 6 km the city of Trinidad founded in 1514 and 14 km 

further, you could drive to the beautiful mountains of 

Escambray, a battle ground of Castro’s troops during the 

revolution, “Topes de Callantes”. There, you could find the finest 

modern hospital, a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients.  The 

Catholic Church I was baptized in and attended was built in 

1847.  The church is called Santa Elena and in the month of 

August in 1849, the church’s consecration took place.  We did 

not have a regular priest there but every Sunday, a priest from 

Trinidad would come and say mass. Oddly enough, mass was 

well attended, however, those who turned out were all women 

and children, as the men hardly ever went unless it was 

Christmas or Holy Week. During the feast of the Patron Saint, 

Santa Elena, there were great festivities both on land and at sea. 

A procession carrying the patron saint through the streets of 

the town was a very impressive event.  It was held during the 

evening and everyone carried a lit candle. I would like to go 

back to this little town one more time. 

 I went to public school in Casilda until I was about nine years 

old. I remember when I was very young my Aunt Lorgia, who 

was a teacher, used to take me to her school. This was before I

was old enough to attend school. I guess I should have made this 

known, because when I reminisce, I get a kick out of this.  I was 

the first-born on both sides of the family so I was “King Bee” 

with my three aunts, not spoiled but I was the center of 

attention. My Aunt Lorgia was my godmother and her husband 

was my godfather and even up to the last visit to Cuba, she 

would always tease me and would tell people that I used to come 

to my grandparent’s house and (she at this time was courting 

my godfather), and that I would cry and say “I want my 

godfather to leave so my godmother will put me to sleep.” 

My other Aunt Titi used to take me home with her and she used 

to put peroxide on my hair so that I would look like an 

American. Imagine that! Another memory is my Uncle Urbano 

who took me everywhere; he even took me to a brothel house. 

Looking back, I had an unusual and exciting childhood. When I 

was about nine, my parents sent me to a Catholic private school 

in the city of Cienfuegos. I was there about four years. What an 

experience! The reason for my parents sending me to this 

school I imagine, was at my Aunt Titi’s suggestion, because she 

lived there. Or perhaps they wanted to ensure my educational 

future, because in Casilda there was no future. 

Life with the Marist Brothers 

Although my aunt lived in the city, my parents wanted me 

to be a boarding school student. The Marist Brothers conducted 

this school. You talk about discipline, they were number one! A 

typical day would be rising about 5:30 am, going to mass, then 

breakfast eaten in silence, then study hall, a short recess and 

then classes. The students were classified and categorized by 

age groups. There was ‘minor”, “medium” and “superior” for the 

oldest adolescents. Whenever we went to classes or to the dining 

room, we had to walk in single file and sometimes double file. 

Everything was regimented like a monastery. The dormitory 

was designed in barracks style. The playgrounds were divided, 

one for the young and median, and another for the older 

student. The walls were at least five feet tall enclosing the play 

area. Bedtime was about 8pm after study hall. When you got

through with homework, you were ready for bed.  There was 

always a priest supervising.  Our going to town was infrequent 

and when we went, we had to walk in double file and were 

supervised by the priest. Girls were something we rarely saw or 

came in contact with unless it was your sister or cousin and 

they had to come see you.  I was always happy to get packages 

from home, especially if it was food.  At this age I was what you 

would consider a “rolly polly” and just about all the students had 

nicknames. Mine was “Salchicha”, meaning small sausage. 

I was an average student. All our courses were by memory 

except arithmetic and the final exams were both oral and 

written.  My only problem in the school was getting into trouble, 

twice.  I remember very clearly, it was bedtime in our 

dormitory, lights out and complete silence. The only thing we 

heard was a radio, as the Cubans always play their radio real 

loud.  The supervising priest would walk back and forth at his 

allotted time saying his rosary. Evidently two or three of the 

students must have gotten hold of some marbles, so one student 

threw a marble against our wooden gate. 

The sound that it made woke up everyone. The dorm actually 

was a barrack, so when the priest heard the noise, it broke dead 

silence and he ran toward where the noise came from. While he 

is at one area looking, someone else throws another marble at 

the opposite so he takes off for the other end. The priest just 

about flipped out of his gourd. This goes on for three or four 

times and just my luck, I turned over half-asleep and the priest 

saw me move. He grabbed me and slapped the tar out of me and 

blamed me for the outbreak. I got punished and had to stand 

facing on of the outside columns of the building until he came to 

tell me to go to bed. As I stood looking at the column, I heard the 

town clock strike 9, 10, 11 and the priest did not come. So I took 

off my shirt and formed it into a pillow and I laid on the floor 

and went to sleep. The priest later came and was shocked to see 

me sleeping on the floor. He sent me to my bed but informed me 

that the next night I would continue my punishment. 

My next encounter with the system was when a priest found my 

name written on the wall in one of the bathrooms. This time was

just as bad. It was close to vacation leave but before I could go 

home, I had to write one thousand times, “I must never write my 

name on the walls.” They were tough but they taught me a great 

deal.  Then were other incidents, but those two took the cake. 

By the way, I became an altar boy for about two years. Believe it 

or not, the wine was tasty. I guess it was the summer of 1928. 

My last year of school at the Marist Brothers and in October of 

1929, my Uncle Urbano, who had been living in New York, had 

come home for a short stay and was returning to the states. 

Evidently, my uncle must have talked to my father about me 

studying in the USA. The next thing I remember, I was getting 

my papers ready for a trip to NY with my uncle. 

Early Days in New York 

Never did I think that this trip would make me a 

permanent resident of this great country.  At this time, I was 

fourteen years old and had never been anywhere except 

Cienfuegos. We left Casilda by boat to Cienfuegos and from there, 

to Habana by bus. Then we boarded a ship from Habana to Key 

West, leaving Key West by train for New York. Key West was 

connected to Florida by a bridge, which was later destroyed by a 

hurricane. Our trip to New York was rather long, but was worry- 

free. In the first place, I did not speak any English, and to my 

amazement, I could not understand some American children on 

the trip. I could not figure out how these children could talk like 

that and I was not able to, and I was older! Talk about confused! 

When we were ready to eat, I was asked what I wanted. A 

sandwich was my preference, and to my astonishment, all I got 

was a thin slice of ham and two pieces of white bread. I 

remember thinking and saying, “Is this a sandwich?” The 

sandwiches in Cuba were a small meal in itself; ham, pork, 

cheese, etc. on Cuban bread. What a disappointment! Anyway, 

we arrived in New York about 4:30 pm at Grand Central 

Station’s busy time. Later I learned it was like that all the time. I 

had never seen so many people .What a different world. I saw 

my first subway that day. It was something else to see a mass of 

people pushing and running, trying to get on the trains.  After

leaving Grand Central, we went to my cousin’s house on 

Lexington Avenue. My cousin Lorenzo had married a Puerto 

Rican girl and we stayed with them before moving to our 

apartment on Lenox Avenue and 116th St. 

My next visit was to my uncle’s office where he worked as a 

dental assistant. He had been working for this dentist for a 

period of time so he took me with him to meet his boss and 

family on Seventh Avenue. The dentist had a little boy and I 

played with him. Next day, I wanted to go back and play with 

the little boy. I told my uncle I knew where the apartment was 

and eventually I did get there.  I left to go to their apartment, 

but decided to go to Lexington Avenue to my cousin’s place. 

When I got there, a thought came to my mind, “Suppose this is 

not the right address and people will start talking to me and I 

cannot understand what they say?  Here I made the big 

mistake.  I started back home and got lost. I was lost for about 

six hours. Finally I saw my uncle who was looking for me and 

ready to call the police. The funny thing was that I had walked 

the neighborhood all the time but on 7th Avenue, all the houses 

looked the same to me. While I was lost, a couple even 

approached me for directions, and I told them I was lost myself. 

I guess there were many others like me looking for their way 


I went to a grade school located on 7th Avenue and St. Nicholas. 

From there I went to PS 184 at 116th between Lenox and 

Madison Avenues. I learned a great deal of English between 

school and going to the movies. The first movie I saw in NY was 

with my uncle, three days after I had arrived in NY. I was 

impressed! I had never seen or been to such an elaborate place 

as the Roxy Theatre. In the 1930’s, it was the top place!  I lived 

a short time in Manhattan about 7 months, then we moved to 

the Bronx, as well as I can remember, it was close to the Bronx 

Zoo and I would commute to Manhattan to go to school. My 

other memorable experiences in NY were when my uncle took 

me to buy some clothes.

Shopping in New York City 

We went to the stores on Canal St. because we could spend 

less money. Having gone through all but 9 cents, we realized we 

needed another penny because it cost ten cents to catch the 

subway. My uncle decided to go and look for a policeman and get 

a penny from him, but while looking, I spotted a fruit cart with 

grapes at 9 cents a pound. With grapes being my downfall, I 

asked my uncle if we could buy some with the money and he 

consented after explaining that it was a long walk home. It was 

either the grapes or walk, or we look for a penny. Naturally I 

opted to walk and it was a long walk, almost ten miles from 

Canal Street to 116th Street, but I got my grapes! 

I was usually on my own at breakfast and lunch time. Since my 

English was between poor and poorer, I learned to say 

“scrambled eggs” which I would not eat for a long time following 

my early days. I would also point and say “this” or “that” at the 

lunch counter.  I learned quite a bit of English by going to the 

movies, which I frequented two or three times a day. In about 

1932, I went back to my home in Cuba. 

College Life in North Carolina 

I left by ship from NY to Habana by myself as a second- 

class passenger.  It was an experience, I guess I was about 15. I 

really don’t remember much about the trip except I was in the 

lower part of the ship, without much to do but the passengers on 

the upper deck were living it up. I stayed about 2 or 3 months in 

Cuba and came back to go to school in Brevard, NC. 

I left Habana on a ship to Miami and then by train to 

Hendersonville, NC. When I got to Hendersonville I had no idea 

as to the distance to Brevard. I thought it was like Casilda and 

Trinidad, so I got a cab and told the cab driver where I wanted to 

go. He looked a little surprised and we rode and rode. I had been 

taken for a ride. Before I left home my father gave me the 

money for tuition- I think it was $150. My mother told me to put

it in my coat pocket and put a big safety pin so I would not lose 

or someone would take it. I think she had seen American 

gangsters in the movies. Anyway, I was a little scared so I took a 

cab to the school and the tab was about $7.00. A lot of money in 

the early 30’s. When the students saw me get out of the cab, 

they figured I was some rich kid, the reason being a great 

percentage were working at the school to pay for their tuition 

and expenses. 

When I first arrived at the school there were two Spanish- 

speaking students. When I finished there were about sixteen, all 

from Cuba.  I always made it a point to go around the American 

students for as to learn the language and be accepted. Some of 

the American boys at times resented that the Cubans would 

stick together most of the time.  I spent 3 years as a student at 

Brevard Institute, now called Brevard College. I enjoyed my 

years there as it taught me a lot. I made many friends in school 

and in the community. My summers and holidays were kind of 

tough since I could not go home. I stayed at the school year 

round until I graduated. 

Brevard Institute was a small co-ed Methodist school with a 

very small enrollment. I don’t think we had over 150 students. 

We all got along like members of one big family.  Had a big farm 

with cows, chickens etc. The boys worked on the fields to help 

pay their way in school. Believe it or not, I worked on the farm. 

Many of the time without pay, to work off demerits. I learned to 

milk cows and substituted for a friend when he had surgery, 

again without pay, and this I did so he would not lose his pay. 

Beside my experience with the taxicab, I had one other thing 

happen I will never forget. 

An Unforgettable Experience 

I hitchhiked to Hendersonville and bought a pair of shoes 

and went to the movies. When the movie was over, I went to the 

bus station. I was informed the bus to Brevard had already left 

and would not be another till the next day. So I started to hitch 

hike, I was lucky a lady picked me up and gave me a ride to

Horse Shoe and from there on, it was walking all the way to 

Brevard. It was nightfall and I was literally scared to death, I 

could hear every weird sound that took place around those 

mountains. I got to school close to 10 pm and my feet were 

killing me. I had just walked 18 miles. The housemother met me 

at the door, made me take my shoes off and soaked my feet. This 

I have never forgotten. Also, I will never forget walking in the 

snow from the dormitory to dining room with snow that came 

up to my knees. So much for Brevard. That summer after 

graduation, I went back to Cuba. 

University South Carolina 

While at home, I mailed my applications to UNC, USC and 

Tufts College. I decided on USC because their acceptance came 

first and I knew a little girl who lived in Spartanburg. I did not 

go to Tufts College because it was too cold up in that part of the 

country.  I stayed home about six months, and then came to 

Columbia, SC to the rough but great USC. I was the only Spanish- 

speaking student besides a fellow from Puerto Rico who was 

only there one year. He was a real smart fellow who went on to 

medical school, so I was then the only Spanish-speaking student 

there. I was some sort of novelty. However, I was well accepted 

by the student body. Only one time in four years was my 

nationality ever questioned. The football players had me living 

in their dormitory, rather unusual in those days. There was an 

ulterior motive. Many were taking Spanish, so I was their tutor 

and helped them to pass the course. Being a freshman they 

would not let the upperclassman touch me in those days. Hazing 

was tough on the freshman. I was on the boxing team for 4 years 

and co-captain my last year. I tried for football, and got 

trampled in practice. I quit as they were too big, went out for 

track and gave it up. Baseball, the coach and I could not see eye 

to eye, however, I did pretty well in boxing, and competed in the 

NCAA championships for Bantam weight. 

I finished college in 1938 with a BS in Pharmacy, and was the 

first foreigner to graduate from the School of Pharmacy at the 

University of South Carolina. As I was graduating, one of my

professors helped me to get my first job. It was close to his 

hometown. I went to Estell, SC with a population no more than 

3000. When I went for my job interview the owner was not in. 

He was hunting in one of those South Carolina plantations and 

his wife conducted the interview. She wanted me to write a 

resume and I asked if I could use their typewriter. She 

responded, “Young man, I want the letter written in longhand.” 

Above the drug store, was another profession altogether. 

Prostitution, in those days, was legal in Columbia, South 

Carolina. Later, I went back to Cuba and stayed home about 6 to 

8 months and returned to the US and got a job in Spartanburg, 

SC at a family owned drug store. It was nice but business was 

bad and the owner was a jerk.  His wife was the brain of the 

outfit.  Later, I got a job down the street in a chain drug store 

and 6 months later they transferred me to Winston Salem, NC. 

Life in North Carolina 

It so happened the pharmacist in that store was hitting the 

paregoric and other elixirs that had a high alcohol content.  This 

took place in 1940, and lucky me. It was in Winston Salem. I had 

to register for the draft. This drug company must have thought I 

was their troubleshooter because later they transferred me to 

their Charlotte store. I was to take the place of another 

pharmacist that had acquired the habit of not being able to 

sober up until Tuesday. I figure if this was going to continue, I 

was not about to move again so I got a job at one of the Stanley 

Drugs located in Dilworth. While working at this pharmacy, I 

met a young lady who later became my wife. 

Her name was Marguerite Elizabeth Taylor, who at one time was 

named “Miss Charlotte” and went on to the Miss America 

Pageant.  Why did she marry me, God only knows, but I surely 

am glad she did.  We had a short courtship and had to consider 

marriage thoroughly, for I had just received my draft card from 

the military, classified 1A, so we really had to consider all 

marriage aspects. Of course, this was just a classification, but 

then came the “moment of truth” from the President of the

United States. “You are to report to the US Army “. Then we 

decided on marriage. We were married on February 14, 1942. 

Prior to receiving my orders to report I tried to enlist in just 

about all branches of the armed forces except the Marines. I 

applied for a commission but I was turned down for various 

reasons, such as “You have not been a citizen long enough” or 

“You are too short” but all the time, they were drafting the hell 

out of me. Anyway, because there was a shortage of 

pharmacists, they classified me as 1A all though the war. Every 

six months I had to wait to see what my fate was going to be. 

This was hell not knowing what was coming, but we survived all 

the inconveniences and because of not knowing what my future 

held, we could not buy a house or a car. Stanley’s Pharmacy was 

eventually sold but I kept my job.  Later, I went to work for 

Walker’s Drugs on Tryon and 7th  and from there I went into a 

brief partnership with an old schoolmate. I later worked at 

Hawthorne Pharmacy, a real professional pharmacy. While at 

Hawthorne, because my sister Aleida was a nurse and a Catholic 

sister, the director of nurses asked me to teach pharmacology 

once a week at their school of nursing. Later on, they asked me 

to come work for the hospital, which I did. At the time, the 

hospital did not have a pharmacy and they used to get their 

medicines from a drug store across the street. With the help of 

Mr. Kirkpatrick, Anderson, Mars. Capps and Sr. Carmel, we 

built a pharmacy department. Later on, Jose was fired. Thirty 

years later, I retired. 

Married Life 

My personal life has been a happy one, even after 

Marguerite, my wife, and I wanted children and found out we 

couldn’t have them.  Later on, after World War II was over, we 

decided to start adoption procedures. It was not easy. We had to 

apply at different agencies. Some let us know that there were 

not many children for adoption. Another said the waiting period 

was a long wait, but we were willing to wait. In particular, once 

when I called to inquire I was told they could not give us a child 

because I was Cuban and a Catholic. Of course, when I got 

through talking to her, I am sure she will never forget me. My

friends at Hawthorne Pharmacy said the telephone wires were 

smoking! Marguerite and I never gave up. 

We placed an application with the city and county social 

services. Mr. Wallace Kuwait was the director, a pleasant and 

helpful person and a gentleman. They began the adoption 

process. It was slow but we were optomistic and with the help of 

a few influential friends we got the ball rolling. Letters from Dr. 

Claude Squires, Dr. William Matthew, Dr. Grace Jones and Mr. 

Eadis helped a great deal.  One day when we least expected it, 

the social supervisor called and gave us the news. They had a 

little boy. We went to see him and immediately fell in love with 

him. They said if we wanted to adopt him, we could come back 

the following week and take him home, as they had to take him 

to the doctor for shots and IQ tests. For a week we were walking 

on a cloud. We were high up, getting all the necessary things 

needed for a newborn and making all the arrangements. We now 

had to decide on a name and it was not easy. But Marguerite, 

now a mother, decided to call the new family member Michael 

Alan Colina. Soon we brought Michael home to 409 Rensselear 

Avenue and everyone in the family celebrated the happy 


Later we moved to Thomas Ave and again to 4200 The Plaza. All 

the time, we had placed another adoption application for a 

second child. About five years later, they called and said they 

had the right child for us. It was a little girl and they wanted us 

to come and see her and decide. We went to visit her and we all 

agreed she was just what we wanted. Michael was thrilled with 

our new family member. Marguerite picked out the name 

Marsha Eileen Colina. Now our family was complete. The initials 

of all my family members are MC. I am the only oddball with GC. 

We were all very happy along with another member of the 

family, Mrs. Marguerite Brown Taylor, who as Nanny, the 

grandmother, lived with us and helped us take care of our 


Recent Thoughts 

Our children did not have the privilege of knowing their 

maternal grandfather, Mr. James Coughenour Taylor, but our 

children were fortunate to be able to know their paternal 

grandparents. We used to go to Cuba every other year to see my 

parents until 1959 when Castro took over the country.  I hate 

what he has done to the Cuban people and my feeling is he 

should rot in Hell. Now, both my parents are gone, and my sister 

Hilda passed away in 2001, who had a son, Evis, in Cuba. Our 

children are grown and married and we now have two beautiful 

grandsons, Case and Kyle and two granddaughters, Ella and 

Zoe. We also have 16 nieces and 10 nephews with many 

children here in the states. My life has been very full. I’ve had 

some real good times and I am very grateful for all the family 

members that have been good to us. I want you to know I love 

you all very, very much.

   Family Tree Paternal Grandfather 

Jose Maria Colina 

  b. abt 1825, Cuba 

& Barbara Puertas 

  b. 1825, Cuba 

| Rafael Colina 

|   b. 1848, Guaracabulla, Cuba 

| & Maria de la Caridad  Cabrera 

|   b. 1848, Guaracabulla, Cuba 

|   m. 1865, Cuba 

| | Rafael Colina y Cabrera 

| |   b. abt 1870, Cuba 

| | & Mercedes Porro y Munoz 

| |   b. abt 1870, Cuba 

| | | Fausto Colina y Porro* 

| | |   b. abt 1898, Casilda , Cuba 

| | |   d. 23 Nov 1970, Habana, Cuba 

| | | & Elvira Dalmau Perdomo 

| | |   b. abt 1896, Casilda, Cuba 

| | |   d. 12 Feb 1963, Habana, Cuba 

| | | | Gilberto Bautista Colina y Dalmau 

| | | |   b. 18 Mar 1914, Puerto Casilda , Cuba 

| | | | & Marguerite Elizabeth Taylor 

| | | |   b. 24 Oct 1920, Charlotte, NC 

| | | |   m. 14 Feb 1942, Charlotte, NC 

| | | | | Marsha Eileen Colina 

| | | | |   b. 23 Dec 1954, Charlotte, NC 

| | | | | & Hector Louis Perez 

| | | | |   b. abt 1952, Puerto Rico 

| | | | |   anl. 1986, New York 

| | | | | | Kyle David Colina 

| | | | | |   b. 30 Jan 1987, Charlotte, NC 

| | | | | Michael Alan Colina* 

| | | | |   b. 16 Nov 1948, Charlotte, NC 

| | | | | & Robin Leslie Halpin 

| | | | |   b. 18 Apr 1954, Kalamazoo, MI 

| | | | |   m. 1 Sep 2002, Pound Ridge NY 

| | | | | Michael Alan Colina* 

| | | | |   b. 16 Nov 1948, Charlotte, NC

| | | | | & Sherilynn Huffman 

| | | | |   b. 11 Jun 1948, Columbus, Ohio 

| | | | |   m. 1 Jan 1986, Mt Kisco NY 

| | | | |   div. 1999 

| | | | | | Case Colina 

| | | | | |   b. 2 Sep 1987, Mt Kisco, NY 

| | | | Hilda Colina 

| | | |   b. abt 1917 

| | | |   d. abt 2001, Habana, Cuba 

| | | | & Victor “Tata” Devesa 

| | | | | Evis Devesa* 

| | | | |   b. abt 1938, Habana 

| | | | |   d. abt 2001, Habana 

| | | | | & Martina Martinez 

| | | | | | Evon Devesa 

| | | | | |   b. abt 1984, Habana 

| | | | | Evis Devesa* 

| | | | |   b. abt 1938, Habana 

| | | | |   d. abt 2001, Habana 

| | | | | & Digna Napolez 

| | | | | | Ives Devesa 

| | | | | |   b. abt 1975, Habana 

| | | | | Evis Devesa* 

| | | | |   b. abt 1938, Habana 

| | | | |   d. abt 2001, Habana 

| | | | | & Carmen Perez 

| | | | | | Evely Devesa 

| | | | | Evis Devesa* 

| | | | |   b. abt 1938, Habana 

| | | | |   d. abt 2001, Habana 

| | | | | & Jauna Gil 

| | | | | | Ivoine Devesa 

| | | | Aleida Colina 

| | | |   b. abt 1922, Casilda , Cuba 

| | | Fausto Colina y Porro* 

| | |   b. abt 1898, Casilda , Cuba 

| | |   d. 23 Nov 1970, Habana, Cuba 

| | | & Unknown 

| | | | Elio Colina 

| | | | Oligario Colina

| | | | Chino Colina 

| | | Gregorio Urbano Colina Y Porro 

| | |   b. 8 Apr 1897, Barrio de Casilda, Cuba 

| | | & Caruca Julia? de la Caridad Suarez Y Reyes 

| | |   b. 11 Feb 1902, Trinidad 

| | |   m. 12 Jun 1936, Las Villas Casilda 

| | | | Carmen Rosa Colina Y Suarez 

| | | |   b. 6 Apr 1938, Trinidad 

| | | Gonzalo Colina Y Porro 

| | |   b. abt 1900 

| | | Benito Colina Y Porro 

| | |   b. abt 1905, Casilda , Cuba 

| | Juan Pablo Colina 

| |   b. 25 Feb 1868, Nuesta Sra Del Rosario, Fomento, 

Las Villas, Cuba

                 Family Tree Maternal Grandfather 

Tomas Dalmau Arzaga 

  b. abt 1890, Casilda, Santa Clara Cuba 

& Isabel Lara Perdomo y de Leon 

  b. abt 1893, Casilda, Santa Clara Cuba 

| Alberto Dalmau 

|   b. Casilda , Cuba 

| & Ana Luisa Martin y Hernandez 

| | Alberto Julio Dalmau y Martin 

| | Josefina Epifania Dalmau y Martin 

| | & Hector Pena Fernandez 

| | | Hector Pena Fernandez 

| | | Maria Caridad Pena Fernandez 

| | | & Osbaldo Restrepo 

| Teresa Dalmau y Perdomo 

| & Gregorio Sotolongo 

| Lauro Eleno Dalmau y Perdomo 

|   b. Casilda , Cuba 

| & Nicomedes Toledo y Castellanos 

| | Tomas Dalmau y Perdomo 

| | Rosalina Dalmau y Perdomo 

| | Digna Dalmau y Perdomo 

| | Silvia Dalmau y Perdomo 

| | Victorino Dalmau y Perdomo 

| Lorgia “Cocha” Dalmau y Perdomo 

| & Telmo Yturralde 

| | Lorgia Elena Yturralde 

| |   b. abt 1929, Casilda, Cuba 

| | & Frank Kerley 

| | | Maria Kerley 

| | |   b. abt 1938, Casilda , Cuba 

| | | Roberto Kerley 

| | |   b. abt 1942, Casilda , Cuba 

| | Isabel Yturralde 

| | Maria Teresa Yturralde 

| | Roberto Yturralde 

| | Manuel Yturralde 

| | & Oristela Rodriguez

| Elvira Dalmau Perdomo 

|   b. abt 1896, Casilda, Cuba 

|   d. 12 Feb 1963, Habana, Cuba 

| & Fausto Colina Porro 

|   b. abt 1898, Casilda , Cuba 

|   d. 23 Nov 1970, Habana, Cuba 

| | Gilberto Bautista Colina y Dalmau 

| |   b. 18 Mar 1914, Puerto Casilda , Cuba 

| | & Marguerite Elizabeth Taylor 

| |   b. 24 Oct 1920, Charlotte, NC 

| |   m. 14 Feb 1942, Charlotte, NC 

| | | Marsha Eileen Colina 

| | |   b. 23 Dec 1954, Charlotte, NC 

| | | | Kyle David Colina 

| | | |   b. 30 Jan 1987, Charlotte, NC 

| | | Michael Alan Colina* 

| | |   b. 16 Nov 1948, Charlotte, NC 

| | | & Robin Leslie Halpin 

| | |   b. 18 Apr 1954, Kalamazoo, MI 

| | |   m. 1 Sep 2002, Pound Ridge NY 

| | | Michael Alan Colina* 

| | |   b. 16 Nov 1948, Charlotte, NC 

| | | & Sherilynn Huffman 

| | |   b. 11 Jun 1948, Columbus, OH 

| | |   m. 1 Jan 1986, Mount Kisco NY 

| | |   div. 1999 

| | | | Case Colina 

| | | |   b. 2 Sep 1987, Mount Kisco, NY 

| | Hilda Colina 

| |   b. abt 1917 

| |   d. abt 2001, Habana, Cuba 

| | & Victor “Tata” Devesa 

| | | Evis Devesa* 

| | |   b. abt 1938, Habana 

| | |   d. abt 2001, Habana 

| | | & Martina Martinez 

| | | | Evon Devesa 

| | | |   b. abt 1984, Habana 

| | | Evis Devesa* 

| | |   b. abt 1938, Habana

| | |   d. abt 2001, Habana 

| | | & Digna Napolez 

| | | | Ives Devesa 

| | | |   b. abt 1975, Habana 

| | | Evis Devesa* 

| | |   b. abt 1938, Habana 

| | |   d. abt 2001, Habana 

| | | & Carmen Perez 

| | | | Evely Devesa 

| | | Evis Devesa* 

| | |   b. abt 1938, Habana 

| | |   d. abt 2001, Habana 

| | | & Jauna Gil 

| | | | Ivoine Devesa 

| | Aleida Colina 

| |   b. abt 1922, Casilda , Cuba 

| Engracia “Titi” Dalmau y Perdomo 

|   d. died in MIami FL 

| & Jose del Cueto 

| | Lilia Del Cueto 

| | & Ramon Leon 

| | | Jose Ramon Leon 

| | | Maria Leon 

| | Consuelo Del Cueto 

| | | Armando Cervera Jr. 

| | | & Luisa 

| | | Jose Cervera 

| | | & Alba Olesi 

| | | Maria Consuela Cervera 

| | | & Luis Mustelien 

| | Violeta del Cueto 

| | & Serafin Ruiz de Zarate 

| | | Jose Ramon Ruiz de Zarate 

| | | & Espinoza Nabrega 

| | | Maria Elena Ruiz de Zarate 

| | | & Manuel Gonzalez 

| | |   b. ?1917, Habana ? 

| | | | Manola Gonzalez 

| | | | Ernesto Gonzalez 

| | | Raul Ruiz de Zarate

| | Jose del Cueto Jr.* 

| | & Georgina Gonzalez 

| | | Unknown 

| | Jose del Cueto Jr.* 

| | & Georgina Gonzalez 

| | | Jose Enrique del Cueto 

| | | Jorge del Cueto 

| | | Ana Margarita del Cueto 

| | | Fernando del Cueto 

| | Enrique?? del Gado y Perdomo 

| |   b. 1910, Habana 

| Benito Dalmau 

|   b. abt 1905, Casilda , Cuba 

|   d. abt 1985 

| & Pastora Sariol

Florida Passenger Lists, 1898-1951 

Gilberto B Colina Y Dalmau 

Arrival Date: 

1 Aug 1928 

Birth Date: 

abt 1914 








Governor Cobb 

Port of Departure: 

Havana, Cuba 

Port of Arrival: 

Key West, Florida 

Last Residence: 


Birth Location: 


Birth Location Other: 


Microfilm Roll Number: 




Line Number: 


Key West, Florida. 

Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Key West, Florida, 1898- 

1945. Micropublication T940. RG085. 122 rolls. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

             From U. S. C. College Yearbook 1938 Boxing Team

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