Friday, 13 January 2017

on Rua Rio Grande do Sul, 390...circa 1945

from left to right front row and then anti-clockwise: Francisca de Oliveira, Antonia Amorim, Petra, Altina Rosa de Jesus; Nadir Martins, Nair Martins, Maria Rosa Amorim and non-identified girl.

According to a conversation I had over the telephone with aunt Dulce Roza Amorim Coelho on 12 January 2017 - the story goes:

As pessoas desta foto, começando com as que estão em pé, da esquerda p'ra direita: a criança primeira eu não conheço; a segunda é a Maria Rosa; a próxima é a Nair Martins, irmã do Zé Martins, e a outra é a Nadir Martins, minha querida irmã-de-criação. 

Na fileira da frente vem a Francisca de Oliveira, a Antonia Amorim, e vem a Petra, colega da Antonia, filha da espanhola dona Mateia e, finalmente, minha Mãe, Altina Rosa de Jesus. A foto foi batida em frente de nossa casa na Rua Rio Grande do Sul, 390.

Nair Martins & Nadir Martins

Nair & Nadir were sisters. Their mother Catharina Maria Nazareth died in 1941, when she was only 33 years old and left 5 children of various ages that were taken away by strangers to be raised in some rural property near Ourinhos or Avaré-SP.

Catharina was one of my grandfather Fernando Antonio Amorim's sister Emilia Maria Nazareth's two daughters - the other was called Francisca Maria Nazareth aka Chica.

Catharina married Domingos Martins when she was 17 years old and they had 5 children:

José Martins - 10 September 1926
Nair Martins - born circa 1928
Francisca Martins
Nadir Martins - 19 July 1937
João Amorim - who was registered as Virgilio Amorim's son.

After Catharina's death, Domingos simply up & left his children never to return. So the kids were scattered around rural properties (sitios). Zé Martins who was 14 years old and could fend for himself went to Marilia and stayed with his grandmother Emilia known in the family as Tia Nenê.

After some time, a man visiting Marilia told Fernando Amorim that he had been to a 'sitio' where he saw those children being abused and in a precarious situation. Fernando went to the rural property and took all of them back to Ourinhos. Fernando asked his younger brother Virgilio Amorim - who always wanted to have a baby boy but had only daughters - to take João Martins, Catharina's youngest child and register him as João Amorim. So João Martins became João Amorim.

Then, Fernando took Nair and Nadir Martins - who was only 2 years old - to be raised as his own children in Marilia. Nair was already a young lady of 13 who could not read or write. Fernando paid a woman to teach the girl the ABC but Nair never quite adapted to her new home.

Nair had the habit of lying through her teeth. Fernando thought it a most disagreeable feature and told her if she continued this practice he would have to let her go. Fernando would take her back to Ourinhos where they spotted Domingos Martins who had remarried and had a brand-new family.

By that time Dulce Amorim (14) and Nair Martins (15) were working at Fiação Macú, all the way on Rua São Luiz next to Vila São Miguel - where they handled silk cocoons in boiling vats to extract the silk threads that would be rolled into reels to be sent somewhere else to be turned into fabric. Dulce says Nair would not show up for work for days on end and when Fernando would query her she simply gave the most outrageous lies as an answer.

Fernando thought he was going nowhere with Nair and as he had warned took her back to Ourinhos and left her with her father Domingos and his new family. It didn't take long for Nair to get married to Joaquim Maciel and have many children.

It seems Nair didn't hold any grudge against Fernando Amorim's family. Dulce says Nair would write letters from Ourinhos even after she got married maybe just to enjoy the power of being able to communicate through paper and pen. After all, she was literate only because she had lived under the guidance of her great-uncle.   

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