Arlene Megill

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My dad has always been a very reserved person. I started talking with my dad about where he was born and what was it like. He started telling me about how it was growing up in New York, and about his favorite things to do, like playing baseball and other street games that where popular at the time. Later on, we talked about his family members—his sisters and a brother he never knew because he died at a very young age. We also talked about other members of the family who were kind of famous in their time, like my great grandfather.  Simon Mejill (actually I remember my father telling me that he found his head stone in the old cemetery, and Mejill was written Megil). According to information I received, Don Simon, as he was known, was a fisherman who ended up on the coast of Guánica. He married and stayed in Guánica. It seems he spoke English as well as Spanish.

During the invasion of 1898 during the Spanish-American, the American Naval forces bombed the port. Once the first troops arrived, Victor Lassala, a local fisherman, helped bring in the smaller naval vessels and asked Simon to serve as interpreter. Once the military had control of the area, they named Simon police chief for the new government due to his knowledge of the languages. Today Guanica’s local police station bears his name as well as the street where he originally lived. It is also where my grandfather was born.




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