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Shhhhh by Lili Nealon
 

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  • i have a little story to tell. A story of when I was little, before the Dictator Juan Peron was ousted by a coup.

    Mom and Dad were very vocal about their dislike for both Peron and Evita. I remember clearly when they would turn on the radio to listen to the Dictator’s latest rant. They would pull down the heavy wooden persianas, shutters that would let in neither light nor sound. Shutters to protect us from the outside world, from others who did not agree with mom and dad’s view, and from the possible harm that could come when you spoke against the government.

    I can still conjure the sound of Peron’s voice on the radio. Heavy, guttural, thick. While he pontificated, my parents would rant and rave themselves, against the Dictator’s words, his policies and his government.

    When the speech was over, mommy would bend down and say to me, “Shhh…Lili, do not ever repeat in school these things you hear inside the house. Never.”

    The next day I would go to my first grade class and open the little reading book. On the first page, a photo of Evita and the words “ Amo a Evita”. On the second page, a photo of Peron, and “amo a Peron.”

    What was a child to think?
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