Some drivers threw away their car mufflers so that they sounded big and muscle-y. We were able to enjoy these booming roars at our address, a little old villa, Avenida Epitacio Pessoa, 864, night and day. Our home faced the lake Lagoa Freitas where pedal boats moved about calmly. And beyond the lake towered Corcovado, the Christ the Redeemer figure. Renato, on coming home from work, liked to look out to the statue and say he was getting his daily rental money’s worth.
We had Jeff, our Doberman pinscher, whose official name was Mongol de Leimar. Jeff always followed Renato upstairs where he shucked his office clothes and began their game, snapping his necktie at Jeff and going “Heeeyah!” and other such noises, which set Jeff to a high-pitched barking and scampering about. Jeff was a luvverly dog and if he didn’t perform so well in the dog show, as written up in “The Carioca Dobie Derby,” it was our fault, not his.
Those were good years, and my job at the American School of Rio de Janeiro enhanced them. I joined the American Little Theater where I produced a play and was cast in “Kiss Me Kate” as a courtier. My Brazilian tailor could not quite believe the tall conical headgear that went with my gown was not a joke, but he fabricated it. I don’t remember how I made it stay on my head.
Those were the days…..