There were four thousand Italian families in Montevideo at the time. When the city was put under siege Giuseppe put together a force of Italians to help defend the city. The fame the newspapers generated brought hundreds of those Italians to join Giuseppe’s forces with a two-fold promise: they would fight for freedom for Uruguay and use this fight as a training ground so they could all return to Italy and unite their own beloved country.
Once again, those in need of military leadership came to Giuseppe to ask for aid, but this time many of those who were volunteering to help Uruguay were from its Italian immigrant population and most shared Giuseppe’s future goal, making the appeal ever more difficult to ignore.
When I finished writing the book and going to book signings or conferences where I could keep talking about The Monkees I thought I was done. Then Sarah Clark, PhD emailed and asked me if I’d like to do a segment called “Monkees 101” where we both put our PhD hats and talked about each episode in terms of how it fit into the world in which it aired – sociologically, ideologically and even sometimes politically – covering what was going on in the news the week the show aired and covering the lives of the crafts people who came together to make the show. How could I say no? Here’s our latest installment, “Here Come the Monkees (Pilot)”.
Zilch #161 Monkees 101-10 “Here Come the Monkees (Pilot)” Zilch talks The Monkees TV show, Season 1 Episode 10 In the series pilot which aired November 14, 1966. “The group auditions for the Sweet Sixteen Party, and Davy falls for a sweet 16-year-old.” Aired 1/7/21
Since Anita could not wield a gun in one hand and a child in the other, Anita followed with the other camp wives, despite Giuseppe’s pleas that she stay behind until the baby was weaned. Instead, she rode with the three-month-old Menotti on the saddle in front of her. When the troops came to a stream swollen by recent rains, Giuseppe turned his poncho so the hood was in front and wrapped Menotti inside it so he could keep the wet child warm with his body heat.
“To them,” Giuseppe began. “To me. To all of us, this is the fire in which we shall be forged before we can light a flame of freedom in our homeland.” “You are capable of understanding a greater goal,” Anita said. “Most men are not,” Texeira stated, subconsciously including himself in that list. “All we can do is try,” Giuseppe reiterated.
Anita spent those same four days in the enemy camp sharing short rations with those of her troops that were captured with her, nursing those who needed such treatment and planning her escape. Each day she asked for proof that Giuseppe had died and each day she was told a different version of how he fell in battle.
“We cannot accept slaves into our ranks,” Texeira insisted. Since the beginning of the war enslaved Afro-Brazilians had run from Brazil as it was a slaveocracy, hoping to fight for Rio Grande del Sol and then to join the new republic and create a home that disavowed slavery. Though rebelling against Brazil, many Rio Grandean leaders still believed in the sanctity of private property and so neither condoned recruiting runaways nor cared to arm or train Afro-Brazilians.
“Do you knit as you sleep, as well?” Giuseppe teased, due to her swift progress. Anita knitted as she alternated between walking and riding horseback. For herself she had fashioned a red wool cape over a white peasant blouse that billowed around her neck. As she finished the last stitch on the poncho she had designed for him, she handed it proudly to Giuseppe. He draped it over his head and across his shoulders. The varying colors of the stripes across the chest gave the piece a distinguished look that made Anita smile.
Giuseppe approached the first local he found, who happened to be Henrique sweeping the stoop outside the door of his shop. Thrilled to meet one of the victorious rebels, Henrique invited Giuseppe to his home for coffee. There, as if in a dream, he found the woman he had seen on the hillside, preparing the afternoon coffee.
Henrique saw Giuseppe’s shocked face and politely introduced them, “Senor Garibaldi this is my cook, Aninha.” Neither spoke, not even the banal niceties one expects when strangers are introduced, because neither Giuseppe or Aninha felt like strangers to the other in that moment.
On the hillside, the same loneliness had filled Aninha Ribeiro da Silva for most of her young life. She had ridden to the bluff that morning in order to see for herself the ships of this glorious rebel navy, come to create a new nation. Freedom fascinated her.