I think I have now told this story one thousand times, but never wrote it.
It was 1961, the beginning of the war in the portuguese African colonies, we were living in Coja, the small village where I was born, and just moving from there to the city in consequence of my father’s work. I was eight years old.
For the the farewell to the school, my teacher offered me a book, the biography of Thomas Edison.
I started to read it but, after some pages, closed the book, finding it not interesting at all.
The funny thing is, that, just a few months later, retaking the book, I just get absolutely fascinated and could’nt stop reading, discovering my idol for the next years. I decided to be a scientist and become totally obsessed by that. All the money I could manage in gifts or somehow, was spent in setting up my first laboratory. where I could pass all of my time forgetting about everything, making my experiments, what of course included the luck of not having put a fire in the flat just by chance.
One thing I still remember is, that, in those times and my young age, I could manage to buy the most incredible chemical products at the city pharmacy with no problems at all, sulfuric acid included.
That obsession and irrevocable decision for the science destiny travelled peacefully with me until my sixteen’s.
But, simultaneously, I had another passion, drawing and painting, being the responsible for that, my dear uncle Sinde Filipe, the great portuguese actor, an amateur painter himself, who teach me the bases of painting, being a sort of second father.
At sixteen become the existential crises of the impasse between Science and Arts, passing some terrible moments without finding a way, becoming a very bad student, chemistry and physics included, where I usually was one of the best, suffering a lot by the indecision between the two ways, not knowing at all what to do.
At that time we were living in Coimbra. One day I went downtown meeting some friends, stopped in a magazine shop, and suddenly have been attracted by a photo magazine that I bought. And there was the BIg Click! I had find My Way!…
I just devoured this pages for hours. Photography was the way to join my both passions, science, experiments, and art. I was no more lost.
One thing more was in the near horizon, I was approaching the eighteen’s, the army time and the war in Africa were there, a way that I absolutely did not want to follow.
Like many others of my age, I took the decision to go out of my country, with the clear perception that to come back one day should be the most improbable thing. No one was expecting a revolution.
The most of the hours of my days were already passed shooting and developing as much as I could, as I already had bought my first real camera, my beloved Nikkormat, with the product of selling my also beloved small motorbike. A big option.
But that is Another Story!…