But his wife Aleida called the radio station to deny such an assumption. For the joy of all the people who love him, the outstanding narrator and commentator is still living and kicking at the age of 80, and is happy because of the homage paid to him by his colleges the day of his birthday.
In spite of his age, Hector keeps that nice character and spirits up for which we have always admired him. He still smokes his little cigar, drinks a cup of wine, plays dominoes once in a while, reads the newspaper everyday because, as he says “you have to be informed” and enjoys baseball games in tournaments like the recent World Baseball Cup.
He said that he does not have the good memory he used to, nevertheless he is able to recall a great deal of Eduardo Chibás’ last speech.
“Narrating was my vocation since I was a boy”, he says when we ask him about the beginnings of his career in which he would become one of the most remarkable voices of Cuba’s central portion.
“In the village of Cruses, where I was born, I used to climb a tree with a little stick and a can and from up there, described those games we organized in the sandlot of our neighborhood; and even did not want to come down for a snack.
At the age of 50 I began to work in the evenings as a radio announcer in CMHK broadcasting station, during the day I worked in a drug store.
After that I had the opportunity of developing myself in a private school for announcers, in Havana city, where I attended a course for three months.
“I remember that I received an appointment of the Ministry of Communications to take an exam and did not pass it. They pointed out that I was not able to keep the rhythm when reading and had problems with some punctuation marks.
But I didn’t let it get me down and I tried a second shot. This time I felt myself more comfortable than before; they even asked me to stop. I hardly could control my emotions, because that meant that I had passed the test.
-How did you come to the Doblevé broadcasting station?
In the early years of the Revolution, I met Juan Varela Pérez, former head of
propaganda of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) in the former Las Villas province.
Varela, who was well-known in Granma newspaper for his works about sugar cane harvest, brought me to work at his Department.
“By those days the National Series of Baseball had already begun; and since there were not sportscasters in the Doblevé I began to work as such, an activity that I did together with my job at INDER”.
“Varela used to comment baseball games and I used to describe them. We had the great opportunity to narrate the inauguration game of Sandino Stadium on January 8, 1966”.
“That day I was so excited about broadcasting in a true baseball park”.
“Finally, it was impossible to hold both jobs and I chose the broadcasting station, which I liked the most.
“During my life time work in the main Radio Sation in the central region of the country, I worked together with Ramón Piti Rivera, Rafael Gonzalez Reyes and Normando Hernández, being the latter the person I worked most of the time to inform the people what was happening with their home club”.
Professionally speaking, which people influenced you most?
Buck Canell has always been my inspiration. I consider, he was very professional at work and a great expert about baseball game. I recall him narrating on Baseball World Championships, when I was a young man.
“I had the opportunity of meeting him when he visited Las Villas province, in the 1960’s.
He also visited Vanguardia Newspaper editorial department in order to meet Martín Dihigo (from Matanzas province), who had lived for some years in Cruces.
I have mentioned some Buck’s phrases which made him popular among his listeners
“I have told about Canell, but I also should mention Eddy Martin and Bobby Salamanca who were unforgettable sportscasters, from my point of view”.