Héctor Rebasti

Strange coincidence

ecause of the 75th anniversary of Carlos Gardel’s death, the Asociación Fraga of Barracas, through my friend Gregorio Traub, kindly invited me to make a speech at its premises on California Street in June 2010. When the talk was over the authorities of the house showed me the building facilities and the task they are carrying out. On the walls I was able to see a great number of important paintings and some tango relics in glass cabinets.

Suddenly, a small picture with some sort of document attracted my attention. It was the identity card that belonged to doña Berta Gardés, the idol’s mother. It had an attached note of the collector and researcher, Héctor Rebasti, which turned out quite interesting and appealing to me and I, verbatim, want to share it with the Todo Tango friends. (Ricardo García Blaya)

When we are nearing the 67th anniversary of doña Berta’s death we at least are struck by this revelation.

We are talking about what was her Cédula de Identidad (Identity Card), a document so well-remembered by the members of our generation. Many of us still keep it as a memory of our childhood and youth. It consisted of two burgundy hard covers and four inner leaves that included the citizen’s photo and his/her personal family information and noticeable body features.

It was the document that provided us with identity. It was issued after the visit of the Federal Police personnel at our grade school as a first step or, later at the Police Central Headquarters.

The photograph we can see belongs to doña Berta’s identity card. On it we can clearly see the number of the document written in pencil -that was customary for a faster reading- and a perforation of the same number by a system used at that time (at the left of the document). That number is 424.635.

I don’t think it is necessary to explain that when one reads this number a striking figure springs up which seems to be a premonition. Nonetheless I shall divide it into pieces so that its understanding will be easier.

The first number, 4: it stands for the four decades of the lifetime of Carlos Gardel, 1890 – 1935. (Contribution by our friend Héctor Lemmi, of the Sociedad Admiradores de Carlos Gardel of Mar del Plata.)

The number 24: the day of the death of Carlos, her son.

The number 6: the figure used to designate the month of June.

The number 35: short for the year 1935, the one of Carlitos’ death.

It is no small thing, it is an interesting and impressive coincidence.

This “discovery” of mine made by chance contributes with more data and curiosities to the rich story of doña Berta, the beloved biological mother of the always remembered and never surpassed Carlos Gardel.

My sole purpose is to make this well-known, and include it as part of the heritage for the future which will be useful for those who receive this because it is part of the figure of the best tango singer in our country and in the world who was born in the beautiful land of France and adopted Buenos Aires as his definitive country by keeping up the River Plate feeling.