Help translating a diary entry?

Hope someone can help!

Some time ago, after the death of my grandfather, I discovered a journal of his dating to 1960 that contained entries chronicling meetings with Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, etc (our family hails from Cuba). One entry is of particular interest to me, from a historical standpoint, however, half the entry was written in shorthand. He often wrote entries in his journal in English and thus, I believe this shorthand to be Gregg (English Language). I am desperately seeking someone who might be able to translate what on earth is on two particular pages of his journal. Any help would be truly appreciated.
I anxiously await your reply.

(by epirnik for everyone)

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9 comments Add yours
  1. Yes, this is Gregg.  At first glance, I'm having a little trouble reading his shorthand (and longhand, for that matter), but I bet our experts will have no problem.   _________________________ Shorthand: isn't it about time?

  2. Hi there,

    As far as the long-hand is concerned – here's the breakdown:

    LEFT PAGE (top to bottom)
    Mrs. Fernandez (Conchita Fernandez, Castro's secretary) called us in with Infante (one of Che Guevara's adjutants). Saw the film. Suggested us to be on stand by, come back 3pm. Left project at her office – she understands Dr. Castro must see film.

    3pm: Returned to Infante's office.
    3:15pm: A vessel exploded in harbor ?? dead, over 100 wounded – French flag, "La Coubre," Very important, this accident – this moment.


    PAGE TWO (top to bottom):

    5:30pm We go to Hilton (Havana Hilton)

    More shorthand

    That's the gist of it. Still haven't hear from anyone who can make sense of it though. If anyone needs a higher resolution scan – let me know – I had to upload it on the small side, for obvious reasons.

    Many thanks!

  3. I would change:

    1st line: liked her to him
    2nd: for going over him
    I can't read FIDEL but I can read phonetically [sait]

    enunetent –> accident
    project –> projector

    We acted for Infante to let him know it ;–> {his} floor.

    Fatnshdnai looks like a hindu name, but it's Saturday.

    apaut –> about

    My two cents,


  4. Do not think that the members of this group do not know shorthand; I assure you that they do.

    However, this is a very difficult specimen for analysis. It is not particularly like any series of Gregg Shorthand that was published, but it does not use many brief forms at all, spelling out most common words (for instance, "go" is written "go" instead of "g"). Here is my very loose transcription of it, as best as I can figure. Do not take any of it to the bank, now, as several words are illegible. I just wrote them as I saw them.


    Mrs. Fdez called us in with
    Infante. Saw the film. Suggested
    us to be stand-by, come back
    3 p.m. left project at her office—
    she understands Dr. Castro must
    see flim.

    3:00 p.m. Returned to Infante's office.
    3:15 p.m. A vessel exploded in harbor 26 dead
    over 100 wounded—French flag, "La Coubre,"
    Very important, this accident this moment.
    3:30 p.m. Infante tells us — Santos (?) liked her to seem
    for going (ofar) him. We went to Mrs. Fernandez' office of 4:15 p.m.
    until she called Fidel Castro who is going to meet with the pueblo later
    to build-tish night on which we anticred telling her through her
    Secretary Luis, never mind we kide.

    5:00 p.m. Sitting at the entrance Ropi oy Ms. Fernandez's and Fidel's office
    Ms. Fernandez called again saying that Fidel could not be back.
    He us puse with the wanted pepper at the price of enunetent
    And besides the President had called for a cabinet meeting at 10 p.m.
    We decided to leave the project, tire, and side; we
    did keep in touch with Infante.
    We acted for Infante to let him know it; floor.
    5:30 p.m. We go to the Hilton with Mr. Infante.
    7:35 p.m. Mr. Infante asks us to put at 10 a.m.
    tomorrow Fatnshdnai (?) at his office. colgeta wise
    At apaut 11 a.m. she will be tire and the meeting supposed
    this estersome onact of the accident is still building. Asked
    us to keep on a stand by.


    I hope that this loose semblance of a transcription is in some way helpful in coming to a closer understanding of what the writer intended to be written. 🙂

    —Andrew Owen

  5. Wow – thanks! I think that semblanc of a translation will be of great help – I'm meeting with a woman who still uses Gregg every day and perhaps your deciphering will help jump start our work! My gratitude to you.

    Be well,


    FYI, since you took the time to do that – the entries concern the American shipping company, SeaLand – now Maersk/SeaLand. In 1960, my grandfather was acting as the on-island facilitator for SeaLand's plans to open a hub in Cuba. Permissions had to come from the highest echelons of the government – thus meetings with Castro, Guevara, etc. My grandfather once told me he always knew it (the business plan) would never happen but, that he wanted to use the business idea as a pretext to see up to what point in the govt, the communist leanings he'd been noting in those months, reached. He got his answer in short order.

    I thank you again and wish you the very best.

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