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He married Cecilia Mogollon in 1952
He married Cecilia Mogollon in 1952

Born in Lebrija, Colombia on March 16, 1926.



I’m sharing with you the life of a clever, funny and gifted writer, a man who could talk about any topic and knew everything. A father that I miss and wished he could have been preserved for eternity.

A quiet province in the north of Colombia at the beginning of the twentieth century, Santander del Sur had been rocked a few times by the wars between the liberales and the conservadores.

It had been spared the destruction of other towns in the region subject to the tantrums of local politicians, who had dreamed of a grand Colombia.

In a village called Lebrija, an hour away from Bucaramanga, a young woman -Josefina Camacho- went in labour. She already had two other children and had lost a few others at birth.

Little Horacio Camacho was five years old and his sister Lijia, two years old as they waited with their father in the lounge. After pushing for the last time, Josefina delivered a rose faced child into the world.

The midwife cleaned the child, before placing him next to his mother. The children admired the new addition to the family, while the woman cut the umbilical cord.

Having lost another baby the year before, Josefina felt nervous. The midwife wanted to make sure everything would be fine this time.

Father stroked the baby's hair as the children admired his rosy face. Then he led them to the kitchen, where they had their lunch. The children wanted to know how the baby had come in the world and if he would live with them.

That evening little Ismael slept in a small cot by his mother’s side. Cockerels singing, woke them up next morning, and as the baby cried, his mother put him by her breast.

Time went past and Jose Ismael grew intro a chubby child with golden curls, who liked to play with his brother and sister in the countryside around his home. He pulled his cars along the grass and hid his sister's dolls under the bushes.

After going to bed one night complaining of pain in his arm, his father didn't wake up the next morning. Jose Ismael was five years old while Ligia and Horacio were six and eight years old. They thought father would come back later to play with them before their bed time.

Sweet dreams had ended for the young woman, left alone with her three children. They traveled on the back of mules, to a town where their uncles lived. That journey across the mountains must have been exciting for a five year old boy.

The country didn’t have many roads during the ninety thirties. They had to trek to the other side of the cordillera, where another life waited for them in a bigger city.

Little Horacio recalled the slow pace of the mules by the edge of precipices and ravines. A friend, who had come with them, built the tents to sleep that night.

Playing in the field next morning, the children collected flowers growing alongside the path. It was a great adventure for them all, even if the weather turned cold and they felt tired.

After the children had climbed on the mules they resumed their trek through the mountains full of fog and dangers.

An immense kaleidoscope of rivers, hills and ravines, made up the countryside in the central cordillera of the Andes where the Chibchas had lived before the conquest.

Having left the province of Santander, the mountains had given way to pastures. Cows and goats ate the long grass, as an eagle circled above them, looking for pray and nature rejoiced in life.

The church steeple against a cloudy horizon, welcomed them, as they neared Choconta. Sensing the end of their journey, the mules trotted towards the houses at the edge of town.

Josefina with little Ismael were the first ones to enter the town. People looked at them from their houses while dogs barked.

Where’s the church?” she asked a man.

He took them along the high street and up to the church, where the sound of people singing spilled into the streets.
"Alleluia," they chanted.

After helping her children get off the donkeys, Josefina led them inside the house of God, as a priest read the sermon.

Pushing his big glasses up his nose,he stood in front of the congregation talking of God's grace.

He paused for a minute as the new arrivals sat down, before resuming his preaching. Josefina hoped her uncle would welcome them in their home.

He hugged Josefina and the children after the mass
“I was expecting you,” he said.

As a catholic priest, Uncle Antonio believed in the value of his family amongst the kingdom of God.

After taking them to his house by the church, the maid helped them to bring their belongings and they had lunch in the refectory . The man accompanying the family to Choconta, went back to Lebrija in Santander the next day.

Tired after the long journey, Josefina and the children went to sleep after dinner. They met Uncle Felipe next day after he had said mass.

The men admired the young widow who had journeyed through the mountains to come to Choconta.

The uncles taught the children all about religion and the bible and they paid for their education.

My father was 14 years old when the second war world started. After reading everything about the conflict, he liked going to the movies to see the films of the time.

A clever boy, he did well in the school and had inherited his mother’s blond hair and fair skin. His sister Ligia and his brother Horacio looked more like their father.

Jose Ismael finished school and studied medicine at the Universidad Nacional of Bogota. He got his degree in medicine and married his second cousin Cecilia Mogollon in 1952
He had his children in 1953 and 1955
He hads his children in 1953 and 1955
He published Siete Minutos in 1971
He published Siete Minutos in 1971
Passed away on October 10, 1995 at the age of 69.
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