Oh, Porfirio!


Today, while looking through the Time magazine files for a review of a 1955 book on José Martí (just wanted to make sure you know I wasn’t spending my time in frivolous pursuits), I came across this anecdote on Porfirio Rubirosa’s treasure hunt in Colombia. It’s from the magazine’s “People” column from December 1955:

Dominican Playboy Porfirio Rubirosa moseyed into Bogotá, Colombia to make preparations for a genuine treasure hunt. Bracing himself for his safari’s plunge into the Choco wilds on Colombia’s Pacific Coast, Rubi, out to make the jungle give up some platinum and gold, first tested his luck at a race track, won a cool 9,600 pesos on a 100-to-1 shot. He also took his ease in Bogotá’s elegantly stuffy Jockey Club, where he complained about the absence of vodka (he thirsted in vain for a Bloody Mary). Colombia’s press hailed his expedition with gleeful gibes. Item: a caricature of Rubirosa whiling away his safari time by pinching a beautiful nude Indian maiden. Asked for his slant on honest labor, the Ding Dong Daddy from Santo Domingo yawned languidly: “It’s impossible for me to work. I just don’t have time.”

Alas, I tried but couldn’t find the caricature, so here’s a photo of Rubi looking like he’s about to pinch Zsa Zsa Gabor.

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