Neighbors: The Family Secret That Grandmother Was A Spy Reply

Sara McCall left Cuba just after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Beyond that, her family had little idea of how she got to the U.S.
(Courtesy of Sara McCall)

By Jakob Lewis, Nashville Public Radio

After spending lots of time with family this week, maybe you found out something about a parent or grandparent that surprised you.

That’s what happened to relatives of Sara McCall, an 80-year-old woman who started opening up about her Cuban heritage after her son died unexpectedly.

The surprise? McCall worked for the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base before the Cuban Missile Crisis. For a short period, she would ferry letters between U.S. officials and their contacts in Cuba.

“If they catch me, that’s it,” she remembers thinking. “I [can’t] go to the base anymore, or they go and kill me, or they put me in jail.”

Editor’s Note:  This story is an excerpt of NPR’s full-length Neighbors episode, “My Grandma’s A Spy.” Listen to the excerpt above, or hear the full version on their website or on any podcasting app.

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