Lawrence Bohme was born in London on February 2, 1942, to a German war refugee father (Bohme was originally written with two dots over the "o", Bohme) and a Welsh mother. The family emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, immediately after the war, where Lawrence spent a healthy but otherwise uneventful childhood. When he was 12 his mother flew the family coop and set out on a series of adventures as a fledgling abstract painter, taking Lawrence to share her nomadic existence in Mexico, Jamaica and Greenwich Village... Graduating from Charles Evans Hughes High School in New York's "Hell's Kitchen" on West 18th Street, Lawrence went on a whirlwind tour of some of Europe's finest universities (Madrid, Sorbonne, U. of London), qualifying him today as a glorious and staunchly anti-academic dropout, who is wont to say, when asked for his CV, that he graduated from "the University of the World, Faculty of Life". After three years divided between the walk-up hotels of the Latin Quarter (Rue Mouffetard) and the flamenco taverns of the Andalucian town of Montefrio (where he was to return much later in life), Lawrence decided, impulsively and perhaps mistakenly, that he could make it in life without a degree and - after briefly returning to the US and seeing "Black Orpheus" 13 times at the Little Carnegie Cinema - went to California to raise the necessary cash (as a choke-setter in the forests of Sonoma County and busboy at Fisherman's Wharf) to get on a Japanese freighter bound for... Rio de Janeiro (we are now in the year 1965, and LB is 23).
After five idyllic years of living between a shack in the Cantagalo Favela overlooking Copacabana Beach, with a poor black family, and a swanky apartment on the beachfront itself, with a wealthy American friend, parading in the 1967 Carnaval disguised as a Portuguese plantation owner who married a beautiful mulatta slave, and learning the trade of leather craftsman, Lawrence embarked on a 10-year crawl of South America and the Caribbean, setting up his one-man custom crafts boutique in Cartagena, Colombia and the islands of San Andres, Haiti, Grand Cayman, Saint Martin and Saint Barth's. During this time he launched his collection of pen and ink postcards of the West Indies, which he later continued in New York, Boston, Cote d'Azur, Paris and... Montefrio, near Granada.
Returning to Europe in 1980, Lawrence was forced due to chronic cash flow difficulties to become a tri-lingual translator and interpreter at Paris' UNESCO. However, he was soon able to resume his wandering ways when his father generously bestowed on him part of the payment which at that time was retroactively granted to him by the German government in reparation for the hardship he had been caused while a young man in Berlin...
Lawrence next returned to Rio where he met Paula during Carnaval, conceiving his "cafe au lait" daughter Nina in the last days of Lent... He soon brought both of these ladies to live in his "cortijo" (farmhouse) near Granada, in the village of Montefrio, where he rebuilt two peasant cottages in picturesque spots to rent to adventurous travellers.
Lawrence continues to draw his pen and ink postcards and work as a UNESCO translator and conference interpreter, mainly in the Andalucian region; he currently publishes his "Stories from Montefrio" in The Entertainer of Almeria, Soc.Culture.Spain and this finely produced webpage!
And I solemnly swear that every single word of the above is basically true!
Lawrence ("Lorenzo") Bohme
Cortijo de los Siete Olivos, Montefrio (Granada)
Tel. +34 609 575400 +34 958 310124
Fax. +34 958 310145
[Send Lorenzo E-Mail][More Spanish Stories]