For All Nails #215: Sins of the Father

by Carlos Yu

From the Novidessa Prensa-Gazeta
26 December 1975

Son Still Haunted by Sins of Father

by Guillermo Zielinski

Vicente Mercator, Junior, is not a happy man.

"I get these calls in the middle of the night from people I don't know, Anglo, Hispano, even Negro. Sometimes it's just to cuss me out. Sometimes they want to talk. Sometimes they want to congratulate me. Those are the scary ones," Mercator adds, a wry smile on his lips.

It's a familiar smile as well. Mercator Junior has clearly inherited Mercator Senior's vitavision good looks.

"Sometimes I get stopped on the street and asked if I'm one of Pop's doubles," Mercator recounts. "I tell them, if I were, wouldn't I be in Acapulco making movies?"

It has not been an easy year for the 47-year-old executive. A Novidessa resident for over two decades, Vicente Mercator, Junior -- "Call me Vince, everyone else does" -- began receiving death threats "almost immediately" after the Bali bomb exploded.

"They've vandalized my loke, they've thrown trash on my lawn, they've harassed my kids. Once there was poison left out for the dog. What sort of person would do that?" he asks wonderingly.

Vince Mercator came to Alaska nearly thirty years ago, as a young airman for the home defense.

"I got off the airmobile onto the landing strip and saw Mount Rainier in the distance, and said to myself, 'This is where I want to live for the rest of my life.' Then I didn't see Mount Rainier again for the next six months," Mercator jokes.

After the war, Mercator entered the University of Alaska, where he played on the college tlachti team -- "mainly on the bench," comments Mercator -- and received his degree in business administration. After graduation, he quickly landed a job with the Fort Suvorov Paper Company, where he became a rising star in its postwar management.

"I'm not saying that I wasn't hired because of my name. But you don't move up in the world of business just because your name looks good on a plaque," Mercator states bluntly. "Paper, and the whole forest products industry, was in a bad way after the war, no lo sabes. Fort Suvorov helped turn it around."

While on his way up the corporate ladder, Mercator met Liudmila Sorenson, a Novidessa native. "It's a very Alaskan story. We met on a ski retreat, and then kept on running into each other at Macy's for coffee. Six months later, we were married." They have two children, Catherine and Vicente III.

"Hey, the name worked for me," Mercator deadpans.

Family is very important to Vince Mercator. He is still angry about the vitavision coverage of his parents' estrangement. "After a while it was just too much. Even public figures are entitled to their private lives."

And his father?

"What he did was terrible, seguro. But I'm not going to denounce him. After all, he's still my pop."

As for the late night phone calls, one mystery remains for Vince Mercator.

"I don't know how they get my number. Obviously, I'm unlisted." A little uneasily, Mercator laughs.

(Forward to FAN #216: My Home Town.)

(Forward to 12 January 1976: Weakness is Strength.)

(Return to For All Nails.)

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