Tens of thousands of Cuban exiles were joyous as word spread of Fidel Castro's death late Friday. But many also found themselves overcome by nostalgia.

Joaquin Palacio recalled life in Cuba before Fidel as he relaxed in the backyard of his son's home in Miami this week. He says "it was a good life."

Palacio is now 72 years old, a lifetime spent hoping to return to the island he left at 15. He outlasted Fidel, but Castro's death at the age of 90 won't bring back the Cuba he once treasured.

"What am I going to back to? My family is here," Palacio says. "I have no plans of ever going back. It's not what it used to be. It took me a while," he says, "to realize that.'"