True Stories

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I have met many people with the same last name as I, only they had different spellings. Later I discovered that my ancestors in Ireland, could not read or write (having seen documents signed with an “X”). In fact, they could not spell their own last names, hence the many different spellings.


Grandmum in Australia used to peel tar off the street and chew it like chewing gum.


I had 2 uncles who were drafted in World War II. They had the same mother, but different fathers (both parents were of a mixed racial background). In World War II, soldiers were kept separated according to race. There was one group for white soldiers and another for non-white soldiers. Both uncles were in the Navy, but because of their different complexions, one served with the white soldiers and one with the non-white soldiers.


Thanksgiving is a big holiday in our house. Family and friends, everyone comes to our house and my mother cooks a fabulous meal-traditional American. We celebrate this holiday, because my parents lived in the Ukraine, under Communism and escaped to America. My parents know what America has given to them. When my parents came here they had nothing, but because of what America is, they built happy, successful lives for themselves. And because of what they went through, I know how lucky I am to have been born here.


My great uncle was a Zookeeper in Quebec in charge of Elephants. When he died of a heart attack, one of the Elephants died shortly afterwards of a broken heart.


My great grandfather’s horse fell on him while jumping a moat in Ireland. The story is that when the horse fell on him, he was taken for dead and his body thrown into a ditch. When someone walked by and saw him move, they realized he was alive. How lucky for me and all his descendants!


My mother came to America and landed at Ellis Island. At the time, she was living in an area of the city that had many immigrants who worked all the time and were trying to get enough money to move their families to this country. They could not get loans from regular banks because they did not have any collateral and not considered a good risk. So, my mother organized a “sou-sou”. I guess in the old country people had a “sou-sou”. A “sou-sou” is like a bank with people you know (from your neighborhood, your friends and family) contributing. When people had extra money, they would give it to my mother who would loan it out to others who needed it. The borrowers would pay it back and it would be loaned to someone else. Just like a bank! My mother helped lots of people buy houses, start businesses, send their kids to school, etc…