I look over his naturalization papers, and notice the statements he signed, "I am not an anarchist." But I suppose he might have been considered a criminal, a thief back in the old country. So today when we have yet more concerns, rightfully so, about immigrants and who should come into our country, who should not, on and on, I think of my own Granpap. He was so very proud of his citizenship. Mom told me how they as kids teased Granpap while he would be practicing for his citizenship test and he would get very angry with them. He told them it was so very important and they did not know how lucky they were to be born here. "Don't you never laugh about me." Three of my grandparents were immigrants and the fourth, my maternal grandmother born to immigrant parents. In a way this makes me ever sympathetic to those who wish o migrate here. But yet, do it the right way and for heaven's sake, do not get charity the moment you enter the country. It was a different time, workers, laborers were needed in the mines, the factories. Yet today, many of the immigrants provide labor for jobs that Americans will not do. Maybe things are not so very different as they seem. What worked then doesn't now? Why
Teofil told me how he rode the rails as a young guy, hobo style, looking for work. All his life he kept that soft spot for hobos and I remember my grandparents would give them a meal. I have written some stories about Granpap elsewhere on this blog, I wish I had someone today to talk to about the missing links in that family.
|1954 Charles Krolicki visits Rose & Teofil|
He had a half or step brother, Charles, who lived near Chicago, but the brother's last name was Krolicki. It could have been through a series of misspellings and immigration and census takers, who knows why the names differed. I do not remember him at all and yet I have a photo of when he visited my grandparents sitting in their living room. Because I spent more of my time with them than at my own home, I am surprised I did not know about Charles' visit. Some research on Ancestry has been helpful but so many unanswered questions. Then again, what difference does it make, the line stops here with me and so will the stories. I guess that is why I take them to the blog, someday, somewhere out and off this cyberspace, someone might be researching years from now. Who knows.
For today, though, Happy birthday, Granpap.