Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Old Country

Some of my favorite stories are ones my grandmother told about growing up in Hungary, what she called "The Old Country". She came to America at the age of 6, but life in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1900 was so harsh, they returned to Hungary and my great-grandfather came back to America alone. He sent for his wife and four daughters once he'd gotten settled in Indiana.

One of the best stories involved a band of gypsies camped across the river from the family farm in Pest. Grandma crossed the river without permission and joined the gypsies in a meal. They roasted a pig they'd found floating down the river. The punishment my grandmother received wasn't so much for joining the gypsies as for having eaten meat plucked from the river.

The circa 1880 photograph is from the Library of Congress and the caption reads "Happy Romanies".


Tracy said...

So much enjoy all the history you share here... and family history as well--wonderful stories! Happy Day :o)

Sweet Repose said...

Thanks for sharing this bit of family history, you are so lucky to have them to pass down.

I can't even imagine living in New York back in those violent times...and weren't we supposed to be the civilized ones...?

High Desert Diva said...

I tried to comment on this the other day, but Blogger was being goofy.

Wonderful photo (and story)