Dreams of My Grandfather

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I don't have many memories of my Grandfather on my father's side.  He died when I was about nine years old.  He had came to this country from Hungry as a very young boy, around 5 years old.  He never spoke Hungarian and none of my his children, all 13 of them didn't either.  However, I only learn recently that he did not become a US citizen until his mid 30s and that it was one of the proudest days of his life.

 

He knew my Grandmother, born in the US, since childhood and she steadfast wouldn't have anything to do with him until they began dating in their early 20s. I'm told they were never apart for one night and despite 13 kids always found alone time (maybe too much given that number of kids.)  Through the Depression my Grandfather had the unique luck of working for the Coast Guard as a ship repairman.  That would have been my father's life had he not gotten drafted into WW2 and eventually attended college on the GI bill.

 

I'm told that my Grandfather became very depressed in life after the death of my Grandmother and eventually died of a broken heart.  I remember him having out dollar bills to what had to be nearly 70 grandchildren.  He'd always tell us not to tell Mom or Dad, it was his treat. 

 

I guess my Grandfather was the successful Immigrant story.  American all the way and working hard to bring up a nice family.  My aunts and uncles, some of them now gone were the most honorable people I've ever met.  The older I get the more I miss that huge extended family and realize how lucky I was to be able to be molded by such greatness.  Certainly my zest to understand life and the truth about topical events was driven by the discussions I witness as a kid.

 

If we truly do rejoin our lost ones when we die I really will enjoy telling my Grandfather what an amazing job he and Grandma did raising 13 very bright, caring and respectful people.  Nothing I want more than to be sitting in a that chain again hearing the most riveting debates and discussions.

Comments

Jeff Jackson Added Jul 9, 2017 - 3:07pm
Nice story George. The post-WWII was the greatest growth in U.S. history, and the opportunities were all over. Now wages race to the bottom, as well as opportunities, unless you are a digital entrepreneur or want to become a cab driver. Meanwhile Amazon is steamrolling all of the older businesses who missed the digital revolution.
Consider this: You create a car, and to reproduce the car you have to do all of the things all over again, the steel, iron, aluminum, glass, plastic, etc. Or you invent a piece of software, and the only thing you need to do to generate another one is to copy it to another disk or flash drive. From which can you make more money? 
You gear up and design assembly lines for cars, or you just copy the software from one computer to another. Now look at who is super-rich because they created something new. The money is in digital, not manufacturing, because once designed, the cost of copies is tiny compared to the sale price, and compared with something like a car. Still wondering who is getting rich and how?
George N Romey Added Jul 9, 2017 - 3:12pm
The other aspect Jeff is that the software invention employs a fraction of the people.  Again, we as a society need to face a world in which there will be far less need for human brain and brawn.  We can build a society in which will all work less but still prosper with more time for self, family, community, faith, etc.  Or will a world in which a few select do amazingly well while everyone else lives in dire poverty with no opportunity. 
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 9, 2017 - 4:15pm
George I think the software people would prefer the latter.
George N Romey Added Jul 9, 2017 - 4:21pm
Jeff ultimately they pay the price too.  Just look at most cities in South American in which there is a two class system.  Cities are crime ridden, dangerous, and dirty.  Kidnapping and violence are a constant threat particularly to children of the rich.  The rich live behind gates rarely venturing out for an evening walk on a beautiful night or sunset. 
 
Now compare that to what was once a typical US mainstream town.  Town centers were for socializing and gathering of friends and families.  Streets were safe and people could move about without fear.  There was an adequate tax base to remove trash, maintain infrastructure and have sufficient police protection. 
 
So what town would you want to live in? 
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 9, 2017 - 5:24pm
I agree, when wealth is concentrated in the hands of just a few, crime becomes a means of survival. The Third World still hasn't learned that lesson, and America will soon be there if the rich/poor ratio keeps increasing. Consider as well that if the law-enforcement authorities are poor, they're just going to be bribed and take a few risks as possible, a lot like some country south of the U.S. border where graft and bribery are rampant.
Leroy Added Jul 9, 2017 - 5:24pm
Touching story, George.  I never knew any of my grandparents.
George N Romey Added Jul 9, 2017 - 5:26pm
Jeff in the South America the authorities generally do not look out for citizens.  Only the wealthy that will pay their bribes.   Leroy the point of the article ultimately is to let us know how our grandparents and parents sacrificed with the belief that their successive generations would have it better, yet we are going in the opposite direction. 
wsucram15 Added Jul 9, 2017 - 5:36pm
George..that is a cool story. My Grandpa was cool also and I only have one i remember.
Im glad you were able to pay such tribute to your Grandfather.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jul 9, 2017 - 5:42pm
Thanks for sharing this. 
Donald Swenson Added Jul 9, 2017 - 8:24pm
I agree. D
Patrick Writes Added Jul 9, 2017 - 8:46pm
Nice post. 13 kids is quite a bunch to raise well. 
 
My grandfathers both fought in WWII. 
 
But my great-grandfather, in the same age bracket as your grandpa, had 8 kids and a small farm and suddenly wife left him and took all 8 kids to inner city Chicago (and ripped herself out of their wedding pic and took that half with her) and worked to support all 8 kids herself, not very well I'd add, died in her 50's. I'd guess he did something....
 
Not everybody was a saint even way back around the turn of the century. Sounds like your grandpa was a good man. 
Dino Manalis Added Jul 10, 2017 - 8:09am
Very nice, reminds me of my grandparents from Greece.
Dave Volek Added Jul 10, 2017 - 11:53pm
Patrick: Great comment. The good old days weren't really all that good for many Americans.
 
And the advancement of the American middle age from about 1945 to 1975 was an aberration in history owing to American advantage after WW2: intact infrastructure and a relatively better educated workforce.
Donald Swenson Added Jul 11, 2017 - 12:40am
George's history reminds me of my Swedish history. Both my parents immigrated from Sweden in the early 1900's. They met in California, got married, moved to Minnesota, and had 4 children. I was one of them. This makes me a first generation Swedish/American. I leave for a visit to Sweden in one month. It is so refreshing to visit cousins who live a different lifestyle but whom I can relate to fully. D
George N Romey Added Jul 11, 2017 - 8:08am
I think that in years gone by we as society ignored ills such as spouse and child abuse, mental illness, alcoholism, etc.  One good aspect of society today is that those evils are now confronted.   
 
While I agree the US enjoyed certain global advantageous from 1945 to 1975 I also think a corporate driven state fixated on never ending profit growth has also destroyed our economy and society.  The history of mankind has shown often that too much of a good thing is not good.

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