What I’ve wondered my whole life is why still my family left their Slavic country and other people stayed behind? Tickets to America were cheap but the trip long, riding for 2-3 weeks in shitty steerage. Not a luxury cruise by any means. 

However, my family rose at least two social classes shortly after arriving in America. Jobs, education and money were easily had. My grandpa and uncle learned to play the Stock Market, so they made some easy money that way. They went from peeing in the forest to indoor flushing toilets. Central heat. Hot water on demand. Refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, sewing machines with the latest features. Saturday shopping sprees in the finest department stores. Furs and jewelry for my grandmother. Lots of freedom of movement, speech and choice. Any kind of food you could want. Big Buick automobiles for leisurely drives to beautiful northern Michigan. Medical care, dental care, big hospitals, libraries groaning with books located right in the neighborhood. 

Why did some people stay behind? I don’t understand. Why did your families choose to stay and mine didn’t? Did your countries offer perks if people stayed? Free land? Free stuff? 


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