Tramping to us was really special, of course you know I was thinking about that when I came to America because the name ‘tramp’ in Czech was somebody who was noble, it was a noble name; it was somebody who was good, a right person, a true patriot, a person who knows nature and loves nature.
Family life Tag
When I was younger I didn’t want to speak Slovakian. I thought it was a dumb language and I didn’t need and why would I use it. There’s not a lot of Slovakians… There’s no real use for the Slovak language in America, but there are communities that you can get along with. But now I am so thankful that I know Slovak
I was kind of oblivious to what was going on in politics. I think I started paying attention to it when I was 14, 15, 16. I remember sitting in a pub in Domaša, drinking beer and having a discussion with friends. My older friends, three years older were saying ‘Communism is going to fall. I am telling you guys, it will end.’
First, people were unhappy. But I think later, I think later when I was a little bit older, they had relief. Some people had really relief. Like, we can’t even work, it’s so much work, and now they have tractors and they have equipment, machinery, and many people had relief, actually.
And then going to school was fascinating, because there was a lot of shrapnel on the road, and it was suggested that it would be helpful to collect the shrapnel, so we had bags or buckets or whatever, putting the pieces of shells in to collect so that they could melt it and shoot it back.
I loved school, a lot of learning, dancing. I have a lot of fond memories of growing up in Slovakia – I think because I left when I was so young. I didn’t get to experience what would be the negative aspects of communism, what the adults had to deal with. For me, I was just a kid, I was growing up so… we left when I was only seven.
Not only that, many people were like that – both boys and girls. Because many guys didn’t have much opportunity, only to marry somebody else who had… to be again on a farm. You know, [another person] in the village and stuff like that. So I inherited some money from my parents, I had the opportunity, but I was not allowed. That’s it.
Actually, it was scary, I tell you! That was one place I was sort of afraid because I hadn’t expected this, there were many people detained at Ellis Island, and we were separated – there were women in one section, men in another section, and they did have to take him to a hospital, I believe, or a doctor, and have a new X-ray done and have him proclaimed clear of any illness.