Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Shawl Progress

THe Yarnmarket Shawl is really fun to knit. Lots of short row shaping involved. Feels like cheating when I don't have to finish an entire row....I am beginning, now, to see it take shape.

So here's the little Hungarian story as promised days ago:

My father's grandparents and his father and brother all came through Ellis Island. They came over in steerage. They were Poor immigrants hoping for the new life in America. My father's Uncle Joe played the Push Me Pull Me or the accordion as they say. Uncle Joe had hydrocephalus, or as they called it water on the brain.

Apparently Uncle Joe played so well, that word spread to the upper levels of the ship. Joe was asked to play for the elite on the ship. Night after night he played as they danced and dined. The story goes that he was well fed for his accordion playing.

When they got to Ellis Island, his large head was all too prominent and he was refused entry as his family's greatest fears appeared realized. The story goes, then, that some physicians who Joe had entertained on the long trip over to America convinced the Ellis Island authorities to give Joe a simple math test. If they could convince them he was educable and not a hindrance to society, he could go with his family and make a new life. Of course, he succeeded.

So by the grace of music, and goodness of humans around him, Uncle Joe entered the U.S. and became a citizen. He lived well into his 50s. He was a teen at the time he came to Ellis Island.

We have a couple of photographs of him and his head is very oversized and large. The story goes, that his mother was kicked by a cow when pregnant and that is what they attributed his defect to-

Interesting Eh? I think they were an incredibly brave family to journey so far with the chance they may not get into the US. That side of my family is bold though, and they speak their minds. There you have my little Hungarian story on Irisheyes.


Grateful4Crochet said...

Wow- that is a great story!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the story. It was inspiring.


SissySees said...

I love that story!! What bravery on your great-grands' part, and what kindness by that doctor. Yay for the power of music. Are you listening, all the school systems across the country thinking music, art and gym are unnecessary budget-busters?!

Lynneb said...

Almost all of my great grandparents immigrated here from Germany, through Ellis Island. I am always grateful for their fortitude and spirit of adventure. And how they were willing to save everything they could to travel to this new place where they had no-one. And they were willing to work to do whatever they needed to do when they arrived. My father's grandparents were proud to work and save to own their own home, which was a pretty big deal. And grandmother Minnie put herself through school to become a nurse!

fancystitching said...

What aneat story! Thanks for sharing, and the shawl is looking lovely.

sapphireblue said...

That's a great family story. I'm glad that story was preserved for the ages.

Mereknits said...

What a fascinating story. My first job was in a State institution in Virginia where they sent all the people who were not put together perfectly when they were young. By the time I got there the youngest was in his 20's. I met a lovely woman who had such a big head due to hydrocephalus that they had a tray made for her wheel chair so she could lay her head on it. She had the most lovely southern drawl and was just so happy. It is amazing how brave your family was and thankfully they treated your Uncle like everyone else.
Have a wonderful day,

KSD said...

That is a magnificent story. Your family is lucky to have it.

Grace said...

wonderful storry and glad you are enjoying your shawl knitting

Katherine said...

Thanks for sharing a beautiful story! So many of our ancestors were helped along by the kindness of strangers. It is very moving to stand in the Ellis Island great hall and just feel the history there!!

Sara said...

A spring shawl... How perfect! Happy to see you at Tangled Happy. Wishing you a happy weekend. :)

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