Category Archives: when

From Cotton in England to a Store for Jockeys in California

Mary Beth Train’s immigrant story is because of King Cotton. Her maternal grandparents arrived in the United States in 1920, with her mother, Winifred, age 6 and uncle, Geoffrey, age 4. They sailed from Liverpool, England to New York on the Corona.In England that family had lived in Colne, a small mill town in Lancashire in the northwest. Mary Beth’s ... Read More »

The Miracle of Life

Morrie’s early years were gruesome and filled with fear, but they shaped a man who taught his son to stand down for nothing and stand up for everything. It wasn’t something you see often. Nazi soldiers flooding the streets as Polish residents were called out, manhandled, and forced to their knees. The air was thick with crackling tension, only broken ... Read More »

Lazar and Dena Kasofsky Leave Russia

Larry Klein’s grandfather Lazar Kasofsky, born in 1884  in the rural town of Slonim, Russia, was the eldest of seven children in a Jewish family. Late 19th Century  Russia was a dangerous place for Jews. In addition, the Russian army conscripted boys at age sixteen, many never to be seen by their families again. With these facts in mind Lazar’s parents, Jacob and Ester Hanna, decided ... Read More »

From Algeria to California – Mehdi Kaci

Mehdi was twenty years old, the only child in the Kaci family still under 21. This was lucky timing as it allowed him to qualify as a minor child and be a part of his parents’ United States Diversity Visa application. His older brother and sister would have to find another way if they were ever to emigrate to the ... Read More »

Have You Ever Lost Someone?

This short video of music and visuals was made by East Palo Alto teenager and Dreamer, Sarahi Espinoza.  She was recently honored by President Obama as seen in our repost of an ABC news story.  Her Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarahitv/403777196395032   Read More »

Rafa: An Ordinary Tale By No Standards

I’ll come to you in six more years and instead of a bike, I will have a car. Instead of a room, I will have a house, and instead of having to do odd jobs, I will speak English well enough to be a manager of some place. “My story is just like anyone else’s who came to this country ... Read More »

Ragnild Syversdatter and Kittel Groth

Another young woman who courageously made possible a “better life” for the family in America was Ragnild Syversdatter Groth. When her parents agreed to the request that their seventeen-year-old daughter marry Kittel Groth, who was fifteen years older, she had no idea that five years later her husband would succumb to the “America fever.” He sold the family farm in ... Read More »

Guri Syversdatter Sundbreen & Lars Paulson Troo

  In the steerage the family slept on a straw-covered plank bunk with barely enough room for four – let alone five. After much seasickness all of Guri’s children suffered from measles and her youngest son died. The greatest bravery was shown by Guri Syversdatter Sundbreen,a little woman in physical stature but a giant in faith. In May 1857 this thirty-eight ... Read More »

Vincenzo Cortese

The apricot trees in Santa Clara Valley have been planted and watered to flourish into a fruitful county. The nutrients of the soil in which these trees were rooted remain plentiful in the legacy of Vincenzo Cortese. In the year 1911,  thirteen-year-old Vincenzo Cortese followed his father and older brother to Chicago alongside his mother and sister. The journey from ... Read More »

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