Monday, December 31, 2007

Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (2)

There is a distinct characteristic about accents that seem to stand out, no matter how much you try to improve it, whether you are from East Harlem, Brooklyn, New York or any other state or country. Accents are defined as a mode of utterance; pronunciation. Accents also reflect places of origin.

Several years ago I lived in Florida for a short time. One day while I was waiting on line to cash out my groceries, at the local super market, I was chatting with my friend when the man that was behind me, asked me a question."Excuse me you're from New York right?" Surprised, I looked at him and said, "Yeah! Why ya askin?" "Not for anything, but you talk with a unique accent." "Whaddya mean accent?" I responded, feeling self-conscious. I was trying hard not to show my annoyance as I told him, "So whadsa madda wid da way Noo Yawkers tawk?” The man seeing that I was becoming defensive, answered immediately and without even the slightest hesitation, "Please don't take offense, its just that you kind of talk like a hood" "Gedoutahea, I tawk like a hood?" I never realized that my East Harlem accent stood out, until the day this man brought it to my attention.

Naturally over the years my pronunciation has greatly improved, except for the holiday get-togethers with my nieces and nephew of the Italian side of the family from Yonkers, then it all comes back. Love it, love it, love it...................

Here are a couple of words and expressions still being used by some Noo Yawkers. "Whaddya tawkin? Pronounced waddya talkin' or wuddya talkin'. It simply means "what are you talking about?" or "what do you mean?"."I'm a Noo Yawka, Didn'chat know that?" " Gedoutahea, yer pudding me on! " "Yeah, I kum fun Noo Yawk." "Would ja ged a grip!" " Did'ju or did'ja," "Would'ju or would'ja, ". "Soopah (Super)," " Fur sur I'm ohn the fawth floor," "Wawda (water)," "I'll have a tooner samwidge: (tuna sandwich)," " I live on a hun'six near Toid". "Gimme a cup of cawfy (coffee)," " Who's dat goil? (girl)," " I shudda had my brudda over the udda day," " My mudda and fodda are goin downashaw ohn Lawnguylund, " "Datsawayigoze (That's the way it goes)," "Youse (you)," " I wud be da foist to tell you if my brudda was na here," "Fugheddaboudit! I ain't saying nuttin," "Gwan, gedoutahea before I call the cops" "Gimme a slizer pizzer anna soder."

If you have any more to add to this list feel free to contact me.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (1)

Just a stone's throw from the wharves where the immigrants landed were the slums of the Five Points District, a breeding ground for crime and pestilence. Poor immigrants who came to New York City during the mid 1800s into the early 1900s usually lived in the tenement district amid crime, filth and disease. The tenement houses in the lower part of Manhattan and other areas were overcrowded, lacking drainage and sufficient ventilation. Immigrants had to live in damp smelly cellars or attics, or up to six or 10 people, men, woman and children packed into crowded single rooms where "filth for so many years reigned undisturbed and pestilence wiping out hundreds of lives annually." Garbage and slop from the houses were thrown into the streets, left to fester in the scorching sun. Along the streets, one would find in various stages of decomposition dead dogs, cats or rats.

As you entered the overcrowded tenement buildings, you were greeted with a nauseating stench emanating from unwashed bodies, rags, old bottles, stale cooking odors and accumulating garbage heaps in the rooms. Decaying grease adhering to waste-pipes from kitchen sinks added its putrid odor to the foul emanations. These tenement buildings were dangerous firetraps, as well as a breeding place for murderous rodents that would kill babies in their cribs. The poor did not have the luxury of water, especially if they lived on the upper level. Water had to be carted from the fire hydrant in the street and carted upstairs.........

The Five Points district, tenement fires, murders, rape, child abuses, images and police brutality all find their way to "Tenement Living and Pressing Social Issues of Urban Life" located in the NYC Main Directory offers the reader a glimpse of tenement living during the mid 1800s into the early 1900s.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

When You Love A Child……Get Involved (6)

The battle against substance abuse has been a difficult and slow uphill climb, to the point where many parents overwhelmed by the scope of the drug problem are beginning to lack confidence in their own ability to safeguard their children from drugs. You as a parent are not alone in this battle. There are hundreds of associations and neighborhood groups that have formed to fight the problem of teen drug abuse.Parents working together will become more informed on drug issues and will be better prepared to fight the forces that are out there providing drugs to our children. With support, love, and a strong commitment to parenting, you and your family can survive,even thrive, during these challenging times.

Keep reassuring your child, teen-ager, young adult that you will always be there for them no matter what. Whether you believe it or not, they ARE listening and it will mean so much to your child, for him to hear you say that. Not only say you love her unconditionally, but follow up with affection. Human warmth is the best physical communication that brings its own special kind of reassurance for both parent and child. . Help them take dominion of their life once again, rebuild their self-confidence and self-esteem and in so doing you will make them feel safe.


America needs her young people to ensure its success and future as a nation, so it is up to each and every one of us doing our individual part as parents, educators and community leaders, to keep our young people drug free.


Source for some of this information: National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847-2345

Back To Table of Contents

I leave these thoughts with you....Goodbye for now.....Until the next time....When "Mimi Speaks."

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When You Love A Child……Get Involved (5)

Speaking to children about drugs should start early because "the opportunity for parents to impact their teens' thinking about illegal drugs diminishes as the teen gets older."

Even if you have done an outstanding job of educating and nurturing the child in your care, some children will still remain curious about alcohol,tobacco, and illegal drugs. This is why it is important for you to prepare yourself in as much background information as you can on the names of drugs used and the street names by which they are called, so that you can explain the consequences associated with them.

Not only should you have open communication with your child, but you need to get involved in their activities, praising her accomplishments. You will be amazed at how much this quality time of special activities, whether it is reading a book, playing a game of your child's choice or going on an outing, is essential to building a strong parent-child relationship. When a child feels the love and support of a parent through the many phases of his childhood, where they can express themselves without fear of rejection or recrimination, this becomes the foundation for their not turning to substance abuse as a way of dealing with stress..

It is important when in making rules, that you explain the need for them as well as being consistent in its enforcement, not forgetting to mention about what the consequences will be, if the rules are broken, whether it be behavior at home, chores, schoolwork and so on and so forth.

Leniency or harshness in establishing rules may not always give positive results. Parents who have a warm relationship with their children, while maintaining rules for behavior, can teach children self-discipline.

Finally, monitor your child's relationships, especially the friends that he spends time with, and the places where they hang out in after school hours. Monitor her Internet usage, text messaging, and social networking sites. Monitoring does take a parent's energy, time, and attention,but the outcomes are well worth the effort!

To Be Continued: When You Love A Child (6)

When You Love A Child……Get Involved (4)

By the time they are in kindergarten, most children have seen adults smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, whether on television or in real life, this is why it is never too early to talk with them about the dangers of drugs. Parents have an incredible influence on their child's decision whether or not to use drugs.

Drug use among our teens and young adults, is non-discriminatory. It cuts across all ethnic, geographic and socioeconomic lines. Youth experience pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs at increasingly early ages. Most teens who do not give into drug and substance use, credit their parents as a major factor in that decision.

In making a comparison between the sexes, studies show that girls may lose self-confidence and self-worth during puberty, become less physically active, perform less well in school, and neglect their own interests and inspirations. During these years, girls are more vulnerable to negative outside influences and to mixed messages about risky behaviors. Girls are also at higher risk than boys for sexual abuse, which has been associated with substance abuse. Among boys, puberty tends to increase aggressive behavior, which occurs a year or two later than it does in girls. Boys tend to experience mood swings and can have feelings of anxiety during puberty. During these years, boys crave exploration of things associated with being grown up, including sexual behavior or experimentation with alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. This is where the guidance, and nurturing from parents help them grow into healthy, well-informed adolescents and adults, so that they have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and a belief in their ability to "handle things."

When you love a child, you need to get into the habit of talking with them everyday. The more you know about your child, the easier it will be to guide him toward more positive activities and friendships. It's important not to be critical. Positive reinforcement and constructive support are more effective in influencing children's behavior than criticism. If you are successful in establishing open lines of communication with your child about day-to-day events, she will be more likely to seek your input on more serious issues as well.

To Be Continued: When You Love A Child (5)

When You Love A Child……Get Involved (3)

This health epidemic is a consequence of the irresponsible prescribing of controlled prescription drugs which have been widely advertised. CASA acknowledges that the problem was NOT caused by illicit street junkies, but the report fails to nail the obvious culprits who enticed the public including impressionable children to take drugs that promised to make them feel better than ever. This drug epidemic is the consequence of a physician-pharmaceutical orchestrated crime.

The medical / psychiatric community and its professional organizations--especially the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Institute of Mental Health. The AMA and APA are even now attempting to persuade the FDA to withdraw the newly required label warnings about the risks posed by antidepressants and stimulant drugs.

Physicians and medical institutions that have grown wealthy from their collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry have created a drug addiction epidemic that puts the community's safety at risk.

Perfectly healthy children, teenagers, pregnant women have become victims of professional drug pushers who are licensed by the government.

CASA notes: "The explosion in the prescription of addictive opioids, depressants and stimulants has, for many children, made their parents' medicine cabinet a greater temptation and threat than the illegal street drug dealer." Parents who do not want to become inadvertent drug pushers should consider locking their medicine cabinets," said Califano. "While many parents lock their liquor cabinets, most do nothing to ensure that controlled prescription drugs are not accessible to children."

Although there are programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education, better known as DARE or D.A.R.E., which is an international education program that seeks to prevent use of illegal drugs,membership in gangs, and violent behavior, what can you as a parent do to help your child excel in school, stay healthy and develop to his or her fullest potential?

When you love a child, you need to talk to them about alcohol, smoking and illegal drugs. You need to explain to them how these substances can affect their studying, causing grades to suffer by affecting memory and learning skills. Show how substance abuse creates problems among relationships, friends and families. If that child or young adult has hopes of going to college, explain to them how drugs will interfere with their attaining academic goals and so on and so forth.

To be continued: When You Love A Child (4)

When You Love A Child……Get Involved (2)

The Alliance for Human Research Protection made the following statement:

"Our nation is in the throes of an epidemic of controlled prescription drug abuse and addiction," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA's chairman and president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. "While America has been congratulating itself in recent years on curbing increases in alcohol and illicit drug abuse, and in the decline in teen smoking, abuse of prescription drugs has been stealthily, but sharply, rising."

A report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) about a survey of 979 physicians and 1,030 pharmacists from July 21 to October 31, 2004, provides shocking findings about the explosive abuse of addictive prescription drugs:

"From 1992 to 2003, abuse of controlled prescription drugs grew at a rate twice that of marijuana abuse; five times that of cocaine abuse; 60 times that of heroin abuse."

To be continued: When You Love A Child (3)

When You Love A Child...Get Involved (1)

Substance abuse by our teens and young adults has been a major concern to our nation over the years, which it’s most recent added addiction has now spread to epidemic proportions across America, resulting in early deaths, violent behavior as well as being permanently mentally impaired.

Not only are the teens and young adults, consuming alcohol, smoking cigarettes and experimenting with illegal drugs, but also have included the pharmaceutical abuse of prescription drugs and over the counter medicines which is currently escalating at an alarming rate. "Pharm parties" known also as pill-popping parties are organized among the youths, where fistfuls of prescription drugs which have been collected from their family medicine chest, would be swallowed without thinking of the consequences. Potentially lethal combinations of alcohol, drugs and painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin or stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall have sent many of them if lucky, to emergency rooms overdosed, or tagged D.O.A., to an anguished parent's heartbreak. An over the counter cough medicine abuse is something people don't really know about or ever think would be a problem, and it’s important for parents to know that it can be just as dangerous and prominent as other drugs.

To continue: When You Love A Child......Get Involved (2)

Tick-Tock, the Merry-Go-Round of the Clock (4)

There are those that sometimes overburden themselves to extremities and then rail at Life for living it. So if you don't like the hectic way you are living, you then need to make changes in your schedule and force yourself to relax a little. Naturally, there is nothing better for relaxation than a good night's sleep__or is this possible? If you go to bed all tensed up worried about what you have to do the next day, you will wake up more tense. So you are defeating the purpose. With all this hurry-scurry, you are building up stress and creating eventually serious health issues. Most diseases are the result of stress. When one is tense, you work at a greatly reduced level of efficiency. Through relaxation you learn to conserve your energy. Tension in itself is not harmful to you; however, the constant tension that you subject your body to is what is dangerous.

I love to watch the Animal Planet channel. I find it to be very interesting. I like to observe the reactions of the lions or tigers, when they are approaching their prey. In one moment, the lion or the tiger is relaxed, and then the next moment it is tense, poised, and ready to spring upon its victim. When it does spring it is using all of the energy stored up during its period of relaxation. Maybe we can take a lesson from this.

Life is an unfolding process, where we "move from comparative ease to points of crisis." Although there are many do's and don’ts that I could suggest, that would be helpful to you, in lessening your stress on the Merry-Go-Round of the Clock, but then everyone's situation and circumstances are different. So really it is up to each and every one of us, to find a solution that would minimize some what, the demand of the self-imposed time schedules that would end up resulting beneficial to all concerned.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Goes The Merry-Go-Round of the Clock.

"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have,and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. " ~Carl Sandberg

Goodbye for now..........Until the next time................when "Mimi Speaks."

Author of Post: Miriam Medina. I would like to hear your comments. Please do not copy this article. You can provide a link to it if you like.

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Tick-Tock, the Merry-Go-Round of the Clock (3)

Time...just when you think you have your daily routine packed down to a science, its that time of the year when the clocks are turned back or forward, by one hour, bringing us to a halt, adding temporary confusion to our pre-programmed minds. Given a short interval to readjust, the ignition gets turned on, wheels start whirling and once again we find ourselves falling back into the same routine of riding the Merry-Go-Round of the Clock. Let's face it we are slaves to time.

How often we will hear someone say "I'm so stressed out....there are not enough hours in the day, to do all the things which I have to do." Remember the time schedules that we allow to govern our days and nights are of our own doing. We have no one to blame but ourselves. "We are always shoving life around, trying to fit as much as we can, according to our time schedule as it relates to our concept of space."

What is space? An interval or area between or within points or objects."

"What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know. ~Saint Augustine.

You got that right Saint Augustine...I can't even explain it myself. Let's hear what Jack E. Addington has to say, so that we may be enlightened on this subject.

"For time to be understood, we must realize that time depends upon space. Space is the measurement. It is through space that we are able to measure time; time is the interval that it takes for an object to move from one point in space to another point in space. The concepts of time and space are essential to each other; each is dependent upon the relative value of the other." (J.E.A.)

To Be Continued:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Giving Of Oneself Goes A Long Way (4)

"Volunteering can be an exciting, growing, enjoyable experience. It is truly gratifying to serve a cause, practice one's ideals, work with people, solve problems, see benefits, and know one had a hand in them." Harriet Naylor

However, there is also another area, which many have the tendency to overlook and that is the field of Genealogy and History which is also in dire need for volunteer transcribers. Over the last several decades , there has been a growing interest in matters pertaining to both of these areas. That natural instinct which prompts one to love the place of his or her birth, to know the history of the origin and descent of a family or race, and the circumstances in the lives of our progenitors is attracting the attention of the intellectual public, in their never ending pursuit for answers.

While subscription sites are appearing everywhere on the web, there are those that continue to offer free access to its vast wealth of information. This has been a major undertaking for them. Volunteers, who sincerely have a passion for history and genealogy have devoted their time and own money to researching and gathering information from primary sources, as well as transcribing them so that they may be uploaded to the web for the benefit of the public.

Please let us not forget to always be appreciative of all free services that we have received from the efforts of volunteers. "Thank you" is one of the most positive words that we can communicate, yet it is the least used. Thank you expresses gratitude. Just saying a simple" thank you "can make all the difference in the world. It encourages that volunteer to go the extra mile, when he or she is being appreciated. Not only thank the volunteers but don't forget to thank the administrators of websites, organizations and humanitarian causes that make it all possible to present these free services and information to you.

As the year 2007 is gradually disappearing and the dawn of a new year 2008 is approaching, we are standing on the threshold of a new beginning. The starting of a new year gives us a chance to strengthen important relationships with family and friends, to take stock of our lives and change directions if we need to. Let us not grow weary in doing what is right. Let us become productive persons, by working hard, using our intellect and daring to be enterprising. Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all. Remember "Giving of Yourself Goes a Long Way” in making a difference.

"But history will judge you, and as the years pass, you will ultimately judge yourself, in the extent to which you have used your gifts and talents to lighten and enrich the lives of your fellow men. In your hands lies the future of your world and the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit." Kennedy, Robert F. Politician (1925-1968)

Goodbye for now.............until the next time.........when "Mimi Speaks."

Author of Post: Miriam Medina. I would like to hear your comments. Please do not copy this article. You can provide a link to it if you like.

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Giving Of Oneself Goes A Long Way (3)

There are many non-profit organizations that are in desperate need for help and don't have the money to hire someone. They would be elated to get a call from you offering your services. The understaffed nursing homes have a great need for individuals who can donate their time to holding the hand of a forgotten soul, whether they are aware of your presence or not. Many of the ladies would love someone to give them the beauty treatment. If you are a musician or a singer you can contribute your musical talents to entertaining those that live in nursing homes. I myself found this to be a rewarding experience, during my younger years. It is amazing to watch how these performers are able to stimulate memories and movement of lifeless bodies into vocal and physical expression. Though the efforts of one person may seem minute, it will have an important impact on someone.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." -- Aesop

Volunteering requires a lot of hard work, time, energy and in some cases, money. Your efforts to a worthy cause, will help that particular organization to economize money that would otherwise be spent on labor. Volunteer work is necessary to our American economy.

The people who give of themselves are of all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and financial levels.They are all making a difference in their communities as well as in their own lives. Volunteers are happy people. They are accomplishing extraordinary things. Once you get started, you will be surprised at how much creative talent there is within you. Although volunteers are not receiving remuneration for their services, the work that they accomplish is worth more to them than any money they could ever receive.

So you say: "Okay, okay I get the picture. So then where are the benefits of being a volunteer?"

Here are a few reasons which I have provided:

1. Your social life will improve, because you will make new friends.

2. Volunteering builds up self-worth and self-confidence.

3. You gain work experience which looks good on your resume. Employers will get a glimpse of your values as well as appreciate that you are well-rounded and active in your community..

4. You can develop and experience greater skills which may be helpful to you in getting a better paying job.

5. It also is great for relieving anxiety, and stress, by keeping you in a positive frame of mind.

6.Finally believe it or not, you can have fun.

To be continued:

Giving Of Oneself Goes A Long Way (2)

We are currently in an economic crisis. With gas, food prices and everything else continuing to go up, many families are finding themselves unable to meet their monthly mortgage payments facing possible foreclosure. Retired seniors on fixed income, individuals with insufficient income, as well as those that are unemployed are also having a tough time, in keeping up with their rent obligations. Parents who have their child in a higher education are feeling the crunch of the current economic atmosphere. "Many of the State universities have no other choice than to have started off the new school year with tuition increases, as legislature slashes their budgets even further." It is also a time when people are changing jobs, seeking employment, being fired, and trying to hang onto jobs they already have. It is a dismal picture that would discourage most individuals from making any attempt at being generous.

Reactions to a charitable cause donation request would probably be: “Don’t look at me, I don't have it. How in the world am I supposed to give any kind of donation, when every dollar that comes into my home is needed to pay for my mortgage and living expenses. This is impossible.

Not really, there is another wonderful way of giving of yourself, without reaching into your pocket book or wallet to make a monetary donation and that is to volunteer. Volunteering can be a most effective gift that one can give to any worthy cause. When you volunteer you are giving of your time and expert knowledge. People who volunteer feel better emotionally, physically and psychologically.You can start out by choosing a small way to make a positive impact somewhere. Volunteering has its rewards. It is also a great way of overcoming a negative attitude. It helps you to take away your attention from the object of your worry, and place it on the need of someone else. Some choose to volunteer in their community while others volunteer from the comfort of their home. There are many outlets and opportunities to which you can contribute your special talents such as in the areas of working with youth, social services, hospitals, education, sports, culture, recreation as well as genealogical and history websites. When you volunteer, you set the time within your schedule. You can give one hour each week, or devote many hours to your choice of worthy cause.

"Go out and do something for somebody. Go out and give something to somebody.It will take you away from yourself and make you happy.

Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905)

To be continued:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (4)

In closing, I leave you with the words of Walter D. Wintle which have been an inspiration to me:

For It's All in the State of Mind

"If you think you're beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you think you can't win, and know you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.

For out in the world you'll find
Success begins in a fellows will
For it's all in the state of mind.

For many a race has been lost
Nor even a step has been run
And many a coward has fallen
Before his works begun.

Think big, and your deeds will grow.
Think small and you'll fall behind.
Think that you can, and you will.
For it's all in the state of mind.

The race doesn't always go
To the bigger or faster man
But the race sometimes goes
To the Man who thinks he can."

Goodbye for now…..until the next time….when “Mimi Speaks.”

Author of Post: Miriam Medina. I would like to hear your comments. Please do not copy this article. You can provide a link to it if you like.


Back To Table of Contents:

What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (3)

Today, we are benefiting from products that are continually being invented to create more comfort and an easier existence for us. Let us focus on our greatest inventors who refused to accept failure, despite their repeated attempts at reaching their goal. Because of their self-direction or determination, to not allow themselves to brood over their disappointments "When things go wrong," these inventors at last would eventually see materialized, their finished masterpiece.

Successful people do not fear failure because they really never expect to fail. Although they may be surrounded by scoffers, they do not deviate from the image that they have created for themselves. The only time one fails is when one comes to a halt.

To be continued...............What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (4)

What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (2)

Suppose an individual has taken a big loss in business deals, plunging his family into a severe economic hardship. No one can admit, that this is not a devastating experience, but we can look at the flip-flop side. Although money is essential to our existence and at times hard to replace, family and health is of the ultimate importance. One must not also forget that this individual still has the creativity and ingenuity, with which he originally started out with, and can begin another business using this same creativity and ingenuity, which will result in a much more successful and prosperous accomplishment. The bottom line to this is "Never allow you to be defeated."

One has to meet his or her problem in a positive constructive way, no matter how dismal it may seem. There are those who have accepted the challenge and have won. Again it is not what happens to us, but HOW we react to it that counts. Life is a mirror, and it reflects back to us, whatever image we place before it. Every seed that we plant in the soil of life will bear fruit according to that seed. For example: If we are planting potatoes we will not reap oranges. Thoughts of failure and negativeness will not produce success. Life gives back to us exactly what we believe we can accomplish and believe what we are able to accept for ourselves in our own mind. No more and no less. We need not to set limitations on ourselves to all possibilities of excelling these calamities, "When things go wrong." Most of us live our lives within a limited circle. We set up barriers by limiting ourselves with "I cant’s," and other forms of self-condemnation and self-limitation. Here is a dot . which are you and me . Now we are the center of a circle without a circumference. In dealing with "When things go wrong, " we need to erase all limitations, stop making excuses etc., which we have been imposing upon ourselves, and move forward to successful accomplishments and finding successful solutions in rectifying all situations.

So you say "Okay, I am willing to admit that I have been defeated most of my life, so where do we go from here?" The ultimate challenge is that we are not "at the mercy of Fate," as the expression says "Que sera, sera...what will be will be.", thus clouding any possibilities for a better future. We can neutralize this image by establishing a positive frame of mind. Self-direction is what motivates us to pick up the pieces and start all over again. In order for you to achieve whatever you set out to do, you must believe in whatever you wish to achieve, accept its possibility and confidently expect it to be realized. These truths can be applied to every area of your life, whether it be your health, home, career, job or relationships, and in doing so you will lift your thoughts, and your vision to see beyond your needs, circumstances, or conditions that surround you, which will result in fear turning to courage and confidence, anxiety to calmness , and despair to faith and hope.

To be continued................What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (3)

Chasing Elusive Ancestors and Learning History (3)

When you are chasing elusive ancestors, there shouldn't be any stone left unturned. One must be open to all possibilities of finding skeletons in the closets or scandals pushed under the rug by family members or relatives. I thought this might have been the case with papa.

Papa was a great storyteller, according to my brothers, who were older than I was. He used to talk about the old neighborhood and claimed that he knew who the local hoods were that hung out on 111th street near First avenue. . He named them one by one, such as Joey Rubbernose, (I think he was the boss) then there was Bennie the Greaser, who was the loan shark, Freddie the Stiff, who was the enforcer (He was the one that broke your legs or arms if you didn't pay up) and Owl-eyes Louie, the policy runner. Hmmmmm, I didn't know if this was made up, or maybe papa was really involved with them? I know he loved to play the numbers. Mama said papa was a regular visitor at Mr. Morris, who was the local bookie. He was the one that had a storefront in my building in the old neighborhood. Since he was not truthful in other areas, I swallowed my pride and began to check to see if there was any kind of a criminal record on Papa. The Department of Corrections couldn't help me, their database did not go back that far. I even contacted the F.B.I. under the Freedom of Information Act and nothing came back on him. Whew!, what a relief. Papa was what he was a furniture refinisher. Since papa was squeaky clean , I said to myself that I should quit while I was ahead. Not wanting to continue pursuing this area, I gladly ended my search. :-)

So my dear readers, these were some of my obstacles, which I have encountered in my research. On the light side, Genealogy research has become the brunt of many humorous jokes. Sometimes within these jokes you might find some truths. I have come across several websites that reflect on this. Here are a few.

Murphy's Law of Genealogy

Genealogy Humor

The Elusive Ancestor

The Outhouse Genealogy & Family Humor


Chasing Elusive Ancestors and Learning History (2)

Provicchio Luca, Dalmatia, Austria; now Prviæ Luka, Croatia. It is so small, that you can't see it on the modern map. I found it in my 1898 map. Now Prvic Luka can be viewed all over the internet through travel agency websites. Judging from the pictures, it is so beautiful. Here is a link to a website that explains about Prvic Luka.

I was also able to get a video from a wonderful elderly woman to whom I would forever be grateful, who was a relative of my godfather and who was born on the island. Since then she has passed away. Her daughter had taken this video on one of her vacations to the island. I was given a narrating tour of Prvic Luka. I visited the parish where papa and his family attended. I even saw the house, where papa was born...naturally it was made of stone, so it was able to withstand the ravages of time. I couldn't help but cry...How emotional it was for me, and all this, was a benefit that I received while browsing the internet. Here is a link to a very similar view of my papa's house and side street.

This was the first step in the right direction.

Barney was so excited that finally He had proof in his hand confirming Papa's birthplace and real name. The name papa used in the United States was an invented name. I began to take an intense interest in pursuing this further. I was constantly browsing the internet, looking for forums that would deal with Prvic Luka, feeding in my real last name "Bumbak." Bingo! What a wonderful surprise....amazingly, I ended up finding a fifth cousin through the internet, who lived in the United States, but would spend the summers out there with her father and mother, and she was on the forum. Between all our excitable talking, I ended up speaking with my fourth cousin, her father, but noone knew anything on papa. The only thing they said was that papa left the island on a ship, when he was about 15 or 16 years old, and probably went to Argentina. All they knew was that he never returned or contacted his parents after his departure. So there ended my search regarding Papa. I did find through the Family History Center's Catholic parish records of Prvic Luka that our surname went back to the 1700s on the Island.There were no synagogues on the island. Also my grandmother Anna Kordich (also pronounced Cordova) was born in the island of Zlarin. I was told growing up, that my father's mother was Sephardic, and that papa attended the synagogue on 112th street back in the old neighborhood. Before he died he gave my mother two stars of David, to be given to my sister and I when we married. Because it is so old, I have it safely tucked away. Every so often I would take it out and look at it, and try to understand its meaning.This has created a conflict within me, because Mama raised us as Catholics.

I don't speak Croatian, so I thought if I would feed the letter into Babelfish, I would get a top notch translation. Trusting that it was done properly, I sent it to the Croatian government. Hmmmmmmm....weeks and months passed and I wondered why I never got a response. Geeeeez.......I hope I didn't say anything wrong to offend....I should have left it to the professionals. Many countries expect you to write in their language. I believe, from now on, I should stick only to the Spanish language, I am more familiar with that. Because it would have been very expensive in hiring a translator or a researcher of that country, I decided to give up the European chase.

Not wanting to give up completely since I am a determined person by nature, I decided to focus on finding something on papa, here in the United States. I was very much surprised when I found out that he had been married not once or twice but three times, mama's marriage was the last. The family only knew of the two times. Papa lied about his birthplace, and his name was not his real name. Even on mama's marriage certificate he lied about his birthplace as well as on other documents. I couldn't understand why he would do that. This is what makes genealogical research frustrating.

To be continued...........Chasing Elusive Ancestors (3)


"I Go To America, Reaching For the American Dream"

As the mass of immigrants approached the statue in the New York Harbor, smiles spread across their wretched lifeless faces and they raised their voices in unison "America." "America!" For the newcomers the American Dream was finally at hand. Suddenly the atmosphere aboard the vessel became electrified. The immigrants -whatever their nationality or religion-- embraced each other, hugging and kissing as they danced with joy. Gone were the saddened faces, heavy hearts and feelings of regret.Tears flowed in abundance, while many fell to their knees kissing the floor of the vessel. Throughout the entire deck, hands raised to the heavens could be seen, as prayers of gratitude were uttered in various tongues, for their safe arrival. For the first time, in that single miraculous moment, the mass of immigrants became of one mind, soul and spirit. Whatever awaited them, it had to be better than what they had left behind.

"I Go To America, Reaching For the American Dream" is my narration. I am the author of this four part essay . I describe how a mass of emigrants from various origins left their places of birth in pursuit of the "American Dream", which symbolized for them democracy, equality, liberty, justice and most of all, material well-being. A detailed description of their lives, struggles and despair, offers the reader a personal glimpse of immigrant living during the 1800s into the early 1900s. My narrative covers a lot: the severe hardships of Europe's inhabitants, the era of industrial and economic growth in America, the need and search for workers in Europe, exploitation of the vulnerability of the masses, starvation and diseases ending in death for some of the immigrants in their journey to America, the protest of the Americans to restrict the influx of immigration, discriminatory lawmaking and restrictions on Immigrants by the U.S. government, the horrendous conditions of tenement living amid the crime, filth and disease, the immigrant's final triumph overcoming obstacles of discrimination, illiteracy and poverty giving place to a new image of productive and successful citizens: All are part of "I Go To America, Reaching For the American Dream," located in the Immigration section under the New York City Main Directory,

"I Go To America, Reaching For the American Dream" is based on several years of extensive research from public records, books, newspapers and web links. (Click here to read the article.)

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