Sunday, July 13, 2003

Immigrants Among Us
Work wasn't very hard this weekend: It was so lovely out no one wanted to be inside. I fielded a few questions about espionage and black american authors of youth literature , and chatted with my coworker from upstairs, otherwise known as the adult department. Every weekend I work with a different adult department person, many of whom are scared easily by children, dangerous little blighters that they are. The man I worked with, I'll call him Hans, had overcome his fear of kids, and was doing just fine, so we chatted amicably. He told me he arrived in this country from Germany at the age of ten. I had worked with him once before, but had been afraid to ask his origin until today, when his wife called to ask him how to say something properly in German ("I'll get this message to him," to be specific). We discussed the river Mosel, because I had visited it several times while I was in Luxembourg, and he had relatives living in a small town where the Mosel meets the Rhine.

"Ah," He said, "I would like to go back and visit, but my kids don't seem to be interested." They didn't want to learn German either, just like the children of my old German teacher from middle school. Two first generation immigrants with seemingly ungrateful children. I guess things don't change much from the olden days, when linguistically unique towns in northern states lost their integrity as the second generation decided they preferred learning only English. When my grandpa came to New York in the thirties from Ireland, he lost his accent as fast as possible, and so my father has no knowledge of Irish pronunciation. He did inheirit a manuscript filled with wild tales of the IRA and heroism in some war or other. I haven't read it yet, but I'll let you both know when I do.

Why I Love Living Out Of Town
This evening, while helping my mother set up dog agility equipment in the back yard, a little single engine propellar plane swung into view. The pilot saw the two of us standing out there and tilted slightly, dropping into a low lazy circle to get a better look. I, being the romantic that I am, waved wildly. The pilot didn't seem to acknowledge my greeting at first, gaining altitude before cutting the engine and gliding very low into a field nearby. He(or She, I'll be fair for once) soon returned though, and reving his engine, sent the little plane into a sharp ascent. Just as the plane tipped over the engine cut out again, and the plane finished its little loop almost silently before growling back around us, as if to ask if we liked the show.

I waved wildly again. I used to dream as a child that one day one of those trick planes or a balloonist would finally land in the yard and take me away from my gardening chores. I'm still waiting, but as long as there's a soybean field in my back yard, there's still a chance.


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