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Cousins from Argentina

Yesterday, August 26th, I had lunch with my 2nd cousin, Nany, from the branch of my mother’s family that settled in Argentina after World War I. Nany’s daughter, Mariana, my 2nd cousin once removed, lives in Brooklyn & found me through the Internet in 2004. Mariana joins us for holidays, comes to our Shore house, and once hosted a delicious Argentinean BBQ in Brooklyn. In 2005, Nany and her husband Guido came to the U.S. to visit Mariana and we gathered for a first-time family gathering at the Shore. Nany–who speaks English, which is good because I don’t speak Spanish, although I’ve tried and will try harder–and I are in our early 60s and it feel as if we’ve known each other all our lives. Nany and Mariana are both wonderful, loving, vivacious, and smart women! Linda took this picture at a restauant in Chinatown–Nany and Mariana came by subway from Brooklyn and we drove up from the Shore. I’m holding two beautiful potholders that Nany’s mother Dora crocheted for me. Dora is 91 and I remember her trip to the U.S. in about 1959. My mother met me after school one day and said, “Come on, we’re driving to New York City to pick up my cousin Doritza.” In those days, it was about an 14-hour trip. The way back, I remember, my mother and Doritza talking in a combination of languages–German, Croat, Spanish, and my mother periodically translating for me. Meeting Nany has finally cleared up a mystery that haunted my mother (she died in 1997)–the identity and fate of her birth mother, a true story I’ll write about later.

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