Fifty years ago, two came to look for America

On Saturday my mother-in-law, Lysle’s and Micah’s beloved Omi, told me that the photo to the right, the photo that watches over this blog and that shows my mother in front of the then-new Verrazano Bridge, was taken exactly 50 years ago. On July 25, 1964 Erika, who would become my mother 5 years later, and her best friend, who would become my mother-in-law 34 years later, arrived in the U.S. together.

They went from their Transatlantic ocean liner straight to the next boat to take a Circle Line tour around Manhattan.
Then later that same day they took the elevator up the Empire State Building.
And later yet they took the night bus to Burlington, Vermont, where my mother already had a job lined up. My mother-in-law did not. Crossing the Atlantic, they had run into another friend on board who told them about jobs in Baltimore. But my mother stuck with the commitment she’d already made. And my mother-in-law stuck with my mother. I’m glad they had each other in this new country.

Those two young women would probably have laughed if some truly gifted Manhattan psychic had taken them aside that day and read in either of their palms, or both, that one day, 40 years on, they would become Omi and Oma to the same boy. That they would eventually have two grandsons together: Lysle and Micah. How likely is that to happen to best friends?

So our boys — they are the product of more than one love. Artie’s and my love, yes, but before that there was already our mothers’ loyalty and love for each other. Some lucky boys to be the descendents of such a great and enduring friendship. Some lucky boys up in Burlington, Vermont, right now where Oma brought Omi fifty years ago and Omi happily stayed on. Lysle and Micah have a good history backing them. And one day this good story to tell.

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