Sunday, October 12, 2014

Moe's Southwest Grill in Oaks Opens Thursday 16 October 2014

On Thursday 16 October 2014 Moe's Southwest Grill in the Oaks Shopping Center opens to the general public. 

These coupons were distributed to the stores in the local area. They are to be used by employees with company ID. I think that was downright neighborly.

Anyone can get this free burrito (with purchase of a large drink) for downloading the Moe's app. Moe's should be a welcome addition to the food offerings in Oaks.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

Monday, October 6, 2014

фамилия - жук, хома, богатыюк, верба - My Family Surnames

My grandparents surnames are жук, хома, богатыюк and верба. My maternal grandmother, жук, hailed from the Carpathian Mountains in Galicia. Paternal grandmother, хома, claimed she was Russian but lived in Poland. Maternal grandfather, богатыюк, lived in Ukraine, eldest son of a sheriff. Paternal grandfather, верба, the eldest of all my grandparents, I think, was Byelorus. He traveled the Trans-Siberian railroad to fight in the Russo-Japanese War. 

From English Russia website
Grandpop Verba made his way to the USA just before the turn of the 20th century. The other three arrived here in 1913, all just about 16 years of age. They settled in parts of Philadelphia - Northern Liberties, Port Richmond and South Philadelphia. 

They worked hard. Their backs ached when they return home each evening. They raised their children in the Great Depression. They sent their boys off to Europe to fight the Germans in WWII. Their boys returned home, safely. All their children, two boys and five girls, married. Their girls stayed at home and raised fifteen children. 

I was raised in mixed ethnic community of South Philadelphia. My house was between the Irish on Second Street and the Italians west of Fifth Street. On my block lived eastern European Jews, Lithuanians, Polish, Italian, Irish, Slovakians and one African-American woman. I saw differences. I saw similarities. We were all in the same melting pot.

Photograph by traveling photographer in mid-'50s
In elementary school the other children would ask me what I was, ethnically. I found it easier to just say I was Russian. Although at that time, Russian may not have been the politically correct ethnicity to espouse. Being in the midst of the Cold War and all. Nonetheless, I stuck with Russian as my ethnicity for most of my childhood.

I have always thought it ingenuous that any ethnicity would think it was pure- not commingled with other ethnic bloods. Take for instance the Irish. That island has been visited by Norse, English, Spanish and of course the little people.

Russia gets its name from the Rus, a nordic term for "those that row". It has been invaded and seeded by Tartars, Mongols and French over the years. Pure is really out of the question for any ethnic group. So I wonder what mix of ethnic bloods course through my veins?

I'll bet I have blood of Genghis Khan in me. Of course the Genghis Khan bet is a good one with 1 in 200 men in the world being direct descendants of the Asian conquerer. Plus as my paternal grandmother grew older, she had an Asian look about her face.

Nicholas Roerich, Guest from Overseas
I want to find Viking blood in me, too. Great brave explorers were those men who rowed the rivers of eastern Europe and sailed west to North America without charts nor compass. A journey into the unknown.

Back in the late 70's I was drawn into genealogy by the TV mini-series "Roots". I purchased books with blank diagrams to plot my family tree.  Blank still, they sit on the book shelf.  Today, my interest in genealogy is stirred again by TV. There are two shows "Who Do You Think You Are", on TLC  and "Finding Your Roots", on PBS that investigate genealogy. My appetite is whet once more. 

My wife has family origins in Ireland and England. There exists a whole industry for finding your Irish roots. However, my journey will not be so easy back in the old countries of my origins. The Soviet Union, WWII and now Mr. Putin and all that is happening in eastern Ukraine just might make my path difficult to navigate. 

Safe and sound here at home in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I am contemplating having my DNA tested. That test might satisfy my curiosity about any Asian and or Viking origins. Or, it may not. Whatever the future holds of my past, I am itching to start my journey. Even if I start without taking one physical step.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved