Immigrants; The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

We’re All Immigrants.

If you live in the USA I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase a time or two. If you understand the meaning you’ve probably even said it yourself a few times over the course of your lifetime–however long or short that may be. If at least one of those pertains to you then I consider you “A True American”. You have depth. You have breadth. You have an understanding of things Greater Than Yourself.

Take me for example. Little Ol’ Me.

My grandfather, Maximilian Johann Munsch, Sr., worked his way to Provincetown, MA on a steamship as a cook when he was 14. He came here all by his onesies. No mother. No father. No siblings. No one here to greet him when he arrived or to offer him shelter or even a hot meal. He was born in 1879 in Dusseldorf, Germany. According to his death certificate his mother’s name was Maria Vanesse or Vansen…I can’t really read it. No father is listed for him. In 1893 he got on that boat and he came here.

He got on the boat. Worked his way over here. He got off the boat. He just sort of did his best to ‘blend in’. That’s right, my grandfather was an ‘illegal alien’. I worked my butt off trying to find Naturalization Papers for him and got no where. Even his Social Security Number is bogus. But, ya know, that was long before Social Security was enacted in 1935 and even longer before the Digital Age. So, when the time came, he either just made up a number for use or…well….he used another person’s number. When last I looked (maybe 25 years ago) the number was still ACTIVE, the person it belonged to was ALIVE, and Social Security wasn’t going to give me any information on them. I suppose I should try again but I have the strangest feeling if I do that, it’s going to come back to either my Uncle Raymond or Uncle Max (Jr.).

My grandfather did many laborious jobs throughout his life, the last of which was ‘house painter’. Yes, he was a Union Painter at the time of his death. At some point he met then married Mary Days, they went on to have 5 children; Max, Raymond, Stephanie, Doris, and my mom the ‘surprise baby’, Gloria. Was he a perfect man? No. By many family accounts he was kind of an asshole, it’s true. Being a full-blood German he was a fairly strict kind of guy and, in those days, no one saw anything wrong with that. But he has no arrest record and, it seems, he did his best to be a Good Citizen even if he wasn’t particularly a Good Man.

Mary Gertrude Days was born in 1885 in Provincetown, MA (so it’s safe to assume that Maximilian hung around Provincetown for quite some time!) she was the daughter of Joseph Days and Julia Rose who came to Provincetown from Portugal some time around 1880…give or take.  The circumstances of their arrival are unknown to me. Whether or not they were in the USA ‘legally’ is a mystery.

Hey! Man! I had enough problems trying to track down Max even with ‘leads’ I had from family. Trying to trace Joseph and Julia seemed an impossible task especially when no one seemed to know anything about them other than they came from Sao Jorge in the Azores.

At some point, Max met Mary, they settled here in Good Ol’ New London, CT and went on to have the five children above.

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that, no matter how they got here, Maximilian Munsch, Joseph Days, and Julia Rose were all seeking the same thing; a better life, a better future, for themselves and their offspring. That’s exactly what, in my estimation, 99% of people who come to the USA (legally or illegally) are seeking, nothing more and nothing less. They didn’t come here looking to

Nor did they come here hoping for some ‘free ride’ so they could be called something like a ‘welfare sucking scumbag’.

Do healthy able bodied people who only want a ‘free ride’ exist? Of course they do, I’m not an idiot. However, I believe their number is so small as to be nearly insignificant and not worth discussing in the Grand Scheme. You don’t have to believe me and I wouldn’t expect you to. You go on and research all the states that have enacted laws to catch ‘druggies’ on ‘welfare’….see what they spent on those tests and compare that with the number of people who tested ‘positive’. I think you’ll be quite surprised.

There are some lazy assholes out there but, for the most part, people WANT TO WORK because them feel productive. It gives them a purpose. A reason to get up in the morning. A reason to feel good about themselves.  In the end, that’s nearly a Universal Human Desire; wanting to feel good about YOURSELF. Wanting to feel that you are Productive Member of Society.

Enough of that crap.

On the other side of my Family Tree (my Dad’s side) we have my great-great-grandfather William Higgins who was born in 1844 ON BOARD SHIP to America. That’s right…he was born in the middle of the ocean. His father was Daniel Higgins born 1814 in Mourne Parish, Down County, Ireland. His mother was Bridgett…last name unknown.

At some point, William Higgins met and married Margaret Cunningham. They lived near Worcester, MA for a while before they settled here in Good Ol’ New London, CT.  She was born in 1843 (in New London) the daughter of Irish immigrants.

Dear Reader…are you getting my point yet?

Among the children that William and Margaret had were John Higgins (my great-grandfather) who met and married Maybelle O’Gara and they had at least four children; Irene, Thomas, John, and my great-grand mother, Margaret Mary Higgins.

Margaret Mary Higgins (my grandmother) married Edwin Bryant Darling (my grandfather) and they had, among other children, Richard Alvin Darling…my dad.

Now, admittedly, I have traced the DARLING line back to 1650 and to George Darling who was captured at the Battle of Dunbar (a Scot) and sent to the Massachusetts Bay Colony as an indentured servant who served 7 years at the Lynn Ironworks before ‘earning’ his freedom. He spent years as a pauper. He worked his ass off. He bought property. He became a Tavern Owner.

Yes, I can trace some female lines all the way back to (I shit you NOT!) King Henry II.

I have ancestors who were; accused of being Witches during the Salem Witch Trials. Ancestors who brought forth testimony against said ‘witches’ and magistrates and clergy who presided over said trials.

In short; my familial lines run the entire gambit. From people who were here nearly a hundred years BEFORE the Revolutionary War to people who came here more than a hundred years after under possibly less than auspicious circumstances.

Do you know what that makes ME?

An honest-to-god-true-blooded….AMERICAN.

Yes it does.

I haven’t even mentioned my husband’s familial lines. That’s a whole other blog post.

I hope that the above inspires anyone reading here to get in to their own genealogy. Believe me…you won’t be disappointed! Our ancestors lives are rife with joy, tragedy, shame, adulation, and more. I could talk to you for days on end regarding my ancestors and relating their personal stories to you, Dear Reader. Their times in prison. Their illegitimate offspring….in 1679! The penalties they paid. I could regale you with history in full living color and, with any luck at all, you’d be ‘Shocked and Awed’ by the facts.

So when Darth Vader…oh geez sorry…the orangutan in charge…no…sorry…the morally bankrupted one…crap not that either…gimme a second…the six times bankrupted one….no…the three times married one and father of more anchor babies than….no….shit!

Deep breath.

So when Donald J. Trump, son of two immigrants, one of which was actually arrested at KKK rally, wants to put a ‘hold’ on people coming into this country…

It pissed me the hell off.

It should piss you off too.

Face it, those bound up in fear will never be free and that’s what he counts on; keeping you distracted and bound up in fear.

But let’s go beyond The Orange One.

I have several life-long friend who are NOT American Citizens.

No, they don’t live abroad.

They were raised right here in my hometown. They were educated HERE. They were brought into the bosom of Good Ol’ New London. They were welcomed. They were treated warmly.

They were once ‘refugees’ from many countries such as Vietnam, Cuba, Korea, a slight little bauble in Italy in the early 70s, Bosnia, Chechnya, the ‘Middle East’, Greece, Mexico and….honestly, only God knows how many other countries. See, New London isn’t a ‘border town’ where the only thing one has to ‘worry’ about is Mexicans. We’re a PORT TOWN in which people from other countries flood through like a sieve. A Wall won’t do US any good unless The Orange One builds it all the way down the eastern coastline. Yes, that means we’re much more open…in arms, in hearts, and in the reality of the real threats of our way of life.

So it REALLY PISSES ME OFF when one, or more, of those refugees that I went to school with (and there are hundreds of them over the course of my academic career!) some of whom could never be bothered to become American Citizens start making derogatory statements about people who were once very much like themselves.

Yes, it does. It angers me to my very core and makes me want to go ‘ballistic’.  When they post some asinine meme stating that some else is “UNAMERICAN” I want to grab them by the throat, shake them as hard as I can and scream; YOU ARE NOT an AMERICAN!

Yet, I refrain because I remember them when they were young, when they were outcasts, when they had no place in ‘society’ and I extended a hand in friendship to each and every one of them. They took it gladly almost as though it were a lifeline.

A lifeline they are now unwilling to extend to other human beings.

Why?

Honestly, I dunno.

Because the least those refugees could have done over the last 30+ years was to become a Naturalized Citizen of the United States of America.

This country housed you, fed you, and educated you, extended a hand of friendship to you…where’s your damn loyalty?

But hey! If they don’t want to be full citizens, that’s fine with me. The law says they can forever be ‘legal resident aliens’ so long as they file paperwork.

So that’s what they are; aliens.

If that’s what YOU are…keep it in mind the next time you want to post some hypocritical uninformed piece of utter bullshit to your social media account.

You are NOT ‘one of us’ simply because you have chosen not to be.

You can’t vote.

You have no President (no matter what person is in Office).

You have NO rights.

So shut the hell up and THINK for 30 seconds.

You love Trump?

Good for you.

Were you able to vote for The Morally Bankrupted Orange One?

If the answer is no……awwwww…maybe you should finally put your money where your big mouth is and take the plunge. Become a real citizen.

Just a thought. That’s all.

Ya know…from one REAL American to…whomever

 

One last Truth; a Fearful Society is much easier to control.

If YOU’RE ‘afraid’. It would greatly behoove you and the rest of the USA, if you’d take a breath, a step back, and ask yourself ‘why’. See if you can’t come up with a rational answer. If you can’t…you need the Orange One to tell you what to do and what to think.

You’re not capable of ‘adulting’.

And yes, it sucks to be YOU.

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