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History... And a serious question
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History sucks. Or at least it did when I was in High School. Of course, Mrs. DeAngelis, my History teacher, may take offense to that statement. But back then, I’m not sure I cared much for who may have won the Spanish/American War or who signed the Declaration of Independence and why. I may have mentioned this before but the older I get, the more I become interested in the things and people which came before us; the hows and whys of where we’ve been.

I mentioned this in a story not too long ago that I’m not sure we can know where we’re going if we don’t know how we got there. That’s what makes history important.

I just came back from a celebration of life for former NHRA Division Director Darwin Doll held at the Eastern Museum of Motorsports Racing. It was a moving tribute but also gave me time to visit some of the displays within the walls of the Museum; everything from drag racing to circle track cars and everything in between. I’m guessing the high school me wouldn’t have been interested but I probably should have been. And with respect to Mrs. DeAngelis, I probably should have taken more of an interest in the Declaration of Independence too. But…

The very first time I visited the NHRA Motorsports Museum, Steve Gibbs was in charge of the place and it was he who gave me the $2 tour. It was in my younger days and I probably wasn’t all that much interested in “old cars.” But what I saw in that room was not the old cars but rather the passion the racers had for the sport. That same passion can be felt at the Eastern Museum, or any Museum for that matter.

Some of the problems we’re having today are nothing new. Yeah, sure some are, but I believe we can learn from our past. Think of how neat it might be if we could talk to a George Washington or Abraham Lincoln? Steve LeSueur has been a fuel dealer for years in Virginia. A lot of what he has came from his father Frank who was in all sorts of businesses revolving around drag racing. Frank passed away in 2007, but as Steve and I spoke last weekend, he agreed about how vital it may be to at least get his thoughts on today’s drag racing world. Frank was the operator of Suffolk Raceway, began World Wide Racing Fuels, started a booking agency for match races; in short, he did it all.

What would Wally Parks think of what the NHRA has become? What about Larry Carrier who started the IHRA and Jim Tice, the founder of the long-gone AHRA? What can we learn from them? Maybe nothing but I don’t believe it would hurt to ask and maybe, just maybe, there could be something we can gleam from their knowledge and experience.

Along sort of those same lines, I’m always interested in how people end up living where they do. I purchased a truck from a guy in Ohio once and through speaking with him, found out his grandparents came to this country from Italy through Ellis Island, much the same as mine did. Seeing how they had lived in Ohio their whole lives I questioned why Ohio? “According to what I was told,” this gentleman explained, “when my grandfather got off the boat in New York, he went to the train conductor and said ‘This is how much money I have, take me to where the money runs out.’ That was Ohio.”

My story is much the same except when my grandfather got off the boat, he didn’t have a dime to his name and as such, our family grew up in New York, the Bronx specifically. Since then, we’ve all moved away but our hearts are still in NY.

How did your family arrive in the locale they are today?
Posts: 154 | Location: Beaver Springs, PA | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Grandparents...Ellis Island>>>Bronx...parents...Pa>>>NJ
Posts: 13522 | Location: NJ | Registered: August 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I used to work with a Guatmalan guy who was a naturalized citizen but originally entered the country illegally and I asked him how he wound up in NJ. He originally crossed the border into California with his cousins and a legal immigrant in CA told them "immigration is very bad here, you should go as far away from California as possible". They went to a gas station and bought a map and looked for a place on the other side of the country! I always thought that was pretty funny.

Billy Duhs - BD104X@gmail.com
Posts: 613 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: February 26, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My wife's side is more interesting. Her grandmother lived in Poland and as a young girl resided in Nazi concentration camps. That's where she met the older boy who eventually married her. After the war and some recovery, and a baby, they got on "the boat" and came through the normal, legal immigration process. So my wife is first generation born in America from her mother's side. Grandparents were Russian Orthodox and the church found a place for them in Rockford, where a church was being built. Grandfather helped build the church and found a manufacturing job. Roots were set.

Foxtrot Juliet Bravo
Posts: 6239 | Location: Illinois | Registered: July 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phillip Biebel, my great,great grandfather came to the USA around 1840 from Germany....others followed

Family tree shows descendants in Ct. and mostly NJ

Grandmother was born in Germany and came here as a young girl....late 1800's

The name is pretty common in areas that had a lot of German immigrants. Spelling sometimes a little different.

Germans liked to settle in areas like they were used to .....Farm country..... like Pa. and some other states like Wisconsin.....Dairy Farms....

My family was mostly just blue collar happy to have a job folks.....Life was far different going back just to my grandparents.

I find it Hard to leave New Jersey after so many years.......I have some family in Florida and they've been there for many, many years.

I would say people of today have no idea how tough life was going back a few generations.

After WW II we enjoyed a huge amount of improvement in the USA and Drag Racing was born....and thrived....

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Posts: 2721 | Location: Where ever I am, I'm here and it's me | Registered: March 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My Dad's first relative in America came here in the mid-1700's, as an indentured slave - he had to work a certain number of years to pay off the cost of his ride over here from England. The family settled in Virginia and North Carolina. There is a cemetery in North Carolina where 5 generations of my family are buried, dating back to 1854.

I was born and raised in Virginia. I liked Virginia a lot. It was much different then, in the 60's and 70's. My dad got transferred to Seattle when I was 16, and I despised life out there. And that was in the 80's, when Seattle was nothing like the excrement show that it is now.

I decided to go to college in Georgia because it was far away from Seattle and I had some relatives here that I was close to. I've been here in Georgia for 41 years, and have liked it just fine.

All that said, it looks like the Democrats have taken over this state for good, and as I approach retirement I have serious reservations about staying here while Georgia slowly circles the toilet bowl and devolves into an excrement show of it's own. I may move to a neighboring state when I retire - Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina - not sure yet.

Posts: 1557 | Location: Marietta, GA | Registered: December 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great-Great Grandfather was born in Baldwin County, GA in 1808. Don't know any history before him. He made his way west as a young man, put down roots in Centreville, TX and fought for independence from Mexico in the Texas Revolution of 1835. (The man had to be a badazz for his day - He later fought as a mounted soldier for Baylor's Texas Cavalry of the CSA at 57 years old). Eek His grandson traveled west to L.A. in 1930, met my grandmother who was born in Louisville, KY and had dreams of becoming a star in Hollywood. Dad grew up in SoCal, met my mom who was born in Brooklyn, NY - Her parents both immigrated from Italy via Ellis Island in the 1920's, and moved west after WWII. I spent my youth about 30 miles north of L.A, it was a great place to grow up in the 60's and 70's as a car nut & drag race fan. Dad had a side gig working at a long-ago closed dragstrip in San Fernando, where young Snake was a regular. Cali went sideways after that, then completely haywire after the liberals took it over. Left there in the mid-80's, followed a girl to Kansas, and spent 20 years there before making my way back to the family roots in TX.

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Dan "Jim" Moore
Much too young to feel this damn old!!
Posts: 1011 | Location: Farmersville, TX  | Registered: December 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Grandparents.. Calabria> Ellis >. Some there and some here. 16 children. No joke. Chicago.. Chicago... And then ???

A loaf of bread: 7 cents. A dozen eggs: 34 cents. A quart of milk: 9 cents. A pound of steak: 26 cents.
Heck i remember when we had ICE BOX. The young ins have no clue. And just how good they have it.

I had talked to a Driver from Jersey here on a break down. He told me the cost of living there.

I was in utter disbelief.. He was looking to get out quick.

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Posts: 1401 | Location: Under a Truck | Registered: August 23, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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one side of my family is out of scotland and fought in the american revolutionary war and lived in nc . he received a federal land grant of 640 acres in georgia deemed for veterans of the war which grew to over 6000 acres and a community until the war of northern aggression destroyed all the manufacturing and farming on it and was diluted by the yankees . the other side of the family came out of england as indentured slaves to family in the usa .
Posts: 1209 | Location: middle georgia | Registered: July 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Paternal great grandparents emigrated from Scotland in the 1800's and ended up in Virginia as farmers. Grandparents moved to Texas then to Alabama and eventually settled in Miami around 1920. Maternal grand parents came from Italy at the turn of the century through Ellis Island, settled for a very short period of time in Chicago before moving to Miami around 1929. Both of my parents grew up in Miami. After WWII they met while working in the same bank on Miami Beach. My roots have always been in south Florida and after a career which took me all over the country when I retired I moved back to south Florida, just further up the coast.
Posts: 695 | Location: At the beach | Registered: August 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great great grandfather on dads side was Cherokee .He had to flee to Florida because he killed a white man in fight when four jumped him for being married to white woman. They where her brothers. She made him leave to save his life. Great grandfather died when I was 8 abd great grandmother when I was 18

Grandfather was born a Carter and adopted at age 3 by family named McBride. He was Jimmy Carters 5th cousin(hidden till Obama took him off top of worst ever list) and came from line of Carter's from Virginia which where the highest of high society back in 1600 and 1700's.
His father was basically a house builder and did everything from footings to painting house. According to my grandfather he must have been damn good looking man. Seems he was skirt chaser and di pretty good at it. I have always been told I was exact duplicate and looked exactly like him. Must be some truth to duplicate part. I do most of same work and a since did not get married till 45 yo. and had lots of fun getting there.

Mom great grandfather fought in the war of the North invaded America. For the American side not the north. On the way home from the war it seems he got into argument with a fellow for the way the guy was looking at him and politely removed his eye or eyes and laid them on his cheeks (or so the story goes I have heard). That is on grandmothers side, Mom fathers side apparently owned cpl farms that he managed to drink and gamble away. Don't know much about him as he was gone by time mom was 6 and I met the POS once or twice and last time I was 5.

Amazing I came out so com and mild tempered.

America home of free. Brought to you by 2nd amendment.
Posts: 4041 | Location: Greensboro NC | Registered: May 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bucky: My story of my parents is similar. My mom was taken from her family at 16 and forced to work in German Coal mines as well as my dad too. They met after the war and had 2 sisters in Germany and came to NY where they a were sponsored on a farm in Carmel NY and then moved to CT afterwards.
Posts: 293 | Location: New Milford, CT USA | Registered: December 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by J Olejniczak:
Bucky: My story of my parents is similar. My mom was taken from her family at 16 and forced to work in German Coal mines as well as my dad too. They met after the war and had 2 sisters in Germany and came to NY where they a were sponsored on a farm in Carmel NY and then moved to CT afterwards.

My wife's grandmother passed a few years ago. She was always something else. She could matter of factly say the most hurtful things to her family, and not think a thing about it. She was super finicky and picky. But when you spend some of your formative years in the conditions that she did, it probably has an affect on you.

Foxtrot Juliet Bravo
Posts: 6239 | Location: Illinois | Registered: July 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My Father's side is from Scotland which we have been able to date back to the 1190's, came to Virginia in the late 1600's and in fact settled in the county next to where I have lived for 40+ years. But the road went through North Carolina, Tennessee and then Texas. My Dad's a Texas boy but met mom in North Carolina and that's where I was born. Her side is a bit fainter, her parents immigrated from France as Hitler started making his moves on the world. Her parents passed when she was very young - about 5 - and was taken in as a tobacco farm hand in Lumberton, N.C..
Posts: 1135 | Location: The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?” ~~ Captain Jack Sparrow ~~ | Registered: August 21, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Both sides of my family came to America through Canada.

My Dad's family arrived in Quebec in 1650. There they remained until Prudential Insurance transferred my Grandfather from the Windsor, On. office to Detroit in 1928. My Dad and his older sister were Canadian citizens, the rest born here.

IN 1834 my Mom's family (the Latimers) received a Crown Grant for 40 acres in Essa Township in Ontario, right up next Camp Borden. How they got here I'm still not sure of. I have learned recently that some Latimers are not as white as I am.

Bruce Guertin

Easily distracted by bright shiny objects.

Wife says I'm a new adventure every day.

Call Automotive Performance Engines for all your complete engine building, dyno service needs 863-967-8781
Posts: 2540 | Location: Auburndale, Florida | Registered: October 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My father crashed his spaceship outside of Roswell NM in 1947 hooked up with a local gal and the rest is history.

Doing my part to raise the average IQ on this board
Posts: 47 | Location: badlands of New Mexico | Registered: January 20, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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