Minority puritans dissipated by ship,
to minty cream heaven,
to live at sandal shop,
they derivated their likeness of that swallow.

1953

“Do you have the tickets?” asked the small Asian woman in a green dress from her obese yet kind-looking, clearly Eastern European influenced husband. The bizarre couple was standing in line at the city’s major port’s ticket office, surrounded by their 3 children – the naughty 12-year-old redheaded twin boys and a frightened little blonde girl of about 4. The girl was staring at the passing people dreamily and the boys were pickering with each other, fighting over their toy fire truck. The expression on their mother’s face was as if set in stone; her face was full of boredom and tiredness – the flight to Frankfurt had been unbearable, and most of all, the thought of going to live in the boring state of Colorado, to build up their own little shoe business, itself was unbearable. But what the man says the woman agrees with, and thus the family was headed to the United States, the country which was formidably influenced by McCarthyism and racial insecurities. After all, being a Puritan family with the father a Soviet and the mother a Philippino, and their children as different looking from their parents as a potato is from a carrot, was not the easiest burden to hold. But they managed. They had their shoe shop, which mainly sold cheap sandals and synthetic slippers, providing the family a reasonable earning for that time and such oddness, and they had their firm beliefs to ground them to their personal reality. But the most valued thing in their lives’ was their family. Because who else could understand such a mixture of people, such a shy group of misfits? This was what made them tolerate the time in their new home – even if they didn’t have anything else, they still loved life because of the values in it. The values of family. The values of belonging even if you don’t belong. And as they belonged to their family, it was alright. They made the tedious swallow enjoyable. As a matter of fact, it had been enjoyable all along.

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