Saturday, October 9, 2010

The American Dream

Here's a photo of my Dad in Rotterdam in 1953 at the age of 18, setting off for a new life in the United States.  With little money and no family in the US, he made his way with the help of a sponsoring family, the Karminskys. The Karminskys had escaped Nazi persecution by first fleeing Germany for Czechoslovakia and then eventually ending up in the United States. I have some Karminsky postcards I will also post some time.

My father settled in Chicago, joined the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea. After returning from the Korean War, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he earned an MBA and met my mother.

So, what is my father doing today - this very day, in fact? At the age of 75, he is competing in his 5th Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii. The triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run (full marathon.) This will be a tough one, especially because of training interruptions in the last few months for two hernia surgeries and Achilles tendinitis. Oh, and one week before the race he took a header over the handlebars of his bike when a mail truck stopped suddenly in front of him. The crash broke his helmet and sent him on an ambulance ride to the emergency room, but still he persists. I'm not always sure why - but we will certainly do our part to support him with athletic champagne toasts. Go Dad!

Here is a more recent photo:
Today is Sepia Saturday and a great opportunity to get a glimpse of some fascinating family histories.

19 comments:

  1. Wow! He hasn't lost a shred of that dapper, debonaire look! Way to go, Christine's Dad!

    Kat

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  2. A handsome chap isn't he. If I'm an iron man at 75 it will be with real iron skeleton parts. haha. Congrats dad!

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  3. Handsome dad! So important to stay fit all through life. More power to him for his iron man escapades.

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  4. Now I know where you get your good looks (at least half)! I hope I've still got the energy and motivation he's got, when I'm 75. I'm very impressed. Thanks for sharing! --Karin

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  5. Oh my gosh -- Christine, not only is he an iron man, he's SO handsome. He's got an expression that says he's full of life and quite a character.

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  6. Wow, how proud you must be, Christine! What an example of someone getting the most out of life. Thanks for the encouraging example. I don't ever see myself in an iron-man triathlon. I'm more like the lead-butt walkers, but ... it's so nice to see what can be done in our 'golden' years.

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  7. Wow, what a guy! And as handsome as he was at 18.
    Is he available?

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  8. By the way, my father went to the University of Chicago, also.( but much earlier- 1937 I think)

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  9. Woohoo! What a champion. What an inspiration. I believe it is so important to keep moving as we age. He is still so handsome.

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  10. There is a man who enjoys life, and living. You must be very proud of him.

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  11. Bravo! A Man With Super-Energy! I'm Impressed & (being totally unfit myself!) a tad jealous.

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  12. Old Postcards are wonderul, we can use them to tell parts of our ancestor's story in their own words.

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  13. Barbara, you'll have to ask my mother if he's available. In any case, all these comments about his good looks may just go to his head.

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  14. Kudos to your father.
    I cannot decide if he looks more handsome in the first picture or the second picture.
    But he has really seen and experiencd life the hard way.
    Lucky are those who must have met him as they must have heard a lot of stories from him.

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  15. I was just going to comment on how good looking he was/is, but I see the myriads have beat me to it, so, instead, I will congratulate him (and you) on his fitness. How nice to have a father in such great physical shape. I hope he had fun at the competition!
    CeCe

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  16. Hurray for your dad! I hope he did well in the Iron Man. It sounds grueling. I especially like the first photo. He could have been a model for a suit company. So I want to know: does he still have an accent?

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  17. Nancy, good question - and the answer is yes.

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  18. Oh wow, a guy who really made good in the country. It is so nice to hear that sponsoring people were generous enough to help people get a new start. I can't believe he is in the iron man contest but he looks like he did take care of himself.

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  19. So dapper! Handsome then and now!

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