The Housewives of Park Avenue

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Jul 2nd, 2014
Mel
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LadiesofParkAveThey immigrated to America in many different ways. Some by stealth and some out of careful planning. Many were widowed, a few married off. Of course, there were those who were cunning, and a few tortured souls who managed to escape with nothing left but their faith in God.

 

They numbered far more than five.

 

These were the Women of Park Avenue (Binghamton, NY.) Battered by religious war, forced to leave their lives abroad in the land of milk and honey, and left to work in sweat houses.

 

Whether by blood or through their well-earned respect, I call them family.

 

My Grandmother Grace in the center, my beloved Mrs. Bogosian to the right. My Aunt (cousin) Sarah on the left, and her sister Rita far right. The woman on the far left is a bit of a mystery, but my brother and I have an idea of who she was.

 

A neighbor. A distant cousin. The youngest of the pack.

 

Who took this photo? My Aunt?  My mom? My dad?  My cousin? Another family member?

 

We may never know.

 

They worked hard to stay alive, living near poverty level most of their American lives, rarely smiling at their freedom from persecution for being Armenian Christians.

 

There is so much being said from the expressions on their faces, frozen in time many years before my birth. They stand beneath a grape arbor and a Sumac tree.

 

Making a new home in the Land of the Free, of Sweet Liberty.

 

The Home of the Brave, My Country ‘Tis of Me.

 

America.

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