26 October 2013
Not that I want to drop names, but I motored to Medzilaborce, Slovakia the other day. On the way I touched on other Edenite garden spots…Presov, Stropkov and Svidnik. Now are you green with Edenic jealousy? Needn’t be. I’ve Lewis and Clarked the journey and any who’d like to replicate it, I’d be happy to help.
I went first to Prague (for good reason…the Paris of central Europe) and then to Krakow, Poland because it was a jumping off place to Medzilaborce, where my maternal grandfather, Morris, was born, according to his 80-year-old Naturalization Application found by a 90-year-old genealogy enthusiast in a Pennsylvania court house. And to Krakow also, since it is also close to Auschwitz/Birkenau, where I have wanted to stand, since so many of my grandmother Molly’s relatives made it that far (and to other places like it), but no farther.
But more on going to Medzilaborce. I rented a car from a Krakovian gentleman who delivered it to my hotel and asked, if, perhaps, I’d like a GPS, which he had in his briefcase. Well, all these modern conveniences…are we so unsure of our spunk, so without a Boy Scout’s explorer nerve that we need to triangulate ourselves to within a yard of where we actually stand on planet Earth? “You’ll be more comfortable”, he said with a thin, ominous smile. To humor him, since he dragged it with him, I said, “Oh, OK, but I probably won’t need it. I downloaded directions to and back from Go Mapper”. He repeated, “You’ll be more comfortable”, shook my hand, wished me luck and was gone, after telling me he’d pick the car up at this same place in two days time. He, likely, had started to fill out the “missing automobile” forms from his insurance company before I left. He knew something I didn’t. But innocence in the face of lurking doom has always been part of my MO. Not that I didn’t pick up on his “this guy’s got a screw or two loose” vibe. But, on the other hand, he did rent me the car. I went with that.
More in a couple of days.