red line
   Back to Archives
   Back to IF Home

Judy's House


Hello Everybody, and Welcome to Judy's House,

I don't know how my family came to this country, but I'll bet it wasn't on the "Mayflower".  Those people wore bonnets.  My ancestors wore babushkas.  Take, for example, my "Crazy Aunt Kashka".  There was an air of mystery that surrounded her.  Perhaps it was her appearance.  She always wore the same outfit (a black peasant dress with a flowery babushka), and always traveled with the same small suitcase.  She would stay overnight at our home from time to time, and then be off to parts unknown the next (via a Greyhound bus most times).

One night after dinner, my Aunt left the house (with suitcase in hand) on "a walk" as she put it.  Where was she going?  What was in that suitcase?  I could no longer stand not knowing, so I snuck out the back door and followed her into town.  We ended up at a VFW hall.  My Aunt entered and I slipped in after her.

The hall was packed, and they all looked like Aunt Kashka!  Although none of them were smiling (my Aunt never did), they seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves.  Suddenly, a violinist entered the room.  Aunt Kashka stood in the center of the crowd.  The music was a fast paced folk song.  My Aunt danced quickly and expertly about the room.  She never cracked a smile.  Then, she opened her suitcase and took out a big sausage.  She held that above her head and continued her frenzied dance.  The crowd cheered!

Then she saw me.  It was too late to run.  I waited for my Aunt to finish her dance, and the two of us walked home together.  Aunt Kashka told me about our family, about how we were from a country no one had ever heard of, and that it was her "life's duty" to spread "The Sausage Dance" throughout the land.  She was so proud of her culture that I couldn't help but be proud of it too.  So what if my Aunt never smiled, wore all black and scared small children?  She sacrificed her life riding in bus after bus, going from town to town to keep our heritage alive!

About six months ago my Aunt Kashka passed away.  A month after that, I received a package in the mail.  It contained a flowery babushka and a dried up kielbasa.

Sorry, but I gotta run.  I've got a bus to catch.

Happy Heritage!!!!


white divider