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By Mary Gordon

Anna Gagliano Gordon, who died in 2002 on the age of ninety four, used to be the personification of the tradition of the mid-century American Catholic operating classification. A hard-working unmarried mom -- Mary Gordon's father died whilst she used to be nonetheless a woman -- she controlled to carry down a task, gown neatly, elevate her daughter on her personal, and worship the wonder in existence with a shocking joie de vivre. Bringing her extraordinary expertise for element, personality, and scene to undergo at the lifetime of her mom, Gordon supplies us a deeply felt and powerfully relocating e-book approximately their dating. towards the tip of Anna's existence, we watch the writer deal with her mom in previous age, starting to reclaim from reminiscence the vibrant girl who helped her sail forth into her personal lifestyles.

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Of course I knew it was all make-believe, but I wondered what it was really like there, in America. With its lovelorn apes, impossibly tall buildings, and beautiful breezy dancers, it appealed to me in the same way the circus did. America was a strange, wonderful, out-of-this-world place that I couldn’t imagine ever being a part of. The next phase of my education began the same year I moved in with my father, 1934, in a small town rich in culture some three hours out of Budapest. It’s called Sárospatak—otherwise known as the Athens of the River Bodrog, a fortress of learning in Hungary since 1531 when the Reformed Church College was founded there.

We wanted to talk about the possibility of forging documents and identity cards—see if we could help a few “undesirables” get out of Budapest. But within minutes the four of us would be counted among those same undesirables. I was the last to arrive, bathing in sweat, and I barely had time to shake hands with the others when six Hungarian policemen and one man in plain clothes—he had Gestapo written all over him—burst into the basement. I don’t know whether we had been denounced or if our time had simply come.

We had eight bullets. And now we had a dozen donkeys. This was our chance. Another half hour of rounding up and wrangling and we headed for the camp. The idea was to see how well it was guarded, and if we could figure out a way of doing it, free at least some of its laborers. Our Trojan horses—the donkeys—would be our ticket in. As we began our ascent into the foothills, Karoly handed me the pistol. As mastermind of this plan, I’d been elected ringleader of the band as well. Just before dusk we spotted the camp, over a hill, in a clearing alongside some railroad tracks that cut through a long valley.

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