Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ellis Island

Not many dogs get to visit Ellis Island. You're privileged, I told Bao.
One of those guys behind us might have been my grandfather. My brother told me he was actually in the computers here.
It looks like what it was - a vast people-processing center, 5000 at a time. Huge, cavernous, echoing, impersonal. One last barrier to be surmounted between the old world and the new.
The first question they asked was, How much money do you have? If you didn't have enough to buy a train ticket to wherever you were going, they sent you back. If you had trachoma, they sent you back. Turns out there's a whole branch of my family in Canada. Don't know if they were refused entry or simply decided to head north, but apparently they made it big in furniture stores.
As you can imagine, all of this left Bao cold. Lots of walking (they don't allow strollers, which are considered a security risk) and no doggy smells.
We're heading home today, and I'm not sorry. New York is like an aging fruitcake - a nut or a nice, juicy raisin here and there, but mostly crumbs.


Blogger Betty said...

Nice photo. I was amazed to find my grandmother's name when I went to the Ellis Island website. It gave me a lot of information that I hadn't been able to find before. Never did find my grandfather's nme, though. But, I don't know what year to look for, so that makes it hard.

1:31 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home