A: I don't the exact year, but he came over when he was twenties. As for America, I don't know exactly, but if I had to guess I would assume he was just doing what everybody around him did. As far I know he didn't leave because of harassment or anything like that. America just represented a better place, probably, but again I don't know for sure. He came with quite a bit of my extended family. A Gypsy family is quite huge. Even as recently as the 1970s or even the 1980s, I knew third and fourth cousins like they were brothers or sisters. Well, maybe not that close. But certainly I had spent as much time with a third or fourth cousin as most people do with first cousins. And, well, there was intermarriage as a fact of life. My sister was married to a man-I can't remember the exact relationships now, sorry, but my niece and nephew became their own second or third cousins as a result. Gypsies up until recently engaged in exclusive intermarriage with their kind fairly much up until the 1960s. I had another sister who died a few years ago who was the first in my family's line to marry outside the family. And I became the second.
Well, my father and my mother fairly much knew each other since they were very young. My father was born in Indiana, not in any particular town to the best that I know of, and my mother in Chicago. Well, Joliet, not really Chicago. My father was born in 1907 and my mother in 1913. ...
He was dead by the time I was born.
Q: What about your parents
Well, my father and my mother fairly much knew each other since they were very young. My father was born in Indiana, not in any particular town to the best that I know of, and my mother in Chicago. Well, Joliet, not really Chicago. My father was born in 1907 and my mother in 1913. It's funny, but I really don't know much about my parents' life as children. I do know my mother was what they would call a little hell raiser. If she had lived outside the traveler's atmosphere, I suppose she would have been a flapper. She began smoking when she was thirteen, and almost waited until she died to give it up. She used to sneak away from the camps and the occasional houses the family lived in to meet up town boys at the picture show. My father, well, like I said, I never really knew that much about his childhood.
Q: What do you mean by camps and occasional houses
A: I think there might be a misconception that travelers, which is what I remember being called when I was young, not Gypsies, never stayed in the same place for very long. I have pictures I can show you of my mother and father and aunts and uncles and the whole big extended family actually in wagons that they used to travel. My mother and father were kids in those pictures, by the way. Even so those photographs date back to between 1910 and 1920. They traveled all over the country with the men going into town to do any kind of work necessary, while the women stayed in the camp working or doing Gypsy things. I told you my mother was a palmist, and there were always at least one palmist in a traveler's camp.
Q: What were these camps like
A: You ever seen an old western movie where people going out west set up camp and