Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Moisi and Me

A look back at some photos with my Pop (Moisi).

I’m having a birthday later this week so I decided to find some photos with me and our Pop in them for my Tuesdays with Moisi post. Our mom is holding brand new me and it looks as if I’ve upset my brother Fred with my crying and my sister Vera is shushing me. Our Pop looks a bit strained in this photo. I wonder who is taking the photo. This was while we were still living in East Los Angeles, 1951. This was about 3-1/2 years after they arrived in the United States.

So my little babushka was here in the USA when I was born judging from this photo. My mother’s only brother, Paul, is standing with my cousin Valia and my aunt Nina is holding my cousin Walter. My cousin Alex must be the one standing in the front. I’m crying again but I think I have a good excuse since that sunshine is blinding my poor infant eyes! Zena Katkov is standing next to my little Babushka.

I started out as a towhead. Is the pole in the center of this photo the focus or am I?

Someone needed to hone their photo taking skills. Stories are told about how I’d take off away from home and give my parents a scare.

We moved from East Los Angeles to Pico Rivera (Montebello Gardens). This Easter photo was taken in the front yard of our home.

Don’t know where we traveled to for these photos but we end up amongst tall trees so I’ll guess we were in the Angeles National Forest.

Looks like I got to hold the thermos while our mom took this photo or maybe she let Kathy take the photo.

Wherever we traveled it was hot since the girls are all sleeveless.

Camping at Big Bear?

I’m on the happy side of this photo unlike the three on my left.

Berry picking somewhere in California.

A pigeon on my head. I’m not a fan of pigeons these days. All dressed up for church with our patent leather shoes. Why do I have a pigeon on my head when I’m in my Sunday clothes?

In 2011 I received a card with a check from my parents for my birthday. I copied what my mom wrote and am adding it to this post for my memory:

From my parents…лена моисееьна Gods blessings on you for your 60 birthday. We hope you have a wonderful birthday We love you very much папа мама Bagdanov and they enclosed a check for $60 My parents are so adorable.

I love that she added Bagdanov. 🙂

Me and my Pop in 1973 and 2016.

I’m thankful for the good relationship I had with my Pop. I’m sure I drove my parents to their knees many times but God was faithful in bringing me back in good relationship with Him and them.

Tuesdays With Moisi

This is a post from the past that I’m adding to my Tuesdays With Moisi for cataloging purposes.

The following story was transcribed by my sister-in-law Kelly as she listened to my parents tell some of their story on immigrating to the U.S.A. in September of 1947. My parents were visiting my brother Steve and SIL Kelly on Labor Day September 5, 2011. I believe the anniversary of them coming to the USA was September 6, 1947.

“Spent the afternoon with  Mom and Pop and wanted to share some of what they had to say.  This is the unedited copy filled in as Pop was talking…so excuse the grammatical errors, if I wait to edit you may never see it.”

(This photo is taken after my parents and sister Kathy settled in Los Angeles. This was sometime in late 1947 or early 1948. My mom is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo and Vera was born in February of 1948.)

“Pop said he’s never shared all these details because…no one asked.  What started the retelling is that tomorrow marks the anniversary of their first arriving in NewYork…Sept. 6, 1947.  They arrived in Los Angeles on the 12th.

When Mom and Pop left Iran they got a flight on a Red Cross cargo plane..the propeller variety, that had dropped off supplies and was heading back to New York.   It was very loud he said…no seats, just benches along the sides.  Due to refueling and frequent stops it took 4 days to fly from Tehran to New York.  At  most of the stops they got out and ate…and in four places spent the night. He said they had 27 people on the plane and it was full.”

“This is the basic itinerary.  (Pop had made a detailed journal of the trip, but lost it in the last few moves.)  From Tehran to Cairo…spent the night.  From Cairo to Rome..spent the night, got to drive by St. Peters.  From Rome to England, where they were not allowed off the plane so they had to head to Ireland to a US military base.  They spent the night there.  From Ireland they went to Iceland, then to Greenland…where they again spent the night.  From Greenland they went to New York.

Upon arrival in New York they were taken directly to the train station.  Unfortunately, the ‘coupons’ that one of pop’s brother’s, my Uncle John, secured for them weren’t signed, so they couldn’t be used. They were suppose to be vouchers for travel purchased in Iran from an agent.  So since the coupons didn’t work they were stuck in the train station with no money, no food, with a one year old. Mom and Pop were 23 and 24 at this time.

Some nice people helped them and Pop had a card with the name of a Russian church on it.  They took them on the subway to the church and arrived in the evening just as the minister was locking up.  There was no time to find a home for them to spend the night so they took them to a hotel.  Mom said, ‘They put us on the 9th floor, I was so scared..”  And the other couple they were with were on the 14th floor.  The next morning was a Sunday so the streets were empty and Mom said she looked out the window and down and there was trash blowing along the street.  Very frightening to look that far down.

The minister showed up with milk and bread, they hadn’t eaten the day before, and they remember that delivery making them feel like orphans.  They had no money, no food, and Pop only spoke a little English.  (Which he had learned working on an American Military Base in Tehran…I’ll get to that.)

The pastor took them to church and that night they stayed with a family.  On Monday they put them on a train to Chicago.

Two vivid memories of their time in New York…  It was the first time Mom had seen toast, and she couldn’t figure out how they got it perfect on both sides.  She also got stuck in a revolving door and couldn’t get out.  She said, they weren’t educated enough to be in New York.

In Chicago another group from a church met them, fed them, gave them a place to stay, and then put them on a train to Los Angeles.  It should be noted that Kathy was very good during all of this, only cried a little.  At some point in this US leg of the journey they were able to contact people in LA to wire them money for the train tickets.  Pop figured it took them about 2 years to pay back all of the costs of their trip to the States.”

(This is a photo of my sister Kathy in a park in Los Angeles, California. Love how the older folk sitting on the benches in the background all have hats on.)

My parents were the first of their families to arrive in the U.S.A.

“In the course of telling this story Pop mentioned other jobs he’d had so I made him list them in order…here is roughly the job history.

His first job was driving horses plowing the fields in Russia.  There were four horses hooked to the plow.  He worked plowning.  (Think clowning)  He also worked threshing the wheat.

Then he worked as a shepherd.  A group of families had cows, sheep, and goats and it sounds like the kids from each family took turns watching the animals.

When they moved to Tehran he worked as a babysitter/houseboy doing whatever the woman of the house wanted him to do.

Later, in Iran he had a job feeding cows.  Then after they were milked he would walk around town to the customers they had and sell milk from a bucket by the cup.

After that he went to work on some of the Shah’s land doing farming.  When it wasn’t farming season he would deliver sand and bricks to road crews.

Then he had jobs on Military bases…he worked on the American base in the kitchens washing out the pans. They would feed him while he was there, and give him food to hide on his body to take out to his family.  (Not technically allowed to take the food, but the cook was nice.)  It’s also where he learned to speak some English.

He also worked on the Russian military base as a mechanic.  He said he ‘fix em’ Chevy’s and Studebaker’s, when they had been in accidents, we fix em up.

His last job in Tehran was in a brick factory.  It was far away so he needed to have transportation.  He said, he and Mom lived in an apartment with 4 other families above a sauna house owned by a Turkish man.  He sold Pop a bike that he had stolen…  When I asked, ‘he stole the bike?”  He said,’Yes, but he sold it to me real cheap, and nobody would recognize it because they changed the color.”  He rode the bike to work every day.”

Ellen’s thoughts…

When I think of what my parents went through to get to the United States I’m so grateful. Grateful to God for giving them the courage and faith to face the unknown. Just the language barrier had to be scary. They had a little toddler and my mom was pregnant with my sister Vera during this journey. Sitting on a bench in a loud cargo plane with 24 other people with a little one in diapers, amazing. They had no idea what kind of life they were going to have in the United States. They had only lived in villages where maybe there were a few 2 story structures and here they were in New York City with tall buildings. When they arrived in Los Angeles my dad worked odd jobs in carpentry and construction. They helped the rest of their extended family immigrate to the U.S. over a number of years. Each of these family units lived with my parents until they could get into a place of their own. My mother’s father was killed in Iran after my parents came to the U.S. My mother’s mom immigrated to the U.S.A. with my Uncle and Aunt as a widow. So much hardship endured and they persevered over the years and have always expressed their thankfulness to God for bringing them to the U.S.A. They had 9 children total. Their first daughter died in Iran when she was a toddler. Here are the 8 of us in age order…this is an old photo taken in 2003 at the 40th birthday party of Leonard and Lana, our youngest siblings (twins).

Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana, Leonard

My mom and pop in 2006 in Dallas, Texas.

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My mom and pop at my niece’s wedding in April of 2013.

We had a 90th birthday party and early 70th wedding anniversary party for my parents at the end of April in 2013. We were so happy to have had this celebration as my mom took ill later that summer and never recovered. My mom went to be with her Savior on September 13, 2013 on my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary. Our pop joined our mom in heaven in June of 2018.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Yorba Linda

From Wildomar to Yorba Linda. My parents decided to sell their home in Wildomar and move back to the “city” in 1987. They found a home in Yorba Linda which was in a good location for our family to gather more frequently. They lived in this home from 1987 until 1997 when they decided to sell most of their possessions to return to Russia as missionaries.

Their move was just before the time we were deciding on relocating from California to the state of Washington. This was also during the time of planning for our youngest sister’s wedding in July of 1988. July of 1988 moving vans loaded all our earthly goods and Dear’s mother’s goods to move with us to Washington State. Dear’s father had died in October of 1985 and we eventually had Dear’s mother move in with us and then she relocated with us to Washington state.

Father’s Day 1988. Moisi with all his grandchildren at this time plus our two nieces on Dear’s side of the family. At this time Katie was the youngest granddaughter.

A trip to Descanso Gardens in Spring of 1988.

We were in Southern California over Christmas and for Katie, Nina and Stephen’s birthday, December 27th, 1990. This is in the dining room in Yorba Linda.

 

 

We traveled from Washington State to Southern California for a few Christmases until it just wasn’t practical for us to continue.  For Katie’s fifth birthday since we were in Southern California we decided a trip to Disneyland was a good idea.

Moisi barbecuing meat for a birthday party in the backyard in Yorba Linda. You can see part of his garden to the left.

In 1994 we spent a good amount of time in Southern California for World Cup. We stayed with my folks in Yorba Linda.

The kids and I made a road trip during Easter break in 1997 to say some goodbyes to Moisi (Dzeda) and Nadia (Babushka) who were getting ready to spend an extended time in Russia.

 

My Tuesdays with Moisi posts will be fluid as I come up with more photos or memories.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Rose Hills

Last week our youngest brother traveled to Southern California to surprise our brother Steve and his wife Kelly at a 60th birthday celebration for them. While he was there our older sisters and he decided to go to Rose Hills to see our parents’ headstones. It took a while for our Pop’s to be done right.

On the bottom of the stones, our Mom’s says “The Lord is My Shepherd…” and our Pop’s says …”I Shall Not Want”

Pop’s wasn’t supposed to be larger but that’s the way it turned out and we are just letting it be.

Always happily side by side.

Our mom was famous for her cooking and she would be pleased at how our Piroshky turned out that we made on Saturday. Here’s a sneak peek of part of the process with Moisi’s great niece and his great granddaughter.

More photos and recipe coming soon.

Baking Day

Today, Saturday the 2nd of November, we are having the first Piroshky baking day at our Country Bungalow. I hope to document every step and let you know how we bring everything together to make these lovelies. Our 3 fillings will be tasty ground beef, braised cabbage, and potato. Our baking crew will be managed by my older sister Vera, the rest of us are eager to learn, Jamie, her mom Linda, our cousin Cindy, and myself. Addy will be here, too, and we will let her join in on the fun.

Stay tuned for recipes and photos to come.

Saturday, Bath Day

It’s fun to see our birdbath in use from time to time. Sitting in our family room I have a clear view of the birdbath through the sliding glass doors that open to our back acreage. I keep a camera handy with a long lens on it to capture moments like these.

In for a dip and then it was all in.

All washed up and ready for church tomorrow morning.

If I recall correctly, growing up we only had baths once a week on Saturday evening so we were all nice and clean for Sunday church. Every morning we’d have to wash our faces but baths were once a week. Things changed when we hit junior high and high school. When we had kids of our own it was normal to have a bath a day instead of once a week. I wonder sometimes if our little ones are too clean and not able to fight off common infections as when we were little. I remember having the diseases like measles and chicken pox but I don’t remember having lots of colds or the flu and we were never on antibiotics. I do remember having pink eye. I also had some mystery ailment (kidney infection?) that landed me in the hospital when I was in first grade and I was in recovery at home for a long enough time that I had a teacher come to our home for studies. The reason I think it might have been a kidney infection is because I had to drink a lot of water and I wasn’t allowed to have salt. My parents probably didn’t really understand what was wrong with me because they were never really able to tell me when I asked them about my mystery ailment. On the subject of communicable diseases I recall standing in a very long line with my family at the local junior high for polio vaccinations when I was elementary age. We also got smallpox vaccinations in elementary school. That smallpox vaccination was pretty primitive and left an interesting scar. Since we are on this subject of communicable, thankfully I only remember having lice once, in elementary school. Oye! My mother worked very hard to eradicate them. When I was an elementary school teacher there was an outbreak of lice and it made me squirm.

Hope you have a nice last Saturday in June! Happy Canada Day weekend to our friends to the North.