Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 14

Our Pops story continued…

This is our Pop’s story dictated verbally by him a few years ago. I’ll be sharing excerpts every Tuesday. When I add to his story or explain a photo I will Italicize my words. Our Pop’s words will not be italicized. Our mom does not come into Pop’s story until “Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 9” even though I’ve posted photos of her before #9. I have very few photos from our parents’ life in Russia and Persia. At the end of my Tuesday posts I’ll add links to all the other posts.

The first four years of our sojourn in the U.S saw us living in the East Los Angeles area with various family members and friends.  I worked various jobs in the construction trades.

Our second child Vera was born February 1948.

Fred, our first son, was born in October of 1949. Ellen was born in March of 1951. We bought our first house in Montebello in 1951.

Fred, Moisi, Ellen, Kathy and Vera in the front yard of our first home in Montebello Gardens which is now known as Pico Rivera.


Tim was born in January of 1958 and Steve was born in December of 1959.

In the early 60’s we moved to a bigger house in Montebello to meet the needs of our growing family. In July of 1963 Nadia surprised us all by giving birth to twins – Leonard and Lana.

I’m adding to Pop’s story about the twins. Our mom was very embarrassed and distressed when she got pregnant since she already had 6 children. She was happy to have things even and to be able to say we have 3 girls and 3 boys.  Then when the doctor told her she was having twins at age 40 it threw her into an emotional period of denial. Financially things were tough already and she wondered how we could afford to have two more babies. She didn’t even tell our Pop that she was going to have twins. She kept the fact that she was having twins a secret her whole pregnancy. We had just spent a week at Forest Home Christian Conference Center in Southern California arriving home on Saturday, July 27th. Our Pop went back to work on Monday and our mom went into labor. Pop was working on a construction site and my mom couldn’t get in touch with him. She called a friend of ours to take her to the hospital. Our mom never learned to drive. Later that day our family friend let us all know that our mom delivered twins, a girl and a boy. We were shocked and excited and waited for our Pop to arrive home so we could let him know. Pop pulled into the driveway and our brother Tim ran out to the car first and said “Pop, Pop, not one baby, two babies”, holding up two fingers.  To say our Pop was shocked is an understatement. He walked into the kitchen, sat down, and asked for a glass of punch. (Hawaiian Punch concentrate was a staple in our home in the 60’s). In those days natural childbirth was not the common practice so my mother was not awake when the twins were delivered. When they brought the twins in for her to see she told the nurses that the boy was hers but the little girl with all that dark hair was not hers because she looked Mexican (maybe she was still a little woozy from being put under). The nurses kindly informed her that both the boy and girl were definitely hers! 1963 would prove to  be an epic year in the life of our family.

This was the kitchen of our home in Montebello where our dear Pop had his glass of punch before heading to Beverly Hospital in Montebello to see his newborn twins and our mom.


Quotes of the Week 12

From Manners and Customs of Bible Times
Fred H. Wight

Ability to separate the Sheep;

When it becomes necessary to separate several flocks of sheep, one shepherd after another will stand up and call out: Tahhoo! Tahhoo! or a similar call of his own choosing. The sheep lift up their heads, and after a general scramble, begin following each one his own shepherd. They are thoroughly familiar with their own shepherd’s tone of voice. Strangers have often used the same call but their attempts to get the sheep to follow them always fail. The words of Jesus are indeed true to Eastern Shepherd life when he said: “The sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4,5)

I want to be a lamb that only follows my shepherd (Jesus) and knows His true voice amongst all the noise of false voices.

Up to Date…

This little munchkin got to spend some time with Baba and Gramps on Monday because these two…

… had things to do without the help of a toddler.

Addy is learning the lay of the land at Baba and Gramps’ house.

Having no skid socks makes running on the tile floors safer.

We had a lot of fun playing with the helium balloon, bouncy balls, the rocking horse, and a stethoscope. We made sure the dollies got their shoes back on. I’ll have to take a photo of where Addy likes to store those dolls besides Katie’s cradle.

My views today after we got another dusting of snow in the night.


We are expecting rain soon that will melt a lot of this away. Hopefully enough to melt the solid pack of ice underneath.

Today is a good day to stay in and make a big pot of Borsch.


Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 13

Our Pop’s Story continued…

This is our Pop’s story dictated verbally by him a few years ago. I’ll be sharing excerpts every Tuesday. When I add to his story or explain a photo I will Italicize my words. Our Pop’s words will not be italicized. Our mom does not come into Pop’s story until “Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 9” even though I’ve posted photos of her before #9. I have very few photos from our parents’ life in Russia and Persia. At the end of my Tuesday posts I’ll add links to all the other posts.

On April 25, 1944 our first daughter was born.  She was the ideal baby – beautiful, happy, loveable.  Then in early 1946 she contracted dysentery and died. Our hearts were broken.  In addition we as parents were blamed for her death because we didn’t have a dedication ceremony for her when she was born – neither in the Baptist or the Molokan church – because we could not agree as to what church should conduct it.  This guilt added to our grief. But fortunately, it was mitigated with the birth of our second daughter, Kathy, in May of 1946.

At this time in our lives, my parents began to cultivate closer ties with our relatives in the U.S.  In so doing they asked them to sponsor our family into the U.S. (Sponsoring was necessary back then.)  And they agreed. As it turned out, only the siblings who had families and my parents had emigration status.  That meant that my sister’s family and mine were the only ones who could leave. My parents decided not to come with us because they did not want to further divide the family.  Because my father was a spiritual leader in the Molokan church, the immigration officer at the American Consulate advised us to have our American relatives to sponsor him as a pastor which would expedite the emigration process for him and the rest of the family.  And so it did for they all arrived two years after we did.

We ourselves left Teheran for the United States on September 3, 1947.  I will give the details of our trip because it is different than how we would travel today.  Our plane was a twin engine Red Cross cargo plane. There were no seats – only benches – and who needs seat belts?  Some of us sat on the benches while others laid on the floor. Because our flight altitude was relatively low, we were able to discard Kathy’s dirty diapers out the window.  Opening and closing them did not affect cabin pressure. Here is our itinerary. From Teheran we flew to Cairo, Egypt, refueled and flew on to Rome, Italy. We spent the night in Rome.  From Rome we flew to London. We were not allowed off the plane and only stayed for lunch. We flew on to Scotland and stayed overnight. From Scotland we flew to Iceland and had lunch. From there to Greenland where we spent the night.  From Greenland we flew to New York. We arrived in New York late Saturday night, September 6th. We were planning to take the train from New York to Los Angeles that night. However, all our money was in travelers checks made out to my brother John.  Union Pacific would not take those checks. So we were stuck in New York for the night. We had the name of a Russian pastor and two kind ladies from Traveler’s Aid helped us locate his church. When we arrived he was just locking the doors of the church for the night.  He took my sister’s family and the three of us to a hotel which did accept our travelers checks. In the morning Nadia woke up and was scared to death because of the height of the room. All she saw were people the size of ants below and this frightened her.

It being Sunday, we went to this pastor’s church morning and evening.  On Sunday night one family took my sister’s family and another took ours for the night.   Monday morning we notified our relatives of our plight. They wired us money for the train and so we left for Los Angeles.  We arrived in LA on September 12, 1947.

My parents with our oldest sister Kathy the second in Los Angeles. Mom is pregnant with our sister Vera in this photo.

Kathy (the second) at a park in Los Angeles. I asked my parents a few years ago why they would name their second daughter Kathy since that was the name of their daughter who died. They looked at me puzzled and said, “It’s a good name”. So we have 2 sisters named Kathy. One deceased and one alive and well living in Southern California.


Mosaic Monday

Who knew a helium balloon could bring so much delight. On Boxing day, in the evening, we stopped at our local Safeway market and after we rang out at the check stand the checker asked us if we could use this balloon. We said sure and took it home with us for free. When Addy came over with her parents last Thursday for dinner she had a delightful time with this free gift.

It’s been fun watching the birds hop and flit about in the snow. The really good hoppers are the quail.

We took a walk about the back acres to check out all the animal trails in the snow. We think we might have had a feral cat (it was looking at us one night through our family room slider), deer, mice and other critters. It might be time to get that critter night camera!

Today was a glorious sun filled day. We joined our kids at church and then had lunch with them. On our way home from their place we took this shot from their driveway. The best of views!

Linking up with Angie from Letting Go of the Bay Leaf for Mosaic Monday.