Saturday, November 10, 2018

A "heads up" to Hondurans in caravans somewhere in southern Mexico

Back in February 2010 I wrote a post about my father-in-law that included a photo of him in 1917, the year he emigrated to the United States from Albania. You can read the post and see the photo here.

I mentioned in that post that he became a naturalized citizen of his adopted country just seven years after arriving. This past summer his granddaughter, our niece who lived in North Carolina, sent us a package of things that included his naturalization certificate. I am so glad that she took the time to do that, because she died suddenly during the last week of September a few days before her 54th birthday.

Here is my father-in-law's Certificate of Naturalization as a United States citizen. Issued in 1924, it is a work of art and a pleasure to behold. So that you won't have to strain your eyes, I have transcribed it below the photograph.

No. 2013628 ....................................To be given to the person Naturalized.


Petition, Volume 12 , Number 2407
Description of holder. Age, 29 years, height, 5 feet, 6 inches, color, White , complexion, Dark , color of eyes, Brown , color of hair, Black ; visible distinguishing marks, None.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx *
.(Strike through words referring to wife if husband was naturalized AFTER September 22, 1922.)
Names, ages and places of residence of minor children None.
.(Strike through words referring to children if holder of this certificate is a married woman.)

State of New Jersey )
County of Atlanic )........S.S. ...........[Signature of James Cudse]
....................................................................(Signature of holder.)
.......... Be it remembered that James Cudse , then residing at number 2144 Atlantic Ave. Street, [City] of Atlantic City , [State] of New Jersey , who previous to [his] naturalization was a [subject] of The present Government of Turkey, having applied to be admitted a citizen of the United States of America pursuant to law, and, at a May term of the Common Pleas Court of Atlantic County , held at Mays Landing , on the 28th day of May , in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and twenty-four the court having found that the petitioner had resided continuously within the United States for at least five years and in this [State] for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the filing of [his] petition, and that said petitioner intends to reside permanently in the United States, had in all respects complied with the law in relation thereto, and that [he] was entitled to be so admitted, it was thereupon ordered by the said court that [he] be admitted as a citizen of the United States of America.

In testimony whereof the seal of said court is hereunto affixed on the 28th day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and twenty-four and of our Independence the one hundred and forty-eighth.

...................................................................... [signature of Wm A. Blair]
...................................................................... County Clerk.
........................................................................(Official character of attestor.)

.*NOTE. Under act of September 22, 1922, husband's naturalization does not make wife a citizen.

Several things interested me about the certificate. To make the preprinted form an all-purpose one, there were several choices to be made which I indicated above with brackets:


Note that James Cudse (who was born Dhimitri Kuçi in Vlonë, Albania) was termed "a subject of The present Government of Turkey" and not "a citizen of Albania". It is true that there was a large Albanian population in Turkey at the time, but my father-in-law was not one of them, and Albania had declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. Here is an interesting paragraph about those times from Wikipedia's article about Albania:

"The modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People's Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour. The country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established."

No mention is made of Turkey in that paragraph. I learned that there were around 5,0000,000 Albanians living in Turkey at the time. In another interesting article called "Albania - Turkey Relations" one reads of the 1923 Friendship Treaty between the two nations and of the 1923 Citizenship Agreement and the Lausanne Treaty, which Turkey applied differently to Muslim Albanians and Christian Albanians. Turkey considered all Orthodox Albanians to be Greeks. If you are a glutton for punishment or need something to help you sleep, read the section entitled "Balkan Wars, WWI, Interwar period, WWII (1912–1944)" in the Wikipedia article, "Albania-Turkey relations".

The reverse side of the certificate is blank except for a small stamp.

Looking at it closer, we see that James Cudse was issued a United States passport by the Department of State on October 28, 1926.

One month later, he married Ksanthipi Rista in the Orthodox Church of Fier, Albania, and brought his new wife back to America, along with her widowed grandmother. The grandmother, who was 75, lived for one more year before her death in Atlantic City.

Ksanthipi changed her name to Carrie and also became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943. We have never found her certificate.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hoodwinked or merely gullible?

I received the following email from my step-sister-in-law in Texas (my step-brother's wife), who just had a birthday:

We are all 2018 today –
Today the whole world is the same age! Today is a very special day. It happens only once every 1,000 years.
Your age + your year of birth = 2018. This is true for everyone.
It is strange and inexplicable! Try it and see! It will not happen again for another 1,000 years!

and thought immediately, 'That's ridiculous!'

It is not a very special day. Well, maybe it is, but it is not strange and inexplicable. It doesn't happen only once every 1,000 years.

I said in my reply that this was true all the time for everyone. It doesn't just happen in 2018. It happens every year. That's what one's age is, subtracting the year you were born from the current year. So it follows that adding your age to the year you were born, you will ALWAYS come up with the current year, provided that your actual birthdate has passed.

She wrote back that her son Sam and I were the only two to have figured this out and that we were real smarties!

My step-sister-in-law is not dumb, she just didn't think things through, or perhaps is easily swayed.

Her hair color is immaterial.

I take my compliments wherever I can find them, always remembering that Mama said to consider the source.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

What? November already?

I must be slipping. Here's the most beautiful song about October ever written. It's not really about October but it captures perfectly the mood I often find myself in around this time of year. The lyrics are by Johnny Mercer, whose widow gave them to Barry Manilow. Barry composed the music and performs the haunting result:

When October Goes (3:58)

If Putz were still around (and I'm not sure he isn't, although he hasn’t posted anything since January 2014), he would be clapping (and he may very well be).

Autumn is always nostalgia time for me. This year autumn has been late arriving. In just the last couple of days have the the familiar reds and golds and oranges and yellows returned to north Georgia. It's my favorite time of year.

Here's a poem of mine the leaves inspired a few years back. The Carolyn mentioned in the first line was Carolyn H., a longtime friend from our church. On June 29th of this year she died at the age of 86 in Pensacola, Florida. She may be clapping too.

October 25, 2004

Our friend Carolyn came over for lunch
And as we finished at the table
Someone said, “Let’s go for a ride!”
So into the car we piled,
Like children giddy with anticipation,
Not knowing where we were headed
But eager to be having an adventure;
And someone said, “Where shall we go?”
And we said, “We don’t know!”
And someone else said, “Name a direction!”
And because the fall thus far at home
Had been drab and disappointing,
We headed north toward the mountains, laughing.

Five hours later we returned,
Tired but invigorated,
Having been to Helen and Unicoi Gap
And Hiawassee and Lake Chatuge,
Making all of the hairpin turns
And ascending, always ascending, until
We crested and began to descend
Through another set of hairpin turns,
And all the while we oohed and ahhed
And said how glad we were that we had come,
Drinking in the brilliant reds, the dazzling yellows,
The shocking oranges of autumn, the mountains ablaze
Against a clear blue sky.

Here's to old times, old friends, new times, and new friends.

I hope I didn't leave anyone out.

My mother died on October 4, 1957. I hope she is clapping too.