It was getting later into the afternoon by the time we left Frau Sonnleitner, her pigs, and her dog named Linda. (See Going to the Dogs) with no luck in finding the Ebner Hof, my great-grandfather, Samuel Ebner’s, home in Grosspold, Romania.
After we had passed through the main section of Grosspold, we ascended into the upper, Roma, part of town. At one of the first intersections, we saw a shirtless man hand-shoveling what appeared to be the lumbered remnants of some structure, cluttering the street. Nearby a woman was burning refuse of indeterminate origin in a fenced-in, barren, expanse of land.
Everyone was unfailingly friendly, often asking to pose with us for photos. I promised I would send them all copies, which I did, through Pastor Meitert, to be sure they would get them. We were clearly an oddity. My brothers are both over six feet tall, and we three women (cousin Maria, my brother Bill’s wife, and I) range from 5’6”-5’10”, two of us very blond. Our towering height and sturdy western clothes must have made us look like gigantic aliens to the much shorter and dark-haired, dark-eyed Roma.
|Roma posing with brother, Bill, and his wife, Robin|
It appeared that running water was not universally available. We saw a young woman drawing water from a centrally-located well, pouring it into her own bucket, and then carrying it home, listing left with the weight.
At the far end of the last street, we came to the highest part of town, where we saw a young boy and girl sitting on a wall. I thought they were quite beautiful with the setting sun lighting up their faces, and gestured to ask if I could take their picture. They agreed and looked right into the lens, with no need to “smile for the camera.”
|Roma children in Grosspold|
As we turned to head back down, Pastor Meitert promised us he’d make further inquiries into the whereabouts of the Ebner Hof. When we called him the next day, he had indeed made some amazing discoveries--beyond what we expected. Coming soon.
Please leave your comments by clicking here.