Ever since I can remember, Bruce Luce has stood guard in the hallway of my family homes. Bruce, standing only a few feet tall, is a wooden statue that my grandfather, William Henry Luce, found in an antique store in central Pennsylvania. Although perhaps a fine early example of what is considered a “Cigar Store Indian,” Bruce’s provenance mattered little to my grandfather. Instead, he admired the dopey look on Bruce’s face and the strange way Bruce stood, as if about ready to charge off on some grand adventure.
Bruce’s story, and my story, is not an immigration story, but, rather, a migration story. From my grandparents’ home in State College, Pennsylvania, Bruce traveled to Ohio, Delaware, New York, California and back to Pennsylvania before finally coming to rest in New Jersey. When my grandfather died, my father inherited Bruce and he became a steadfast companion during our moves around the United States.
For my family, Bruce continues to be a reminder of my grandfather’s infallible sense of humor. Bruce has a costume for almost every occasion and holiday. He’s been chewed on by babies and dogs. Probably urinated on by those same suspects as well. Bruce is a constant no matter where my family migrates to.
– Greer Luce