Cassette Tape

This is the original cassette tape.
This is the original cassette tape.

A shot was fired. If it happened 5 minutes earlier, my great-grandfather, Philip, would’ve been killed. The Russian soldier that was shot had just exchanged seats with Philip in a trench while hiding from the German army in 1915. This is one of many stories I heard on a cassette tape that contained an interview of my great-uncle telling the immigration story of his father. Philip’s story included fighting in World War I, escaping the Russian army, and meeting my great-grandmother, Rose, on the ship traveling to America. Learning about how my great grandparents met has always intrigued me. I was told it was love at first sight. When they docked in Ellis Island, they decided to stay in New York so they could earn enough money and make a living. Eventually, they traveled to Baltimore to live near Philip’s brother, got married, and had four children, including my grandpa. Every time I listen to this love story on the cassette tape, I feel the same way as I did the first time hearing it. Each time, I am reminded that everything happens for a reason and that life is fragile. If Philip didn’t have the courage and determination to escape his dangerous situation, he wouldn’t have met Rose. Even though I never met my great-grandparents, hearing their story makes me feel close to them and also helps me understand my identity. My great-grandparents handed down many wonderful qualities to their children and grandchildren, which was truly a gift.

Place(s): Ukraine
Year: 1918

– Anna Pearlman

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more