My object is a red shawl with a zipper and a hood. My great grandmother, Gertrude, sewed it herself. She sewed three of them for her three grandchildren, one of which is my dad. My dad is the oldest child and so am I, so the shawl that was made for him is now mine. My younger sister and brother got the other two. These are special to me because I was named after the person who sewed these--our names both start with a G. Gertrude was born in the U.S., but her mother and three sisters immigrated here through Ellis Island in 1921. Her father came the year before. I learned that they traveled to NYC on a ship called the Susquehanna, from Danzig. This shawl is also special because it feels good to have something that has been passed down to me from generations before me. It gives me something to help me imagine what Gertrude was like, even though I never met her. One year on Halloween, my sister wore her red shawl and dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood. I was the big, bad wolf.
– Gilana Steckel