Posts Tagged ‘communism’

LEBANON, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Ionica: A Romanian Immigration Story, Catalina Petcov’s memoir of life under Communism and her escape from it as a young woman.

This touching memoir tracks the life of Catalina Petcov, called Ionica by her family, as she experienced the difficulties of being a young girl in rural Romania, though her escape to Italy and ultimately the United States.

In 1952, Catalina was born in Bozovici, Romania to parents whose work ethic was absolute. Her mother and father worked her like a farmhand—save the fact that they would’ve treated a farmhand better.

From a very young age, she already was involved in work that typically was reserved for adults. She tended to cows in the fields and looked after pigs and chickens in the backyard; she pulled weeds and helped plow when it was time to plant new crops; she even prepared her own breakfasts, because her parents didn’t provide any for her. Having an older sister was little help; Catalina was the one who had to do the bulk of the work.

She started growing up in rural Romania just thirteen years before the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu came into power. And while her life certainly was affected by his dictates, she was first and foremostly affected by the dictates of Floarea, her mother.

* * *

Floarea was born on August 30, 1928. And, when she still was an infant, her mother, Pelagia, abandoned her. Perhaps this tragedy occurred because Pelagia was not married to Floarea’s father and the custom at that time was to give up a baby that was born out of wedlock. At any rate, as a consequence, Floarea’s paternal uncle Pavel and his wife Mila raised her. And, although Pelagia lived only several miles away, she never visited her daughter.

Catalina's parents and extended family in Romania.

Catalina’s parents and extended family in Romania.

Floarea’s father, Tomas, raised sheep in the nearby mountains and rarely came home. If he ever was married to Pelagia, these extended absences of his must have led to the end of that presumably loveless arrangement.

Years later, Pelagia got married to a man who already had children, and she was delighted that those step-children gave her step-grandchildren to love and cherish. As fate would have it, those step-grandchildren lived down the street from Floarea’s house. Thus, Pelagia had to go past her daughter’s house on her way to visit the only family she seemed to care about. Even on the occasions when Floarea and she locked eyes for an instant, neither of them said a thing.

In 1945, 17-year-old Floarea married 28-year-old Nicolae. He was born on July 5, 1920, and he was a very bright man. In fact, his mother was proud of him for being the only boy in their town to finish seventh grade. He had much more smarts than he did money, though, and because he was poor, his mother (and he, too, probably) feared that he wouldn’t be able to do much with his life.

This may be one of the reasons why he decided to marry Floarea. Her father was one of four siblings, and he was the only one who had a child. Because of this, Floarea’s two aunts and one uncle left their homes and their land to her. Floarea sold two of the homes but retained all of the land, leaving her with a good amount of money and property—and making her an excellent prospective bride. The home she kept was in the village of Bozovici, where Nicolae and she later raised their family.

Mr. & Mrs. Petcov, reunited

Mr. & Mrs. Petcov, reunited

Two years after they were married, in 1947, the couple brought their first child into the world. Her name was Florica, and they absolutely adored her. Being their first child—and their only one for a number of years—Florica lavished in their love and admiration. They made or bought her everything that a growing child needed, and they spent quality time with her.

However, when Floarea became pregnant again, both her husband and she wanted the baby to be a boy. Only boys carried on the family name, so a family without a baby boy had to watch its name fade and then disappear entirely. After months of hoping for a baby boy, though, Floarea (Momma) discovered to her dismay that she had been carrying another baby girl.

Catalina came into the world five years after her sister, in 1952, but instead of being met with rejoicing and excitement, she was met with dissatisfaction. Nicolae’s (Poppa’s) mother, her paternal grandmother, was especially upset that Catalina wouldn’t carry on her last name. So the family made a bitter resolution. While they named the new baby Catalina, they never called her by that name. They always referred to her as Ionica: the female version of Ion, Poppa’s brother’s name. If they couldn’t have a boy, they resolved that they at least would treat their second daughter as though she was one.

Therefore, because everyone in Catalina’s town knew her as Ionica, she will be referred to as such throughout the remainder of the book.

Ionica: A Romanian Immigration Story
Authored by Catalina Petcov
List Price: $14.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
152 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066249
ISBN-10: 1620066246
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Women

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patsy_fc_2014Dallas, TX — Since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, three theories have been forwaded as the involvement of Lee Harvey Oswald: that he was a lone assassin, as the Warren Commission claimed; that Oswald was a part of a vast, complex conspiracy to kill the sitting president, as those who reject the Warren report insist; and, finally, that Oswald was not involved, either singly or collectively, in what went down that day in Dallas. The greatest stumbling block to the latter has to do with hard, cold evidence: Not only was Oswald located on the sixth floor of the book depository that day; he absolutely carried a rifle with telescopic sight and fired it out the window. How could it be remotely possible, then, that Oswald was completely innocent as to JFK’s murder?

In his latest iconoclastic work, prolific writer DOUGLAS BRODE presents a detailed argument as to the theory of innocence, taking into account one of Oswald’s final statements–“I’m a Patsy!”–proceeding from there to trace this unique man’s entire life. Such materials are juxtaposed throughout the book with larger, greater world events that, when viewed from a contrarian perspective, may shed light on who actually wanted Kennedy dead and why. This non-fiction novel is written in the style of an imaginative work, yet events detailed here remain true to fact. As Brode reveals, we can precisely know what Oswald did and said that day, but what actually went on in his, or any person’s, mind can never be fully reclaimed from history, therefore reconstructed here in a freely creative manner to offer “a truth,” if not “the truth,” as to what may have actually happened fifty years ago, and why.

Excerpt from Douglas Brode’s book Patsy:

I’m a patsy … A patsy!”

Lee Harvey Oswald, November 24, 1963; 11:21 A.M.

Ruby-shooting-oswald2As he returned, albeit briefly, to a state of semi-consciousness, Lee Harvey Oswald, age 24 and with less than ten minutes left to live, vaguely recalled saying those words into a TV camera. He couldn’t be certain as to when. Minutes ago? Perhaps. Years, maybe. A lifetime earlier or a split-second, if the concept called ‘time’ existed, something Lee had long since come to doubt.

Once those words were out, everything had suddenly gone dark, as if for a fade-out between a fifteen minute chapter on a television show and the commercials to follow. Funny, isn’t it? Lee thought, if thinking correctly describes what the swiftly dying man’s mind was capable of during those final moments. For now, thoughts and emotions could no longer be separated. The combination of the two tore through Lee’s tight frame and his human consciousness, or what remained of it. With end-game right around the corner, Lee Oswald attempted to understand his own self—however racked with pain—as well as the nightmare-world that had come to enclose him during his less-than-a-quarter-century on earth. Meanwhile, everything around him came in and out of focus whenever Lee managed to flicker his eyes. Bizarre shapes and odd shadows registered, if little else.

At this moment, life—or what Lee could in his agony still perceive of everyday existence—resembled an old black-and-white movie. That made sense, for nothing had ever meant as much to Lee as The Picture Show, as his mother Marguerite long ago had so quaintly referred to it: the one and only place where he had ever been able to set aside the ugliness of his daily reality and discover a few treasured hours of respite in a finer world.

Funny, all the same. For Lee Harvey Oswald had always, ever since he could remember, desired to be famous. Adored by the masses, those very people he had over the years come to hold in contempt. Bizarre how he needed, hungered for their attention, even admiration, perhaps adulation. And, in the early stages of the second-half of the 20th century, that he inhabited for at least a little longer, fame had come to mean television. Appear on TV and your life is fulfilled. The whole world is watching, even as you always believed they ought to be doing.

I was about to tell all … everything! … but as I recall only the first words were out … the prologue, so to speak … “I’m a patsy!” … then, before I could continue … Wham! … the noise, like thunder clapping … or a pistol firing . . yes, that must have been it … I do know the sound of a pistol … rifles, too … no, no, I can’t let myself laugh. Hurts too much … so let’s try to remain calm, concentrate … alright, I had spit those words out … and repeated the last two, just so all would be sure to hear me, loud and clear … and then I … inflated … like a little kid’s balloon some mean man pops with his cigarette while passing by on the carnival midway … no good reason to do so … just to be mean … oh, wait a minute, there was a reason … they had to silence me … of course! … ‘they’ … them! … all of them working together.

Patsy: The Life and Times of Lee Harvey Oswald

Authored by Douglas Brode
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
350 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620061909
ISBN-10: 1620061902
BISAC: Fiction / Historical
Also available on Kindle

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