This is the legacy of one man. Growing up in a poor country, fighting for it, and then deciding to uproot himself and his family to a new promised land, he bid his familiar home farewell, got on a boat and headed off.
I am proud of him. I am proud to be his granddaughter. I wish I had known him better. I wish I knew his struggles, his foibles, all of it. A lost generation they called his. World War I was a brutal and devastating war. So many gave so much. He was one of the lucky. He returned home. Then he decided to leave. For more? For promise? Maybe just to start over, where he could be his own kind of man. The promise, the possibility of America. It beckons. It calls. Still.
To be a first generation immigrant is to be that hope, that line cast out into the unknown. To be that first generation immigrant to so answer that call, across the big divide to the siren saying, “Come on, come try things over here.” To be that first generation immigrant is to say goodbye to all that is known. To all that has been comfortable, familiar and habit.
CALL TO ACTION
Lorie McCown is an American artist, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art, from California State University, Long Beach, Ca. and attended San Diego State University’s Graduate Art program. She was formally trained in drawing, painting, and art history. She has made art all her life, mainly in the fields of drawing, painting, paper, textile and fiber. Her pieces are in private collections and public galleries nationally and internationally. Her work has been juried into local, national and international shows, including Quilt National, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and Mid-Atlantic New Painting. Lorie’s artwork has been featured in Art Quilting Studio Magazine, Quilting Arts Magazine, Surface Design Magazine, Fiber Art Now Magazine and Artist’s Portfolio Magazine. She teaches workshops and classes nationally in painting, mixed media and fiber arts. She lives in Fredericksburg, VA. www.loriemccown.com