If you haven’t yet found the time to read Peter’s grateful reminiscences on his life as a new American, find it soon. It’s a wonderful piece.
My dad, a generation older, but only a few years older as an American, read it with great pleasure. For him, a Dutchman who came of age during WWII, the U.S. was the land of opportunity and freedom. In 1953, after three years here, he responded to his adopted country’s call, joining the Army for what turned out to be a 20-year hitch. He shipped out for Europe from Camp Kilmer, where Peter spent his first days in the U.S. When Peter and his family were making the trek for Austria (my mom’s home), my dad was a young soldier, beginning a family while stationed in Pisa, Italy. By the time the Schramms made it to southern California, the Knippenbergs were back in San Francisco, where I was born. While we never darkened the doors of Schramm’s Hungarian Restaurant, I’ve eaten my share of goulash and "stuffed garbage."