I consider it is a special gift people are having to socialize and interact with each other easily and friendly. Janko is one of them, a very sociable person. Hyper by temperament he realizes his skills in meeting get-togethers in churches, social gatherings, home meetings or wherever he goes. He likes people and people like him. The pure example was on his retirement day from Canadian Pacific Railways Ogden shop where he worked for entire 32 years, on June 5, 2008. The whole throng of his buddies lined up to wish him well for the days to come, the festivities were set up in such a way that everybody has opportunity to shake his hand, and by the way Valentina’s hand too, including her grandson Gleb, who happened to be in the shop at that time. Perhaps there were 120 people all together. Isn’t it wonderful? Does it speak volumes?
So, what to do on pension? A good question. Now Janko takes the floor.
Now when I have been retired for a period of time I began to feel that time belongs to me not vice versa. It happened all by chance: I was watching the TV program about a man in Toronto who started the search for his relatives whom he did not know in Hungary like myself by doing some research. He was not sure where to start. He made some enquiries I am not sure where and how and because of his efforts he was able to locate his ancestral village whereupon having inquired at the Town Hall he was able to locate an uncle. Thus began the search for who he was. This program inspired me to do the same. Why not? I asked myself. I knew my father’s village name in Slovakia, it was Male Levare near Bratislava. In spite of this I had only the fragments of information about these people from my father but no photos or pictures of my grandparents, uncles, cousins etc. I was disconnected from my past. Who were these people? Would they be interested in my enquiries? Or would they just brush it off, and forget it? He does not know us and we don’t know him. I sent a letter to the Slovak Embassy to try and trace the family members in Male Levare, if they are still alive. I felt that somebody would respond in a positive way. I took a chance with no great expectations. A week later I received e-mail from Slovak Embassy with the list of the same Holly family names and their telephones and addresses in Male Levare. There were six families with the same name but we did not know who is related to me. We called a few but there was no answer until we reached Edward Holly. It was a language barrier, I spoke French and English but not Slovak. Valentina spoke English and Russian but not Slovak.
Then she decided to speak slow Russian because it resembled a little Slovak and Edward responded in Russian. Because of this the door was open. I saw the hope in the horizon that I would contact some family members. When? I was not sure. We sent a letter with the photo of my father to Edward and he definitely gave it to my family. Within a month we received an answer from Slovakia and to my surprise, photos of my grandparents and more recent family members. Till now we keep in contact by the hi-tech miracle of Skype and web cam and we see them, and they see us. It is a wonderful beginning and if everything goes o’kay we will be visiting them at the last week of August this year.