Posts Tagged ‘Hungarians’

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 34…..

February 17, 2013

…. with a little bad language, but only in Hungarian.

I am having a lot of fun with this novel. And, I have heard recently that Hungarians are also reading these few chapters on the blog and liking the story. That means a lot. I knew that since I started posting chapters of “A Kapitany” I had readers in Hungary. That was important to me. Some of them wrote and kindly corrected some of the sentences I used in Hungarian…a very difficult language. My father’s family is Hungarian and I was raised around that complex language, but it certainly was a boon for Hungarians to give me advice on the language.

I wanted to see if what I was writing struck a spark of recognition in these readers. Of course, it’s fiction, but every writer writes from fact and experience. Or tries to.

I have almost finished the book. It’s been a long haul but now the hard work: rewrite.

Some clues to readers who haven’t been following this story: Vadas Dohendy is an art thief. He works for Miklos Karkas, who is a bigger art thief. Vadas has left Miklos’ employ and gone back to his vineyard in Noszvaj, near Eger, Hungary. He wants a new life, and Elizabeth is his way out…or an excuse. Elizabeth many chapters back was kidnapped by Miklos Farkas and his hired thugs. Both men have their own hired thugs and are gunning for each other. Playing cat and mouse, but each has a reason to kill the other. So far, the Eger/Budapest police are waiting for them to kill each other. It makes their jobs a lot easier.

Farkas means ‘wolf” in Hungarian. Vadas means “hunter”. Wolves feature heavily in earlier chapters of this novel. Grey and black wolves. Vadas told Elizabeth that black wolves come from Transylvania and grey wolves are Hungarian. Miklos Farkas originated from Transylvania, or his family did. There’s a snarling black wolf head in the hall of the lodge in Noszvaj that scares Elizabeth every time she sees it. Vadas has it there for a reason.


A Kapitany, Chapter 34

It was raining the next morning. It pelted the roof, drummed loud enough to be ‘white noise’ coming from a cd.
Vadas opened one eye, saw the gloom of the morning and curled himself around Elizabeth.

Elizabeth woke up, yawned and stretched. “Come on, it’s morning. It’s late. Get up.”

Vadas buried his head in her hair. “No, I want to stay in bed all day. You, too.”

“Vadas, don’t be silly. There are plenty of things to do today.”

“What? You got someone to visit? You want to go shopping?”

Elizabeth yawned. “No. I have no where to go. But we could do something.”

“You can scratch my back. Massage my shoulders. Maybe you trim my toenails.” He snuggled down in the covers and tightened his arm around her.

“I don’t trim your toenails, Vadas. Even if we marry, I don’t do that.”

“What? A wife does these things for the husband.”

“I’m not your wife, yet, remember?”

“So? You are in training, no?”

“Hah. Come on, Vadas. I’ll get you some coffee.”

“Good. Bring back the pot.”

Elizabeth went downstairs and poured two mugs of coffee. On the way back she looked out the window at the top of the staircase. It was pouring outside. Perhaps Vadas was right. Perhaps it was a good day to do nothing.

Vadas was sitting up in bed, scratching his chest. Elizabeth handed him his mug and sat down in a chair by the window, sipping the hot coffee gingerly.

“It’s too wet to go visit the grapes, Elizabeth,” he said mournfully.

“Ok. Why don’t we go into Eger and see what furniture your aunts have stored in that warehouse?”

“We could do that. You could pick what you wanted for the house.” Vadas yawned. “We could also stay right here in bed.” He patted the bed beside him.

“Vadas, we don’t have a lot of time before the wedding. If you are serious about making the house livable, it’s going to take a lot of time and attention. The roofers should be coming soon, right?”

“Ah, we can go up there today and see where the rain is coming in, Elizabeth. Good idea. First, take care of your man.” Vadas grinned over his mug.

‘You are going to wear me out before we get married.”

“Yes I am. Aren’t you a lucky woman? The ló fasz is lonely.”

“You’re a maniac, Vadas. Later, sweetie, maybe this evening. I want to get some things done today.”

“As long as you remember the ‘later’, Elizabeth.”

“I’m going to take a shower.”

“Good, I’ll join you.”

“Nothing doing, Vadas. You know what happens when you butt into my shower.”

Vadas smiled, finishing the last of his coffee.

“Listen, Elizabeth, before you go shower, I’ve been thinking. The reception? We need a big place. We can rent a hotel, or we can open part of the house. You want to live there, right? Well, we can fix up the roof. We can have people come in and repair some of the rooms. We can have chairs and tables rented. We can make part of the house livable. What do you think?”

Elizabeth stopped where she was. “Vadas? Can you afford to do this? You know that roof will cost a lot of money. And we have to agree we don’t touch the murals. We need a conservator to look at them. They might be of historic value. We don’t want to rush things. Is the house even wired for enough electricity? What about bathrooms? You are planning on, what? Two, three hundred people?”

“Elizabeth. I would be expected to have at least that many. This whole village and people from Budapest and Eger. It will be a crowd. For three days.”

Elizabeth’s mouth fell open. “Vadas. Some people will have to be put up for that long. At least those from Budapest. Your aunties and my Aunt Irene for much longer.”

“We can put a tent on the grounds. We can have people from out of town stay here. It would be tight, but Maria and Janos will arrange. As for toilets? They can use the bushes.”

“Oh, stop it, Vadas”, said Elizabeth laughing in spite of herself. “Be practical. And the food? We need a wedding planner. We need caterers. We need someone who knows what to do.”

“Ok. Hire someone. Vadas pays.”

Elizabeth shook her head in disbelief and went to take her shower. Vadas picked up a paper and started to read.

Vadas’ cell buzzed. It was Andor. Miklos was seen in Eger. Vadas sat up, and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

“What are you saying? When? When was he seen?” Vadas stood up and paced while he was talking.

“Ok, ok. This changes plans for today. I have to get rid of Elizabeth. No, no. She wants to come into Eger, but that can’t happen. Yes, get Marcus and some of the other men here. I want at least two men here in the house, and two parked near the house. If Miklos is around, Elizabeth is in danger. No, I will meet you in half an hour, maybe a little more. Ok. I’ll unlock the gun cabinet in the hall. You know what to do.”

Vadas put the phone down on the nightstand. So, the bastard had surfaced and he was right under his nose. Now he had to convince Elizabeth to stay here, and not ask questions. But she would be alarmed with two other men in the house. She wasn’t stupid. She would know something was up.

Maria. She would help. Vadas threw on clothes and went down to find Maria. Janos and Maria were both in the kitchen drinking coffee.

“Good. I’m glad I caught both of you. Janos, Miklos was seen in Eger. I ‘m going there. There will be four men here, two in the house, and two parked nearby. Just in case. Maria? I need you to keep Elizabeth under your thumb. Perhaps she can help in the kitchen? I don’t want her alarmed, but these men here? She will know something’s afoot.” Vadas shrugged his shoulders.

Janos nodded. Maria wasn’t so easy.

“Vadas. Elizabeth will know. She will be scared. I’m afraid for you. Don’t do this, Vadas. You don’t know what Miklos is planning or how many men he has. Please, Vadas, don’t go after Miklos now. Let the police handle it.”

“If the police get involved, I will go down with Miklos.”

Janos spoke. “Maria. This is Vadas’ decision. You, woman, stay out of it. You just keep Elizabeth busy until the smoke clears.”

“Son? What are you going to do?”

Vadas turned in the doorway and looked at Janos. “I don’t know. Maybe beat him up. Maybe cut off his dick. Maybe I kill him. I don’t know, Janos. But I won’t go easy on Miklos. That’s if I find him.”

Vadas picked up Andor and Tomas, another man who knew what Miklos had done. Andor filled Tomas in about the sighting of Miklos. They got to Eger fast, Vadas driving like a maniac. They met the man saying Miklos had been seen. He had disappeared, though someone had followed. Vadas turned and punched the wall of a building, cursing his head off. Bad move, as he skinned his knuckles. Shoving his hand in his mouth, he looked at Andor.

“This seggfej is screwing with me.” Vadas lunged at the man, anger contorting his face.

Andor and Tomas grabbed Vadas by the shoulders and arms, holding him back.

“Vadas! Stop it. Don’t kill the messenger, you shit head,” hissed Andor.

The man went pale. He stepped back.

Vadas shook his head, recovering himself and held out his hand.

“Sorry. I lost my head.”

The man didn’t take his hand, his eyes flashing anger. Andor stepped in front of Vadas and put his arm around the man’s shoulder. He led him away and spoke quietly to him. Andor slipped something into his hand. The man looked back at Vadas and nodded.

“Maybe I should stay here and tail him myself.”

“No, Vadas. Miklos wanted you to know he was here. He’s playing cat and mouse. Go home and wait. He probably will do this again. We will get him. Just be patient.”

Vadas looked at Andor and Tomas and sighed. “You’re probably right. Miklos always was a tok feju. I just lost my head. I can’t afford to do that again.”


Elizabeth found the gun cabinet opened and guessed something was happening. Maria hadn’t said a word, but Janos was smoking in the kitchen, something Maria forbade him doing. They realized she knew something and tried to take her mind off Vadas’ absence. Elizabeth had already seen Marcus sitting in the hall in a chair. He nodded to her and Elizabeth could see he was armed. She walked to the gun cabinet and looked for a small pistol. Vadas’ guns were too big for her but she was damned if she was going to be unarmed. Marcus came to her and in bad English asked her what she was looking for. She said “gun” and he rolled his eyes. She opened the bureau next to the cabinet and rummaged around. She found a small .38 and opening it, saw it was unloaded. She found five bullets that fit. She flipped it closed and stuck it in the back pocket of her jeans. Marcus winked and nodded at her and went back to his seat. Elizabeth went into the kitchen, pulling her sweater down so the gun didn’t show on her butt. Maria didn’t notice, but Janos did. He smiled to himself and puffed on his cigarette. This was no helpless, dumb American woman.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2013

“Quiet Birds”, posted for Poets United, and a nod to the Hungarians in my life….

February 10, 2013
Dawn awoken, jane kohut-bartels, wc. 2006

Dawn awoken, jane kohut-bartels, wc. 2006

It’s still National Haiku Month, and I’ll try to keep up.

Under the dark moon
I awaited your return
Only shadows came.

from: “A Seasoning of Lust” 2009, available at

Quiet birds!
I have not changed you into metaphors yet.
Your chatter adds crystallized chaos
To last night’s tokaji clouding the brain.
My eyes open with reluctance
To splinters of light
Challenging soft, painful membranes.

The taste of bitter black coffee
underlines a bitter reality–
I am no longer young.
Last night should be wrapped in tissue
Locked deep in a trunk
To find when I am past temptations-
Having room only for memories and regrets.

Quiet birds.
The day looks promising.
I await a new flock of metaphors
With polished feathers
Landing on my shoulders,
Weighing me down-
Colorful daydreams,
Peacock words,
Bird of Paradise thoughts!

For some reason,
Words, whole paragraphs,
Circle my head, then
Flap off in a thunder of wings.

I hear laughter of rude crows,
See a mess of bird droppings,
And a few cracked seeds begin my penitence-
Starvation wages for a poor poet,
Left to a flightless life.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2013

With thanks to George Szirtes, for the words: “Quiet Birds, I haven’t changed you into metaphors yet.” I couldn’t resist.

Lady Nyo

Lady Nyo

The Tribe of Kohuts…..

September 27, 2012

Earlier this month, we traveled to central New Jersey for the 100th Birthday Celebration of my dear Aunt Jean. We drove because I insisted on taking one of our few French pumpkins from our garden, jams and jellies and eggs from our hens as gifts to my aunt. That was a long trip, but having a car made it possible to make day trips out into the countryside to see what changes 20 years of absence had made. The poem ” The Homecoming” tells of just a few of those changes we found.

Most importantly, there were 75 plus people attending, cousins, relatives in some way, but people I had not seen in 23 and 50 years. Of course, I had never met many of the grown children from my cousins, and there were plenty in attendance. So many people remembered my father and related stories to us about him. He was well loved in his lifetime and hearing people, I was once again struck how special he was. He’s been gone for 23 years this November, but his presence was in the room; he was that loved.

There were many long-gone relatives in that banquet room. Uncle John and Aunt Margaret, Sonny’s father and mother, an uncle who was the essence of kindness, his pockets filled with candies which he rustled and we children came running like kittens; Aunt Margaret who would take me on a train to NY for lunch, first washing my face to make me presentable; Uncle Zoltan and Aunt Pauline, who stepped in to parent me when my father died. They loomed large in my life when I felt lost. Uncle Louis, Aunt Jean’s dear husband, who was my father’s favorite brother; Aunt Bubbie, Uncle Mac, Aunt Irene and Uncle Lee…so many people gone, an entire generation, with only Aunt Nancy and Aunt Jean left to herd the rest of us through life.

My Aunt Jean, at 100, was glowing, strong and full of life: beautiful, witty, and one I wouldn’t get into any political argument. That was the general impression I got from other relatives. At 100, Aunt Jean can hold her own.

She uses a wheeled walker, but watching her, you can see she walks faster than that walker. I also saw her put aside the walker, and shove a heavy chair out of her way. There is strength and life in this 100 year young woman.

Over the years, because of distance (we are in Atlanta) and other things, I had missed the Xmas parties every year, had not extended myself to the various cousins, was sure that no one would remember me. I was very wrong. My oldest cousin, Sonny (John) Kohut, the son of my father’s oldest brother (dead) and his adorable wife, Marylou immediately embraced us. We didn’t have name tags on, but it didn’t seem to matter. I was Al Kohut’s only daughter and that was enough for this tribe.

Aunt Jean has been instrumental in my writing life: over the past 5 years she has read every poem I have sent her, and I thanked her in my last book, “White Cranes of Heaven”. She deserved thanking and more because I sent her just about everything I wrote. She complained every time my letters didn’t include some poetry. Apparently, she also passed some of these poems around the family, so I wasn’t such a stranger there.

Over the years, Aunt Jean has become “Mother Jean” and I her ‘daughter”. She also has her own daughter, Pam , and I gain a sister here. I was receiving two and sometimes three letters a week from her. Aunt Jean writes around 50 letters a month all over the world to relatives. The Kohuts are Hungarian,(Aunt Jean tells me ‘closer to the Czech side’) and most of them are bi-lingual. My Hungarian would have my tongue ripped out by wolves: it is that bad.

Mother Jean saw a daughter sorely in need of a functioning family. Her embrace of me has made all the difference in my life. She saw a woman desperately in need of the love of her tribe and made it possible in so many ways. A compassionate belief in the goodness of life and living, a fortitude against evil, and a remarkable ability to embrace the needs of others.

We came from this celebration deeply reconnected with a tribe of people who were loving and caring. The next book will be dedicated to this tribe and I will attempt to remember them for what they gave us that weekend.

It is good to belong somewhere after all these years of doubt. I am very proud of my Hungarian heritage, and my Aunt Jean has helped me feel the strength of it.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2012

Violins and Head-Wound Hannah.

May 11, 2009

To those who don’t know me well, I was SUPPOSED to be a violinist. To those who know me well, and there are only a few who would claim that….they know why I’m not.

Jerry Steele is one who knows me very well, as  we go back to high school dozens of decades ago.  We are so old now and though we aren’t immortal, perhaps we are vampires or the undead in some important way.  At least it seems  to me to be so as we rack up life experiences and some of them very dangerous, yet we still puff along.  There has to be some explanation for all of this.  I’m remembering  motorcycles (him) horses and flying hockey pucks and misplaced hardballs……some nasty headwounds.

Jerry and my brothers are true musicians.  Anything they can get in their mouths, or under their fingers, they can play.  These guys even made their own instruments.  Jerry knows this to be true, because he was one of the early (I’m talking ’60’s) members of the myriad groups my brothers and others formed in Princeton High School.

Marrowbone Creek Vagrants was one of the earliest bluegrass bands.  They were incredible. Guitars, an old bass fiddle  (Jerry), mandolins, banjos, violins, dobro playing, foot stomping, errie harmony, rib sticking music.   Did you know that American Standard, who makes toilets also makes Bass Fiddles??   Just a ‘for your information’ piece of trivia.  (I’ve known this for decades, but just remembering makes me laugh…and it’s a good ‘out’ Jerry, for all that lousy toilet playing bass fiddle stuff….well, I’d lean on that genesis of the bass fiddle.  Hard instrument to play…almost as hard as enamel.)

But I was supposed to be a violinist.  My father tried hard to make his only daughter and first child one.  He bought me a lovely lionheaded Steiner somewhere, and it couldn’t have been cheap.  That violin was a 3/4 violin, and permanently messed up my fingering.  Or that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

No, I am fishing around for any excuse I can find, because from 5th grade, I was the very worse violin student you could ever find.  My poor teachers (all men) dis pared of me even showing up for lessons, and my father made sure that I did.  As I remember, 5 days a week in school, because that was back when the curriculum of elementary school had arts and music.  Arts might be paste and construction paper, but music was a mainstay.

Mr. ____ (I can’t remember the name of this very gentle and kind man) in elementary school would look crestfallen when I appeared because he knew as my lack of proficiency grew with the violin, so did the excuses and my stubbornness.  I would drag the case down the hall, down steps, and knew by this trick that the violin would be out of tune by the time I reached him.  That would take up 5 minutes of a 40 minute lesson.  I complained about the rosin that made my teeth clench, I complained about the possibility of a string breaking and hitting me in the face, I complained about how the violin made my chin and shoulder sore.  This issue of the violin strings breaking was real, because I experienced them popping suddenly (and not when I was playing hard and fast) and slapping me across the face…and almost taking out an eye.

There were a lot of head wounds in childhood, and the violin just contributed to this.  I wanted to play the bugle, something that my father, a French Horn player…a serious musician, brought home for us kids, but he threw a hard ball to his only daughter who insisted that she knew how to catch it, (and placed the mitt right in front of her face) and it went through the mitt (and I don’t think it even hit the leather) and badly bruised the left of my face,  including my mouth.  The swelling for a week stopped my bugle career because my mother was a nurse and thought I would permanently damage my face if I continued.  Who knows?  She probably was right, and considering other handicaps, perhaps I would never get married?  A major concern of mothers back then with tomboy daughters…

The four years of high school for violin playing got no better.  I remember vaguely being in orchestra, so I must have learned something. I remember my violin teacher, a lovely hard pressed man who was orchestra and band teacher, on the floor, picking up my foot, and pressing it down, trying to make me play some sort of rhythm, with me on top playing the stupid, rosin flying violin and STILL not getting the rhythm.

I remember the ‘etudes’….some Polish or Frenchman who was determined to kill school violinists by these practice pieces.  I can still play them in my sleep, and actually they weren’t too bad…musically.  They were actual music.  I must have practiced them because I still have dreams of the fingering, and that is why I am writing this blog entry because I was having a nightmare about the Violin.

In college….Westminster Choir College, I was a violin minor. Very minor if you ask me.  I had one of the finest violinists around the NE, Nicholas Harashonyi…a fellow Hungarian of my father’s friendship who was head of the string department there.  He wanted me to give up voice (major) and ‘apply myself’ to violin, but no going.

I knew my limits.  I  hated the violin much more than he loved it.

Years later I actually picked up the same Steiner (which was never returned by a ‘friend’ because his daughters had fallen in ‘love’ with it..) and played bluegrass on radio with a band.  A couple of times, but I really still hated that violin.

But karma has something to do with our lives in some sneaky way, and I haven’t been able to shake the damn instrument.  Just when I thought it safe to go back into the water, my brother, who plays every instrument made…including the oud and lute…and does so professionally, bought me a full sized violin from China.  That was about 4 years ago.  I played it once outside on the patio at my mother’s in Savannah, and then packed it back in the nice case.  It actually was not a bad fiddle.   We were very surprised…because we had been such snobs about instruments, and apparently China has churned out some excellent fiddles lately.

I forget that I come from fiddle players.  My paternal grandfather was a Hungarian fiddle player, first somewhere in Budapest, and then founded the first Hungarian Folk Band in the US in the early part of the 20th century.  For years his lovely fake Strad. propped open an attic window.  I remember my father carefully driving to NYC to have it appraised by a famous fiddle maker.  It was lovingly wrapped in a blanket and placed on the front seat of his VW.  On the trip back it was in the back seat, so I guess the fiddle wasn’t a Strad.  But the label inside said it was…..Cremona something….17th century.  My brothers I HOPE still have  that fiddle.  Never know…most kids traded baseball cards, my brothers traded lots of instruments.

About  4 years ago, Jerry Steele put down the guitar and his bass fiddle and picked up a violin.  Jerry is one man who will punish himself with hard work, and picking up the violin at our age is torture.  But he soldiered on.  He actually learned to play this devilish instrument.  I remember him calling once a week and cursing the damn instrument. We had plans for us to do a duet (we had a very long history in HS with music together….folk bands, etc…and a bit after if I remember well…but Jerry was really the musician…I just sang and hung out) but I dropped my end of it.  I still hated the violin with great passion.

Perhaps it didn’t help  we picked “The Maiden’s Lament” or some such song….I even got a cd of it, but it was fruitlooped because it got really complex in the middle of the piece, and Jerry, who heard it over the phone said: What the fuck was that??? and kinda killed it right there.

Well, Jerry, I know you try to read this blog every day…mostly…something about RSS bottomfeeders or something like will be ‘happy’ to know  the violin is back.  I had a terrible time finding the ‘d’ on the damn thing to tune….because the ‘d’ on my old baby grand has popped….lol! and for some reason, the violin wasn’t cooperating at all.  Must have been the rosin again.

But!  “The Maiden is Lamenting” again and the cats are scattering and the dogs look like they are going to howl, and THIS time, I’m going to again meet you in NYC with the violin tucked under my chin and we can play that damn duet.

In about 3 years.  I even cut off my fingernails.  See? I’m serious this time.  And the rosin doesn’t bother me anymore, either.

Lady Nyo

95 year old Aunt Jean wrote yesterday,

December 2, 2008

and since she won’t be reading this blog, I will spill the beans…

I have few living relatives…but those that are seem to reach their 90’s. At least if they are women. That’s the good news for me because I am one.

Aunt Jean and I have been writing casually for years. That is something that you do. However, she and I have discovered so much in common over the past year, that we keep the letters going every month, health issues allowing.

Aunt Jean is Hungarian. She was born there, and her family was that class of land owners who were rather from the feudal times. That isn’t remarkably unusual in pre-Communist Hungary, but it’s interesting to know her history.

Her family owned a villa and a vineyard in I believe in the Northeast part of Hungary, near the Russian border. Of course with the Revolution of ’56, they lost the property, but the Russian government gave her (as the surviving relations-owner) a plane ticket their every year. She goes back every year to look over the family property (or what was…) and the vineyards, and she is treated like royalty when she does by the townspeople. Feudalism dies slowly in those parts of the world. That’s why it’s called “Old World” I guess.

Aunt Jean is quite the international traveler. Apparently she is well connected in Europe and knew the Gabor sisters. Some bad blood passed between Za Za Gabor, and they have to be seated at opposite ends of the table because they snipe at each other in Hungarian. Or so the stories go.

Aunt Jean is quite the matriarch in our family, and probably the most interesting woman. She told me in her letter yesterday:

“As per your comment on us being much alike! you are quite right. Hope you are sitting down, Jane-Elizabeth as you read this letter! As a teenager, I too wanted to be a dancer on stage!! Dancer with the Radio City Rocketts!!! A far reach! Only the wish was there. Not strong enough to pursue it!!!…As I grew older, another wish was to write articles and be my profession. One great wish was to write the plight of the black people of Africa. (came up with the title, but can’t spell it..will mention it in my next letter..)”

I am in awe of this woman. She raised two girls (cousins) one who died, (Carole) years ago, and Pam who lives her late 60’s I believe. Life and marriage got in the way of her ‘life-plans’…but Aunt Jean is a writer of great repute in any case. She is known for her letters …sometimes over 30 a month, (and they are hand-written and long letters) and she keeps correspondence going all over the globe. At 95, with painful shingles and failing eyesight. Her writing is beautiful and testimony to a careful education in those things that were valuable to a woman of her class.

Aunt Jean is probably the biggest and strongest family influence in my life as a writer. She ‘loves my poetry’ (tanka) and even though it’s erotica, she doesn’t buck. I have a feeling that Aunt Jean probably doesn’t know what erotica is, but she does love Tasha Tudor, and 65 years ago bought her books for her two daughters. She wrote just a few weeks ago, mourning Tasha Tudor’s passing at 93. She still has Tudor’s books on her coffee table.

Aunt Jean writes “Jane-Elizabeth! Yes, this is the most amazing time of technology and digital time we live it. Not enough people stop and pause to think about it as the cycle of the Earth turns~! What will it reveal next? As I watch a plane take off, I marvel at the power it has to lift tons and tons of people and all else!! Each generation born, has new technology already in mind. Hope you can read most of this letter. I keep trying!!”

Dear Aunt Jean. If I could do and appreciate a fraction of what you have done in your life,…I will die a good and completed woman. Your spirit and deeds are remarkable for any time, but your ambition shows a keen intelligence and drive, and that you held these wonderful ambitions all your life, and especially that you sacrificed it all to marriage and raising my cousins, is merit enough.

I love you so much Aunt Jean, and as you say: “Coming in haste (answering my last letter fast…) because the future is fading faster than the setting sun!! At this age, I have to ignore Emily Post!~

Well, I wish you another 95 years because you are one of the most fascinating woman I have ever met. I am so proud to be your niece and to have so much that we share in common. You called the other day, and I feel so ashamed that I have not kept up with our phone calls. Life gets in the way. And I am also ashamed that my Hungarian has fallen off, and you can’t really understand my accent anymore. And that the only words I can remember you wouldn’t use in ANY company….

I love you, Aunt Jean, and my first book, “A Seasonings of Lust”…the one that you have pushed me and pushed me to publish….and even though it is all erotica, and your toes would probably turn up if you read it, well,…

It’s dedicated to my dearest Aunt Jean…because you are the roots of it.

Lady Nyo and Jane-Elizabeth (Aunt Jean, being the only one in the family that consistently calls me my proper name…except my mother when she is mad at me…)

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