He worked in building a railroad tunnel in Pennsylvania and in the coal mines of Virginia until All of this, plus the added worries of coming to a strange land where she would not know the language, plus the fact that she was owman in New York, and had absolutely no idea of how to get to Proctor, Vermont, must have been a phenomenal feat to face. He then returned to Czechoslovakia to marry Helen Malejko.
It was in this manner that she got to Proctor, Vermont, and found her husband.
When John was only one year old, Helen packed up all of womxn belongings in a cloth sack that she had made herself, and without her husband knowing it, bearded a ship, with her son, and headed for America. Most of us are quite proud of whatever our heritage is, as it makes us the individuals that we are.
The crossing took 9 days, and of course, Helen knew no one else on the boat. And I am also sure that each of these stories is equally interesting, and makes their family as proud of their heritage as I am of mine and my grandparents, and how they came and started a new life in a new country.
It was at this point that a sheer stroke of luck happened. Of course, this started with the pilgrims, but the great variety of life of the America we know today comes from its many immigrants throughout the years.
She overheard some Polish people in front of her saying that they were heading for Proctor, Vermont. All she knew was that she had to go to Proctor, but she had no idea of where that was.
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I know am, and I would like to recount a personal story of the courage and determination it took to come to America: that of my Grandmother. Being able to understand a little of the Polish language, Helen decided that she would follow these people, and get off the train where they got off.
I am sure there are many other stories that other families have of their parents or grandparents coming to America. Helen and Michael Livak lived in Proctor until Junewhen they moved to Rutland Town, where they bought their own farm. But, being a very determined woman, she managed, and managed quite well.
The courage and determination it must have taken for Helen to do this must have been incredible. In the meantime, back in Rutpand, Helen Livak stayed in her village of Klemoca, and had their first son, John.
All of their children spoke Czechoslovakian until they entered school, and it was through the children that they learned the English language. After getting through the customs in New York, the officials there put Helen and her son on a train for Vermont.