Early on in their stay in Cleveland, the Sobotas experienced the quintessential American disaster. Those whose language and culture are not threatened can never know the burden under which the carriers of small minority languages labor – nor how those in exile bring up their children to preserve that which is beyond their capacities to save. He knew his work was valuable and documented it fastidiously – confident that it would be last.


There was, however, nothing about his nationalism that demeaned anybody else’s traditions or origins.
While visiting their unassuming engraver and extending my tourist visa 30 days at a time, I was quietly becoming qualified for life as a counterfeiter – a vocation within which, one is set for life, however it may eventually turn out. I can confidently report back to my English reader, that Jan would only grow in stature for you, if you could have fully understood the subtlety of his thoughts in his own maternal tongue.


Few people would have cast a second glance at that glued-up mess of moldering old papers before pitching it, nor would they have recognized what they had in hand or known how to restore or sell it.



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