A century ago this evening, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Elisabetha Ebner, aka Lisi or Eliess, my grandmother, disembarked from her ship, Kaiser Wilhelm II, in New York and started her life in America.
I can see her searching for the train station to make her way to Cleveland, Ohio, where she would meet up with her step sister and brother-in-law before going on to marry Josef in Chicago.
I love to think of these dates in cosmological terms. Just rewind the earth’s orbit around the sun 100 times, and there she is: stepping off onto Ellis Island, submitting to the probing and eye-lid lifting health inspections, mailing a postcard of Central Park to her sweetheart, my grandfather, Josef Gartz, to let him know she’s arrived safely.
Welcome to America, Grandma!