What A Day!

Other than the actual day of Mom’s surgery, Friday was my longest day. After about 7 hours on the road, I arrived in Benson, AZ around 3:30 pm, confirmed Aunt Margaret was at home and then drove the 30 miles or so south to Sierra Vista. The picture you see here is she and Uncle Dominic. They’ve been married 53 years!! Aunt Margaret looks very much like my Tante (German for “Aunt”) Barbara, my dad’s sister who passed away in Michigan almost 5 years ago.

In two very fast hours, I learned quite a bit about the Kuzma side of the family. I have yet to confirm, but so far, it sounds like my great-grandparents Kuzma were the ones who actually came to America from either Hungary or Austria. My grandfather’s oldest three siblings were born in Austria.

Here are a few other tidbits I learned:

  • My great-grandfather, Paul Kuzma, died at the young age of 59. He and my great-grandma were on the way home from a Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention in Detroit when he had a heart attack and crashed the car, killing him instantly.
  • Yes, you heard right. Apparently, my great-grandparents were avid Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • All 3 Kuzma girls, including Aunt Margaret, were/are JW’s.
  • Interesting my great-grandfather died in a car accident, as his son and namesake (my grandfather), Paul, died in 1948 in a trucking accident.
  • One of my great-uncles, Peter, also died in a truck driving accident.
  • Seems a love of driving runs in the family. As I shared my love of driving with Aunt Margaret, she said, “me too!”. She is 85 now … only 5 years ago, she made a trip all by herself from Arizona to Florida and back!
  • My Grandfather, Paul, was good friends with Aunt Margaret’s first husband, Hank Borak. One day, Paul & Hank were chatting with a neighbor across a fence, joking about their own deaths. Within months, my grandfather accident occurred (July 20, 1948). Then, in October, Uncle Hank was killed in a hunting accident!
  • Aunt Margaret was good friends with my grandmother, Mary. Both were widows within months of each other!

Aunt Margaret encouraged me to look up one of my dad’s cousins, who lives in Montana. She claims he has the family history written down pretty well. We’ll see how that search pans out.

I left their house about 6:00 pm for the 70 mile drive to Tucson. After answering some emails, I was hungry. I found the nearest Cracker Barrel (probably my favorite non-California restaurant) and had a working dinner, wrapping up Sunday’s message as much as possible. Like I said, long day!

I am looking forward to my arrival home tomorrow, and trying to kick this head cold that seems to be trying to work its way into my chest. Hoping for a better night’s sleep!

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