Cinderella finds her long lost slippers
Over a year ago, a language professor at Berkley University translated some Hungarian documents and letters for me. I had found him through a referral to interpret military papers belonging to my father that were technical in nature. Then, almost a year later, I was surprised to find that he had given my name to be placed on a newsletter list of Hungarian events. I was honored to receive an invitation to celebrate the two hundredth birthday of Count Agoston Harászthy at the General Consulate of Hungary in San Francisco.
The count’s birthday was a rare opportunity to meet other Hungarians who had left Hungary in 1956, as I did. Like me, these guests and the count had long ago traveled to settle in a far away land. In 1812, when he left Hungary, Harászthy came as a pioneer to California, where he eventually became the father of California viticulture, the science of grapes aging to perfection into good wines.
The guests sampled some of Hungary’s traditional foods: cheese pogácsa, apple strudel, and delectable meat canapés. They also sipped some of Harászthy’s wonderful Buena Vista wines, appreciated today by many connoisseurs. I felt like Cinderella lost in time, for I had found my slippers—the many bits and pieces of my ancestors’ roots and stories.
I—Cinderella—and guests were wined and dined and entertained by a dramatic storyteller. The storyteller in the photograph, wearing a top hat and period costume, vividly re-enacted the count’s life. He related the count’s numerous accomplishments and some of his defeats—for without risk, there were no gains to be made. I was awed to hear how this visionary braved the tough new world of California. If you care to read about Count Agoston Harászthy, here is a link: http://www.maritimeheritage.org/vips/haraszthy.html
You will find it worth your time.
Also, dear readers, from now on I will be posting every two weeks instead of weekly so that I can complete my novel by winter time. Thanks for your understanding. In two weeks I will be writing about the famous Huszárs.