I would like to read a book about Germans in America, because, for reasons it’s not necessary to go into here, I’ve been having the kind of month where I’ve just been staring at the people who bathe in the same gene pool as me wondering “How the fuck did I get here?” You know, in a metaphysical sense. I don’t need a birds/bees lecture and I never, ever need to hear the phrase “penis hug” again for as long as I live.
And then Bridgett goes and posts something like this and I’m all “Oh, hey, those are my people.” Now, clearly, we weren’t St. Louis Germans, but we would have come out of Germany at that same time as the guys in this post:
A great many of them came straight from Germany – and formed part of a very large German speaking population that then dominated both the urban and rural landscape from St. Louis to Chicago, to Cincinatti and far into the farmlands of Pennsylvania. And these immigrant workers were a very rowdy and radical bunch. Many were veterans of Europe’s great revolutionary battles of 1848 – the first upheavals when working class and communist revolution emerged as a living threat to the world’s ruling classes.
I don’t know for sure when many of my German relations came over, but it seems to me very likely that it was in this bunch. I know my grandpa was the first person in his family to speak only English (though even my dad can read some German)–but he was born between the two world wars, so it makes sense why–even though his family had been in America for at least… Well, he was born in America, his mom was born in America, and her parents were born in America, but I don’t know about that next generations AND I don’t know anything about his father’s family. (We really need to do a family tree).
Anyway, it seems obvious to me that they were coming over right about this time, these rowdy, radical folks who were a “living threat to the world’s ruling classes” and that those are my people.
Shoot, I even have relatives who ran for office (and won) as socialists back in the day.
And I too love crappy beer.
So, yeah, that’s cool.