THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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Labas Aage Myhre,
I learned of your website through the British-Lithuanian Society, of which I have been a sustaining member for four years. The B-LS does a wonderful job of promoting Lithuanian social and cultural events in the United Kingdom, and helps to promote initiatives in Lietuva through The Tiltas Trust, a registered charity. For details, go to www.britishlithuaniansociety.org.uk.
I am very proud to tell you that the best man I ever knew was my maternal grandfather, who was Lithuanian. The spelling of the family name changes from document to document, but his father's surname was Markauskus (Markowskas? Markauskus?) and his mother's maiden name was Janusraitus (again, different spellings). There is NOTHING that would make me happier than to be able to trace my roots within Lietuva. If you - or anyone you know - can help me, I would be most grateful. Do you know which part of the country people with these names came from originally? You don't know how much this means to me.
My great grandparents left Lietuva in 1897, moved to Liverpool for four years and then went to Pittston, Pennsylvania, where my grandfather was born. He worked as a coal miner, but after an accident in the mine, decided to try his luck at securing a job at Henry Ford's factory in Michigan. Sadly, after a long time waiting in the hiring queue, he never got the job. So, he knocked on the door of another great American, and this time he got the job. The man who hired him was Thomas Edison. He raised his family in the Vailsburg section of Newark, New Jersey, and when he retired from the Edison Company he presented me with his retirement medal. I was his first born grandchild, and he raised me as if I were his son, which isn't surprising considering that he, a real "soldier's soldier" had daughters but no sons.
My grandfather gave me everything that money cannot buy. In return, I hope to honour his memory by doing whatever I can that will help Lietuva. My resources are limited - I do not have "extra" money, but I can make my contribution in other ways.
I have visited Lietuva twice and am happy to report that never once was I swindled by a taxi driver or a rogue trader. All the people were honest to a fault. Service in the restaurants is very slow (a holdover from Soviet times?), but everything else in the country is wonderful.
Lietuva is the best country in all the world for four reasons: The best food (cepelinai), the best beer (Svyturys), the best basketball players (Sabonis, Jasekevicius, etc.), and - most obviously - the most beautiful and charming women!!!
Please keep me on your mailing list. Your website is excellent!
Brian Holmes, United Kingdom
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