The First Supper in America

 

When the Bark Capella landed in Baltimore with the Rezabek family on board, the departing immigrants had to go through lengthy processing and registering.  It was May 26, 1867 and they had just lived through 3 months of near starvation and illness.  After the processing they were directed to a soup kitchen.  Having been hungry for so long, the soup and bread were much welcomed.

 

The Rezabeks spoke no English, so in their native tongue they thanked the people around them for the food.  The Americans and other immigrants not understanding them nodded and agreed with them, answering “yes”.

 

In Czech, the yes sounded like a word that means eat.  “Ah,” the weary travelers thought.  “ What a wonderful country this is.    Even after we eat all we can hold, they still urge us to eat more.”

 

 

 

The Morning After

 

The sudden change from sparse meals, to a night of all you can eat had an effect on Mother Anna’s constitution.  The next day she found her self in dire need of relief.  She was constipated.  Not speaking English, and not knowing anyone to be her translator and guide, she set off through the streets of Baltimore on a quest.

 

She walked until she found the familiar symbol known internationally.  She found a little shop with mortar and pestle-an apothecary or herbologist

 

Not being able to verbally communicate her needs, she decided to act out her problem.  She put her fingers to her mouth as if to eat and said “num. num”.  She then pointed to her backside and declared “puieee” followed by shrugging her shoulders and declaring “no”.    She got her remedy.

 

 

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