It’s the 4th of July. A good time for a story as American as baseball, mom and the immigration experience. For those looking for apple pie and Chevrolet, click here.
Firecracker Baby: On July 4, 1921, my mother Katie Lukomski was born in Sugar Creek, Missouri. In 1939, she married my father, Joe Shalton.
Rita and I have just returned from Eastern Europe. The primary purpose of our journey was to visit the homeland of my grandparents – to breathe the air of my ancestors. My fraternal grandparents (Shalton, as Americanized) were from a village near Vilnius, Lithuania, and my maternal grandparents (Lukomski) were from a village near Lviv, Ukraine. They came to the states in 1907 and 1911. They didn’t speak English and had no money or special skills. Just dreamers with a willingness to work hard and become patriotic Americans. They are my heroes.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Joe Shalton. He was born on October 17, 1914, seven years after his parents Ralph and Mary arrived in the United States from Lithuania.
His brothers were Eddie and John and his sisters were Katie and Nell. Continue reading