Wednesday, July 01, 2009

(More than) 100 Years of Beziats in America

While making my kids their lunches today, I pretended that I was a French chef named Michel who was happy to have them as my customers. They always get a big kick out of it and make me laugh as they pretend right along. At one point I tasted Joshua's food for him and with a kiss to my fingertips told him that it was decidedly delectable. He replied by asking what that word meant as he only spoke English. Cracked me up.

I then remembered how several years ago I found records of my great-grandfather's first trip to America thanks to I stayed in character and asked the kids to follow me to the laptop where I would tell them about a man named Andre and ask them if they had ever heard of him. Through equal parts silliness and curiosity we determined that their father's name was Michael, his father's name was Richard, Richard's father was Henry, and Henry's father was Andre. Andre Beziat, as records show, first sailed to America in 1909 on a ship called La Gascogne.

[It's at this point that I took a second look at the passenger records and saw that 1909 wasn't Andre's first visit to America but rather his second. So much for "100 Years of Beziats in America." I really liked that title but I'm 16 years too late on that one. His first visit was in 1893 on a ship that departed from Rotterdam, Holland when he was a resident of the small town of Ruurlo. Subsequent trips were from Le Havre, France. I recommend the site to anyone whose ancestors came through Ellis Island. You can view ship manifests complete with the signatures of the passengers and also photographs of the ships. I'd love to purchase these documents for myself and as a gift to family members.]

Still the French chef, the kids told me about the poster of the Eiffel Tower that was in their apartment back in Tennessee. I told them that it was interesting that they had an image of that iconic structure in their home as I had a poster of their Statue of Liberty on a wall in my chateau. Of course, they were from Nashville so maybe I should have told them that I had a picture of their "Batman building" instead.

Enough writing for now. Chef Michel must make his famous formula in a bottle for his youngest customer, Mademoiselle Samantha Beziat.


monstermash said...

I love this post :)

chez bez said...

Thanks. I enjoyed writing it.

cherrie said...

talk about a walk down memory lane. This is really cool. Thanks