Kisses from a Distanceby Raff Ellis
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When they were about halfway to New York, another commotion arose that swept over the ship like a tidal wave. The news concerned Archduke Ferdinand and his wife being assassinated in Serbia, which caused some to speculate that this act was a precursor to war. Toufic had never heard of these people, and it didn't occur to him that such an event would have any repercussions in his homeland.
People were talking about the Austrians, Germans, and Turks being allied against the French, British, and Russians. Rumors crossed from language to language and spread throughout the steerage compartment. This made time pass more quickly, if uneasily, as people tried to make sense of what they were hearing. Rumors begat rumors, and by the time they were mistranslated into the various tongues, they would bear no resemblance to the original story.
Toufic also eavesdropped on passengers as they were reading bulletins aloud as soon as they were posted on the deck's message board. Once he heard someone say there was work in a place called Detroit and that a man named Henry Ford was paying wages of five dollars a day. He wondered who Henry Ford was and how much five dollars was in piasters. When he was told its worth, he calculated that it would take a month to earn that at the stone quarry, which then caused him to wonder where Detroit was. The trip from Queenstown to New York took only five days, and soon the ship dropped anchor in the Narrows of New York Harbor. An announcement was made that the boat had been placed in quarantine for a medical inspection, and they would have to wait until cleared by examiners before they could dock in New York Harbor.
This book is to be enjoyed by anyone from immigrant stock.
L'Orient le Jour (Beirut/Paris)
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- Raff Ellis
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- NOOK Book
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- 8 MB
Meet the Author
Raff Ellis is a freelance writer whose father emigrated to America from Lebanon in the early part of the Twentieth Century. His mother was descended from a prominent Maronite Christian family and arrived in the United States in 1926. Ellis, a frequent traveler to Lebanon, based his memoir Kisses from a Distance on family documents, oral histories, and folklore tales. He is a former computer industry executive and the author of numerous magazine articles, essays, short stories, and technical papers. He lives with his wife Loretta in Orlando.
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