This is what Russian people look like when they arrive at JFK. My dad was a drummer at the time at a restaurant and we barely saw him because he worked nights and the only way we got to eat is the left-overs he would bring from the restaurant.
My fondest memory was the watermelon, to this day that’s my favorite fruit. I also love bananas because my mom was a Russian Tour guide and every time she went away which was very often, she would bring me bananas. I had one or two every single day until I broke out in psoriasis and everyone went crazy not knowing what it was. They even put me in a nursing home for kids where I was covered in what looked like Blue paint, form HEAD TO TOE. I looked like I was part of the Blue Man Group. We thought we were so wealthy when we came to America. But then Sh!t hit the fan when all my dad was able to find for a job is to clean real estate agencies with my older sister Faye SoFeya Kovler who then went on to Coach Olympic figure skaters and now is a successful life coach with products that she invented.
My moms new job was to welcome the new Soviets flying in to JFK. Too bad we didn’t own a camera to take pictures of them.
But wat, what about little 10 year old Karina you may wonder. What happened to her when she landed. Oh, she was left home alone. I was forced to learn how to make salami sandwiches and Corn Pops cereal. We didn’t own a microwave and if we did, we didn’t know how to use one. I walked myself to and from school on a busy street of Brooklyn. Since my parents had no idea if I was home from school, I found a near-by supermarket and became a un-appointed bagger and worked for tips.
On the weekends we did things as a family like walk the streets of our neighborhood and collect furniture that other people trashed.
Today, our kids have no idea how good they have it. They have no clue how hard we work and why. I had to learn how to survive, how to deal with bullies, how to learn a new language, how to dress to fit it and most importantly be home alone & wait for my parents to walk through the door. If I can live through that struggle, you too can live through your struggle.
Unfortunately my parents only get to see my success grow from up above. My dad died in an 8 car pile up with my dogs (I was 24 years old) and Mom died from a 3rd stroke and kidney disease when I was 34.
May my parents rest in peace. This was a great memory to receive today. Something made me open my old computer and I saw this picture and wanted to share with you.