Before this trip, I last visited England in my late 20's. At that time, I knew little of the circumstances surrounding my parents meeting at the dance in Haverigg, and starting a new life together in my mother's birthplace. Now enlightened with their story, the Lake District landscape appeared more vivid, the people of Cumbria more connected to my past, and family members closer.
The road to Millom, with the Sea's tide visible in the Bay.
The cemetery where my grandmother Mary "Minnie" Graham is buried. Here I fulfilled a promise that I made on the last page of my book's epilogue.
My Uncle Wilf. The family lost touch with him shortly after the War, and nobody learned of his whereabouts or fate. But his colorful spirit lives with us forever.
Over two dozen locals from Millom showed up at the town library for my book talk, most of them with a Polish friend or family member who settled in Millom after the War. Unfortunately, I have no photos during the talk, but this group showed up about 30 minutes early. During the talk, tea was served and the group sat perfectly silent until I completed, followed by warm applause and enthusiastic discussion.
This is Ida, the friendly girl who befriended my mother upon her arrival at the new school in Millom, as told in the book. She was surprised when she met me, apparently thinking that the son of Iris would be much shorter. I don't think she wanted us to leave.
The tide is out along the Haverigg shore. My mother and her cousins spent many hours together on the bluffs in the background, where the Barrow shipyards sit across the Bay and the Isle of Man is visible on a clear day.
The church spire in Millom was a comforting landmark to find my way on the walk from Haverigg.
Following Danusia and Nick (with Molly) for a morning walk.
When not carting me around Millom and the Lake District, cousin David was helping with research, getting us into some humorous situations, and acting as my partner in crime. As they say in England, "well done ol' boy"
Author - Andrew Bajda
Since publication of my book in December of 2016, so many amazing things have happened on both a personal and professional level. As the journey continues to evolve, I'll update my travel adventures on this blog, and invite you to join me along the way.