Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Once Upon A Time... A Tale for Tuesday

 Today's post is a story that was syndicated throughout the U.S. in 1905.  

There was a poor Russian immigrant that lived in Brooklyn. New York.  The man made his living as a quilt maker.  As the case often was in turn of the century NY, the man lived with his wife, 6 children, sister-in-law, and his in-laws.  He supported the family with his quilt making and earned $10/week.  There's even an illustration that was posted with the story:

The story focused on the fact that his parents in the old country had contacted him with legal documents.  Of course his parents were poor themselves.  But what they wanted was remarkable...

The man's uncle--who worked a a beggar--had left them an inheritance.  The Russian quilt maker was left a portion as well.  But how much could a beggar leave the man?

How about $400,000. in 1905.  My best inflation counter suggested that amount would be worth over 13 million today.

As it turns out, the beggar uncle was one shrewd cookie.

When the beggar uncle was a child, he was kidnapped and conscripted to the Army.  He escaped in Paris and began to develop his begging, investing...and hoarding.  He banked all his money with Rothschilds.  

He did most of his begging on the Riviera, particularly Monte Carlo and Nice.  And that is how the beggar uncle acquired a fortune which his family inherited.

The Russian quilt-maker told a reporter that he would buy a nice house, a silk dress for his wife, new clothes for his children.  Most importantly, he would bring his parents over from Russia; an important aspect since it was 1905 and before the Russian revolution.

This story was syndicated with the headline:  "Like a Fairy Tale."  I never could find out the name of the Russian quilt maker or what happened to him and his family.

Anyway, it's a good story to start the week!

Have a safe and happy day!

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