I Am Here For Good

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

What was July 31, 1991 in History?

- Russia & US sign long range nuclear weapons reduction pact
- Senate votes to allow women to fly combat aircraft
- The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.

It was also a very important day for our family. It marked the end of over 2 years of waiting for the day, when we passed the last Border Patrol officer and boarded the plane to America. It was shortly after midnight, we were very tired of days, weeks and months of waiting, believing this day would come, and losing faith…and then hoping again…

The level of anxiety was hardly bearable. What if they take us off the plane, what if they stop the plane? And when the plane went airborne, it was a huge sigh of relief… It was over. We left the Soviet Union. We left it for good.

The Soviet Union did not live long. 2 weeks later it fell apart, and Gorbachev's era ended with little fanfares. But it is not about Gorbachev...

We, a family of four, myself, my wife Olga, then 19-year old son Vadim, who actually turned 19 on July 30th, but we did not have time to celebrate it, and my daughter Inna, who was a few months shy of her 18.

I am here for goodIt was PanAm, Boeing 747. Passengers were still allowed to smoke on the plane, but it all did not matter…

We landed in JFK early, but we were going through customs, through immigration, and it took hours and hours, and then we were waiting for a bus to take a group of new immigrants to a place that we had no idea about.

This was our first day in America. While sitting and waiting, I was trying to imagine our lives in the new country, trying to imagine where we will be in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years… We had $400 in our pocket, and $3,900 in debt to the charity that bought us 4 one-way tickets…

The bus came, and it was the first time we walked outside into the summer heat. Put our small suitcases, and the bus rushed us into the darkening New York skyline, taking us to our new lives, new beginnings, new mistakes, new discoveries…

Through pain, through tears, though falling and getting back on our feet… It was 21 years ago today.

This was the beginning of my best years in my adult life...

Thank you, America!

I owe you

Photo by Dave Hosford via Flickr.com

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  1. Marte Cliff 07/31/2012 03:48 PM
Topic:
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Ambassador
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Mitchell you from the bottom of my heart

Aug 04, 2012 07:24 AM #19
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Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

I wish immigration to this country was efficient. No one should have to wait more than a year to get a green card and be able to come here.

Great story.

Aug 04, 2012 11:59 AM #20
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Satar - I consider my coming here like winning a million dollar jackpot, so I am very happy. It was an impeccable timing, as I would not qualify under the program, that came 1 days after i managed to submit my application.

Aug 04, 2012 04:43 PM #21
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Virginia Cheezum
F. C. Tucker Company - Indianapolis, IN

That's a lovely story, Jon, and I'm glad to know you!  We just watched the new immigration documentary "They Come to America" last night and it brings home the point that only those immigrants who truly want to be here and who love this country SHOULD be allowed to stay. 

Aug 06, 2012 09:43 PM #22
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Virginia - I have watched good and determined people come to US and being spoiled by all goodies and freebies, and determionation to become American becamse a determination to use and abuse America

Aug 07, 2012 12:51 AM #23
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Jack - I came and got way more than what I even expected. This move allowed me to become me, and I am very grateful.

Aug 07, 2012 12:52 AM #24
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Thank you Marte. I appreciate your continued support

Aug 07, 2012 12:53 AM #25
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Pamela - it still was an unfair trade. America gave me so much more than I could give her

Aug 07, 2012 12:54 AM #26
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Thank you, Lauren. I watch the Olympic too and boy, what a dramatic story

Aug 07, 2012 12:55 AM #27
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Andrea - I am so sorry for your loss.

Aug 07, 2012 12:56 AM #28
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Ted - thank you so much. It is an incredible feeling of home, that we have here.

Aug 07, 2012 12:57 AM #29
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Thank you, Michelle

Aug 07, 2012 12:58 AM #30
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Dale - What can I say? Even comments are incredible and kind. Thank you

Aug 07, 2012 12:58 AM #31
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Gabe - no plans of leaving:)

I think you don't plan on returning to Hungary as well (LOL)

Aug 07, 2012 12:59 AM #32
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Eileen - I can't blame them. they grew up with this, it is a given, and we often do not cherish what we have.

Aug 07, 2012 01:00 AM #33
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Jon - and people rec ognize and appreciate it, this is the key. I am not talking about me, but all of us, immigrants. Thank you

Aug 07, 2012 01:01 AM #34
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Yolanda - from one immigrant to another: thank you!

Aug 07, 2012 01:02 AM #35
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Steven - thank you so much for your kind wishes.

Aug 07, 2012 01:02 AM #36
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Sharon - we are trying, thank you. It is easy in a great country like this

Aug 07, 2012 01:03 AM #37
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Rob - thank you. It is a great life.

Aug 07, 2012 01:04 AM #38
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