On January 3, 1910, my grandmother, Ljubica Likich, arrived in the Port of New York on La Bretagne with her mother and four siblings.
Years earlier, her father had emigrated to the United States.
The family had grown each time he returned to what would become Yugoslavia to visit his wife, Milica, but eventually, he amassed enough money to bring his wife and all of their children to America.
On the ship’s manifest, my grandmother’s age was listed as 10, but just four years later when she married Vidoje Gogo, (the man who was the first of what would be three husbands) in Los Angeles County, her age was listed as 19.
The truth lay somewhere in between, and eventually on the most official of her official records, her birth was listed as having occurred in 1897.
After reaching New York, my grandmother and her family made their way to Santa Monica where my grandmother’s father had gone to make his fortune, and while my grandmother harbored no great affection for her father (he did not permit her to go to school, and instead required her to work in the boarding house which was one of his enterprises), she did love Los Angeles, and so when I came across this call for 5″ x 5″ granny squares to be used in a project by the entity known as Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, my resolve to work on only UFOs was sorely tested.
Looking at the world through crochet covered glasses, I saw participating in this project as a way of connecting with my grandmother, and so despite having promised myself I would stick to a strict diet of UFOs until March 1, (as it happens, the due date for the squares to arrive in Santa Monica), I decided to set aside my UFOs for as long as it took for me to make six five-inch granny squares.
After reading over the information, I filled out the online form, got out my 4.5 mm hook and set to work. In short order, I had my six squares done:
Now all that is left for me to do is
a) send the squares in
b) decide how many macchiatos I am willing to give up so that I can make a financial contribution as $4,258 are still needed to make this project a reality.
While I ruminated on my yarn bombing contribution budget, I turned my attention to one of my UFOs: the pot holders for Josef Albers project:
and while I did not get as far as I had imagined I would, I did make substantive progress:
I don’t know what dreams my grandmother had for herself, but I appreciate everything she did that has made it possible for me to pursue mine.