Home Away From Home


December 09, 1990|By Elizabeth Large

A.M. Chaplin and Amy Davis' cover story this week deals with the immigrant's American dream: finding freedom and economic security in this great land of ours. Although it's not part of the main story, A. M. Chaplin was struck by, as she puts it, the immigrant's other American dream -- "The dream of the home left behind and the feelings denied in the desire to become good Americans."

What got her thinking about it was a conversation she had with Elmira Pritsker, one of the subjects of our cover story. Ms. Pritsker still dreams of "home": "Sometimes I see Kiev in my dreams. I see the streets, the houses which I miss. I see one dream many times. I come from home and take the bus to the parents' home. I hear every stop as the conductor calls them out."

Nevertheless, Ms. Pritsker and her husband, Anatoly, have adjusted well to life in Baltimore. Sun photographer Amy Davis started working on the story in August, and has visited the family at least once a week since then. The greatest pleasure in being with them, she says, is experiencing different aspects of our culture through their eyes. "Every time I went over there they had two big bunches of bananas on their kitchen table, which puzzled me because there are only two adults. They offered me bananas every time. I didn't really understand until I went to the supermarket with Anatoly one day and he gleefully bought two more big bunches. He explained that before he had come to America he had only had a banana once in his life, when he was very young."

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