Came home and for the following three hours I browsed through the family documents. Finding a thread that would lead me to the Tarapanovs who left Moldova/Soviet Russia and came to Romania on the verge of the Second World War is turning into an obsession. Was my grandpa really born in Smila, a small town almost 200 kilometers away from Kiev? The First World War had just ended but the Russian Revolution was only beginning to unfold its crimson “gifts”.
The image of that family traveling south to an unknown country and settling in Galati in the late 30s is haunting me. Where did they actually come from? How did they live? Trying to make a living in Romania on the brink of a new war must have been harsh. They used to make powder boxes, among many other things, on which they painted or glued tiny tiny colorful beads to make different images and patterns and sold them (there’s one that I still have with the Egyptian pyramids amid emerald green palm trees and there’s another one with a white swan on it).
Is there anyone at the end of this family rainbow? At the moment the traces are confusing and the handwriting blurred.