Wednesday, August 29, 2018

#34 ~ Detroit ~ January 1978

Ida was working in Detroit as a gymnastics coach for a year, but soon she was offered a position in Cleveland in a big, very successful gymnastics private school. She arranged an interview for Felix with the owner of gymnastics school in Detroit, Steve Whitlock. Felix flew to Detroit and after a short interview, we both were offered full time jobs as coaches. Scary, frightening, exciting... Should we, shouldn't we? What about the kids? How are they going to handle the move?
But we decided to take the offer. We were leaving behind everything that we knew, sanctuary that only family can offer. Felix submitted  resignation at his place of work (General Elevator Company). I immediately they doubled his salary and offered his own office. But we made our decision.
people that we loved so very much, security of familiar places and the s
I could see that Evelyn, our closest friend was very unhappy. But she helped me to pack, and after we moved out of our apartment in West Hartford, we lived with her in her house.
Felix left very early in the morning. We packed our station wagon with clothes, toys, kitchen stuff and books. It was in the middle of the winter, it was snowing and I was so nervous and stressed. I could not sleep that night and I remember that Masha had a fever. I probably fell asleep around 8am, when Evelyn gently woke me up and said that Felix called and he made it to Detroit safe and sound. What a relief!!! Later he told me how difficult it was driving at night through the snow storm, icy roads and not quite knowing where he was going...
Next morning Evelyn took me and the kids to the airport. All my dear friends, Diane Goldshlager, Sharon Malofski, Masha Lotstein came to say "Goodbye". Tears, laughter, advices, concerns, wishes of good luck and promises to keep in touch, hugs and kisses. I took it all in. What a great influence these great women had on our lives! Girls felt the tension and anxiety and they were very quiet and stayed very close to me all the time.

Flight was short and truthfully I don't remember much of it... But when we landed in Detroit and I saw Felix and Ida waiting for us - it was a very, very happy moment for all of us! It was the beginning of a new chapter of our lives!

Marina Davidovich, Felix, Ida, Masha, Elizabeth, Ida's friend Misha ~ One of the first days in Detroit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#35 ~1978 - First year in Detrot, MI

Back to the Beginning
Previous Post: 1976 ~ June 16 Hartford, CT

It was a very busy day yesterday: lots of tennis, family time, etc. I missed writing, so I need to catch up today.

!978 ~ Felix Davidovich, Marianna (Masha) Davidovich, Lilian, Marina Davidovich, Elizabeth davidovich, Ed Lotstein, Marsha Lotstein, Deborah Lotstein and Seth Lotstein
Winter 1978 starts a new chapter of our lives. I missed my wonderful "american" family in Hartford every day. I missed their presence, help, their warm smiles and ever present support. Evelyn Alberts, Diane Goldshlager, Sharon Malofski, Marsha Lotstein, Barbara Rudeman, David and Marianna Exstein, and always serious Mr. Marvin Kay. He was our social worker. And one of the first words that my baby said in English were: "OK, Mr Kay."
This is a pictures taken at Marsha and Ed Lotstein's house with our friend Lily, also Immigrant from Ukraine.

But at the same time we were making lots of friends in Detroit. We lived in Pontiac, MI and Gymnastics School was in Bloomfield Hills. We stayed home in the mornings and drove to work in the afternoons.
My little girls were doing gymnastics in the living room.

Marianna (Masha) Davidovich practicing gymnastics at home. By Marina Davidovich
First, other coaches were were cautious around us. I could see it in their eyes: who are these people with strange accent? But after we got to know them, they "took us in", helped with our English and taught us many things. It was hard for me to understand: why parents have to pay money for kids to do gymnastics??? So when I was asked to teach a private lesson, I was so proud, I did it for no charge. Well, it did not last long. I had my first lesson in economy and free market from the rest of the coaching staff... My second lesson I charged $10.00 an hour!
I started Rhythmic Gymnastics Team. One of my first students were: Michelle Berube (became 1983 National Champion, 1984 Olympian), Karen Lyon ( became coach of World Championships Team ), Karyn Sadowski, Dana Watson, Kim Williams  and many more. I loved every minute of coaching, learning, growing. In May 1978 I  took my team to the first Competition in Downers Grove, IL.

Next Post: 1979 - Becoming Americans!