Good news today: “Father Count” has cleared the last hurdle to become a U. S. citizen! The bad news (there’s always bad news, right?) is that he won’t get to vote in this election, but he’s been told that he will be sworn in as a citizen on November 12.
There’s a story here. This poor soul has lived in this country for eighteen years. Ten years ago, he put in his papers to become a citizen. They got “lost in transit” when he moved from California to Massachusetts — and they’re only now catching up with him?! I would not be at all surprised to learn that somebody’s been investigating him all this time — after all, he is an (cue doom music) Eastern European. He might have been a spy for those dastardly Serbs. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well on the internet — or maybe my powers as an author are diminishing.
Anyway, he got the good news today. About an hour after he showed up at the office, his wife called, and I learned that her brother, who arrived in this country last of the three of them, was the first to be given his citizenship; she got hers last year; and now, at last, Father Count, who was the very first of all of them to live in the U. S., having arrived here when he was 18 to study at Harvard. She actually said she was grateful that they had decided he wasn’t a terrorist — after all, he does wear a beard. But he showed up in his clerical duds, and I’m sure that helped. (I did see his license picture one time, and so help me, when he isn’t dressed like a priest — he looks like a taxi driver. Remember, this man has a Ph. D. in Theoretical Physics!) Good thing he had his clerical clothes on.
I AM happy about this, but I’m not sure if I’m happier for him or for us. Once he gets his citizenship, he can travel back and forth to Romania without the hassle of being a non-citizen, and that’s good for him. But frankly — I think this country needs him far worse than he needs us.
Many years, Father Count!