My Dad is Totally Not German

July 15, 2007

So, for years I’ve been defending my virulent anti-immigrant statements by telling everyone that I’m the son of immigrant parents, a fact which I believed to be 50% lie even under the most liberal of definitions.  My mom was born & raised in Missouri in the 1930s, which is like another country when it comes to running water & the all important chicken-to-human ratio in the urbanized areas.  But my DAD, on the other hand, was legitimately German, or so I believed. 

I told a bunch of people over the course of decades of misinformation that my father was born in Germany because his father had moved there from Pasadena at the start of the Great Depression, because Germany had more jobs for Hydroelectric Engineers, a field my grandfather was somewhat of a pioneer in.  Then, when the Nazis rose to power and things started to look ominous, my grandfather & his fraulein babymama came back to the US, only to settle in Iowa for some reason.  Well, as I found out a couple weeks ago, much of this story is true.  Except for the part about my dad being born in Germany.  Somehow, even though his mom is German, he was born in Boston.  And THEN moved to Germany, and then fled when the nazis yada yada yada. 

This totally rocks my world, because 1) apparently grandad moved to Germany, met grandma, married her, moved back to boston, had my dad, THEN decided to move back to Germany, which makes no sense, and 2) Now I’m no longer even 50% “the son of immigrant parents”.  This will eliminate the moral highground I frequently cling to when railing on about the immigrant threat.

Fortunately, my mom actually WAS born in Missouri, so I can still mock yokels while claiming to be of sound squirrel-eatin’ stock.  Take that, yokels!



  1. If the pioneering professor had seen this coming, would he have stayed in Germany, in which case Tom would have had a shot at being a world-champion gymnast and this post would be on jonsonbloggen titled My Dad Is Totally Not American?

  2. hahaha…point: Cheri.

  3. It’s not clear to me why being raised in postwar Germany would make my older brother a “world-class” gymnast as opposed to just a really good but non-Olympic caliber gymnast. Is it the strict German upbringing? I’m pretty sure the jokey atmosphere on the jonsonbloggen would be kinda lame. Germans aren’t particularly good with humor.

  4. OK, the Germans might not be known for having the greatest gymnasts ever, but if their post-fall-of-the-Berlin-wall state-run steroid program met Tom’s ability on the rings, who knows what might have happened? Or Tom might have won gold with a shot put. Also, the Germans were responsible for bringing gymnastics to the U.S. back in the day. As far as blogging goes, apparently, they have their own style of humour; however, as you say, it may not translate well into bloggen.

  5. My wife was born in Germany. Not sure what my point is.

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