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The Night Great-Grandfather Lost the Farm

Every time I hear the word gambling, chills go up and down my spine. It reminds me of a tragic family story and the lessons we all learned from it.

By Antonella Pedley

My maternal grandmother came from a wealthy family. Her Hungarian ancestors moved from Slovakia to Transylvania and worked hard to establish themselves. Soon the family owned a huge orchard, vineyards, land, and a beautiful house. The orchard was especially productive. One year the family business won an award in a produce exhibition with apples the size of medium cabbage heads.

Grandma’s father inherited the family business, but he loved friends, alcohol, and gambling. Little by little, money left the family treasury. Then one evening, during a gambling binge, Great-Grandfather signed as surety for a gambling buddy. He pledged about 90 percent of his property. Great-Grandpa’s friend lost the game, and the family lost most of their property.

Years passed, and Grandma now had her own family. As a pastor’s wife during World War II, she learned to make the little bit they had go a long way. Famine

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About the author

Antonella Pedley was associate editor of Last Generation magazine when she wrote this article. She now lives in Sweden with her husband, Daniel, and their two children.