Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gypsy Kidnapping (Maybe)


   Earl and I are back from our trip to Europe.  Countries we visited were; Turkey, Romania, Hungry, Austria and Czech Republic.  This was a seventeen day tour which was a stretch for us.  Usually on the tenth day of a vacation we are ready to come home.  However, we endured well.  Eighty three people made up our tour group of two bus loads. We had wonderful tour guides that helped make our trip well worthwhile. And of course we met some very interesting people. 
   I am going to make an exception on my blog and write a story about me that I think is worth writing about. (Being, my blog is almost always about deceased people)
  While in Romania our bus went passed a Gypsy settlement on our way to the Hunedoara Castle in the Transylvania Alps. This is one of the houses we saw.  In fact the whole settlement was house after house (huge houses) similar to this one, only different colors.  It was

explained to us by our Romanian guide that Romanians aren't very fond of gypsies   The village we passed there was a creek that separated the Romanian
 Village from the Gypsy Village.  Gypsies earn money from the craft of doing tin work like what you see that adorns this house and by illegal means. No more said.    

       I remember dressing up like a gypsy for Halloween when I was very young.  I loved the vivid colors, the full skirt and blouse and would tie a scarf on my head with the knot at the nap of my neck. My mom would let me wear red lipstick and for earrings I wore gold mason jar rings from my mother's canning jars and several of these rings on both arms for bracelets. Gypsy life seemed so exciting to me; traveling around the country in trailers that were covered with designs painted in every color and hue of the rainbow.    
  Then I remembered the day I was actually invited to come into a gypsy camp. 
   I was about nine or ten years old which would be about 1951 or 52 when the County Fair and Carnival was in town.  
The fair grounds was just a short distance from Lincoln School and I had planned to meet my dad after school and we were going to walk to the Fair/Carnival together.  Dad was Principal of the Jerome Jr. High that was across the street and a half a block to the south.  When I got to his office I found he was delayed with school business and it would be a while before he was free to go.  I coaxed him into letting me go by myself and I would meet him by the Ferris Wheel.
   I didn't enter the main gate to the carnival, I used the entrance where all the carnival people would make their temporary homes.  Just inside the gate and to my left was a Gypsy Camp.  But what caught my immediate attention was the most beautiful baby boy sitting in a high chair.  (I loved babies)  I stopped and stared and even took a few steps towards him. Their was no in the area around him then I saw several women in the background around their living quarters.  In a flash a young girl, probably in her teens, took the baby out of the high chair and put him in my arms.  I was surprised and didn't know what say.  Then in the next second two older women spoke to me saying "come In" and with a friendly motion of their hands motioned to me towards the tent.  I remember feeling instant fear and without saying a word I put the baby in the girls arms turned and quickly walked away wishing my dad was with me.  My dad was very calm when I told him what happened and of course said I did the right thing.  
   Soon after, my Grandfather Perrins came to visit us as he often did.  Grandfather loved to tell stories and had many to tell and kept people entertained every where he went.  When I told him what had happened to me he listened carefully and was charmed with my story.   
"Did I tell you about my granddaughter, Renee?"  he would say to friends and relatives.  "The day she was almost kidnapped by the Gypsies?"  Of course grandfather had a knack of embellishing his stories and I'm sure his version was a lot more interesting than the one I told him. 
  Renee  



2 comments:

Unknown said...

Are you sure it wasn't the other way around and your parents stole you from a gypsy camp? When I was younger I used to think you looked like a gypsy.

Renée TOMLINSON PETERSEN said...

Dear Unknown,
Your comment certainly put a smile on my face. After we moved to Pocatello in 1954 my older brother Gary coached our ward's church baseball team that summer and he told them that going through Fort Hall on their way to my Aunt Kerma's house who lived in Ucon, Idaho my parents found me as a baby abandon by an Indian on the side of the road. Most believed him. Oh My.