At one point or another, we have listened to a family member’s life story and thought about writing it down on paper. In this particular case, Adam DeRose not only wrote his grandparents’ history down, he actually got enough of the story recorded to write an entire book based on their lives.
“For years, Grandpa Ziggy told me he could write a book about his life,” said DeRose. “However, last year, he turned 91 and never started his book. Being the good grandson that I am, I wrote down Grandpa’s story (now a book titled ‘Estelle & Ziggy’).”
DeRose went on to say, “The book starts off with Grandpa Ziggy recounting his childhood in Poland. Then Grandpa talks about when the Germans invaded Poland and how he and his family became refugees. When he was 17, he was ‘drafted’ into the German Navy. He did not want to fight for the Germans during World War II, so he defected and fought for the Allies. After the War, he spent 7 years in England and Scotland before deciding to come to America. Once in America, he met a couple different sponsors. During his travels, he fell in love with Buffalo, NY and decided to stay there. Eventually he met my grandmother, Estelle.”
Born in Poland in 1925, Ziggy had to deal with hardships at an early age. His mother passed away when he was 2 years old. Years later, he had to face a Nazi controlled Poland.
It sounds as if DeRose certainly had the makings of a solid book, simply based on the first part, which is described above. But that’s not all there is to it. DeRose describes the second part of the book as a section that delves into the lives of the couple during their time in Buffalo. “The second part of the book is about my memories with Nana and Grandpa Ziggy; especially about things and experiences we had in Buffalo,” DeRose added. “I started the book back in 2008. I interviewed Nana and Grandpa Ziggy separately. At the time, Nana had dementia and could not remember many details about her past, which is why her chapter is fairly short. On the other hand, Grandpa Ziggy remembered everything like it happened yesterday, so I have a lot of information from him. Additionally, Grandpa likes to email, so I have written stories from him. The book is 80 pages, though 10 pages are filled with pictures. It is an easy and quick read.”