“Leona was outstanding in her communications with me and was a great help in every step of the publishing process.”
Dr. Avinash Bagal came to the U.S. in 1959 as a student. After getting his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees, he worked in the U.S. and across the world before retiring. He has three children and five grandchildren and lives in Virginia with his wife.
From Eisenhower to Obama, the country has changed. Landscapes have changed, politics have changed, cars and TV’s changed from American to Japanese and Chinese made. Buicks, Chevrolets and Chryslers were traded for Toyotas, Hondas, and Nissans. Starbucks redefined coffee and Tiger Woods owned the golf course. Yet the people haven’t changed! They have remained the same friendly, generous, football-loving crowd that sometimes gets fooled by politicians and TV priests alike, but not for long. I changed from a scared young man landing at Pier 90 in New York to a retired grandfather who somehow succeeded in planting both of his feet firmly, one in the U.S. and the other in his birthplace, India. My notion of being American also changed, from the John Wayne and Esther Williams images seen in Sunday matinees to a regular, life-loving, hard-working, family-first people who just don’t know how to give up. Even as I travelled into an ever-shrinking world, I found that America stayed with me. Here are a few stories from over half a century of work and life in the United States and beyond – some happy, some funny and a few that may draw a tear or two from you. There’s still more to come. Who knows, I may even write a sequel at 100!