1 The Conjurer from Youngstown Moş Tecău towards the centenary Written and compiled by Jon Domitru-Verlag. English translation by Dobozi Sergiu & Fărcaş Liviu. English reproduction by Abby Lowery Sams. This edition presented to Nicholas Tecau IV, Christmas 2008, by his wife, Tara Jane Lowery Tecau
2 Long Life is the biggest gift from God, the One who sums up our days. Moş Tecău The collection: Portraits and figures of immigrating and exiled Romanians
4 The collection: Portraits and figures of immigrating and exiled Romanians The Conjurer from Youngstown Moş Tecău towards the centenary Written and Compiled by Jon Domitru-verlag English translation by Dobozi Sergiu & Fărcaş Liviu. English reproduction by Abby Lowery Sams.
5 December 25, 2008 To my husband, (Nicholas Tecau IV) I see you in such physical pain every day, yet you still find the fortitude to take life day by day. I wanted to do something for you that would bring you joy this Christmas. My hope is that you enjoy learning the history of your family and are able someday to share it with our grandchildren. Your Great Grandfather was an extraordinary man with an extraordinary heart. I see a lot of his qualities in you. With Love, Tara Tecau
6 I have in front of me a stack of pictures, newspaper clippings, some letters, 5-6 pages of notes and a couple of marks. Here and there: a book, a magazine, an almanac. I gaze at them with excitement, I scatter them on the table, and then I pick them up again carefully. I m afraid I will damage something, or do something that I will regret later, because these yellow pages and photographs scrutinize me with the light of a superior smile - two deep, energetic eyes, in front of which has played a film of a life climbing towards the centenary. I try with hesitation to unravel the life of this MAN (moş Tecău, this is the name he was called by the ones who knew him or ever heard of him) trying to reconstruct it. His life remained not only throughout his century but with roots beyond it. It s not easy at all! I start this journey with same chills which take over an archeologist who goes down the steps of a newly discovered temple. Jon Dumitru Munchen, (Germany) October 1983
7 Fig.1: Mos Tecău at the age of 93 6 To other shores Every time I looked far away I felt the longing as a little boy To roam the land and the sea To be a traveler far away I saw the horizon far away The sky was always bright A new world, cleaner, A new life without pain. The childhood went away fast Like a deceitful dream And afterwards the joy Flew like the bird. In this troubled world I ve searched the holy escape Which I once dreamed But it s not on earth. n. Tecău I never went to Sebeş, not even its surroundings. It was not to happen, but now, when I write these lines, I cannot do it. But you, reader, follow me in my imaginary journey and complete my sayings with the richness of your own knowledge, because together, we can follow the road of the oldest Romanian-American from Youngstown.
9 8 A look on the map and here we are, the Cibin mountains, on the Frumoasei valley; from here we go down the Cindrel mountains, by the fast stream of the Sebeş water. First towards Soareapune (sunset), to the grandiose view of Surlanului with Patru top. Then on the Oltean s road (people from a certain region of Romania by the Olt river), which come down from the Urdele the highest pass from the Romanian Carpaţi mountains- to Miazănoapte (North) overlooking the pine forest to Sugag, then through the hills with oak trees, afterwards to Săsciori and then to Petreşti. Finally, here we are only a few kilometers to the middle course of the Mureş River, in a small depression surrounded by hills, where, Sebeş and Sacaşul join their rivers in the town with the same name. A town with many wine-growers, carpenters, and other craftsmen. As Strabon says, the vine was grown here for centuries. The town dates more than 8 centuries, the first mention is in At the end of the XIV century Sebeş was fortified with walls and fortress towers. In 1438 the Turkish army, lead by Sultan Murad the Second, took over the fortress. One lasting monument of this event is the Student Tower which still exists today. It has been said that the sultan took a group of residents, including the Students of Romos whom escaped after two decades of slavery to Germany. In Germany he writes De Vita Moribus Turcorum, released only 15 years after the invention of the printing press in 1481, creating 25 editions until It is also said that the horse harness builders from Sebeş were wanted in Tara Româneasca Pesta, Prague, and Vienna. Sebeş has some of the
10 9 most beautiful feudal architecture from Transylvania. For example, the evangelic church, built in the XIII century, or the house where in 1504 the ruler of Ardeal, Ion Zapolya died. It is the same house where Mihai Viteazu called up Dieta Ardealului in meeting. There are many old writings which are very valuable because they were typed by a XVI century print. In Sebeş in 1683 Sicriul the aur (the golden coffin), a precious work of art kept in the Batthyaneum library in Alba Iulia, was printed. If we take Sebeş as our central reference point, we can notice on a 50 km range there are tens of towns which have sparkled in history (in the time of the Dacians and Romans). The land of Dochiei was haunted by the hordes coming from all the directions possible, this is the land of many battles in history, the place where we were formed as a country. At only a few kilometers towards Miazanoapte (North) is the Lacram village, the place where the great poet Lucian Blaga lived. Closed in the circle of the same fireplace I exchange mysteries with the old ones The people washed away under the rocks (Biography) Or in another poem: Everywhere on the hills and fields Seraphs with white hair With a quench for truth But the waters in the wells Refuse their buckets ( Paradis în destrămare ) Further, as we go over the Mureş River, the place of which Lucian Blaga wrote: Armies have passed centuries through here with Radu the beautiful Cart wheels, royal horses, treasures and tears Moţi (locals) with nests, herds, winds The defeated and the victorious, flags and passion (Pod peste Mures) At only 12 km is Alba Iulia and Piatra Cravii, where the old fortresses Apoulon mentioned by Ptolomeu still lays.
11 10 Fig. 2: Ion Tecău ( ) and Ana Tecău ( ) After Decebal was defeated, the Romans built the strongest Roman camp in the Roman Dacia. Here was the post of the XIII legion Gemina. Later on this place was called Apulum, the city capital of Dacia. In this same place at the end of the first millennium, the Dacians have built the Balgrad fortress and later in 1784, two of the most worthy kings of the mountains, Horia and Cloşca have perished on the wheel. Again, in this historical place, in 1918, one hundred thousand representatives have gathered to unite Transylvania with the rest of Romania, a dream for a century of the ones considered to be a minority in their own country. If we head North, the road goes along the Mureş River to Teiuş and the old Roman fortress: Brucla. As we move on to Turda, there are other places that can be evocated (Mirăslău, Războieni). North- East of Sebeş, beyond Daia and Ohaba, in this same perimeter: Blaj town --the small Rome as Pamfil Seicaru calls it-- and South-East on the Sibiu road, there are towns such as Miercurea, Salişte, Sacel and Cristian with the old peasant fortress in the 15th century and finally the Cibin fortress, built on the old Roman settlement Cedonia, the current Romanian town Sibiu, where ASTRA was born.
13 12 Further on, towards Răşinari town lays the place where Octavian Goga lived. Heading to the West along the Mures River are the Trascău, Bihor and Metaliferi Mountains. To the South lies the Sebeş Mountains and the high tops of the Retezat Mountains follow us with their breathtaking views. Here, there are towns such as Bintinti, the place where Aurel Vlaicu lived, the student from Romos I mentioned earlier, then Orăştie town, where Nicolae Olahus was born, and the same place where Palie de la Orastie, one of the first books written in Romanian was published. The roads from Orăştie lead to the Dacic fortresses: Costeşti, Blidaru, Piatra Roşie, Grădiştea Muncelului, built to protect the royal fortress Sarmizegetusa, which lies beyond Haţeg town, at approximately 80 km from Sebeş. From Orăştie, in the same perimeter towards the East, we arrive at the gates of Deva city. To the South, the circle reaches the Land of the Moţi, next to Abrud and Brad town, the places where the kings of the mountains have fought. This is the exact place where Iancu s flute (Iancu of Hunedoara), has terrified these valleys with his sorrow. There are so many holy and precious places, explaining them all can take forever. So, as Blaga says crying earthlings watching over our destiny towards Midday and Midnight have lived the ones who gave birth to Nicolae Tecău. His mother Ana Tecău was born in 1853, the year of the official announcement of the Imperial Ban against the emancipation of the Romanian locals in Banat, Crişana, and Maramureş. His father, Ion Tecău, was born in 1856, when the Romanian countries announced the elimination of the slavery through the Unirea society. In the first part of his childhood Ion goes with the idea of uniting the Romanian countries, the election of Cuza Voda as ruler of all Romanians from both sides of the Milcov river (1863), with the autonomy of Transylvania (1860); with the program presented by Andrei Şaguna to the king in the name of the Romanian congress taking place at Sibiu (1863) where the law regarding the equal rights of all citizens and the right to use the Romanian language in the public life, was voted (1864). In the second part of his childhood and the start of his teenage years, the autonomy of Transylvania and the joining of it were under question. Because of the creation of the Austro-Hungarian dualism and the rights that were taken away the official language was not Romanian. All this has lead to protest and the psychosis of the persecutions that followed ( ).
14 13 The fact that Nicolae Tecău s parents didn t have an education in their native language is certain. In December 1868 the Hungarian parliament, implement their language as the official one and the reconnaissance of one country: Hungary. The years of their adolescence (Tecău s parents) are the years of protests and memories of the Romanians from Transylvania who lived near Budapest and Vienna, who fought years for their rights. We do not know in which part of the Empire Ion Tecău did his military service. In 1877, when the Romanian troops received the fire baptism of Plevna, he was 21. The reconnaissance of the independence has probably remained in his soul just as it did in the hearts of so many brothers far away over the mountains. It is certain that neither Ion nor Ana Tecău stayed indifferent when the famous Trefort law was implemented (the conversion of all the countries that were not Hungarian, as well as the study in Hungarian in the Romanian schools); or when, while Romania was lifted to the rank of a kingdom, in 1881, the Conference of Sibiu of the elective circles of Romanians decided the unification of The National Romanian Party from Banat, while the one in Hungary and Transylvania remained indifferent. The same as when the Hungarian parliament voted the second school law, which implemented even further the study in Hungarian in the cycle of study after grade school (an aspect which provoked numerous protests in Sibiu, Blaj Deva and other Transylvanian towns). They didn t remain idle, not even in August 1885 when the Society for Hungarian culture from Transylvania was founded, ASTRA s antipode, holding the pillar of the politic of the conversion regarding Romanian culture. All of this couldn t remain alien to the couple; because it was their own future they were taking care of, as well as Nicolae s future. Nicolae was born on November the 25th For better understanding of the mentality in which Nicolae Tecău grew up in (as well as his brothers did), it is vital to understand that by the time the modern country s foundation was instituted, and all the social classes noticed a constant change, there were constant sparks between the Romanian leaders and the Hungarian ones. In 1891, when Nicolae was four, the Hungarian parliament established a law by which Hungarian was implemented in kindergartens and foster homes. In the same period, the Memorandum Members, led by Ion Raţiu, were unleashed, as well as the trial against the memorandum members led by Hungarians.
15 14 Nicolae started school under these circumstances. It s understood that it could not be a school in the mother tongue, but a Hungarian school, a thing that Moş Tecău still hasn t forgotten. When he was in second grade, the organization of the Hungarian Millennium took place, an event that generated disapproval from nations and nationalities that were aggrieved in Hungary. In December 1897, when he was in third grade, Hungarians adopted the law which changed the villages and cities names from Transylvania to Hungarian ones, a new defying step to forced Hungarization. All these aspects are important because they produced irreparable wounds in the conscience and subconscious of those children, who foreign of the language they were officially educated in, found themselves in a world where their birthplaces were given other names than those learned from their parents. They left Hungarian schools with an inferiority complex, discouraged by the inequality in choosing a better job, in life and their accomplishments in general. In these conditions, and in these times, Nicolae finished the four primary classes. Then, for almost four years, still in Sebeş, he learned the art of grape buckets, puncheons and casks builders. He was a cooper apprentice, making the wine barrels. In his teenage years, years when Tecău, handsome and upstanding, with his daunting moustache, with his hat on one ear, in tight peasant trousers and sandals, with flowery shirt, tested his strength, wrestling with other boys his age. This is when he learned the customs and traditions of the land, listening to stories of old or the stories of widely traveled men, the ballads and legends told by people coming from the same origin. He let out his anger through poems and songs in evening sittings, in reels and games from the place. Here he is, in this picture, when he was less than 17 years old, in a căluşar suit (page 17), like the grandfathers carved on Trajan s column. He must ve went, back then, to the Saxons of Transylvania evening parties - pretty widespread and settled a long time ago in Sebeş - or to the Hungarians evening parties, few in those places, with the thought of dancing with a young lady, met in the Hungarian school. The young disappointed lad must ve been turned around by the scornful looks of everyone around, but he was persistent in showing them that he was no lower than them and doubly making a pledge of faith and stability with the people speaking the same language. He was charmed by the sadness or smile in Anuţa s eyes, the girl that he fell for and for whom he felt he could fight the mountains. He weaved his future dreams with her, and to fulfill them, he had to leave his birthplace later. With all the richness of this country corner, with all the diligence and land, people skill, life here wasn t leisure, but strain.
16 15 As a consequence to the longstanding politics of oppressing the Romanian element from Transylvania, very few people were somewhat rich. Backwards, with the dark memories of the past, in which their people ended on the wheel, were crucified or decapitated. Because of their fear when the Hungarization offensive was at its height, worried about tomorrow, for them and their children, many of the Romanians here started to look for luck elsewhere. Some of them, especially those with intellectual training, got to Buda and Vienna, to Paris or other cities of the world, and many of them in the Kingdom, in Bucharest, Iaşi, Craiova and other places. For peasants though, the Kingdom, with wounds still bleeding after the long Turkish domination and the independence war, wasn t a paradise either. Let s not forget the uprisings that shook its core from Dorohoi to Oltenia. Other than that, the peasants like the little craftsmen from all over the country couldn t conceive a total separation from the land but a mere temporary leave to gather some money that would later be used to whip up a fair household in their birthplace, like the Saxons of Transylvania or the Hungarians did. So, all these years the expansion that the social, economical and industrial development of the United States of America knew, gives those people a chance. At first a few, then more and more began their exodus across the Ocean. Some of them came back home telling others about life there, about hardships, but joys too, showing them their earnings. So, hearing things from different people, Ion and Ana Tecău s boys laid heads together, drawn by the promises of freedom and wealth. They figured they d come back with so much money they d both be able to build a house, buy themselves a pair of oxen and some extra land, or open up a shop, a workshop. So, in the year 1901, when Nicolae was still an apprentice, his brother Avram, receiving the blessing of his parents, sailed off to the New World. Soon after, letters started to come from him, confessions regarding the joys and trouble he went through, full of curiosities and new things, alluring for Nicolae s young mind. This is how his longing to escape, the longing to see the world and try his luck, began. Apprenticeship was not easy. It had its surprises, pleasant and unpleasant. But slowly, it came to an end. It was in the beginning of Vague memories still dwell in Moş Tecău:
17 16 Fig. 3: Nicolae Tecău in a căluşar suit (Sebeş-Alba, 1904) One day, on Josini, next to the new Church, two girls were crying their hearts out. A lot of people were gathered around and nobody knew what happened to them and why they were crying. I, says Moş Tecău, I grab one by the hand and ask her what happened. The other had a bottle in her hand. I put the dime in the bottle, so we won t lose it, to buy gas for the lamps. It fell in the dirt and now we can t find it! Without gas we can t go back home or our mother will beat us! replied one sister. I had a single dime in my pocket, says Moş Tecău. To me, one dime was a lot! But I give it to them! Three weeks, later, I received money from my brother-in-law Avram Radu. I was still at the cooperage back then. The coopers were taking care of the wine in rich people s basements too. Back then we used to work in Judge Balomirean s basement, who had died two years ago. Miss Balomireanu lived in that house with her sister, the foreman, me and two gypsies that worked at the pump. One day, we met a Romanian from the Răhău village, with knapsack on his back. Who are you looking for? asked the foreman. I m looking for Judge Balomirean cause...me and my dad are in trouble. Our trial s on Friday and I want to tell him I m not guilty. I have apples and vegetables in these knapsacks. I have wine kegs, a little pig and two ducks in the carriage.
19 18 What s your name asked the foreman. Nicolae Where are you from? Răhău village. 10 kilometres from here. The foreman looked at him and told him: Dear Nicolae put your knapsacks in your carriage and go home cause the Judge is dead for two years. The foreman, I and the two gypsies usually worked in the cellar. It was February, when the wine is over. The foreman showed me the puncheon where we had to pull out the new wine. Eight puncheons were full with old wine. The foreman was giving instructions to the gypsies that handled the pump, be ready to stop them when I yelled stop!. Laie (nickname for Nicolae), the foreman shouts to me, I want to fill a bottle of wine and take it home from this cask. It s the oldest wine in the cellar. It s 40 years old! He was right. I looked to the bottom of the cask where it was written The foreman took the hammer, pulled the cork from the cask and filled the bottle and then a glass which he drank. He filled the cask again with another wine, he wrapped up the cork with corn leaf, hammered it good, so it wouldn t breathe, took the wine bottle and left. I, as young as I was, never tasted wine or brandy before. I take the hammer, pull the cork out, fill the glass, and wrap up the cork again with the corn leaf and hammer it back in. I drink the forty years old wine glass and in a few minutes, hold tight, the cellar starts to turn around and I didn t knew where I was anymore. I recovered only when I felt my feet wet with wine. I had a pair of old boots, with ripped soles. Stop! Stop! I yelled to the gypsies who, having no clue of my trick, were still pumping the new wine from the other side of the cellar. The gypsies stopped the pump but the cellar was full of wine. I didn t know what to do, how do I get away with it?!... In another corner of the cellar there was a lot of sand with carrots, celery, other greens and vegetables. There were two wooden shovels besides. I gathered all the greens and vegetables and said to the gypsies, Take the shovels and spread the sand all over the cellar! The gypsies went right to it. The sand was still wet and the soil used to pave the floor was sticky. It got even worse! I told the gypsies to take the sand and put it back the way it was. I was angry and I was afraid Miss Balomirean would show up.
20 19 It would ve been bad for me and the foreman too. When the foreman came back I told him what I did right away. He was afraid of Miss Balomirean coming to the cellar too. We locked the doors and went right home. What happened after that I don t know. After a week I went off to America. I don t know what dock Nicolae left from, but he must ve taken the same road others took, the Triest road, the main Austrian dock at the Adriatic Sea. In any case, packed with strictly with the necessary things, along with other hundreds of travelers, young people and old people, speaking in different languages, Nicolae boarded to America. After 7 days and 7 nights the ship arrived to New York. What was his impression of his first look at the skyscraper city? Of course overwhelming, with all the novelty it brings, but the road fatigue, the hurry to arrive at a certain place, didn t give the young man too much time to think. In New York, they tagged addresses on all the foreigners, so we know, each of us, where we had to get off the train. So we won t starve, they gave us two sandwiches each, on the road and, Missouri here we come. In Illasco, there was a big rock mountain, 4 worker booths, and a Jew s shop where the post office was and that was it. The little place of Ilasco was located at about 34 degrees northern latitude, in the north-eastern Missouri, between Marion and Ralls, on the right bank of the Mississippi river, just a few miles downstream of Hannibal city, an industrial center, with cement, timber, footwear and other types of factories. Mark Twain s house was in Hannibal and to the south, not far away, west of Ilasco, the cave described by him in Tom Sawyer s adventures. Beyond the river stretches the state of Illinois. The regional climate alternates between the continental and subtropical one, with short and hot summers, with small long rains in the fall, with short and hard winters, with gentle, long springs. In April, June and July storms are frequent; the feared tornadoes weren t missing either. Vegetation is mixed, between the continental and subtropical one, there was black willow along with hickory, oak, maple and white ash, wild walnut tree, etc. But let s see what Moş Tecău said: Once arrived here I quickly found out the booth where the Romanians were. This was called board. Every booth was called that.
21 20 I m speaking to the Romanian boardwoman and she tells me that the workers come back after half an hour. I was very hungry. Soon after they came back, the food was ready. Shortly all 16 Romanians from the board were at the table, a long table to which they invited me to sit. On the other end of the table, Mister Son, from Sebeş yells: You re Laie of Tecău from Sebeş? Yes, I am, brother to Avram... You must be a good boy! It was you who gave my girls that dime when you found them crying, because they lost the money and were too afraid to come back without lamp gas. My wife wrote to me about this. For this good deed in Sebeş, I ll reward you here, in America. And so it was! Next day, Mister Son bought me a winter shirt and trousers. The food from the board was very good. In the morning we were given pork or beef stew, with potatoes, vegetables and coffee, for lunch, two pieces of pork chops, bananas and other fruits. Here at Ilasco there was a cement factory and a stone pit. The Tecău brothers worked in the stone pit like all the Romanians here. I got a job right on my second day here. With a carriage that had two big wheels and a horse, I brought the stone from the mountain and deposited it in the wagons that transported them to the stone breaker and the grinding factory. After the big rocks were knocked down the mountain, our people were down the hill drilling holes into them with smaller machines, filling them with dynamite and detonating all of them at once, at night. Other workers, equipped with hammers and picking drills, broke the bigger ones and others threw them in the carriage. There were four carriages and a horse strapped down to each. Four of us were taking care of the horses; going with them back and from the stable and we would also ride the carriages using them to transport the stones. A boy from Lancrăm, the only one among us, used to ride when we took the horses to the stable. One day, I can t remember why, his horse was scared and galloped like mad to the stables. The gate wasn t tall enough to fit the horse in the back, he was crushed very badly so we had to take him to the Hannibal hospital in an emergency. What happened to him next, I don t know. Later in 1906, my brother Simion came to Ilasco too. We were glad because he had great news from home and the three of us were together now. Not long before my brother Simion arrived the price for the board increased from 6 to 7 dollars. The price seemed huge to us. So I and my brother Simion moved to a hut uphill. We bought it for 5 dollars and boarded ourselves alone for two months in a row, in the woods.
22 21 The water pump was down in the horse stable. One day, we hear two birds flying agitated around a tree near our hut. We look after them, looking at the tree and what do we see?!... A big snake, 5-6 meters long, coiled up on the tree trunk was stretching his head to the birds nest. At first we were frightened of what we were seeing. We quickly gathered stones and pieces of wood and started throwing them at him; until we knocked him down and he went downhill, down to the horse stable. We got him there and killed him with hayforks. After this mishap, we weren t comfortable staying alone in the hut uphill anymore. We moved back to the board where my brother Avram was. Avram was working up the mountain, where with a big car, he was drilling holes right in the mountain wall, each 18 feet deep. The holes were filled with dynamite and detonated at night. A big wall suddenly fell, rolling down it broke in smaller and smaller pieces which, were drilled with smaller machines too, filled with dynamite and detonated. This job was done usually at night. When the dynamite exploded stones were flying all over the place. People were hiding behind cliffs as far as they could. Brother Avram worked often in the night because he wanted to make more money. The night work was better paid. One night though, when Avram drilled large rock, covered with smaller rocks, rock that should ve exploded one night earlier, so it was filled with dynamite, it so happened that a smaller rock rolled down and cut the contact wire. My brother Avram died in that explosion! I buried him in the Atlas Portant Cement Company cemetery and put a cement cross over his head. At the funeral I brought father Moise Balea from St. Louis, Missouri. He was the only orthodox priest in America back then. He went through all of America s states, and later he printed the AMERICA newspaper where I read: I print the newspaper when I have the desire, time and money! The first issues of the newspaper are in the League and Union Office that looked after it years in return for the inheritance. I don t know what city of America father Balea died in, all I know is Bishop Valerian brought him to Vatra Româneasca where he was buried and was made a monument which holds the inscription Father Balea printed only a few numbers of newspapers because he was on the road all the time. After we buried brother Avram, I went to the office, because it is said we have to get compensation from the Company. We didn t know any English. The Boarder had a ten year girl with whom I went to the office.
23 22 (Detail of picture to the right) This is the first full sized modern likeness of Moise Balea ( ) ever published. In the lower right, at the head of the casket, is Nicolae Tecau, age 20. Opposite him is his brother Simion Tecau.
24 Funeral of Avram Tecau from Sebes-Alba, who died in a quarry explosion in The group is in front of Linta s Boarding house in Ilasco, Missouri. Father Moise Balea, pioneer Romanian priest in America, officiated. 23
25 24 Fig.6: Nicolae Tecău, Corporal in the Austro Hungarian army, Alba Iulia, There they said that Avram wasn t hurt at his workplace on the mountain by the big machinery, but in another place, where he worked overtime at a second job, and that s why they won t pay for anything except the mortuary expenses. Take a look in the pictures, a visual illustration of this tragic moment in Nicolae Tecău s life. All the Romanians from Ilasco town have gathered at the funeral. If the sorrow and pain can be seen on the faces of all present there, then the pain was ten times bigger for Simion and Nicolae. Avram was buried in an unfamiliar and unwelcoming soil; the days there were dark and full of sadness. Maybe in the wheel of faith his remains were meant to lay there to create a powerful bond between them and Nicolae Tecău. In 1907, Mos Tecău tells us, Me and my brother Simion, full of grief because of our loss went back home. As soon as we came back, my brother Simion was drafted in the army. In 1908 they took me in the army as well, at Alba Iulia (at the pioneers). They were making bridges over rivers and streams Moş Tecău adds.
27 26 As they returned to their homes with the impressions and life experience they gathered, and the conviction regarding the New World, the two brothers, arriving on home ground, met new people, finding new Romanian friends from Alba and Ardeal. From these new friends they learn new things; they start to recognize their sufferings, and their aspirations. Just like other comrades they become conscious that wielding a weapon is vital to their survival. Here they are, in the following pictures, the ones with the military uniforms, handsome and proud, in the same line as the rest of the comrades. During the time we were Pioneers, at Alba Iulia moş Tecău remembers, I was reading The Libertatea newspaper from Orăştie town, when I saw a case that touched me. I wrote it down in my notebook which I took with me from America. It was the story of Vasile Stroescu, born on the 11th of November 1854 in Brânzeni town, in Orhei city, who bought, every Christmas, old clothes and other gifts for the poor children at the town s school
29 28 Fig.8: Simion Tecău in an infantry suit in 1908 (he died in 1916 on the Russian front) This amongst other stories, left a mark in Nicolae Tecău s life. And I was so touched, I was begging to God to help me help the ones in need, and He heard me, so I ended up helping not only children but also the refugees or the wounded in the two wars mos Tecău said. In 1911, while Simion Tecău was in the military in an infantry unit in Galiţia, Nicolae was freed. Returning for a short period of time to Sebeş, he became engaged to Ana Limbean, his sweetheart, as he will call her later. The return to civil life had again put an existential problem over moş Tecău. For the building of a home and the raising of a family, money was required. At home, this dream was not possible and just by admitting this reality, America popped in his head, and by coincidence, a newspaper article fell in his path about a group of Romanians in Youngstown, Ohio. Amongst them was one of his friends, Ieronim Sârbu from Sebeş, who opened a butcher shop there. If he succeeded, then why can t I? said Tecău. So there he goes to try his luck again. He left Ana home to spare her of the trouble of a new beginning.
31 30 Fig. 9: The church in Wilson Avenue, Youngstown, built in 1910 and sold in 1945, the spiritual place of two generations of Romanian-Americans. Fig. 10: The priest s house in Wilson Avenue, and 834 Wilson Avenue Parish house and rental property, purchased by Nicolae Tecusan in In 1912 I went to America again, says Tecău. And what luck, in 1914 the war started. The 12th Battalion of pioneers from Alba Iulia was sent to the front in Serbia. When the train arrived there, next to the front, in Serbia, hundreds of bullets and cannons were shot at the train destroying any goods inside it as well as all of the soldiers. Only 3 comrades escaped. If I didn t come to America that would have been my fate also. God protected me! The fate of Nicolae s comrades was shared by his brother, Simion who was killed on the front in Russia. When I left for America for the first time in 1912, moş Tecău remembers, it was Saturday night. I was playing cards at my place with my neighbor, Ion Limbean, a man the same age as myself. I was getting ready to leave, but I didn t tell anyone except my family. He wanted to leave for America himself, but did not tell his intentions to anyone besides his family. Ion Limbean left Monday and I left the Saturday that followed without either of us knowing that the other was headed for America.
33 32 Fig.11: The marriage of Nicolae Tecău and Ana Limbean in 1913 in The Wilson Church from Wilson Avenue. From left to right: Maria Petru Tecău, Mary Lupse, Elena Lupse, the bride and the groom, Simion Lupse (the godfather), Simion Lupse Jr. The children: Raymond and Elena Lupse. The second row: Peter Androne, Ion, Peter and Mary Opincar, Petru Besoiu? Ana Craciun? The third row: Petru Tincu, Ninu si Ravecca Nanciu, Nicolae Opritza, Paulina and Gheorghe Clonţ. After 21 days of traveling by ship, I arrived in New York. From there I left by train for Youngstown, Ohio. I had Străjan s address, he was the only Romanian with a restaurant. When I entered his place there were 9 sebeşeni (locals from Sebeş) at the bar. One by one they turned their heads to see who came in. When I recognized one face I almost fell down, someone held me and kept me on my feet. My neighbor, Ion Limbeanu, was there, the one I thought I left at home. But I left you at home!? I said to him puzzled. I left you at home too because we played cards on Saturday and Sunday and I left on Monday! Ion exclaimed. He was a good man, moş Tecău remembers. I was his godfather at his wedding. He died and left 5 children without a dad, all of them healthy and living a good life (they used to call me godfather, and so did his nephews).
35 34 Fig.12: Nicolae and Elisabeth Opincar s wedding, in 1915, godfathers: Nicolae and Ana Tecău. The history of the Romanian community in Youngstown, Ohio, starts within our century, more exactly in This is when a group of Romanians from Transylvania, such as Nicolae Rociu, Nicolae Popa, Tetzu, Ion Baboş and others, founded the Union Society of Romania. At the beginning their activity was modest because of the fluctuation of the members in the community (there were those that would come and go all the time). The Romanians left in the New World, found themselves in the process of accommodation, integration and conversion to Americanism. This process also included the forming of a new society and its institutions regarding benefits and cultural values, such as the religious community for the young generation. On February 4, 1906 Saint Peters Parochial was founded led by the preacher Moise Balea. His consultants were Simion Lupse, Ion Reftea, Ninu Nanciu, Petru Tecău, Ioan Zarca and Iacob Popa and others, most of them from Sebeş. We won t concentrate on the orthodox parochial from Youngstown or the troubles this community faced here. All of these problems are presented in details by Gerald J. Bobango and Roman Braga in the monograph: Romanian Orthodoxy in Youngstown, ( ) whose creator was Moş Tecău and which we recommend to you. We will mention some of the facts written later on.
37 Fig.13: Nicolae Tecău and the children in Donations started in1906, and in 1910 the Church on Wilson Avenue was built. The same year they changed the name to The Third Holy. Arriving at Youngstown, young Nicolae found many people from Sebeş, he first signed up for the parochial, and then the Society of Help and the Society: Culture and Union- today: The Union and the Ploughman. At first he found shelter in Simion Lupse s house, a butcher and one of the leaders of the Romanian community here. This second beginning wasn t easy; it had its own troubles and challenges. After six months, in 1913, his sweetheart, Ana Limbean followed him to America. Their marriage took place on Wilson Avenue, in the presence of all of the Romanian community from Youngstown. Starting their marriage, the young couple bought a house in Campbell, where Nicolae found work at Trucson Steel (he was putting covers over the seats in the trains).
39 38 Fig.14: Nicolae and Ana Tecău with their sons Remus and Traian, and the daughters Ann, Nan and Erie Constant, 4th of July Fig.15: Nicolae Tecău with the Transylvanians at the opening of their first business, the confectionery in East Youngstown Ohio in I will tell you something you won t believe Moş Tecău writes we were paid in gold! After a time he found work in another place; the Sheer and Tube Company where he stayed until I paid 30 dollars from every pay check, until in 1921 I paid off my house. I didn t have any money in my pocket. I went to a friend who had a lumber business whom I told I want to build a confectionery in front of my house. He gave me wood, bricks, concrete, anything on credit, and with these I built my confectionery at number 25 on 10th Street.
41 40 Fig.16: Anuţa and Nicolae Tecău in front of their confectionery in Fig.17: Nicolae Tecău (1924) Nicolae and Ana Tecău were the first amongst the Romanian community in Youngstown. In their preoccupations with building their own business they never forgot their brothers at home, especially in those moments when the war started. They collected and sent money, packages, and medicines for the hurt and orphaned as well as to churches, humanitarian institutions and cultural places.
43 42 Fig 18: Nicolae and Anna, Traian, Anna, Erie and Remus in 1922 Nicolae Tecau s Family in Fig 19: The family of Nicolae Tecau, 1925
45 44 Fig.20: The document of obedience of the orthodox Romanians from the United States of North America to the holy metropolitan church of Ungro-Valahia (1918). The Romanian Union Society in Youngstown, Ohio was founded on the 15th of June, There were 85 founders - 82 men and 3 women. In 1908 they joined together with 21 other Romanian Societies from the United States in The Union of the Romanian-American Societies. Together with other societies they formed the new central organization: The Help. In 1914 the number of the Youngstown societies had risen from hundreds to thousands of souls. All of this expansion led to discussions, different opinions, misunderstandings, and even disputes between the leaders of the community. This lead to the founding of the society of The Romanian Ploughman, affiliated with the S.R.A Union. (The Romanian American Society). There was a certain rivalry between the two societies. In May 1915 the Romanian Ploughman bought the property at number 645 Portland Avenue. Still to this day it is known as the Romanian Hall. In short time it became the place of community meeting of the Romanians regarding their local or national problems. The Romanian Union Society bought a property on Woodland Avenue in 1917, a house which was later transformed into a conference hall.
46 45 The Document of Praising and Obedience Of the orthodox Romanians from the United States of North America By the holy Metropolitan Church of Ungro-Valahia We, the undersigned: priests, leaders and the empowered people and the Orthodox Church from the United States of North America, gathered in Sobor Obştesc, caught by the sense of rightness and love for our land. We sustain that we are all part of the Romanian lands stolen by the Hungarians, who for tens of centuries robbed us of our years of hard work, and forced us to change our language, faith, our gifts from our ancestors; We believe that because of the Hungarian persecutions our Light bringers and leaders were forced to find shelter in the welcoming kingdom of Romania, but ourselves,the working people, the sad and oppressed people, wish to come overseas to the Land Of Freedom; We believe that in all of our bitter life our thoughts were heading with deep love and rock-hard belief to the Liberal Kingdom of Romania, where we all hope for freedom; We believe that when we stand in these days of painful trials with the hard work of our arms, we built holy places in Gods name and the peace of our souls. These holy places remained in touch with the Romanian Metropolitan Church from Hungary and Transylvania; We believe that the Hungarian rule to destroy our people and have radically changed the way of our metropolitan church and the entire Romanian Church from Hungary and Transylvania, turning a cultural settlement and Christian life into a tool of pain and slavery; We believe that through the joining with the American church, the Hungarian persecution may end; The only power we had in our land was through confessors and archiepiscopates of the metropolitan church, which helped us in these years of persecution of Ungro-Valahia; For the complete insurance of our religious rights, our beliefs, our faith which were handed down to us by our ancestors; Through our will not from any other. We decide, That none of us, children of the Romanian Orthodox Church of America, no priest from today on, should be forced to have any kind of connection with The Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Church from Hungary and Transylvania, the old connections with them are to be destroyed, to be again self-working when the lands from Hungary that belong to Romania will be freed. We found here on the soil of this free country a Romanian Episcope which will always be named as: The Romanian Episcope from the United States of North America; We subdue this Episcope to Ungro-Valahia, to continue any of its beliefs, which by it self will have from now on the right to lead our Church; We also owe God and the people to say with all our hearts, that through our word not only Romanians from the U.S but the millions left in the persecution of Hungary, will be heard, the dream to obtain freedom in the Romanian Kingdom. Our signature, and our vow represents this document, in Youngstown, Ohio, today in the twenty forth day of February, nineteen eighteen, after the calendar of the Holy Church of Sunrise. So help us God when the time of our deaths comes. Amen. The 1918 Charter of Dedication and Submission of the Orthodox Romanians in the United States of North America to the Holy Metropolia of Ungro-Valahia dated February 24th 1918(O.S)
47 Fig.21: Nicolae Tecău Jr. (the biggest brother) 46 So between , the Romanians in Youngstown were split in two Societies serving the same target. The difference was just the fact that they were affiliated with two different central organizations. But this situation didn t last. In 1918 both societies started talking regarding their unification On July 3rd, 1932, in a gathering, Presidents Dumitru Hentea and Vasile Moldovan announced the joining. The name was The United Societies of The Union and Ploughman. From the document of Sofron S. Feckett, The History of The League of the Societies of America, Youngstown 1956, we find out that the verbal processes of these societies, mention the efforts and sacrifices made by its members for the Romanian people. The Union and Ploughman society announced the Romanians from Youngstown, as a national group. This made possible the typing of newspapers, calendars and Romanian books; there were funds gathered to the Romanian National Fleet in the first world war, as well for the National League, its members were amongst the first who gave money for medicines, packages that were sent to Romania to the cultural institutes in Sibiu and Blaj.
49 Extras from America calendar In this atmosphere, Nicolae Tecău enrolled himself in the army without hesitation in The Great army of Good. A new way of life started building up in this new country, slowly but surely it formed around him and his family. Here too, a new way was implemented by experience, sense of limit, respect for tradition and respect for the elders, for what is or isn t beautiful. Intelligent and organized, Nicolae Tecău never found himself in monotony and routine. On the contrary, summing up his parents qualities he dedicated his life to helping the needy, fighting for his people (the Romanian people), and proving that our peasants are not just an uncivilized mass.
50 49 Moşul Nicolae Tecau Nicolae Tecau from Youngstown, Ohio, who will be 95 on the 25th of October 1982 is known for the most splendid national accomplishments. Born in Sebeş town from Alba city, Nicolae Tecau immigrated to the United States in 1904, and in 1906 he founded the Ardeleana society in Ilasco, Mo. In 1907 he came back to Romania, but in 1912 he went back to America and settled in Youngstown Ohio, where he lives today. In 1916 he was elected general president of The League and then he was elected several times as chancellor of The Union and Ploughman and the parish The Third Holy in Youngstown. Between the two wars he has sent help to our country numerous times, and after the war he helped the Romanian refugees all over the world. Here are some letters received by Tecau for his noble deeds: 5th of August, 1919 The Queen s House To his highness, Mr. Nicolae Tecau, East Youngstown, Ohio Mr. President of the Frajia Society, Her Majesty, the Queen found out with great joy about the Romanian s behavior in East Youngstown, Ohio, and, deeply moved by everything you did as soldiers and citizens, and what you did for the people in suffering, she has authorized me to send you her live gratitude, which we ask you to send forth especially to the factory workers, which have gathered, the sum of lei, for the charity works of our Sovereign. Rest assured that her Majesty, the Queen, will receive this sum, with the same good heart and recognition, with which it was given by Her faithful sons of America. Please receive, Mr. President, all of my distinguished esteem. Private Secretary of Her Highness, the Queen, G. Denzie The National Orthodox Society of Romanian Women Sebeş Filial To Mr. and Mrs. Tecau The Committee of our Society, in the meeting held on the 14th of September, deeply appreciates all the sacrifices you made for easing the pains of many misfortunate people and for the rise and formation of future generations of the country. You have been chosen as the member of honor of our Society and so, we have you in the Golden Book of the Society. Live long and be glad, many years of happiness to your family and may your soul be content for making these sacrifices on the altar of noblesse. THE COMMITTEE, Mr. Maria Berghezan, President Pr. P. Chirca, Secretary Sebeş, on the 14th of September, 1927
51 50 Fig. 22: Page from the Libertatea calendar from Orăştie edited by father Moţa (1927) THE CHARITY BENEFIT SOCIETY CLUJ To Mister and Mrs. Nick Tecau The Charity benefits society protector The rapport about the Society s activity in the year 1927, presented on the 18th of February, 1928 Ordinary General Assembly: We pleasantly remember the visit of Mr. Nick Tecau from America, who coming from and to the Country, has looked for us with his entire family on all the bad and dangerous roads. He had a warm welcoming in Colibija. When the automobile was invented, with the American flag, the students held a sympathy manifestation and even arranged a little festival to this brave Romanian, who did not forget about his brothers beyond the Ocean. Mr. Tecau, deeply moved, was grateful for the attention he received. He remitted to us Lei and made the solemn promise that he will keep his interest for our society alive and will do whatever it takes to contribute to the raising of the senator s fund. We bring our protector our warm thanks, as well as everyone who gave their offertory, to ease the suffering of our children. Let him find as many imitators as possible. Olivia V. Deleu, President of The Charity Society - Cluj (Mr. Tecau was already a Member of Honor of The Charity Society Cluj) Here are the worthy Nicolae Tecau and his wife, both from Saxon Sebeş, they gave Lei to the Hall, and with the money they gathered from a wedding in Hubbard city, Ohio, they sent Lei in the summer of Then, they gathered another Lei with the New Year Carol of 1926, and from an American s concert, Aibert Reador, They sent Lei to the Hall, all in all! Mr. Tecău is a great giver for good things and supporter of good papers. Let he be mentioned in great praise. (From the Illustrated Calendar of the Interesting Paper from Orăştie, 1927, Page 41)
52 51 PARTEA LITERARÂ The chief humanitarians of The Cultural Hall from Iaşi. If our fellow Romanians have the joy today to watch The Cultural Hall it s because besides many of our worthy Romanians from the country, our brothers from America helped in a way, which is commendable. For this we show here the face of a few people that sent more significant sums of money and of whose pictures we have. Here are the worthy: Nicolae Tecau and his wife, both from Saxon Sebeş, they gave Lei to the Hall, and with the money they gathered from a wedding in Hubbard city, Ohio, they sent Lei in the summer of Then, they gathered another Lei with the New Year Carol of 1926, and from an American s concert, Aibert Reador, They sent Lei to the Hall, all in all! Mr. Tecau is a great giver for good things and supporter of good papers. Let he be mentioned in great praise.
53 52 Fig. 23: Nicolae and Ana Tecău, priest Ion Podea, Elena and Petru P. Sârbu in Fig 24: The first Romanian art exposition in Youngstown, Ana and Nicolae Tecău with Maria Zigler Anagnostache, Ion Ionescu-Ardeal and E. Bulandra. The deep humanness and quality Nicolae Tecău s soul put him beside the people who take care of Romanian organizations and their leaders. In 1916 he was elected General President of Liga, in 1918 President of the charity organization Frăţia, then, on many occasions he was a member or civil servant in the leaderships of Unirea Society and Plugarul or the Sf. Treime Parish from Youngstown. There probably isn t a biography that shouldn t, at a certain level, make one look back. Any individual human existence is the expression of a differentiated biological rhythm which beyond the traits that make us closer to each other, joins communities across the world and allows them to express themselves through one of a kind people. This passage through life is marked in part, by our own deeds, by everything we think of and act upon. Time smooths and covers most of our lonely passing-bys. Those that are uncommon have the right to history. That s why it is hard to tell, if a biography is also a realized destiny. Mos Tecău left, at least, an image to show him as HUMAN, as a true man, with an ethos, a conscience and a modesty that became surer landmarks than the trails of so many others.
55 54 Fig. 25: Nicolae Tecău Senior and Junior in the national orchestra from Youngstown Fig. 26: Nicolae Tecău in a reel with Maria Zigler Anagnostache, E. Bulandra and Ion Ionescu- Ardeal at a Romanian art exposition in Youngstown Going through photos and letters, I have in front of me a whole gallery of figures. Figures which once played important roles in public life, in the Romanian community life of the faraway continent. Events that have increased or decreased the Romanian prestige, events which socalled History may not show, interested or biased. Moş Tecău lived these events to the fullest and from up close. Powerful lights, old traditions, feelings, social statuses, old beliefs, often too old, bold utopias, passions of the most different categories, ambitions, falls, defeats, moments of silence, which all put together make life truly worthy of living and just as often, worthy of despise. Mos Tecău saw both the present and the past with his eyes open.. Based on the life experience the good Lord has gave him, he wrote about his life. In a history of Romanian exile, so rich in personalities, who gave their lives to achieve the national ideals of freedom and prosperity, Nick Tecău s personality takes a very distinct place, through his life line and deeds, with no interruptions and zigzags.
57 56 Fig. 27: In the yard with Avram Radu at Sebeş Alba with 4 brothers and three brother-in-laws, all deceased. (1924) I left home young I left my My beautiful wife Crying by the window I sold my oxen and carriage To come and win the buck. What s the use of winning it, When I drank it all! I stood in front of the fumes To make the thousand and the road, But thinking only of the thousand I am always on duty When there s work I live well, I drink my money and eat on leavings When factories are stale again I write home that it s going bad in the country. I got news from home That my wife is leaving me, That everybody s sending money And I don t send even a letter It s a good thing that they re leaving me To take care of their lives and homes, Because with a drinker like myself There can be no good. n. Tecău I am convinced that Moş Tecău believed that everything solid in his physical and spiritual being was owed to the birthplace. Life among his own, there at Sebeş, gave him the vision and the most sublime ideals of freedom and Romanian unity, that no human obstacle could stop, in its process of birth and growth. It so happens that the virtues and vices of the people have appeared due to the seed thrown by the youngest son of the Tecău family from Sebeş, which, in a totally different corner in the world, gave birth to them, making them after his face and resemblance. Here he is, on life s barricades, singing his joys and achievements but also his disappointments or troubles. In Beutorul Năcăjit, Nick Tecău, clearly proved his ancestral gifts, which, under other signs, if they had been cultivated, could have offered us even pleasanter surprises. His heart, with echoes picked as if from the sparks of his ancient origins, from the murmur of the Sebeş waters of his childhood, carrying rafts downhill in the game of his money, bring us to the Transylvanian lands atmosphere, where the majority of the emigrants came from. Life, in its natural development, with the words and laughter of people, with it s loves and cares was always close to him. He mastered life, making himself a corollary out of the advice of Badea Gheorghe, the bard of Năsăud: One fight is life, so fight, with love for her, and appetite!
59 58 Fig. 28: Families N. Tecău and Ion Săliştean fishing on the Sebeş river (1927) Fig. 29: Nicolae and Ana Tecău along with family and other members of the Romanian community from Youngstown at the Banquet offered with the occasion of Nicolae Iorga s visit, in 1929, at the Ohio hotel. Motivated by a burning love for people, Moş Tecău knew how to ennoble his life, enhancing its power, charm and intensity. The thirst for life, the confidence in what man is capable of doing gave him the strength to put down melancholy and temper his wounded longing, or to resist the flame of selfishness and unconditioned obedience to the fascination towards the West. The key to the miracle of his race s survival, learning that the joy to live is a symbol and guide through all of the challenges one faces. I can see him now, studying people, picturing them vividly and real, always real, in his mind and spirit. Here he is, proving to his national and unitary ideal conscience, joining a competition, as a fierce combatant, having supporters and enemies, saying to himself: Joy or sadness can only come from people that live at the same time you do. Always going around the country with his heart and mind, Moş Tecău lightened the blue color of his sky, with action. Could he have been thinking that human action climbs you up from silence to eternity? I don t think that Nick Tecău made such calculations, because, he did not belong to the category of those small petty people, always interested in their profits. His soul was made of a secret unraveled by many.
60 Nicolae Iorga comes to America, A banquet for the famous Romanian historian and politician was held at the Ohio Hotel. The guest of honor is in front of the curtained doorway at the right, next to Romanian Catholic priest Aurel Voda. Visible at the Fagaras table are Rudi Nan, Florica Nan, Ieronim Sirbu, Ioana Sirbu, and Florence Sirbu Acri, while at the Sebes table are Nicolae and Anna Tecau, Traian Tecau, Erie Tecau Constant, Anna and Avram Avram. Nicolae Tecusan is at the head table, facing away from the camera. 59
61 60 Fig. 30: The funerary monument built by the Nicolae Tecău family in the memory of their parents in the Sebeş Alba cemetery. Fig. 31: Picnic offered in Nicolae Tecău s yard to the first Convention of the Romanian Democratic Club (1938). We don t know if he ever asked anyone for something for himself. He was an embodiment of dignity. Testimony places his actions in the sphere of good and humanness, his big and uncoined mercy, his own sacrifice for those in need. Moş Tecău was in a permanent battle with life. Considering that some can love the world as it is, he insisted on loving it the way it should be! Here he is, in the first line of Clubul democratic romanesc, in 1934, organizing a picnic right at his house, or on other occasions hosted by him, to initiate, amplify or stimulate the help for the needy. With a fair judgment, a practical behavior, Moş Tecău is an example worthy of following. Here are his Romanian thoughts that he wrote in 1940: It s not long since our newspaper America, wrote: We are becoming fewer and fewer. For 50 years our generation, the old people, have organized and sustained the Romanian societies and parishes in this free country, these God blessed fields. (continued on 64)
62 The first Romanian Democratic Club Convention, 1938, at Nick Tecau s home McCollum Road. 61
63 62 Fig. 32: The Romanian Democratic Club leaders (1924). In the front: Grigore Bucilă, Nicolae Tecău, Mihail T. Roman, Danil Opritza; in the back: Benjamin Almăşan, Nicolae Frătici, Tănase Roşu, Mladen Highişan, Vasile Urs. Fig. 33: Nicolae and Anuţa Tecău in Officers of the Romanian Democratic Club of Mahoning County ca. 1934: Front: Gregory Bucila, Nicolae Tecau, Mihail T. Roman, Danil Opritza. Rear: Benjamin Almasan, Nicolae Fratici, Tanase Rosu, Miaden Highisan, Vasile Urs.
65 64 Fig. 34: Young students from Youngstown, participants at the first Romanian fraternal college in After the First World War many people went to the country in Romania and settled there, some buying households with American money, others taking up commerce. Other Romanians don t come anymore though. And the generation after us, our children, are not too enthusiastic, as it can be seen, by the Romanian organizations. With all the propaganda made among the newspapers that the youth doesn t even read much and after all the efforts of their parents, too few enrolled in our Romanian societies. After the arrival of Mr. Dobrea as General President of the Union and the League though, practical actions have been made to win the youth, creating new policies that compete with the biggest insurance companies, enrolling children even from birth. These polices are as good as those of the biggest companies. There have been very good results with this plan because parents instead of buying insurance policies from foreign companies have bought them from the Union and League, which is becoming more popular. But the Union and League don t have to stop here. We need new members, of all ages, middle-aged and young. (continued on 70)
66 Many Youngstown students took part in the first Romanian college fraternity in 1930, which had chapters in several Romanian centers. It disbanded by the middle of the decade. Youngstowners identified above are: Row 1: Aurelia Candea, John Russ, Mary Lupse, John Borza, Rozetta Musat, Ovid Corsatea, Victoria Luca, George Radu; Row 2: Peter, Marioara Candea, John Racatian, Anita Salanti, Raymond Lupse, Cornelia Honda, Nick Tecau Jr. Row 3: Leon Faroga, Monty Muntean, Joseph Bover, Joseph Cracium, John Vlad. Row 4: William Hulea third from left. 65
70 69 It was dollars from heaven provided by Nick Tecau on Glenwood Avenue. Note the food prices, including 7 cent coffee.
71 70 Fig. 37: The Sfânta Treime parish council in Every Romanian man and woman from America must be invited to our side which, especially today, mustn t be weak. Today the Union and League is a Romanian organization of a great size and is well seen in all of America. As I said, we cannot wait the arrival of other brothers from the Country. Youngstown, 1940 Nick Tecau Here, another example, on the occasion of the blessing of the new dwelling of church Sf. Treime, and the 40 years anniversary from the parish foundation, when his big and simple soul salutes the event in the poetry below: POETRY Dedicated to the Sf. Treime parish with the occasion of the new church blessing By Nicolae Tecau Today is a holiday, of the sacred church The messengers have arrived from faraway, to watch our progress; And with clean souls, like sun rays. We say: Welcome! To our holiday,
72 Father Vasile Pascau, parish administrator, with the Council for Row 1: George Barbu, Ioan N. Lazar, John Gaspar, Fr. Pascau, Ioan Opritza, George Pintea, Nicolae Tecusan; Row 2: Pavel Brumbea, John Tirlea, Sr., Nicolae Ilea, Nick Tecau, Ioan Graur, Mladen Highisan Row 3: Tovie Banciu, Nick Muntean, Vasile Bogdan?, Nick Ghib, Simion Parvu 71
73 72 Fig. 38: The new church of the Sfânta Treime parish from Youngstown. We, people from Youngstown, have great warmth When we dedicate the sacred church that never dies. With peace in our souls we pray vigorously, For us, today, for the ones in graves. Romanians in a free country, today with properties, In America that gave you opportunities. Your efforts, come out beautifully, Strangers admire your good order. You built the holy house of praying Where even the grandchildren will pray, With thoughts of their good ancestors, In the inherited law, they will be faithful Children of their children will inherit the holy house, New religions and sects, all of them will they defeat. Our fair faith, Romanian faith, Is Orthodoxy, the sacred ancestral law. Hard waves will come, storms and hurricane, But the house of prayer stays forever. You, nephews and grandchildren, take the vow. That you will keep the Sacred Church, till the grave In the clear wide sky, a dot is shown, In the sunrise, in the faraway horizon: It s sweet Romania, with its bleeding forehead. With its hands in chains, with its mouth shut It s the Country, in gloomy clothing, with divine music, Which today it sings in tears and sighs On its face justice shines like a sun, We pray to You, God, to release it from the horror, Priests all pray from the bottom of their hearts When they hold the big service at the sacred in the altars, For God almighty to come from the skies, To save you from pain and slavery. Father! You finished the church with victory, Now we, from the parish, owe you faith, Me and my wife, wish a long life, Many days, guide us through the decades to come!
74 The 1881 mansion of Charles D. Arms on Wick Avenue after its transformation by Architect Arsene Rousseau and H. Italiano & Sons contractors. The cornerstone was dedicated on August 5, The remodeling and all new equipment cost the parish over $100,000. The Ladies Auxiliary alone raised over ten thousand dollars for the new church. The church looks essentially the same in its fine Gothic lines as it did when dedicated by Fathers John Trutza, Victor Barbulescu, Vasile Pascau, Traian Vintila, George Lupu, Elie Genie, and Ioan Stanila on September 15,
75 74 Fig. 39: The new house built by Nicolae Tecău (1929). Without knowing the laws of wordplay, without any pretensions of competing against the recognized bards of his lands, in the simplicity of his lyrics, filled by a sweet and hard flavor, with images of snowfalls, sound and color, with revelations but meaning too, Moş Tecău has his place between those thousands of craftsmen and our ballads that are spread by mouth. He is a piece of our folklore transplanted into another world, his lyrics being marked, here and there, with a specific print, slightly perceptible, subordinated to its own cosmos. The smell of wood in childhood, from the apprenticing years or the household works must ve woken up, more than once, the thrill of sweet memories in Nicolae s heart. Surely though his woman Ana s voice, the laughter and yelling of the children, his friends speaking the same tongue and sharing the same destiny have comforted and brought him peace. This is because Moş Tecău, although far from the countryside, took care of rebuilding the ancestral Universe with the abundance of a hard-working man, building a large and healthy family. Nicolae Tecău knew that in it was something apart, that something could increase his powers tenfold, and carry him further: Don t cry, but the reel has to laugh Nicolae must ve said to himself, and here he is, a big player in The annual American conventions from Sebeş.
77 76 Fig. 40: The Sunday school from Youngstown, Fig. 41: The Sebeş conventions from Youngstown in President: Nicolae Tecău, the third picnic in Nick Opriţa s garden. Sunday School in Youngstown, Row 1: L. Pintea, J. Popa, A. Limbeanu, J. Guju, Father Pascau, S. Budac, Gh. Mihint, L. Somesan, C. Pintea. Row 2: O. Badila, I. Muntean. M. Tref, R. Fratila, 1. Limbeanu, V. Badila, A. Muntean, I. Pintea, V. (Charles) Popa, I. Brumbea, P. Vanu. Row 3: A. Vonu, E. Mihint, I. Oprita, M. Oprita, G. Bogdan, R. Mihint, V. Brumbea, A. Fratila
79 78 Fig. 42: German Shepherd dog with a hat and pipe in his mouth is shaking hands with Nick Tecău Fig. 43: Nicolae and Ana Tecău in front of the house they built in Here it is, The rhymed Rapport of the Convention from Sebeş, created by Nicolae Tecău and published on July the 17th, 1935, by the AMERICA newspaper: Many of our Sebeş people gathered And wishing each other a long life and luck Some haven t seen each other in years, you can imagine What moments, what joy that they could meet The aged were wiping their tears of joy The young ones, on the other side, couldn t stop kissing At tables, everyone sits, and the meeting is opened And the given rapports, were all taken well. The meeting ended, tables filled with food Now the prayer comes, but the priest doesn t come anymore, The villagers rise and from the lips they all whisper Who says Our Father, gets it kind of wrong in the end, People were making fun because he said the grace wrong Don t blame Moga please, blame Tecau. Stanciu speaks heavy, quietness is now the reign I have come to see my villagers, to brotherly shake their hands We have come from Harbor; we have come but not through constraint To bring our tribute and Vintila s salute.
81 80 Fig. 44: Nick Tecău Jr. Fig. 45: Nicolae Tecău pulls rabbits out of his hat Ion Cândea from Detroit, with the bigger donation Has said a few encouraging and cheering up words to us: I wish to you all a lot of good, cheerful like a summer day, May God keep you all, so I can see you again next year. Mureşan from Tonawanda was very much surprised He never saw so many people gathered from a village He toasted for the health of everybody with a lot of courage And to Mihaljian from Canton, he wishes a bon voyage, Among us there were 2 doctors: an authentic one, from Sebeş Related to people from Sebeş, the other from Bucharest, With elegant manners, etiquette, They were eating greens and sausage without a fork A heap of kids filled the garden, Singing and shouting constantly The girls, cheerful, looked around And the boys staying in the shadow were winking at them. Two strangers come to the picnic, unexpectedly! Their name is announced, places to a table they are given And we all shout at once: Long live the guests! Mr. Donev stands up and takes a bow to us Mr. Vamaşescu tells a long story again Some appropriate jokes from the parents, grandparents and nephews And it feels like Sebeş, everyone laughed.
83 82 Fig.46: Nick Tecău and the girl s softball team The Third Holy in In front: Ann Badila. Ann Ionescu, Eleonor Golaş; in the back: Sam Fekett, Ann Tecău, Mary Dumitrescu, Mary Timar, Erie Tecău, Pearl Fekett, Mary Tirlea, Mary Limbean. Nick Tecău. Fig. 47: The Ancora choir, Youngstown Mr. Donev watches the magic tricks with pleasure When the pigeon wants to fly, he almost hits its head. Watching so many tricks I believe he won t regret anything Because he saw the magician from Sebeş, Tecau. The darkness arrived, the movies were shown Two hundred families started singing. Words can t express this story, it would be in vain On my honor, believe me; it doesn t fit in the paper! The Sebeş locals Convention was founded on the 10th of July 1932, in Nick Tecău s garden. Under Tecău s protective wand, annually, every Romanian nearby gathered, so that they could show the richness and the quality at a level of greatness. They said to each other, We do not want to stay behind the descendents of other people living in this same part of the world, who established themselves here before us. Only by working neck and neck and united, can we collaborate with greater success, to fully help the people from whom he came, our people. Just like this, the Romanian-American Committee for orphans and refugees was founded. The president was Nick Tecău! The union of the Romanian souls spread all over American soil. They met for spiritual bonds, manifestations and cultural meetings, conferences, parties and celebrations, with the gathering of everyone s energy, and the awakening of all the members` minds.
84 From this widely-known choral group was established, at the request of Father John Stanila in the Council session of October 22, 1930, the Church Choir known as Carmen Sylva, and directed at first by Constantin Titi Nistor. 83
85 84 Taking a look over the list of donators we can see that all the social categories have given something to help, from old to young. Throughout Nick s life, there is an entire world of people he met, with whom he strived shoulder to shoulder, people who made wonderful sacrifices on the altar of giant beliefs.
87 Fig.48: Nicolae Tecău, Performer (1941) 86
89 88 Fig.49: Nicolae Tecău, Performer (1941) The association for Romanian Literature and Culture The Romanian people, Sibiu, Mr. Nicolae Tecău, Ohio America We have the honor of telling you that the Central Committee of the Association of Romanian Literature and the Culture of the Romanian People, in the meeting that took place on the 5th of July 1947, declared you as The Founding Member of the Central Association. Silviu Tepene the president of the Association Nicolae Baila the secretary of the Association 2 The Association for Romanian Literature and Culture of the Romanian People declares Mr. Nicolae Tecău as a lifetime member with all the rights and power reserved to him. From the meeting of the central committee of the Association for Romanian literature and the Culture of the Romanian people held at Sibiu on the 5th of July The president of the Association Silviu Tepene The secretary of the Association Nicolae Baila There will be some that, in their nothingness, and with their hearts strangled, judging the world only through their own prism, will continue to raise enigmatic questions. They will ask themselves how can a man do such humanitarian acts, and why?! These people weren t, and will never be able to understand that for Nicolae Tecău, the love for people has been one of the pillars that supported his soul. Rising from the crowd, sharing with them his sadness and happiness, he considers himself a part of them with his soul and with his deeds. It became his duty and within his will and power to help the needy, and to help them with advice or entertain them with his tricks, making them laugh, spreading the Charlie Chaplin belief, which is that a day without laughs is a wasted day.
91 90 Fig. 50: The diploma awarded to Nicolae Tecău as a lifetime member of the Association for Romanian Literature and the Culture of the Romanian People. Fig.51: The diploma awarded to Nicolae Tecău as founder of The Association for Romanian Literature and the Culture of the Romanian People.
93 92 Fig.52: Anna Tecău with the ladies from the auxiliary section of the Social Club of the Sebes locals (1947) The feeling of passion from being surrounded by people joined with the one of sharing and giving, represents his attitude which rose and blossomed, as well as his artistic aptitudes which he used for the caring of his brother s troubles. He made them laugh, and forget their home sickness. His artistic occupations weren t the only different cultural related ones. We can see this by the photos from the National Orchestra from Youngstown with his son by his side. Moş Tecău also had a passion for theatre, as he admitted in a couple of words: In 1912 there were 60 men and 3 women at theatre practice. Maybe if he would have received a better education and a better initiation Moş Tecău would have surprised us all. Of all his talents, his tricks as a performer remain the talent he is recognized for in America. You ask where did Moş Tecău learn his talents. He never said. I don t believe he was part of a professional training program, but only his passion and dedication for tricks were the secrets of his art.
95 94 Fig.53: Picture on the wall of the Little Casino restaurant presenting Nick Tecău, The Magician (1947) INVITATION FOR THE SEBES LOCALS: THE SEBES LOCALS CLUB FROM AMERICA with its headquarters in Youngstown, Ohio together with the Women s Auxiliary invite all the Sebeş locals and their families to: the 17th ANNUAL CONVENTION HELD TOGETHER WITH THE USUAL PICNIC, which will be held Sunday, the 10th of July 1949 AT THE ROMANIAN GARDEN IN WARREN, OHIO The Garden will open at 9am, the table at 1pm; Benevolent donations accepted. THE CONVENTION S PROGRAM 1. The opening of the meeting at 2:30 pm 2. The reading of the last year s citations 3. The report given by the president, the Caesar report, the control report; 4. Propositions and debates; 5. The election of the functionaries for next year. ATTRACTIONS: Romanian-American music led by Miron Mihaescu. All sorts of competitions with prizes for all Sebes locals, young or old, with any talent -vocal or musical, instrumental, classical or acrobatical dance, or even comic gestures that might be amusing. Another race will be between Joseni, Luseni, Opritesti, Guseni, Zavoieni, the Boboseshti and Dorobantiolor Street, and the most people on the street will win. The same goes for the family with the most in attendance. There will be a special guest from Sebes. Roast pig will be served with salad and many sorts of cookies. Before lunch there will be sandwiches served, as well as ice-cream and soda pop for kids. Beloved Sebeş people from the United States and Canada! There have been many preparations for this festivity so come all, from young to old and let us celebrate. The ones who cannot take part are asked to send some donations so that their contributions may be checked at the Club. The celebration will be filmed by a Sebeş local, Romulus Moga. Dance until late. We welcome you all! Nicolae Dumitreasa president of arrangements Nicolae Tecău president of the Sebeş Club John Stricatu Maria Limbeanu John Moga assistance Women s Auxiliary Florica Stricatu president P.S. The Romanian Garden is situated 6 miles West from Warren in Leavittsburg. At the bridge turn North or ask at the Romanian Hall in Warren. In case of rain don t worry, we have shelter. There will be special signs indicating the road to The Romanian Garden
97 Fig. 54: Nicolae Tecău, 60 years old (1947). 96 His silence was motivated by the modesty that was in his nature and by the fact that he didn t consider his skills much of a big deal, but as common things. The aptitude towards magic seems to be revealed by the variety of his other talents, not only the most suited to his traits, but also the most indicated in serving others who needed help. Magic seemed to be a way of gathering people around him, starting with the small, with the teenagers etc. because he knew that too much talking is bad. To do something, with the people for the people, you first have to have them in front of you. Then you can win them with jokes, the mystery of tricks and stunts, seeding the thought of giving and doing good in their conscience, without them noticing, without large programs and sophisticated speeches. Nicolae intuited that magic could be used in his campaign of helping people just like a magic flute. With tenacity and hard work, like he did everything in life, he always taught himself, exercising his moves, increasing his security, self-mastery and power of giving, to succeed in the end. This fact is fully confirmed to us by the success he had, a recognized success and honored by the masters of the art, which, in a modest measure, we illustrate through some of the countless letters, press echoes and honors which were attributed to him and which, without comments, we reproduce in autotype.
101 100 Fig. 56: The Nicolae Tecău s Little Casino opening festivity. Fig. 57: Nicolae Tecău s Little Casino performing tricks. It seems that in the same context of bringing as many people as possible around him, was born the idea of a permanent place of meeting and chatting for the Romanians in Youngstown, his Little Casino restaurant. To fulfill a goal, confessed or not, presence in the middle of the people is an imperative for the strategy of doing good and helping. For Nicolae Tecău, this strategy succeeded very well, allowing him to enjoy the thrills of victories on this noble battle ground. With everything that happened luck shined to have Anuţa Tecău, his wife, close to him for a long period of time. She gave him the joy of a house full of well educated children with a fear of God, offered her love and understanding, helping him in all these human battles. Countless images in this book show her as a permanent presence, in the family as well as in the community, especially among the ladies from Youngstown, in the feminine auxiliary of the Sf. Treime church, where, she made her contribution as a communion bread producer etc.
103 102 Fig. 58: Nick Tecău together with Nick Yahn and Nick Hans in the magic show presented at the big Little Casino opening (1951) Fig. 59: The dinner offered by Nick Tecău at the Little Casino, to the members of the Magic Club from Youngstown (1955) Nick Tecău s belief, that man is stronger than time and that his duty is not only to supervise its natural development, but to fix it, has proven itself true. This is proved by the warm and thankful words, the letters of thanks, and even in the articles from the exile and emigration press, impressive in number. An anonymous character, set up in a space destined to the common man, here he is, in a short period of time, cherished and celebrated as a fair Father of refugees, as a chevalier of good deeds and loving. It can be said that this evolution starts, not from the dollar s luring clink, but from the story of those two girls dimes, that happened more than three quarters of a century ago in his native Sebeş, when made to choose between possession and pity, the boy chose the latter. Even though he was moved by faith in other lands, Nicolae Tecău remained a peasant in his heart, with the capacity of offering and of aspiring for a life full of dignity and freedom too. This is also proof that, beneath the surprises offered in the chessboard of history, the vein of our rural culture and virtues is proven.
105 Fig. 60: Nick Tecau at 65 years of age 104 Fig. 61: Nick Tecau and Ana at 68 years
107 Fig 62: 106 Anuţa Tecău with the feminine auxiliary of the Sebeş Social Club (1955). Row I Elena Sârbu, Frances Opritza, Anna Tecău (president), Ioana Sârbu, Maria Limbean,.?, Row II Ana Sârbu, Ms. Dumitreasa, Florence Gibb, Mariţi Sârbu,?, Anna Luka Row III Anna Besoiu, Ann Nan, Florence Brott, Rafila Triff, Rafila Lazăr,...?
109 108 17th of November 1957 The Cultural House Moşta Marin Building VIII paper 80 No 1902 Dear Mr. Tecău, I confirm having received the sum of 50 dollars (fifty dollars), your contribution for the construction of the Moşta Marin Cultural Home, according to your letter from the 9th November of With many thanks and best wishes To Mr. N. Tecău 1307 Market Street Youngstown, Ohio U.S.A.
110 109 Beldeanu Oliviu Strafanstalt Thorberg / Be. Thorberg on the 10th of July 1955 Mr. Nick Tecău Youngstown 7. Ohio 2307 Market street U.S.A. Dear Mr. Tecău, We have received your money and letter with great joy. We are grateful for the noble gesture the American Romanians have shown us, and for the love the name of Romania carries. We are young; what happened we do not know, and we do not want to hear anything shameful towards our people, it is much too painful for us at the moment, when we must all be united. We mustn t give any chance for our enemy to be happy, but we must look for opportunities to strike, in any way and from everywhere possible. We are of different religions, but we are not talking about sour milk christenings, nor of how many Saints there are in the iconostasis. We are all Romanians, we all believe in one God, and in the same Christ. Our pains are the same, and so must our prayers be. It is pretty sad that a Uniate, uses the words of the one sent by Patriarch Justinian, probably because he doesn t know who oppressed the Uniates from Romania. In your letter, we have read about the great Goga, and reading his name, our thoughts brought his words in our lips. We haven t escaped the ancestral land in a long time, and we can write what we want to say, using the words of Goga, those words being better fitted now than in any time:
111 110 Fig. 63: Nick Tecău as president, in the middle of the Sebeş Social Club Committee (1955) Row I, Ironim Sârbu, John Opritza, Nick Tecău,?,?, George Triff Row II,? Nick Brott,?, John Besoiu,?, Daniel Sârbu, Constantine Nan, Nick Gibb. The plough is useless for us, Because our fields with their golden wheat ears Are stolen by the pagans, Today time is cruel Because our arms do not work today And a flag our country does not have. As a conclusion, we ask you to kindly send our brotherly love, to all the brothers in America, and we ask You to receive the respect of our great gratitude. Long live our nation. Olivia Beldeanu The Group Chief. Ion Chirilă Stan Codrescu Ochiu Dumitru In the future, we ask you not to send more money, because for now we don t even have any use for it, please keep it until we get out and we don t know when that will be. Drăgoi Ion does not exist: it was only a cover name of Chirilă, like Dumitriu, Crişan and Dima was for the others.
113 112 Fig 64: The Grand Opening of the Little Casino restaurant, This explains how moş Tecău and many others have instilled security among us, making our exile more bearable. We do not despair for ourselves, they say with through the voice or gestures of moş Tecău, but for you, the ones on the other side, and for all of our Country! But humanness, said moş Tecău to himself, Romanian humanness, is not only kindness and love for your people, but for every lonely or grieved soul, for every man in need. And he let it free, to manifest itself accordingly. Wonderful is the time in which we live today, Mr. F. A. Kissinger writes, from Mahoning Voiture 601, Youngstown, Ohio when people like you make spare time, despite their busy schedule. Through your talents you support the unhappy children. You are a man who plays a big and important part in the success of the ball offered in the favor of our Bennet School for children with disabilities. Such letters were received by moş Tecău in great numbers. We mention the ones that came from the American army garrison in Camp Reynolds, Pa., where, in 1944, he offered a free show in favor and for the entertainment of the wounded that came back from the war (see p. 84); the WKBN Broadcasting Corporation for supporting a 17 hour long TV show in favor of the nervous system disease victims (p. 86).
117 116 Between the life of the Romanian-American collective, of this citadel, in general, and his presence in the bosom of his family, or his place, Little Casino, Nicolae Tecău did not forget to be present, with his mind and deed, in a series of American Romanians manifestations from other centers. He did not forget about his faraway brothers, settled in their wandering, in the countries of Europe, Canada or Latin America and the ones left at home, to face the rigors and vicissitudes of lagers, prisons, the Dunăre-Marea Neagră canal, the deportations in Bărăgan or wherever. The substantial help given to some people, no matter the money, reveals the dimension of this man s soul, his permanent cry to unity and cooperation for the interest of the whole Romanian nation, for the affirmation of the generous ideas of freedom and justice in our humble homes.
118 Fig 66: Nick Tecău serves at a bar. 117 Thank you letters and homage come from everywhere, from people of different ages and professions, of different opinions and orientations in the frame of exile and emigration, from Austria, Germany, Spain, Canada and even from the country. It is understood, some of the people may have been closer to him, but his heart remained big, open to all Romanians, of all shades. Indifference to the way they think is the right solution to the revival of our nation s hopes. He originated from a region in which Romanians were treated unfairly, nationally speaking. This maybe made him closer to a certain category of people with a stronger national feeling. Even when he was young, he preached the generous ideas of Democracy, American Democracy. He was a member and a leader of the first American Romanians Democratic Convention Club, since the beginnings of his life in America.
119 118 Fig. 67: The magician Nicolae Tecău, member at the International I.B.M, with Ms. Judz Ramon, The cherishment that Nicolae Tecău gave to the principle of American Democracy, the Chart of his adoptive country, is revealed, among others, in the article Choosing the League s president, published by the American newspaper on August the 21st, 1980, from which we quote: The convention from 60 years ago in Sharon, Pennsylvania remained a memory for me, which makes me constantly compare conventions back then to conventions today. The improvements that took place are due to the fact that we re in a good financial state after so many years of work. Today we drive the most luxurious automobiles, we are dressed in nice clothes, and we shave and change our shirt every morning, even twice a day. When you look at our delegates, you can t tell the difference between their clothing and the Governor s. All of these things are due to the American Democracy principles, which gave us everything in a large amount. This is why I address myself to the delegates in the 48th Convention of the Union and League, insisting that in their work and laws that will be voted, they should take the American Democratic principles and the national Romanian ideal in consideration, because every society that composes the Union and League today was built on these principles. As we break these principles, we cannot be called good Romanians or Americans. Only by taking the principles of American Democracy into account, will we be able to work in full harmony and fraternity, thus making the wish of our members come true.
121 The letter of a refugee arrived in America in Some of the refugees who had the luck to come to America and settle in the Romanian centers joined the Parochial and the Romanian Organizations. Others, becoming in time members of communities, they must be welcomed amongst us, encouraged, and helped. They, just like us, are our brothers, and we have the duty to make them feel good amongst us. We, the old Romanian-Americans, let us be happy when we see a refugee settled at his home, with his job that praises all Romanians. Many of the refugees got married here, and are now happy in the middle of their families. We, the old ones, we have joy ourselves and we are glad that the refugees have bolstered the community and they assure it for everybody else in this Free Country, America, our adoptive mother, so generous and welcoming. I will give an example of a refugee who did not forget the bitter life he lived in the camps where, even now, there are brothers waiting to hear from us, waiting for a helping hand, a gleam of hope to a life, a less bitter in which every living being has the right to. Dear Mr. Tecău, Here is my donation for the Refugee Committee. You have done a very good thing, helping the needy in those camps. I know what it s like, I was once in their place as well, but God helped me come to this blessed country. With respect, Philip Parmac I think you know me, because I ve been in your house once, and came at Vatra (a gathering) in I m a navigator. I believe that this letter is self-explanatory and could make us understand how the refugees felt in America, with their brothers.
122 Fig.67: Nicolae and Anuţa Tecău in California. 121 From the stories written above, and from many others we will learn that Moş Tecău has taught us the love for our own, learned from the ancestors, through the Sebeş lands. From the beginning of our century; the flame of this love, which can be compared to the love of a mother, has its kind flicker, always warm. Without the need of wind, to whose effect we sometimes hang on to, more or less, we are mostly blinded, destroying its integrity with passing ideas. Moş Tecău is not a product of the innovation of time, but the innovation of the New World. In one word, he is not the prototype of a new man, as some called him, or as some wanted him, but
123 Fig.68: Nicolae Tecău in California 122 Fig.69: The Tecău family in 1960 (5 sons and 11 nephews) he is a MAN, an old MAN, with all his virtues which ennoble him, being in line with the evolution of change, of becoming a man, and not through revolution, but devolution (as it proves in the end). Loving his country as he loved his mother, Nicolae Tecău gave his heart to America, as he would to a woman. America is the Greatest Place to live in Keep it that way, are the words written with capital letters, on the walls at his place. For Moş Tecău, this love was not a characteristic of his generous soul; it was not a sign of weakness, but a perfect example of power for all who lived on these lands. There will be some who will question his love, but they are wrong, because his love was never too much. He tried to share the hope of his longing to the youth of America.
125 124 Fig.70: Nick and Anuţa Tecău with part of the workers in Little Casino 1960 THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX EPISCOPATE OF AMERICA His grace Valerian D. Trifa bishop Offices at: 2522 Grey Tower road Michigan RFD No.7 Jackson Michigan Phone: 4286 Lake House 5 Dec, 1960 Mr. Nicolae Tecău 2307 Market Street Youngstown, Ohio Dear Mr. Tecău, As in every year, the Episcopate distributes Christmas gifts, for the needy, especially to the refugees. I ve sent gifts to those who I thought were in need. I figured you should have a part of the money raised for those people because you probably get a lot of requests this time of year, and you could use this extra cash. I give you this check of $100 which I would request you to distribute amongst the refugees. Do as you think it s best, for who needs it the most, and I would like you to mention that the help is from the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate from America. Maybe the sick ones should have the money, because they need it the most. I end this letter saying goodbye and I hope it will reach you before your birthday. God bless you and your family. Episcope Valerian.
127 Fig. 71: Nicolae Tecău at age 75 (1962). 126
129 128 Helping the needy The committee for helping the Romanians in exile, wants to thank everyone who contributed for the help and understanding given. It is hard to express with words, the pain that surrounds the ones without a country, without faith and physical strength to overcome hunger, cold and sickness. These things can be understood only through the letters sent by those who received a small help from the Romanians in America. Every letter speaks of pain, a sad story. That is why, through the holy celebration of Jesus birth, we come to welcome all, the ones who gave or will give their help in the name of the sick ones and the needy. And because their pains are many, and because we know the generosity of Romanians, we remind you that many wounds are open, many bodies lay in hospitals, many children still walk around with their naked toes and many cry for their pity. Everything you did can only make me thank you with all my heart, and it gives me the courage to beg you to remember the brothers in need.
131 130 Fig.72: The artist Zaharie Tecău from Sebeş in a scene from the ballet Seherezada ( ) Fig.73: Nick Tecău at 75 with Anuţa and a group of friends from Little Casino in There is a parallel between the love which Moş Tecău had for the Romanians everywhere, and the love he had for some so called great Romanians, which in fact were blinded by the recognition they received while helping the people in need. If Moş Tecău had statues of himself everywhere in Europe, how many good things would have happened? Just like a Santa, Moş Tecău helped the orphans, the wounded, the disabled, the sick, without ever knowing them in person, he helped the shy such as Traian Trandafir, but he also helped the ardent ones, for whom life is action, just like the boys in Bern, he helped churches, institutions
133 132 Fig.74: Traian Trandafir from Kufstein, Austria, disabled man helped by the Committee of Help for the Romanian Refugees from Youngstown ( ) Fig.75: Nicolae and Anuţa Tecău with their grandsons cultural institutions, the publications from emigration and exile, and the initiatives which seemed good for some. Moş Tecău didn t stay to choose because he said that everything has its way, and who knows how it will end? If we see his name posted on the schedule of many shows, held for free, or fund raising for the needy, always present at his place Little Casino. Nick s Little Casino was named just like a little brother of the one which already was open in Constanţa, on the shores of Pontus Euxinus (The Black Sea), but not for millionaires, for people with less money, for friends, American or Romanian. He split his largesse by offering jobs and hospitality, spoiling them with his tricks.
135 134 July 16,1961 Beloved countrymen and guests; First I would like to welcome you to the 30th Annual Convention of the Sebeş locals from America; I hope you have a good time, and when you leave for home I hope you will leave with good impressions. The Committee and the Women s Auxiliary have worked hard for this celebration, and these women deserve a big hand. I would like to thank you all and especially those who came from far away, and made sacrifices to join us here today. With this I would like to open the 30th annual convention of the Sebeş locals from America. As the rules state, I am going to ask Mr. John Moga to read the last Conventions minutes, as well as the ones written by the Committee. Then the Casar Report will be read by Ioan Strycot, and with your approval, the Controllers notes also because they are as important as the Casar Reports. Then the president will be elected by a member vote. At the recommendation of Nick Brot the ones who were here last year are requested to stay. Last year we announced the ones who couldn t take part of the Convention because of various reasons. Nick Tecău President Nick Brot secretary John Stracatu Casar
136 135 AMERICA THE COMMITTEE FOR HELP FOR THE REFUGEES The committee for help for the refugees, located at 2307 Market Street, Youngstown, Ohio, publishes the following thank you letter from a refugee. He speaks of how he received help from the Romanian-Americans through this committee. The letter is reproduced exactly as it was written without any modifications. Italy - 28th of January 1961 This letter is addressed from the Mihai family and my wife Lida. Dear Mr. President Nicolae Tecău, Beloved Mr. Nicolae Tecău and honored committee, we beg of you in the name of Jesus Christ to accept our thank-you for the help which you gave us, for the medicines. God bless you and let Him repay you for everything that you are doing for all of us. I remain with trust in God and your kind soul. I will come to the U.S also, and I will try to become a member of the committee, so that we can help others as you helped us. Please excuse us that we asked for your help. It is bad for the one who doesn t have anybody to call for help; luckily for us we have our brothers from America. God be with you and us here. Beloved Mr. Nicolae Tecău and honored committee we wish to tell you that all our sickness came from the military camps where we were held. We were sent to Oradea and Craiova, and when they sent us to Bărăgan. We escaped and we ran in Yugoslavia in September We ran from Yugoslavia to Italy in the mountains. I nearlylost my wife. She fell to the ground 2 times. Oh, what a great burden on me and my wife s soul. Running at night, not knowing where you are headed, running into the jaws of death, just to escape the communists who took everything from us. We had nothing, no table, no house, no parents, no brothers and no sisters, and definitely no Romania. God help the Romanians who still suffer from the communists. Let God punish the communists! We give you this letter from all of our heart and we wait for a response. We salute you with the warmest Romanian sentiment. You will always remain in our hearts. MIHAI and LIDA
137 136 Fig.76: The busker Nicolae Tecău at the pharmacists banquet from Youngstown Ohio This place which we see in numerous hypostases, surrounded by people, many friends, always happy and fresh. He brought them a certain peace, a small universe, lifted through his own powers. Beyond his kind soul, the business man, Tecău, knew to remain warm, spreading the love and humor which characterized him. His rhymes speak for themselves: Of Tecau s Casino Everybody talks bad things Want some food? Want some drinks? Why don t you stop at Tecaus? Want some stew from an egg, Or panada from an ox? From the factory or from the office Come and stop at Tecaus`! If you want some barbecue grills Or a dill pie Beer, wine, plumb short, Better than your country makes If your married or your not Have a dinner at Tecaus.
139 138 Fig. 77: Nicolae Tecău at Native Romania in 1964, G. Buta, Mr. and Mrs. N. Serban, N. Buta, N. Tecău, Tomi. Fig.78: Nicolae Tecău s family in 1958 in Youngstown NEWS FROM THE ROMANIAN CENTERS YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO Mr. Nick Tecău Honored Saturday, the 24th of October, the Magician s Club from Youngstown organized a banquet in the honor of our veteran, Nick Tecau, with the celebration of his 77th birthday and the 25 years of membership at this Club. The banquet took place in Pilgrim Colegeate church hall on Lincoln and Wick Avenue, just over the road the University. Mr. Bob Philips, president at Youngstown Magic Club eulogized Tecău s activity. When the cake came, everybody was singing Happy birthday. 100 people took part of this banquet the magicians from Niles, Girard, Warren, Akron, Sharon, Greenville, Pa. and Akron, O. George Lydiad insisted on taking part of the banquet. He is the winner of the second place at the International Convention of the Magicians which took place in Chicago, in Mr. Hores Marshall with his wife Mary and Mr. Ady Seguin with his wife Dorothy from Akron, Mr. Herb Niland from New Waterford and the brilliant magician, Dr. Daniel McDonald with his wife Dorothy from Greenville, Pa. The members of the Magicians Club from Youngstown organize magic shows at charity institutions, for free. We wish to say a warm Happy Birthday to Mr. Tecau and his family. Reporter Tecau
141 140 Fig. 79: Nicolae and Anuţa Tecău with their kids and nephews in Extras from America calendar 1982 Munchen, Germany Beloved Mr. Tecău, dear brother, In the desert of the Romanian refuge, 15 years of roaming through strangers, my life is fading far from our native lands, which are deserted and filled with strangers, we didn t have the occasion to honor a Romanian personality of a national format, with a golden heart such as yours, a heart that dedicated its entire life helping the needy. Honoring you, for the first time we complete the Romanian duty. Even while young, with patriotism rarely equaled, you have contributed with enormous sums for the building of a home for Romanian students. You were always in contact with the Romanian Royal House, where you were considered one of the noblest of the people sustaining the social works under the leadership of Queen Mary of Romania, who addressed her thank-yous to you. You have supported the Romanian Red Cross with important sums, as well as its social works, until our beloved country fell in the chains of slavery. You then helped, just like a good father, our refugees immigrate to America to create a healthy living, being today United States citizens, citizens of the biggest and the most powerful nation in the world, from which 18 million people wait their salvation. You helped all of your family and friends from the country, sacrificing 50 years of your and your family s time. You were amongst the first patriots to initiate and contribute with large amounts of money for the accusation of the heroes at Berna. You were elected President of the Romanian-American Committee for the tireless effort in the helping of the refugees from all over the world. You are the first Romanian-American who thought of the veterans who fought for the Union of Romania. Without forgetting to remember that you are one of the greatest Romanian- Americans, ex-president of The League, with all of your merits to all the things you have done for everyone without making a fuss. Our organization decided to celebrate you and naming you for the year MAN OF THE YEAR for the Romanian refugees and we wish to give you the distinction of HONORED MEMBER OF THE UNION OF FIGHTING ROMANIANS, distinction dedicated to the elite boy of the Romanian Nation, to whose sufferings you have dedicated your life to You name, honorable Mr. Tecău will be written with gold letters in the history of our exile, and it will be a sparkling example for all the future generations. For the President of the Fighting Romanians Union Ştefan Cerna
143 142 Fig.80: Nicolae Tecău doing tricks at Little Casino 1965 The Romanian paper, In the help of the refugees A man, when he s born, he already has the path of his life drawn for him: with all the joy and the sadness he will have to face further. We, for example the ones who came here 50 years ago, we were born in different corners of the state without having our parents helping us. We came to America, pushed away by the misery, poverty and the Austro-Hungarian persecution which Octavian Goga sung so lovely. \ But we were in some way lead by luck. Because even though the beginning was very hard we still had enough and many opportunities, not to mention freedom. This is why today we have our place here, our home, our family, our kids, nephews etc. For all of this we worked hard, our health helped us and our freedom which this country offered us, our second country. After so many years, the political surroundings gave birth to the liberation of the barbaric terror of the criminal communists from Romania. This terror of the ones without God, the terror of the communists decided for the Romanians who left their country, making them flee from their families, their life. This terror made them flee without permit, even facing death just to escape the communist hell. The whole Romanian nation would have fled if they hadn t been threatened with incarceration for only thinking of leaving. The ones who had the courage and power to run away from Stalin and Krusciov had to suffer with the biggest dignity. For some, their suffering affected their health and made them sick, that is why, today, we have many sick brothers with tuberculosis and other diseases making their life hard; running away from the communists was no easy task and they never had time for their health. Others became old, beaten by fate, not being able to find work because of their age, and beside these two categories, sick and old, there are many orphans, their parents dying over the borders. Man prefers to die in another country and misery than to return in the communist hell. This situation gave birth to a small helping institution who tries to help these brothers of ours out of misery. But for these small institutions to help them, they need help as well. In this purpose they made cards to send on Christmas and Easter. This could not help enough because anyhow not all of them understood their purpose and that s why they didn t send help. But people disappear in the earth or misery if they aren t helped by anyone, not even us, their brothers! And the hyenas of the communist hell are glad when the people who declared themselves opponents die by running in the free world. These people, as well as their small institutions ask for help to the luckier brothers, to us, their healthier brothers. Because of these letters, we gathered and we decided, after mature thinking, and many discussions, we decided to create the Romanian Charity Committee for the help of the old refugees, sick and orphan children. The committee is composed of the following people: pres. N. Tecau, vice pre. Eli Patulea, Cassier, Tom Pulca, secretary Vasile Basarabescu, J. J. Crăciun and N. Buta controllers. Members: Leo Copacia, N. Moldovan, Par. Ioan Stanila. And to give something in return, for something that people would donate as warm souls of generous Romanians, so that the donation will not be for free, The Committee decided to give a representation of a magician magician show through the centers with Romanians. We make appeal to all the Romanian Societies to offer us free balls and we ask for every Romanian with his heart and soul to come with their families at our representations. The ticket will be a donation of 1$ for adults and 50c for kids. We will be grateful to all of our Romanian brothers who will help distribute as many tickets, not only to Romanians, but to any other nationality. Let s head out with good and clean souls so help us God. The Committees headquarters is at: Nicolae Tecau 2307 Market Street, Youngstown Ohio.
145 144 Fig. 81: Dr. Sandu Constantinescu with his wife Erie (n. Tecău) and his daughter, Aniţa at Indianapolis, Indiana Fig. 82: Nicolae Tecău with his daughter Erie Constantinescu and his niece Anita (1965) THE FATHER OF THE REFUGEES: NICK TECAU I was asked, a long time ago to write something about the wonderful art of helping others, organized by Nick Tecau the trader and magician from Youngstown, Ohio. If we didn t do it until now it s not because we didn t try with both of our hands, it s because the lack of time, of the small things that don t lead to anything. But better late than never, and look that my tardiness coincides with a great celebration in the life of Nicolae Tecau : the anniversary of three quarters of a century. On the 25th of October the father of the refugees, as the ones who received his help called him, reached 75 years.. And it s in this veteran of the great Romanian battles from America, so much thrive that you can t stop admiring him: to shake his hand and not get enough of his humor, full of wisdom and always joined by his magician talents, listening to his words can only assure you that he comes from healthy and good people, from worthy people with fear for God. Having thousands of friends all over the American continent and with so many close children all over the meridians, I m sure that there are many to reveal his acts. Personally as far as I know in the past of the activity of The Union and The League, he was and is more today: a pillar. Defender of the people as he says. The same I think he deserves the same title as reader, believer, and support of the Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada. But who doesn t recognize Nick Tecau as friend and good-doer? In his restaurant in Youngstown, Ohio all his brothers coming on vacation, business and trouble enjoy the traditional accommodation from home, every summer, and every year. But more than this, ever since he settled in America he took under his protecting wing, full of kindness and wisdom with all of his initiatives, and efforts to give fairness and freedom to the Romanian people. After the First World War he helped the Romanian students, from bricks to parquet, which from , Tecau still gave, proving that only who gives has and that truly God returned his well doing, if not in money, then in joy and health, in creating a great family. Five children with 11 nephews but only two girls. So, as he brags, between the tricks from the restaurant and the wonderful stories from his place, there are more Tecaus in Youngstown than in Sebeş. Wonderful Family! But the crown on his head is his recent work, helping the refugees from all over. Contrary from those who don t even want to see the refugees, Tecau welcomed them with loving hands of a father. That is why he is repaid with is name: Father Tecau (Taica Tecau). The letters that came from the sad and sick refugees from all over the world admit the great good he does. Father Nicolae sends money and when he doesn t have money he starts doing magic acts to make some and somewhere a sad Romanian heart, exiled and eaten by hunger and cold on who knows what Guadelupe island receives his gift, the Romanian brotherhood. And he can cry and pray. This is the Father of the Romanian refugees from Germany. He was declared the man of the year, the man who deserves the greatest repayment for his exile. Let this recognition bring father Tecau, and the anniversary banquet, amongst the guests and food and the holiest of joys. We who could not lift the glass at the table, we honor the 3 parts of a century and we tell him to go for a hundred, with the same health and the same attitude. Happy birthday! VASILE POSTEUCA A SELF SPOKEN GESTURE On the 25th of October, our veteran, Mr. Nick Tecau from Youngstown, Ohio, known not only in the United States but all over for his patriotic, charity art which he put together all of his life. Tecau is now 78, and with this occasion, The little Casino from Youngstown Ohio, offered a rich table to all friends who had the possibility to come here in Youngstown to congratulate this pillar of the Romanian life, with the occasion of his birthday. Many friends and other people from all over wanted to take part of this celebration, sending cards to congratulate him. The tradition in this country, just like in many other countries from the world is that on a birthday the one who is celebrated is to receive gifts. Mr. Tecau, on his birthday opened his heart, as he did all of his life and instead of receiving gifts he gave them out. So the veteran from Youngstown gave the following presents: $100 to the Solia paper for the new house of publicity; $50 to the cultural capital of the Union and the League; $50 to the Refugee capital and $50 to the America paper. We thank you from our heart to Mr. Tecau for the donations to The Union, The League and the America paper. We are certain that we are not wrong telling him the same gratitude to the other Romanian institutions. Let God hold you many years to come with health!
147 146 Fig. 83: The students, engineers from India, from the University of Youngstown, invited at a friendly table at Little Casino THE AMERICA CALENDAR 1965 NICOLAE TECAU, member of The Union and Ploughman from Youngstown Ohio is one of the well known and active veterans of The Union and the League. One of the most splendid and philanthropic realizations are related to his name. Known in every part of the globe where the Romanians are settled because of tiredness help. Nicolae Tecau, who is 71, inspires love courage and Romanian pride. Born on 25th of October 1887 in Sebes, jud. Alba, Nicolae Tecau emigrated in America in In 1906 he was one of the founders of the Ardeal society from Ilasco, Mo. In 1907 he came back to his country where he went in the army for 3 years. He came back to America in 1912 when he settled in Youngstown, Ohio where for 26 years he is know as a well respected merchant. Nicolae Tecau is a member of the Union and Ploughman society and of The Holy Three Parish for 46 years. He served innumerous times as president and functionary at the society and the parochial, and in 1916 he was general president of The League. Between the two world wars he sent help to the brothers in need from Romania. Because of this he received a letter of thank you from Queen Mary, a letter which he takes good care of. After the Second World War Nicolae Tecau sent packets with food and clothes, money to the refugees from Europe and South America. The veteran from The Union and The League is the owner of the restaurant and bar Little Casino from Youngstown, Ohio, situated on 2307 Market Street where Romanians are welcomed with love. He studied the art of magic which he presented it in numerous social and charity shows, as well as to the American soldiers in the war, when he was quoted by the Department of War: He is a member in Youngstown at the Magic Club and at the International Brotherhood of the Magicians of the world. Mr. and Mrs. Nicolae and Anuta Tecau have 5 children and 10 grandsons.
149 Fig. 84: Nicolae Tecău, 80 years old. 148 Fig. 85: Nicolae Tecău with a group of friends at Little Casino. LA LD The paper of spiritual construction Published by the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America YEAR XXX No. 24 I ANSWER TO THE CALL Why does one contribute to charity work? A significant letter. To the call made for the great printing project started by the Congress, come answers from all over America. Some return the envelope with the donation and don t say anything. Others show that they give their best. There are those who explain their reasons for contributing with something. Among these letters we find one coming from Mr. Nicolae Tecau from Youngstown, Ohio. Here s what he writes: I celebrated my birthday on October the 25th, turning 78. God helped me reach this age with health. I can add that God gave me luck in life, and looking back over life s years, I confess that I m happy (I read in a book that the happiest man on earth was one who didn t have any shirts. I am different because I have more shirts, but happiness doesn t come from their number). Reading the call for help of the Episcopate and the SOLIA it came to me that nothing brings more happiness than helping and doing good deeds. In the year 1904 we were learning a job on Joseni street, in my native town, Sebeş, from Alba district. Coming out from work one day, I found a couple of girls crying their eyes out on the street. Everybody gathered around them and so I found out that the reason of their trouble was that the girls were sent to buy gas for the lamp and walking to the shop they lost the dime and now they didn t have the courage to go back. I, even though I was the poorest kid, put my hand in my pocket and gave them money to buy gas. It was the only money I had. A few months after that happened I finished my studies and turning 17 I went to America. Faith brought me to a cement factory in Missouri State. Like every Romanian, I went to a Romanian board, where there were other 35 workers. Being new, everyone was interested in where I came from and how I got there. To my surprise, one of them asked me if I was Laic of Tecau on Joseni Street. I said yes. Hey, he said, if you re him, then come with me and I ll buy you a set of clothes and help you with what I can because you helped my girls when they lost the dime and couldn t buy gas. My wife from Sebes wrote to me about this incident. And so, the dime given in Sebeş came back multiplied in America. Thinking of that dime and as thanks to God for all he s given me, I am sending $ to the building fund of SOLIA. Nicolae Tecau Mr. Nicolae Tecau, we know that besides the gift sent to the SOLIA, he also gave $50.00 to the Union and League and another $50.00 he shared with the refugees fund. Mr. Tecau, actually with memories from Sebeş, or without them he is always active at charity works and programs of Romanian life in America. There is no offertory made by the Orthodox Romanian Episcopate of America that Mr. Tecau didn t answer with a donation to. Few Romanians have been to the house or restaurant of Mr. Tecau without being wined and dined. When exiled Romanians wrote to him about their troubles and money problems, Mr. Tecau opened his heart and bag, personally helping and even organizing a permanent committee for helping the refugees. If he looks back and he is proud of his life, let him be assured that so are we. Romanians of America are proud to have him around and we wish him many anniversaries filled with health, joy and laughter. Besides Mr. Tecau s contribution the following donations have been received for the project voted by the Congress:
150 149 Among the pages received from Moş Tecău, we find out, 2 events from his life that, like so many others, reflect again his character, care for earthly order but also for the ones that passed away: In 1959 I and my wife were on a trip in California, to visit the family of our son, Remus with his three kids. Because, for a longer while, me and Anuţa, wanted to see Brother Avram s grave, we stopped by Ilasco, Missouri too. But here everything was changed. I didn t recognize anything from my youth anymore. I was lucky to have found a building, where, in a room
151 150 Fig : Nick Tecău at Little Casino Life starts at 80 Fig. 88: Moş Tecău s nephew Constantine Nan in the army full of smoke I found 10 farmers. I talk to the barman and I ask where Ilasco is because I worked there for 3 years but now I do not recognize anything: I do not see the cement factory, the rock mountain, the boats, and not even the Jew s store where the postal service was. He told me that the factory moved and the stone mountain was gone and that there are no boats. I went with my cart to see and it was all deserted, not even one foot of a chicken. I found the cemetery really hard.
153 Fig.89: Nicolae Tecău in Fig.90: Tecău s monument at the cemetery; under the name of TECĂU there were encrypted the following: I was just like you walking on this earth; you will be like me, just ash and dust. A farmer nearby came to us and told us that the cemetery is nobody s and that nobody cares for it. The cemetery was closed with bob wire but at the entrance there was a metal helmet on a metal pillar which held the fence. On the helmet was written: no one pays anymore. I came and cut the grass and take care of the cemetery, there are a few which visit the cemetery and put some money in the helmet. I went inside and there were only 2 crosses on the floor. I told my wife that as far as I know this is one of the places where one cross should lay. On one of them you could read the inscription. The other cross was covered with dirt and it was illegible. We went in the Hannibal town, which was not far and bought a funeral stone so that the grass could be cut above it. I asked that on the stone to be written the name, Avram Tecău, the date of birth, the place, Sebeş, the date and the place where he lived. I told the man that we were going to California and that until our arrival he can finish the job. When we came back
155 154 Fig, 91: Moş Tecău and his niece Aniţa in Chicago Fig. 92: Moş Tecău the magician surrounded by children. from California we went straight to the cemetery. The funeral stone was encrypted correctly and laid on the grave. We stayed at the cemetery looking at the graves. We were overwhelmed by memories of the years when we were young, the years we spent together with the locals from Sebeş and brothers. It is like it was another world. Everything seemed dead, sad! I tell my wife to come and look at the other cross. We put our strength together and lifted it up a bit, and we could read 2 words Tecău and Sebeş. We couldn t change anything. With my mind full of thought and sad, I left the cemetery telling myself that all in this world will pass on. I do not think that my roads will lead me back to Ilasco, and I don t know when I will see the cemetery again, and Avram s grave with the new stone. Moş Tecău had cared for the well being of those who died, not only for the close but as we see in Fig. 90, for himself as well.
157 Fig, 93: Nick Tecău at age Carrying the richness of the years that brought him satisfaction but plenty of challenges too, his memories still lingered on one name or another from time to time, cherishing or judging him by his deeds, as he met them and stood closely by them. For example, among others he wrote about the poet, Nicolae Novac: Maybe you know the poet Nicolae Novac who wrote so many poems as well as articles in the America newspaper. He still writes to us in the Romanian Word newspaper, from Canada, a good friend of mine. I wrote to him! But how many names and deeds doesn t Moş Tecău remember?! He explains how the American Romanian Committee for Orphans and Refugees was made.
159 Fig. 94: Moş Tecău with Fata Erica in Chicago 158 Fig. 95: Moş Tecău with the family of Remus Tecău in Chicago
161 160 Fig. 96: Nick Tecău jr., along with the members of the Sf. Treime parish (1971) The refugees from Romania came from Romania through Italy, tells us Moş Tecău. That is where the America newspaper went to, from Cleveland, where I had the commercial of my restaurant. Finding my address, the refugees wrote to me, asking me for help. I couldn t refuse helping a Romanian. So after, alone, I sent for help to a few people, I gathered one day, a group of important Romanians and I told them all the trouble. The office men of a Committee for helping refugees were chosen, but no one wanted to receive the title of president, telling us they were too busy.
162 Holy Trinity Parish Council Marie Morar, Elie Roman, V. Pres, Fr. Lazar, John Farcas, Pres. George Pinta, Epitrop, John V. Popa Treasurer, Nick Tecau, Jr. Second Row: John Besoiu, Emil Timar, Cantor, John Limbian, Peter Morar, Walter Lazar, George Biris. Third Row: Serafin S. Buta, Walter Jorza, John W. Lazar, Constantin Nan, delegate, Charles Chetian, delegate, Fourth Row: John Curea, Stephen Shonn, Lawrence Tully, Nick Gibb III, John Campean 161
163 162 Fig. 97: Part of Nicolae Tecău s family at Vatra Românească (Native Romania) in 1975 To the family of N. Tecău October 13, 1977 Page 2 There are plenty among us who are wealthier than Nicolae Tecău and who probably have more intellectual or organizational possibilities but they stand aside. However, the life of the Romanian group from America creates its own destiny with those who are present for good or for worse. Nicolae Tecău is the example of that presence that is expanding for over 70 years without stopping. Not less impressive is the fact that this presence of Mr. Tecău is Universally Romanian. In his large kindness he was able to hold everything that is Romanian, with no distinction between age, social status, fraternal membership or confession. Like every man, he has friends and enemies. But for him, every Romanian is a Romanian and everything Romanian is good. When after the Second World War, hundreds of refugees joined our communities, every one of them who happened to pass through Youngstown, found the house, the heart and the restaurant of Little Casino with its open door. It s typical for people in desperate search of a job, to begin their life in America by washing dishes in Tecău s restaurant. After the long hard working hours, Nicolae Tecău invited them home for dinner and a glass of Romanian plum brandy. Filled with Romanian spirit and a very knowledgeable witness of the Romanian s life in America, Nicolae Tecău came with a check, nicely wrapped, with a thousand dollars for the Center of Documentation and Research. More than the check was his encouraging words and his strong conviction that that type of institution was long due. For those mentioned above and for many others, known and unknown, I make myself more than a pleasant duty of joining my family and friends to thank God for giving us Nicolae Tecău, and for wishing him another many happy years.
165 164 Fig. 98: Moş Tecău s family with the occasion of their 90 years anniversary, Oct. 23, 1977, Youngstown, Ohio. Fig 99: Moş Tecău at 90 years. The anniversary ball on Oct. 23, 1977 in Youngstown: The priest Constanntin Tofan with his wife, Moş Tecău and the priest Ioan Marmureanu. Stidardul Issue 137 Nicolae Tecau, standard bearer for the Romanian cause in America What Romanian from the United States and Canada hasn t heard of Nick Tecau from Youngstown, member of honor of the Union and Ploughman society, the animator and supporter of so many Romanian initiatives that grew its successors, grandsons and great-grandsons, in the tradition of the nation that stood faithful all his life? Nick Tecau was born in 1887 and when he left from Sebeş Alba to America, with two more of his eight brothers he wasn t even 17 years old. Faced with the realities of the new world, even though a cooper, Nick Tecau was forced to work for a quarry near the Ilasco cement factory paid for 14 cents an hour. The work day was ten hours so he earned 1 dollar and 40 cents a day. Even at that time, that wasn t much. The workers from the quarry were lodged, 18 in one barrack, but the food they had was good and cheap, 7 dollars a month so Nick Tecau could save some money. Because he did not get the American citizenship in 1908, they took him in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Nick Tecau serving the pioneer regiment from Alba-Iulia till 1911, when he became Korporal, corresponding to the sergeant degree. In 1912 he left America again, stopping this time in Ohio, where he lived till the day he died. For eight years, Nick Tecau worked hard, at the steel oven in the metallurgic factories from this place. He saved money after money, so he could open, in his own building, a restaurant that he led with success for 40 years, he himself taking care of the artistic program. When his wife died in 1968, Nick Tecau sold the restaurant along with the building and retired into another house, still a property near the city park. He lived there with one of the girls, Anuţa, married to Constantin Nan, an office man in the Ohio Administration. Nick Tecau had 5 children, 11 grandsons and 5 great-grandsons. Following the example of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, all of these succeeded in making a name out of the career they chose: a grandson is a doctor in medicine at Harlsburg, the capital of Pennsylvania State, granddaughter Sandra, married to George Carulea is a teacher at the Youngstown Conservatory, his older son holds a big responsibility in a chemical factory from Youngstown, one of the girls, Erie Constant, who was married to Doctor Sandu Constantinescu deceased in 1967, is a director in the work department of the Indiana State. The oldest son of Nick Tecau is the president of an automated cars industry from California, grandson Phillip is a teacher in San Francisco, another grandson, Nick is a commerce agent in Youngstown, granddaughter Linda Tecau has recently attained the license title of a University, and her brother, Traian Tecau got first prize for his art (painting) in Ohio. On the occasion of reaching 90 years old, relatives, friends and representatives of the Romanian American societies came to Youngstown, along with the President of the Union and League who handed him an honor plaque. At the festive ball, this Romanian presence in the United States veteran s merits were clearly shown, he was brought words of praise for his generosity and constancy. We will say a few things more than have been said so far. Nicolae Tecau always went along with the nationalist movement from the country, starting March of 1923, when the National Christian Defense League was born in Iaşi. He subscribed to National Defense, to Liberty from Oraştie, to Romanian brotherhood from Cluj and to The ancestral land. He sent letters of adhesion, he supported many actions with his money and subscribed to a bank for the promotion of the Romanian element in business. This is maybe the biggest merit of the cooper from Sebeş who, starting at the bottom, through work and tenacity became an exemplary personality for the Romanian people in the United States. Although once he retired from business, as he talked about himself, the many years he left behind didn t bend him but, straight as a candle and with his chin up, Nick Tecau moved forward, which can be told from the following lines he sent to us on January the 19th 1978: For three weeks I couldn t pull the chariot out, because of the big snow and the incredibly cold weather, so I couldn t go to the bank, nor to the post office When people reach a certain age, most spend their free time feeding the sparrows, taking walks before lunch to have the afternoon free or they talk about a national representative issue. Nick Tecau, at the age of well over 90, shovels and tries hard to pull out his car from the snowed garage This is what he s made of. IV.E.
167 166 Fig. 100: Nicolae Tecău honored, at Union and Ploughman, with the occasion of the dinner offered at his 90th anniversary So, they all said, with a loud voice: Mr. Tecău should be the president because He brought the case in discussion. I was forced to take the president function although, I was pretty busy too and, even though, there were three priests in the group, two lawyers, as well as other schooled Romanians, and I only had four classes, and even those were done at the Hungarian School.
169 168 Fig. 101: Nick and Traian Tecău in the middle of the Little Casino personnel. Listening to his evocation, the sincerity with which he reconstructed his life events, we remember Aron Cotruş s lyrics, so appropriate for Moş Tecău: I m getting up with all of my desire I wasn t born to count stars, I was born to give, to give myself.
171 170 Fig. 102 Moş Tecău with his grandson Traian and his granddaughter Sandra. In 1969, taking a trip into the Hot Springs Desert, he was invited to help local artists in a program, one night, at a nearby hotel. This was a result of him using his tricks around town. The show was successful and as a reward, President Francis Carroll, along with two more artists invited him to a table in the restaurant. The city we were in, wrote Moş Tecău, was located 70 miles from Los Angeles, under the Bald Mountain. There are a lot of tourists there going to the hot spring baths. I confessed to the guests that I enjoyed the little city very much and that I would like there to be a street with a Romanian name here too. The president was pleased about doing me a favor. We decided to go to the town hall together. The next morning we showed up to the mayor, I explained to him what I want to do and I told him I ll offer an amount of money to the mayor. He agreed with my idea telling me that, because streets have their own sense, my plan will be put in practice in the future, when another three streets will be built. We came to an agreement that the name should be called Bucureşti. Besides the artists president, we called a young Romanian from Pennsylvania to the town hall. She was married to an engineer and they were living in the Hot Springs Californian Desert. (continued on page 176)
172 171 PARISH PRIEST: Mr. Nicolaie Tecău Sr. has the honor Rev. Fr. John Marenureanu to have this Bulletin dedicated to him TELEPHONES: being 90 years old and living for 72 years Social Hall in America ($25.00) Residence Vol. II # HOLY TRINITY BULLETIN JANUARY 2nd 626 Nick Avenue the 71st year of our Parish YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO THE SUNDAY BEFORE TEOPHANY EPISTLE: Timothy 4:5-8 In the first day: After our Fri. (Dec. 31): Great Lord and Savior s circumcision Vespers: 6:30 PM. Readers: Our father Vasile the Great Sat.Natins: 9:30 AM Jeff Limbian (Engl.) the archbischop of H.Lit : 10:00 AM S. Hundorbean (Rom.) Chesareea and Capadocia. Re.St. Gasil the Great) A HAPPY AND A Su.Re: Sts.Sylvester Gospel: BLESSED NEW YEAR &Serghie. Mark 1:1-8 TO ALL Natins: 9:30 AM Come to Church and start Holy Lit. 10:00 AM. Tone 4 a new year of your Adult Education (Rom) life with a prayer! St. Vasile the Great. Sfetlina 7 ONE LIFETIME WITH GOD, TOWARDS OTHER LANDS Poem Mr. Nicolae Tecău turns 90 this year, (By N. Tecău.) and 72 years in America. Still active 1 and in good spirits he drives the car Every time I looked at the horizon, and comes to the Holy Church. He is I felt a longing; an example of vitality and a God sent To travel land and see, miracle. We wish you MANY HAPPY To be a faraway traveler. YEARS TO COME and to live and guide 2 us on God s way. In a recent letter of I saw in the faraway horizon, Mr. Nicolae Tecău he writes to us: I was 14 years A forever clear sky; old and I wanted to go to America, but I couldn t. A new cleaner world, Still, I made it when I was 17. I came without a A life without sorrow. passport and here I am at the age of 90. I had 3 hardships too. I worked for 14 cents an hour Childhood went by quickly, and I escaped many dangers. My older brother Like the deceiving dream; died in an explosion at Ilasco Missouri, Joy left too, in the stone mountains. I came in 1904, Like the bird in flight. and very few of them still live to this day, 4 from then on I gained the faith in God In this worried world, I have today. But faith without good deeds I ve looked for the sacred land; is dead...what beautiful words. Mr. Nicolae That I once dreamt about, Tecău has worked hard, and lived well with BUT IT S NOT ON EARTH. a happy family because he was always with God. OFFICIAL NOTICE: Fri. January 7th: Parish Council Meeting. (7:30 PM) Su. January 16, 1977: Parish General Meeting. After H. Lit. READ INSIDE THE ANNUAL REPORTS ETC
173 172 Fig. 103: Nicolae Tecău with the honor plaque offered by Union and League in 1977 at his 90th anniversary. (At the left, attorney John Coman, ex general president of the Union and League, and at the right George Biriş, ex president of the Union and Ploughman society from Youngstown and ex member of the Executive Committee of the Union and League). America Romanian News Official Organ of the Union & League of Romanian Societies of America. OHIO, SEPTEMBER 29, 1977 VOL. 71, NO. 9 At the venerable age of 90 Happy Birthday, Mr. Tecău! Tuesday, October 25th 1977, the respected veteran of the Union and League, Nicolae Tecau, will be 90 years old. Two days before, on October 23, Soc. Union and Ploughman for Youngstown, Ohio, one of our leading societies, from the skilled presidency of Mr. George Biriş, will honor this member who brought only honor and glory to it and has sacrificed for it and for all the good Romanian causes from everywhere, all of his life. Since the name of this distinguished son of a Romanian reminds us of many of the splendid national and philanthropic achievements, we are only doing our Romanian duty of marking this celebration date in the columns of our newspaper, for which Nicolae Tecau has sacrificed a lot, even from the appearance of his first number, on September 1, Born in the leading village Sebeş, from the Alba district, Nicolae Tecau emigrated to the United States in the year We find him from the beginning as head of our fraternal Societies organizers, because he realized that only organized, will the Romanians from America help each other and everyone will be of use to the brothers at home. So, in the year 1906 Nicolae Tecaau was the founder of our Ardeleana society from Ilasco, Mo. In the year 1907, capable of doing military service, he went to the Country, where he served in the army for three years, and in the year 1912 he came back to America settling in the town of Youngstown, Ohio. In 1916 he is elected General President of the League, and then reelected in numerous occasions as a public worker of the Union and Ploughman Soc.
175 Fig. 104: Nicolae Tecău, 90 years old 174
176 175 In the year 1976, at the age of 90, Mr. Tecau was honored by the Union and League with a recognition plaque, with the occasion of the ball offered in his honor by the Union and Ploughman Society. Two years later, at the age of 92, Mr. Tecau was honored with the Golden Medal by the R.A.N.C. (Romanian-American National Congress, Inc.) with the headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. These are clear examples of Romanian virtue and the deeds of Mr. and Ms. Nicolae and Anuta Tecau will remain written in big and shiny letter in the history of Romanian everywhere. The AMERICA Calendar 1982 (p.159)
177 Fig Nick Tecău s Restaurant, Little Casino 176 Fig. 106: The festive ball offered by the Union and Ploughman in the honor of Nicolae Tecău The mayor didn t have a secretary and our Romanian typed the contract. It was her who said, it s good, if we state how much it will take to build the street, in the contract. The mayor set the limit to three years. I agreed and said when the street will be called Bucureşti, I should be notified and I would pay the sum written in the contract. Many years have gone by but the mayor didn t notify me, so I didn t send the money either. In that part it never rains, there is no water, only fountains at people s houses. There are wild hens, Rod Rones, which feed with lizards, live next to the road, without water. In the city some people give them water in a bowl, next to their houses.
179 Fig. 107: Nicolae Tecău, 92 years old 178 Mary Bogolia In the honor of N. Tecau, the veteran Sunday, June 24th, a group of Romanians from the Midwest region honored the life of a Romanian Veteran from the USA at the Sf Maria Church Cultural Center in Chicago, Ill. Mr. Nicolae Tecau from Youngstown is now 92 years old. He is the former president of the League before its fusion with The Union, from which The Union and League was born. The speakers have highlighted Tecau s personality, his love for his Family and Country, his donation activity with funds from many native institutions and also his work and sacrifices that he made with his wife, to help every Romanian cause. He was given a golden medal to the enthusiastic applauses of the whole audience. Very touched, Mr. Tecau, who came from the Youngstown city with 11 members of his family said, while receiving the medal: I never believed that I would live to be so appreciated. In my entire life my philosophy was that it s better to give than to receive. What more could I say on this occasion than: Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We Tecău said, the ones who came here 50 years ago, were born in every corner of the village, our parents did not know about America or the rest of the world. We came to America, driven by misery, poverty and Austro-Hungarian persecutions that were sung so well by Octavian Goga. But we were led by luck, in a way. Because, even though at the beginning it was very hard, we still had plenty of opportunities and freedom to take care of ourselves in the best way we could, so today we each have our life assured, our house, our children, grandchildren etc. For all this, we worked with all of our strength, but we could work thanks to our physical and moral health and, thanks to our freedom that gave us this democratic country, a second country to us.
181 180 America Romanian News Official Organ of The Union and League of Romanian Societies of America Cleveland, Ohio, October 15, 1981 VOL. 75, NO. 20 At the venerable age of 94 Happy Birthday, Mr. Tecău! The name of Nicolae Tecau is recognized everywhere in the world where Romanians live because this son of our Romanian Transylvania has opened his soul and gave money his whole life to help the brothers in need, brothers from America or from the Country or from anywhere else in the World. And Moş Tecau was never interested in politics. For this pillar of our organization every Romanian brother is equal. Equal if they do not harm the national interests of the Romanian people. On The Romanians Day on the 9th of August, which was held in Youngstown, Ohio and then a few weeks later, on September the 20th, when another veteran of the Union and League, Mr. George Pintea, was celebrated with the occasion of turning 90, Nick Tecau, as he is known by the Romanians in America, was present, giving greetings to everybody and especially entertaining the ones around him with a trick. On the 25th of October, our respected member will be 94 years old. And because the name of this distinguished son of Romanians is related to many of the most splendid national and philanthropic achievements, we are doing our Romanian duty to mark the date.
182 181 15th of October, 1981 AMERICA Happy New Year, Mr. Tecău! United in the year We find him from the very beginning, as the head of our fraternal societies organizers, because he realized that only by being organized will the Romanians in America be able to help each other and everyone will be of use to the brothers at home. So, in the year 1906 Nicolae Tecău was the founder of our society Ardeleana from Illasco, Mo. In the year 1907, being fit for army, he comes back to the Country, where he served for three years, and then in the year 1912 he comes back in America, settling in Youngstown, Ohio. In the year 1916 he is elected General President of The League, then he is elected many times as the Union and Ploughman Society and the Sf. Treime Orthodox Romanian Parish functionary from Youngstown. Between the 2 World Wars, Nicoale Tecau sent many things to the brothers in the Country, an acknowledged fact by Queen Maria. Here is, for example the letter addressed by the Queen to Mr. Nicolae Tecau in the year 1919: 5th of August, 1919 The Queen s House To his highness, Mr. Nicolae Tecău, East Youngstown, Ohio Mr. President of the Frajia Society, Her Majesty, the Queen, found out with great joy about the Romanian s behavior in East Youngstown, Ohio, and, deeply moved by everything you did as soldiers and citizens, and what you did for the people in suffering, she has authorized me to send You her live gratitude, which we ask You to send forth especially to the factory workers, which have gathered, from their only but sacred pockets, the sum of lei, for the charity works of our Sovereign. Rest assured that her Majesty, the Queen will receive this sum, with the same good heart and recognition, with which it was given by Her faithful sons of America. Please receive, Mr. President, all of my distinguished esteem. Private Secretary of Her Highness, the Queen, G. Denzie Another letter from the Country worthy of reproducing is that of the Orthodox National Society of Women from Romania, that says: The National Orthodox Society of Romanian Women Sebeş Filial To Mr. and Ms. Tecău The Committee of our Society, in the meeting held on the 14th of September, deeply appreciates all the sacrifices You made for easing the pains of many misfortunate people and for the rise and formation of future generations of the country, has chosen You as the member of honor of our Society and so, we have you in the Golden Book of the Society. Live long and be glad, many years of happiness to your family and may your soul be content for making these sacrifices on the altar of noblesse. THE COMMITTEE, Mr. Maria Berghezan, President Pr. P. Chirca, Secretary Sebeş, on the 14th of September, 1927 For the Romanian generation in Universities, Nicolae Tecau always had an immense love: This enlightened youth, departed from our villages, is the future of the Romanian people. We must take care of them and give them all of our help., this is what this son of peasants from Sebes once said. The youth in our Country, as well as the youth from America, found in Nicolae Tecau a big brother in assistance. In the illustrated Calendar of the Interesting Newspaper in the year 1927, printed in the Libertatea press shop from Oraştie, on page 41 appears the photo showing the Tecaus, followed by an article titled The leading humanitarians of the Cultural Home from Iaşi. The article ends with the following paragraph: Here are the worthy: Nicolae Tecau and his wife, both from Saxon Sebeş, they gave from their Lei to the Hall, and with the money they gathered from a wedding in Hubbard city, Ohio, they sent Lei in the summer of Then, they gathered another Lei with the New Year Carol of 1926, and from an American s concert, Aibert Reador, They sent Lei to the Hall, all in all! Mr. Tecau is a great giver for good things and supporter of good papers. Let he be mentioned in great praise. After the Second World War, Nicolae Tecau constantly sent packages of food and sums of money to the Romanian refugees in Europe and South America. He was also the initiator of many fund raising campaigns destined to the refugees. Our veteran, who will be 94 years old on the 25th of October, a venerable age, and who was for many years the owner of the elegant Little Casino in Youngstown, is recognized as being a talented magician, performing tricks, even today, for the social and charity organizations, as well as to entertain American soldiers, being honored by the American State Department for the contribution he brought during the WWII. Nicolae Tecau is a member of the Youngstown Magic Club and the International Brotherhood of Magicians of the World. Four years ago, when he turned 90 years old, Mr. Tecau was honored, at the Union and Ploughman Society ball, with a plaque of the Union and League. Two years later, at the age of 92, a group of Romanians from Middle West, honored him with a golden medal. We are honored of having the privilege to record a few of the things that happened in Nicolae Tecau s life, here in this newspaper. His life, as well as the regretted Anuta Tecau s, are living examples of Romanian virtue, and their deeds will remain printed in big and shiny letters in the history of Romanians everywhere. May you have a long life, Mr. Tecau!!!
183 182 Fig. 108: Nicolae Tecău on the telephone in the presence of George Pintea. Fig. 109: Moş Tecău at the writing machine in Moş Tecău s words, from the front rows, as well as the ones from Romanian Thoughts, published in 40, find their correspondents in the lyrics of Aron Cotruş, a Transylvanian person as well as a contemporary, in the poem Cântecul Desţărării (Song to the Country) from which we quote: Ah, my country, my country, Our soul is there where we ve always lived And where with the bears and hard weather we ve fought, And they haven t brought us down! I jump in my sleep and I sweat bad blood It s like I hear millions of voices, As they come and come from there, from faraway; Between life and death Slaves of the same blind luck bad luck from Alaska, from Mexico to the Fire Land, from Brazil, New Zealand and Australia, we miss our country and under heavy storms, that our sleep destroys, we always dream ourselves back home, from all the unseen roads of the wind and from the gray margins of the earth (continued on page 188)
185 184 The Cities and the Countries where I sent over $ doll to the Romanian Refugees. 1. Tirol, Austria 2. Munchen, West Germany 3. Venezuela 4. Rio de Janiro, Brazil 5. Madrid, Spain 6. Caseto, Italy 7. Toronto, Canada 8. Boinos Aires, Argentina 9. Caseta, Italy 10. Salermo, Italy 11. Paris, France 12. Roma, Italy 13. Olso, Belgium 14. Natoli, Italy 15. Camo Caputa, Italy 16. Munchen, Germany 17. Guadelupe, Germany 18. Baden, West Germany 19. Tesoloniki, Greece 20. Zurich, Switzerland I have over 200 letters and copies from the checks at Persona. Many Romanians fled to Italy, here they found out about the America newspaper from Cleveland Ohio where the commercial of the Nick Tecău Little Casino Restaurant was, and the letters kept coming, it was hard to see so many suffering, I sent 5 dollars to 4 people who wrote first, and I said to myself I wasn t the only Romanian in America. I gathered a Group of Wealthy Romanians and I organized this COMMITTEE. I received over 200 requests, as well as copies from checks that I sent to ROMANIAN AMERICAN HERITAGE, AT VATRA ROMANEASCA in Jackson, Michigan CENTER. My education 4 years at the Hungarian primary school. Moşu Tecău At 94 years.
186 During the 35th Convention of the Union and League, which took place in Gary, Indiana in the year 1954, under the Treicolorul Român Society, our veteran Nicolae Tecau sent us an article that we published in our September 2, 1954 issue of our newspaper. We met Mr. Tecau, aged 93, at the Romanians Day in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, which took place on Sunday, August 10th, at Copacia s lake from Salem, Ohio summer resort, the property of our veteran Leo Copacia. As usual, Mr. Tecau was doing his tricks and he was surrounded by a bunch of Romanians. We publish the article again with a few changes to bring it up to date. In the year 1914, that means exactly 66 years ago, a group of societies were ripped from The Union and not long ago the League was formed, from the ripped societies from The Union. Not long after that, another rupture took place, and the The Help was founded. There were three centrals that were competing to bring societies one from another. I stayed at The League, because the headquarters were in Youngstown, where the Society I belonged to was, The Union. That year The League s Convention took place in Sharon city, Pa. with a number of 20 delegates. Everything went in order and brotherly, but when we had to pick a leader, trouble started, because no one wanted to be president. In that time the functionaries of The League and the delegates sent to conventions were not paid by the societies like today, because everybody wanted to save money. Delegates slept where they could, most of the time on the train station benches. At meetings, they were very messed up, not from parties, but from fatigue. After a long discussion, the convention almost forced three persons to run for presidency. Unfortunately, I was one of them, getting the most votes. But after I thanked the delegates for the trust they had in me, I turned down the job, asking them to choose someone else. The other two were then asked, but they turned it down too. Now there was trouble. Disgusted, tired and hungry delegates were staring at each other and didn t know what to do. However, delegate Tecuşian stood up and after he talked about the importance of the decisions to be 185 America Romanian News Romanian Newspaper in U.S.A. and CANADA Official Organ of the Union and League of Romanian Societies of America Cleveland, Ohio, August 21, 1980 VOL. 74, NO. 16 At Sharon, Pennsylvania 66 years ago The League s presidential election taken in this convention, he made a proposition that was approved by everyone; the three candidates would have to be chosen through a ballot. We all thought we would get away from presidency, and the bad luck was on me. I tried to turn it down again, but Tecuşian insisted that I should say yes, that he will give me all the support. Knowing him as a man with experience and a veteran at the society, who respected every one s opinion, I had to listen to him and here I was the president of The League in 1914 s autumn, in Sharon, Pa., where the 48th Convention of the Union and League will be held. Many changes have been made since then. And these changes were for the better. Functionaries and delegates are paid, they don t sleep in train stations anymore, they live in luxurious motels and don t come with bacon and bread with them, and they eat steaks and other good meals in restaurants. The Convention from Sharon, Pa. 66 years ago remained a memory that always makes me compare the conventions back then with those of today. The better things are due to the fact that we are in good financial state after so many years of work. Today we drive the most luxurious automobiles, we are dressed up in minister clothing, and we shave and change our shirt every morning, even twice a day. When you look at our delegates, you can t tell the difference between their clothing and the governor s. And all this thanks to American democracy, which gave us plenty of everything. This is why I address myself to the delegates at the 48th Convention of the Union and League, insisting that they will abide by America s democratic principles and the Romanian national ideal when they vote their projects and laws, because every society that makes the Union and League today was founded on these principles. And since we stray from these principles, we cannot be called good Romanians or good Americans. Only by taking the principles of American democracy in account, will we be able to work in full harmony and fraternity, thus fulfilling the wishes of our old members and raising the prestige of the Union and League at the level we want. We will win the respect of this free and blessed country by doing this. Nicolae Tecau
187 186 The Official Organ of the Union and League Romanian American Society Year 76, NO. 20 Mr. Tecău at 95 years old On the 25th of October Mr. Nicolae Tecau Sr., member of the Union and Ploughman Soc. from Youngstown, Ohio and ex-president of the League will be 95 years old. During this major events from his life of Mr. Tecau and for the meaningful contributions that he brought to our organization, the Union and League honored Mr. Tecau when the 49th Convention Delegates Ball took place, on Monday, 6 September, We wish to underline the fact that in the ball mentioned above, there were 68 persons at Tecau s table who came to listen what I had to say and see my award, as our veteran confessed. We congratulate Mr. Tecau from our hearts with the occasion of his 95th anniversary, we thank him with all of our warmth for everything he s done for the Romanians in America and for the brother in the Country and we ask him to receive our wishes of happiness and health through the many years. Nick Tecău In October, Mr. Nicolae Tecau, from Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.A. will celebrate the beautiful age of 90 years. One of the first pioneers on America s land, Mr. Tecau with the generosity with which he is familiar, was and always is a supporter of everything Romanian. In the honor of the dinner, the local Union and Ploughman Society, will celebrate the event on the 23rd October, with an anniversary ball. We join the other Romanian-Americans and Canadians to tell him: Happy Birthday!
189 188 Fig. 110: Moş Tecău in the middle of his family and his friends at 95 years old. I have aunts, uncles and cousins They came from yesterday s Hungary, From the harsh country that was and is now Only an ugly tale In Cleveland I have had and have close relatives, Gone over the mountains and over the seas Pulled by gold s crazy phantoms From their white cuckoo villages, Where the ships cradle takes them To drink foreign water from the ache bottles There was the grain of life to be cut, To my good uncle Nicolae too How many of my hard working relatives Haven t lived and live under starred flags Of that huge and rich America, Where they built places and churches From hard stone, Harder than from the Transylvania to where they went?!... But in their solitude, oh, how much more time will they say Their quakerish prayer in Romanian?!... And after a century, how many of them will they be hurt By the longing of their country?!... Some have returned to their poverty, others were held back Steeled by bad luck and good luck, Crushing trouble after trouble under their heel In a sturdy life that doesn t let them rest, In the hot, rich and hungry way, Hungry for victory after victory, Succeeding one day Until the sun doesn t go down into the ocean
191 190 Fig. 111: The anniversary dinner at Mr. Anthony s, in 1983: John Malene, member of honor, George Biriş, president, Nick Tecău, member of honor at the Union and Ploughman, Youngstown, Ohio. There, among the sons and daughters, among the nephews and nieces, Aunt Ana, is in peace with her old age And doesn t dream now, To be a child again Their life there made deep, powerful roots And today they don t feel strangers among strangers anymore They bowed to their new land, Faithful to remain to it until over the grave; To give it workers, bookmen and soldiers Quick in arms, thought and steps, To be the first, without fear or going back, Wherever their new country calls for them Oh Thought, still larksome and crazy, Do you want me to travel all over America? To Detroit, I don t think it s a long way And today I d like to go there In that city, oh, hurried thought, A friend of mine lived and died. Let s go there, like outlaws, To find out in what cemetery he rests, An Our Father to whisper slowly So only God and he can hear it, That I haven t come from so far Not to have a look over death They still live there, chosen by luck s hand, Two Romanians like two princesses I see them smiling in the horizon of my memory You can be proud, Transylvania, by them!...
193 192 Fig. 112: Ex-presidents at the Union and Ploughman Society, still alive: Down: George Pintea, Emil Ramba, Nicolae Tecău, Walter Lazăr, Gregorie Bucila; Up: Petru Bărbulescu, Gheorghe Biriş and Cornel Bogdan. When, like a hurt eagle, to New York My tired thought I turn, My troubled heart asks me If I know good people there, To whom, like to an uncle or aunt, I can knock, without fear, on their door The worth that doesn t scream and bark Makes way through steel and rock, With undefeated steps Through the eight million people, Of the most boiling and the large City under the sun There live many good people too, That share their water and bread with you, In their big and tiny hearts Jesus lecture from the mountain Resonates, with enough power Over the full crowd
195 194 Cotruş lyrics fit Moş Tecău perfectly, the one who climbing the highest steps of life, looking back, to the young ones would want to give us something from the secret of his life, to help us learn how to smile, to be good and discover the joy and happiness of love for people, the care of those in need! He must ve had, maybe not only once, a dream where his folks were standing on the hill and were praying for him to come back home, to gear the horse to the plough, to furrow the land until the far horizon! Many of the ones who left may have gone back to their native places; Laie of Tecău was to find a new home, like so many others, in America So that his dreams would not take him down, to quench his patriotism, here he is, working, with the rest of the brothers of faith and country, to make possible the founding of a Romanian corner right at Youngstown! Firstly a pot of gold, of talent and beauty the Tecău family. Then, the Romanian organizations, the theatre team, the Youngstown orchestra, the Sunday Romanian school, the church, the organizations and help actions, the trick shows offered freely for the helpless and so many others. All of these concerns that lifted him early in time on the heights of mercy, true mercy which means to live the pain of the helpless with all your heart, not with grander or hypocrisy- offered him the magic keys to the gates of true happiness, the sense and meaning of life. Here is a Man, who in the rush of a century that resembles more of a tornado, kept his own rhythm of existence, stayed young in soul and deeds, calm and detached. Going up the ladder of the biggest gift of God, the ladder of his life so rich in years, Moş Tecău looking back - may have the conscience that his hard work was fully repaid, being one of the few people that can say that the joys of life, that even that magnificent word we call freedom, does not fall from the sky nor is it shared in bowls, but they are conquered constantly, in a day-to-day battle, that only those people who are worthy deserve them.
196 195 With the pen or at the typing machine, aged, with his live eyes and full of sincere pleasure, he worried writing to one or another because he wanted to know how and where they live. Born hastily, because Moş Tecău in the fullness of his life hadn t thought about it before, only after the passing of 97 years- he wanted this book not for himself but for the young ones. The young ones should learn something! This was his first thought with which he sent us - lapidary and straight, to a not so easy task. Walking along his footsteps, sometimes having him closer, at other times letting the ups and downs out of sight, we hope that we haven t derailed too much from the trough of his life. We believe that, at least partly, we were able to give you the essence of this gift of Moş Tecău. He disclosed to us, between the grass and the sun, with his deeds, for which people will still come, year after year, in holiday, honoring his name, because he had a green life in his youth, and white as snow in the winter of his old age!... Remembering the lyrics of Moş Tecău s poetry, with which we started the front pages of the book, and stopping at the last verse: In this troubled world I ve searched the holy escape Of which I once dreamed But it s not on earth. It is a verse that seems to conclude the essence of his patriarchal age wisdom, the turn of one s look to eternity, to the altar of The Creator of all seen and unseen. We see him in his perfection, more than any one of us, with his smile ready on his lips, dressed in groom clothing, to greet without fear the steps that come, the steps of the final bride, prepared and initiated by a priestess, to make the wedding easier. We come back to our neighbor bard, from Lancram, at the Curţile Dorului, who, as Moş Tecău, revealed us that:
197 196 To this wander there is no way to give the promised cause and for the walk to quicken, under my heel there is no ground and rock, that are suited to me. Like the star doesn t have a name above me I can t ask her To stay or to die I see the years grow and the steps longer Over all the valleys, edges, winters, summers, Over all the bells and all the silences. The plateau chases me away, the plain asks for me, still another. The only birthplace is not allowed, And how I d serve the spark, The ashes and the law, the great smoke! I stay here now faced to the country again. The turning back will be a dream, Not to step on an unspoken rule Or maybe because it is written this way. Only at night, every night Sleep comes, It arrives from faraway lands It brings me a little darkness, Like a fist of clay from the mothers stone, From heaven cemeteries. (Lucian Blaga: Years, traveling and sleep) It seems, dear Moş Tecău, that the game of faith is not made for us, and no matter how well we are they catch us in the way, sooner or later. Nobody knows who s next, the baby, or someone else, maybe even me?!... The only answer to this question, from us, the mortals, is in our constant training, making life a cathedral, in which we enter, like Blaga tells us, let s listen, to the wind tubes organ, playing vigorously, and let s hear God in the sky whistling, whistling with all of his fingers. ion Dumitru
198 197 A DEFENDER OF THE ROMANIAN IDEA Moş Tecau is a defender of the Romanian idea in the world. Everywhere he went in his long life, he left fingerprints of the Roman world, durable and visible, in the clearest and simplest form, like a stone carver. In a place from the Arizona state, which he visited occasionally, he convinced the locals to name one of the streets there Bucureşti, a Romanian name. There was no manifestation, activity or job with national meaning, that Moş Tecau wasn t a part of, as a direct and dynamic participant, while he was in America. Because his life was mixed with all forms of Romanian existence on the American land for 60 years. He maintained his personality and ethnical identity intact, in the middle of a pluralistic society, with an extraordinary demographic pressure, where every influence met, the most varied and powerful, and where all sorts of assimilations were born, through which many of the ethnical origin and characteristic elements were canceled. Moş Tecau remained immune and intact, like a cliff in the middle of a sea storm, as Vasile Alecsandri puts it. In his big family, he always maintained a healthy atmosphere, clear and of authentic traditions, which he brought from the country and from which he never separated. The geographical spaces, through which he distanced himself from the country, from the Romanian world, did not alter his soul, formed in the draco-roman dough from the Carpathian area. On the contrary, his personality defined itself better, with traits and shapes that underlined his confrontation with other cultures, civilizations and mentalities, with other people and customs. * * * Any immigration means a spiritual rapture, a detachment from a common historical existence, connected to the land and the landscape, to a corner of the sky and to a community filled with life, customs, laws and dreams of great achievements. This uprooting leads, most of the times, to perdition, to an irreparable disappearance. The immigrant can easily lose his own being, if he is caught in the social and spiritual webs of realities he cannot oppose, realities that overcome him. Moş Tecau has put together the entire spiritual dower he gathered throughout the country and unpacked it in the new world as a treasure of his life. A treasure that he guarded with care, not only to keep it and its beauty safe, but especially to develop it. Because he had a profound and alive conscience of his belonging to the existential Romanian reality. He never strayed from this reality; he lived with it, in it and through it, without any bargaining with forms of foreign civilization.
199 198 Moş Tecau integrated into the American world without loosing himself, without altering his spiritual identity. At first, on the plane of civilization, where he went up on ladders of superiority, then on the plane of culture, in a reciprocal exchange of moral and social values, with benefits for both partners. In this sense, his whole family developed the sense of dignity which brought spiritual riches and aristocrat offspring of a harmonious culture from the Carpathian Romanian world. In a distant future, every ethnical difference from today will melt into the bosom of American society. It s a natural process, of great historic and demographic proportions, which is inevitable and irreversible. Because the American nation is in a process of transformation. But those who will fit into this process will always have good news about their Romanian origin and the moral quality of this origin. In Moş Tecau s family the feeling of dignity of everything that belongs to the Romanians was cultivated and sustained. Future generations, offspring of the Tecau branch, will never depart from the Romanian cultural spiritual and ethnic way which will become legendary. This is the essential merit of the life of almost one hundred years of Moş Tecau, to be a Romanian energy, dynamic and creative. A clean Romanian, healthy and full of energy and a generosity oasis, where everyone stops, finds his balance, harmony and ancestral identity, as they were articulated in the soul of a nation, the Romanian nation, Moş Tecau brought a part of that soul on to the American lands too. Ion Halmaghi
201 Us and the Country The America newspaper I think it s good to know what our connections with the Mother Country were and what we could do for her from here. During First World War, we ve collected and sent money to Queen Maria, for the war orphans. And here is one of the letters we received from The Queen s House: Mr. President of the Brotherhood Society: Her Majesty the Queen found out with great joy of the Romanians behavior from Youngstown, Ohio, and deeply touched by everything you ve done, as soldiers and citizens as well as in favor of the suffering, She was willing to authorize me to send You Her live gratitude which we ask you to send, especially to the workers in factories, who have gathered, from their unique, but sacred money, the sum of ,35 lei, for the charity works of our Sovereign. Rest assured that Her Majesty the Queen will receive this sum, with the same good and grateful heart, with which it was offered by Her fateful sons of America. Please receive, Mr. President, the trust of my high consideration, G. DENIZE, private Secretary of H.H. the Queen. After the war, finding out about the Romanian war orphans poverty, a group of musicians made out of Titi Nestor, Marin Simescu, Dumitru Popescu, Emil Ramba and the writer of these memories, we have started to gather money doing serenades, Christmas and New Years caroling, sometimes emptying our own pockets. This way, we sent money many times to the National Orthodox Society of Romanian Women, the Sebeş Filial and Cluj Filial, which took care of students attacked by tuberculosis at the Colibida sanatorium from the Carpathian Mountains. Here is one of the letters we received from this Society: Our Society Committee, in the meeting held on September the 14th, 1927, affectionately appreciating all of the noble offerings You made to ease the suffering of many unfortunate people and for the rise and forming of future generations of the country, has chosen the members of honor of the Society and as such we have put You down in the Golden Book of the Society The letter is signed by Dr. Maria Berghezan, President and Pr. P. Chirca, Secretary. Alas, I give today, after so many years, a third document, from the Charity benefit society s Report from Cluj: We are pleasantly due to remember the visit of Mr. Nick Tecau from America, who coming from to the Country, has looked for us with his entire family on all the bad and dangerous roads. He had a warm welcoming in Colibida. When the automobile was invented, with the American flag, the students held a sympathy manifestation and even arranged a little festival for this brave Romanian, who did not forget about his brothers beyond the Ocean. Mr. Tecau, deeply moved, was grateful for the attention he received. He remitted us Lei and made the solemn promise that he will keep a live interest for our society and will do whatever it takes to contribute to the raising of the senator s fund. We bring our protector our warm thanks, as well as everyone who gave their offertory, to ease the suffering of our children I gave this to the publicity, to show that the merit of helping through charity is not only mine but also of a group of amateur musicians and of all the Romanians who donated from their very little money, for this charity event. I think I owe my concerns to my mother, whom I ve never seen chasing any beggars, asking for a piece of bread, from our yard. I want to believe that the readers of America newspaper, who are unaware and still ask themselves: what did we Romanians do for the Mother Country, found here a convincing answer. As a conclusion, because the redactor of our newspaper asked me what suggestion I have for the Erie, Pa. Convention, my suggestion is a good one: do everything possible to make the Convention shortest, so money is not wasted in useless discussions. I wish this from the bottom of my heart and in full sincerity. Nicolae Tecau