No, seriously, he got 7 more presents than me!
With all due respect to The Bangles, it’s just another Manifest Monday ‘round these parts!  But before we start talking about ships and such, let me tell you about my Christmas. 

I love Christmas and look forward to spending it with my entire family.  I load up all the cats in my Honda and head up 95 so we can deck the halls with holly and be full of jolly with my parents and #32.  Now, this might come as a bit of a shocker to some of you but #32 can be a little moo-dee with a capital “M” at times.  But it’s okay because we love and accept him the way he is and he is amazing at so many other things!  Anyway, I won’t bore you with how he ruined Thanksgiving – in 1994 or 2012 – let’s just say, we weren’t sure how Christmas was going to go. 

Christmas morning arrived and #32 didn’t.  But as some of us know better than others, #32 operates in his own time zone so we knew he’d get there later or later. When he finally arrived, he did come bearing gifts.  Gift cards, that is.  I gave him a little credit – at least they were wrapped.  I was the recipient of a $25 gift card to Home Depot (not to mention $12.50 of a shared Cheesecake Factory gift card).  Not to sound ungrateful but I think my exact reaction can be summed up in this picture circa 1986.

I spent hours making him a cat calendar and all I got was a $25 gift card?!  I know – my priorities – not straight.  Tis the season not to be greedy!   

CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW! Image via ancestry.com via NARA
So, what’s a $25 gift card have to do with a ship manifest?  And why did it make me appreciate my life – and #32 – a whole lot more?  It’s convoluted but just stay with me and we’ll see how this goes.

We’ve got Max on Line 9 of the Sierra Ventana manifest – we know he’s a literate 18 year old single German male traveling in steerage.  What else can we find out from the manifest? Let’s look at Columns 15-19.  He had a ticket to his final destination in a country to which he had never been before.  His passage was paid by his aunt Johanna Toner of Wilmington, Delaware – the same location listed as his final destination.  And in Column 17 – “Whether in possession of $50, and if less, how much?” 

Line 9 – Max Schellhardt – $25.

An 18 year old immigrant arriving in a brand new country with just $25 in his pocket.   

Sometimes, something is worth much more than its face value.    

I’m thankful for – and humbled by – that $25.

And I’ll be sure to remember this lesson next Christmas.

Next week – Lies Our Grandpa Might've Told at Ellis Island!      



Ed Peter
02/09/2013 12:52pm

$25.00 back they should have been $250.00 in 2012, Just saying.

05/16/2016 4:24am

When we surf the internet, we can have as lots of info immediately. Yet yours is the best one.

08/08/2016 7:38am

Both terms that you asked are tough in their answer. But this is depending on the thoughts and the values of the both sides. Those who are having the money in their pockets they will handle the all without watching to you.

09/23/2016 1:25am

I like Xmas to, so much! I'm waiting for it since the last one!)) My fav holiday!

04/11/2017 11:07pm

You won't forget this till the next Xmas ;) Nice to hear such stories from you!


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