Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Joining Becky's Party With a Wonder

Please celebrate Becky's birthday as we all share our wonders. I was inspired to share something with you after attending a big arts & crafts show this weekend. It just so happened that at this fair there was a collection of old buggies and wagons and one in particular caught my eye. It inspired me to share my fascination with you.

I have always been fascinated with gypsies. Back during my piano lesson days I know there was a gypsy tune that I loved (and could play) in one of those John W. Schaum piano books. That song and the illustration is surely responsible for my strange fascination with gypsies. My first encounter with a real gypsy was a few years later. When I was in high school I worked at a department store in our hometown mall (a very small mall but a big deal in a small town). Anyway, we had gypsies who lived somewhere in the vicinity so the store manager would tell us when they came in the store (we were supposed to keep our eyes out for shoplifting). He said you will know they are here when the Cadillac pulls up. I remember the day a yellow Cadillac pulled up to the back door of the mall and a clan of five women, all dark haired with olive complexions, piled out of the care and entered the store. To me it was exotic and exciting to observe. I later learned that they were Roma gypsies.

Many years later as I was planning my first trip to Paris when someone warned me to "beware the gypsies." Of course I am thinking to myself, gypsies? Sure enough, within the first 12 hours in Paris, we encountered a gypsy mother with a baby and a toddler begging. We saw gypsies in the train stations, gypsies outside the churches and gypsies on the Champs Elysees.

In the early 90's I saw a movie about the Tinkers and discovered the Irish gypsies. Even though the name is different, they are still gypsies.

Photo of a Tinker wagon

Then in 1997 the most amazing thing appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution obituaries. The headline read, "U.S. Gypsies Come to Say Goodbye to Their Chief Justice." It was so unbelievable that a very important gypsy leader had been living right here in the Atlanta area. To this day I remember reading about the white horses and carriage that would carry the gypsy dignitary to his final resting place.

Since that amazing discovery NBC has run a special on the Murphy Village community just north of Augusta. After watching the program I was even more intrigued and fascinated with gypsies, their society and culture. I am just curious if others have had encounters with the gypsy communities.


  1. I love the wagons...When we were in Italy this spring, we saw alot of gypsies...

  2. Jojo! I've always been fascinated with gypsies myself. And now two of my friends, Glen and Clista Adkins, are working with the Roma gypsies in Pecs, Hungary. They are Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries at the Gandhi School in Pecs, Hungary. You can google their names if you want and find out about their work. It's really interesting!

    When we were in France I heard the same things about gypsies, and I'd see the gypsy communities and hear on the French news about the efforts of the government to give them medical care and schooling for their children.

    Very interesting! Those wagons are beautiful!
    Thanks Jojo for celebrating with me!

  3. What a wonder-full wonder..

    I ADORE gypsy colors….
    And would love to take a ride in one of those wagons…


  4. Dear Jojo,

    and here in Granada...you'll meet Gypsies and listen to them playing and singing flamenco so beautifully.

    the pretty wagons on your pictures are used after Easter, for a fiesta called El Rocio, by gypsies and non gypsies in Andalucia.

    you should come ! :-)

    ps. thank you for your lovely encouraging comments. much appreciated !

  5. Great pictures. I love them. Gypsies are so intriguing and very mysterious.

    In Romania I had an interesting encounter with a group of gypsies. It was pretty scary. They sort of swarmed me and my friend whispering. But we were OK. A Romanian man came to our rescue weilding a night stick and drove the young, very young boys away. We were fine.

    Right now, I'm a bit of a gypsy. Roaming from place to place. This year I've landed in Big Sur. No telling where my hubby and I will be next year.

  6. I like the gypsies from Chocolat the best. I think they look beautiful. Fascinating way to live life.


  7. Hey there sweet one..... sorry I have been MIA.... had fallen down the stairs so was laid up for a bit... now I am feeling a bit better but going in for my surgery for my foot which caused the fall down the stairs next week.....

    I have never encountered gypsies myself however my mother used to tell me stories about them all the time... fascinating culture isnt it.... I didnt realize they were so prominent in Europe...

    I so love their coloful clothing and the wagons


  8. Hearing about gypsies makes me think of the movie Chocolat and Johnny Depp. There is a bed and breakfast in the Hocking Hills of south central Ohio called Ravenwood Castle, and on the grounds, they have two gypsy wagons that you can rent and sleep in for the night! They looked like so much fun, but I have to have running water, lol.


  9. I have run into Gypsies in Europe and Iran and also have been intrigued by their independent and often harsh life style. I love their wagons and music.