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Leaving the United States

Difficulties Leaving Home - Frank Scarfino

Time 0:02:25


Because I had all these memories about—I shared earlier about—"How could you do this to your mother? How could you do this to your family? How could you do this to people who loved you? How could you do this to your country? You're a communist. You're a traitor." So, I had all that in my head and yet I felt — it wasn't that I can't, you know, it's different than what you hear today about Syrian refugees. So, I can't say that I was thrilled about it. I hate to say that, but I was glad I was here because I didn't want to get drafted. But it was awful. You know it was—even later on when I uh—Waterloo. I didn't become a Canadian citizen right away. That's maybe a better indication. Several years—at that time in the seventies, school boards were being asked to—I think would be exert—there was some pressure being exerted on school boards to hire Canadians first and I was still American. Waterloo board was really good. They didn't pressure me, but it was more and more obvious in the news that this was coming. So, I became a Canadian. And I remember going to the post office to sign the forms and this is several years later and my hands were still shaking. That was several years later. So, I can't say I was—I was sort of a rah-rah Canadian. It was just—it was awful because it was my home, the United States. I still think about Syracuse as my home—home, and I remember that instance, the RCMP were there to greet—greet us. It was different in the United States. They were being nicer, greeting you and welcoming you to be a cit—you know—becoming a Canadian citizen and welcome to Canada. It was me that was—that had the hard time.

Oral History 16.03.04FS with Frank Scarfino
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21