This tape contains raw footage for "Busia and Cioc" by Valjean McLenighan. McLenighan visits two of her elderly relatives in their apartment and interviews them about their experiences as Polish immigrants to Chicago near the turn of the century. The close-knit encounter of four women in the kitchen leads to an intimate discussion of the immigrant experience and the myth of the American Dream.
00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with static.
00:25Copy video clip URL McLenighan asks if Busia is happy about immigrating to America. Busia talks about learning how to save money, and goes into detail about her savings. She had a savings account with $500 in 1914. She used some of the money to buy a home and get a mortgage with her husband. Busia lists many specific details on how much money she was spending at the time. (Two pounds of sugar cost five cents, etc.) This lasts for several minutes.
004:26Copy video clip URL Busia states that she bought a building for $50,000 with a $13,500 mortgage in 1929. She goes on to talk about how she lost everything in the Depression except for $5,000 in gold bonds. She goes on to talk about being thrown out of her home and left on the street with her children three days before Christmas. When asked what she did after being thrown out, Busia responds, “I stand and cried.” She states that she prayed to God to give her the strength to endure. She continues to talk about the hard times she experienced, even rejecting government charity. “I do not accept charity bread. I would rather die here.” Busia and Cioc continue to talk about financial matters. Her stories are slightly difficult to understand. This lasts for several minutes.
09:44Copy video clip URL Busia talks about her the many jobs she held over the years. She eventually saved up and took out loans to buy the home she currently owns. McLenighan gets a shot of a calendar hanging in the kitchen.
11:42Copy video clip URL McLenighan asks Busia if she was glad that she moved to America, who states that she does not regret immigrating. She then continues to talk about the many hardships she has dealt with over the years. She eventually begins to switch in and out of Polish while speaking. This lasts for several minutes.
16:09Copy video clip URL Busia says, “I thank to God day and night for my strength… that I am able to go through everything… Don’t break down… And now I only pray to God that my children are going to come together and live peacefully and healthy.” She gets a little choked up and goes on to say, “Maybe I’m not going to get that from God.” Cioc interrupts her and tells Busia not to have such high expectations.
16:53Copy video clip URL Cioc opens up a box of photos from her earlier life, including a picture of the building she lost, her wedding photo from 1910, and older family photos. She shows McLenighan many photos. This lasts for several minutes.
19:17Copy video clip URL Busia talks about her struggles in finding work early in her marriage. Her husband had been on strike for three months while Busia worked to make just enough money to pay for rent and food. This lasts for several minutes.
21:19Copy video clip URL McLenighan gathers shots of the photos that lay on the kitchen table. Busia reminisces over some of the photos and goes on to compare her early years in America to her old life in Europe. This lasts for several minutes.
23:23Copy video clip URL McLenighan’s mother Wanda points out a picture of Cioc as a young girl. Cioc begins to talk about her life in Europe and states that it was beautiful. She was living with her family in Poland on a farm. The three continue to reminisce about the past.
24:44Copy video clip URL The three continue to talk about some of the pictures. This lasts for several minutes.
26:38Copy video clip URL Busia finds a postcard with an illustration of a Polish and American soldier in WWI. The three continue to look at pictures. This lasts for several minutes.
28:15Copy video clip URL Busia and Cioc say they are too old to travel back to their native country. Cioc talks about going back to Poland after her sister passed away, and notes how dismal life was after WWI. She talks about her loneliness while staying in Poland for ten months. Upon returning to the U.S., Cioc still felt rather lonely, but states that she got used to it after a while. McLenighan then gathers footage of the kitchen. This lasts for several minutes.
31:50Copy video clip URL Cioc gives McLenighan some advice in finding a husband and states that she should find someone with enough money to support her. Cioc then talks about her experience never getting married. The tape ends shortly afterward.
33:29Copy video clip URL Tape ends.