Tata’s Tattered Tales is a collection of writings – some connected to one another, some not.
They were written over two decades, and while both Mom and I made some efforts to make them time-independent, we probably didn’t succeed.
Here and elsewhere ‘Mom’ and ‘your mother’ refer to my wonderful wife, Kay of more than fifty-seven years who not only proofreads nearly everything I write, but helps me with respect to content and style of delivery too.
I should also add that the ‘you’ above (actually, the ‘your’) is a reference to my four grown children.
Book 1: Part 1
Book 2: Part 2A
Book 3: Part 2B
Book 1 consists of three parts. They are ‘Pre-Notes’, ‘My Genealogy’ and ’Post-Notes’. In the Pre-Notes, I tell you a bit about Hungary, Hungarian customs, and the people of that land too. In other words, I will try to give you some information about the places and times where and when my ancestors, and hence your ancestors and cousins lived/live. The ‘My Genealogy’ part could have used a separate introduction, but it might suffice for me to tell you that it is about our ancestors, with special attention to my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents and my first, second and third cousins – both in reverse order. I say a few words about my brother and myself too but leave plenty for Part 2 as far as my brother is concerned and Part 3 with respect to myself. In the ‘Post-Notes’, l tell you about my methodology, the tools I used, the help I got, as well as about myself in a purposefully haphazard, but somewhat more delineated fashion.
I will start Part 2A with a much more detailed introduction of my parents, my aunts and uncles, and will have a longer piece about my brother too. I will also write about his son, Zoli, who is your only 1st cousin on my side of the family, and I will write about your 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins too.
I will also introduce some other Vargha, Svastits, Gyarmathy and other non-Berzsenyi relatives, leaving the Berzsenyis to Part 2B. Furthermore, I include writings about some of my other ancestral families and pay ‘Tribute’ to various members of the family, including my parents, Great-aunt Mariska néni, paternal Uncle Laci bácsi, Cousin Hugi (Lenke) and others. Moreover, I will write a bit more about Great-great-grandfathers Dániel Berzsenyi, Lajos Vargha and János Svastits too.
In this Book, Part 2B, I will write all about the Berzsenyi family. When I first talked with Dr. György (Gyuri) Dormán, one of my distant but very dear cousins, he suggested that we should write a book about the Berzsenyi family similar to the one written about his late wife’s, Tünde’s, Perczel family, published by the Archives of the Province of Tolna. I looked at the book, liked it, but my response was: I want to get to know them before writing about them – and hence I organized a reunion in 2005 with the help of Dani and family, then another one in 2011 with the assistance of Judit Lőrincz-Véger neè Máthé, and yet another one in 2015 (to some extent) and Zsuzsa Vadnay put together yet one more in 2022. While in the proposed Hungarian book, I will obviously have to limit my attention to people of importance in the family, in this volume I will write mostly about those whom I know or know about even if they didn’t set the world on fire. But of course, I will not ignore the important ones either. For example, I will have separate pieces about the poetess, Judit dukai Takách, the painter, Lénárd Berzsenyi and my forerunner in organizing family reunions, Zoltán Berzsenyi, as well as our famous ancestor, Hungary’s greatest poet of odes, Dániel Berzsenyi. In fact, the latter part of the book will be devoted to Dániel Berzsenyi. I will write about his life, his poetry, his place in Hungarian literature and his lasting fame. I will also feature English translations of a few of his most famous poems.