OPINION COLUMNS

The right way to immigrate

By Gerre Joiner | Published Saturday, July 19, 2014

There are a few people with whom you don’t need to visit if you’re talking about “political correctness.” Ross Mueller is on the top of the list.

Gerre Joiner

Gerre Joiner

I can’t think of the other two people right now. Ross becomes elevated when he thinks reason has been abandoned for the sake of “political correctness.”

We were discussing immigration not long ago when I asked Ross how long it had been since his folks came over from Ireland. The German/American with deep roots in Mosheim, Texas, flinched a little. I knew I had him. Then he shared his story.

In the late 1800′s, his great-great grandparents sent two of their three sons from Germany to live with relatives in the United States. They entered the country through Philadelphia, not Ellis Island as I had anticipated.

After a time, the Anz family (surname on Ross’ grandmother’s side) was reunited when the rest of the bunch came over from Germany and settled in Central Texas.

They did it the right way. They were looking for a better life … a safer life … a more meaningful life. They risked much to come to this country.

Had they stayed in Germany, the three boys would have most certainly been pressed into military service that was, at the time, headed by a pretty heavy-handed Kaiser. The Anz family (pronounced “Ahnz”) didn’t want any part of it for their boys, so they did something drastic. They came to the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The Anz family should be a source of inspiration for us today.

  • They’ve been paying taxes in this country since some time before 1900.
  • Anz descendents have served in quite a few wars and military conflicts since the 1800′s. They’ve served as brave, assimilated citizens of these United States of America.
  • The Anz descendants have been dedicated volunteers in the communities where they’ve lived. Ross is the only one I know, but I know he’s helped with numerous events and projects and has served on important boards that have helped our community and our region through the years.
  • The Anz bunch has learned skills and trades that have enhanced life for the rest of us. Ross kept the phone company going for years (or so he says).

I’m guessing that if the rest of the Anz family members are anything like my friend, Ross Mueller, the coffee shop groups in which they’ve sipped have been pretty colorful.

Did I mention the fact that the Anz family did it the right way?

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

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