My name is Karen Wardamasky Bobrow. I am a former mathematician and computer programmer turned genealogist/ancestor stalker from New Jersey now living in South Carolina. I am a mother and a grandmother. I used my analytical skills, along with extensive genealogy research, to write my first book, Trapped in Russia—An American Family’s Struggle to Survive. It is the story of a little-known piece of U.S. history about Americans who immigrated to the Soviet Union during the Great Depression seeking a better life. This was my father’s family.
This book is the result of years of research, which was aided by the discovery of a tattered diary in my father’s dresser along with the discovery of memos, telegrams, and letters stored at the National Archives. I hope the reader finishes the book with a sense of urgency to sit down with their elder relatives and learn their story before they are gone.
It was originally published under the title Do Svidanya Dad: Tracing the Story of an American Family Trapped in the USSR.
My second book, Mommy’s Meanderings: Strolling Down Memory Lane with a Vintage Baby Boomer, is a collection of short stories about growing up in small-town Boonton, New Jersey as part of the Baby Boomer Generation, and transitioning into the present as a Southern-Belle grandma with a new-found interest in politics and building forts with my grandchildren.
I wanted to share my childhood memories with my millennial children: learning to read with Dick, Jane, and Sally; attending Latin masses; learning to become a spy with Maxwell Smart and Agent 99; getting a Toni home permanent; and life before the age of computers and microwave ovens. My first book taught me that memories quickly fade, so I wrote this book for my family “before I forget.”