Throughout this memoir that describes how a five-year-old girl could charm Nazi soldiers and then later experience the joy of winning scholarships beauty pageants and elected office-Mary's inner beauty will shine through and touch your heart.
At the start of WWII young Mary lived with her grandparents in the village of Certizne Czechoslovakia. She survived WWII by living in the forest amidst exploding bombs freezing temperatures and with little or no food. Through it all her strength and resiliency remained unharmed.
At age 10 she was sent to America to live with the mother she had never met. Mary adapted and adjusted compiling notable achievements throughout her school career. After marriage she began a life of public service as a councilwoman and member of many civic organizations giving tirelessly to her community.
Mary Matuja tells her story uncommonly well in this engaging memoir...-Michael Bortman screenwriter of Resurrecting the Champ and Who Will Love My Children?
Mary (Hoč-Bobak) Matuja immigrated to America in 1949 at age 10. She was unable to speak English and made the long journey alone to be reunited with her mother from whom she was separated at the age of 4 months.
Prior to arriving in America she lived with her grandparents in the village of Ćertizne Czechoslovakia. With her family and neighbors she survived WWII by living in the forest and in barns until the war ended and the families were allowed to re-turn to their homes.
In America Mary adapted and adjusted and she compiled many notable achievements throughout her school career. After marriage she began a life of public service. As a mother she pushed for educational excellence. As a councilwoman and member of many civic organizations she has given tirelessly and selflessly to her community. She lectures in classrooms on WWII and immigration. She believes that the true measure of a country and humankind is to build upon where the previous generations left off.
"There's an old saying that stories never happen to people who can't tell them. Mary Matuja tells her story uncommonly well in this engaging memoir and makes us care about a little girl who survives a brutal war in Europe but must start her life all over again when she comes to a new country &ndashours &ndash and a mother she doesn't know." - Michael Bortman Screenwriter of Resurrecting the Champ and Who Will Love My Children?
"Some people say your entire life can be summed up by the little dash between the year you are born and the year you die. Mary Matuja's story can't be explained in a dash. While some onlookers may think her story is one of rags to riches it is apparent that many hardships and the blessing of strong family ties created a life story filled with a richness that teaches us about sacrifice and love. Her grandfather would be proud." - Chuck Gaidica Pastor and Detroit media personality
"Like Caesar who said about Gaul&hellip"Veni vidi vici" &ndash so Mary Matuja "Came saw and conquered" America and all of our hearts in the process. - Nancy McDonnell author
"I have always admired and respected Mary Matuja but those feelings have doubled after reading her wonderful book Hello America. The vivid descriptions of her life as a child in war-torn Czechoslovakia are absolutely spellbinding. Mary Matuja is a thoughtful honest and diligent public official and a great American. She is an inspiration to all of us." - Judge Mark Switalski Macomb County Circuit Court
"Mary's story is a shining example of hope hard work miracles and the American Dream. It is proof that with God anything is possible." - Jack Krasula President of Trustinus LLC and radio host of Anything is Possible