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  #1  
Old 05/05/12, 06:31 PM
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American Gypsies?

I see a new spin off of the European Gypsy Wedding show on tv now. It follows "American Gypsies."

We all know there have been bands of gypsies in other countries for thousands of years, but in the USA???? On the show they dress in flamboyant clothes, have little education, live in a male dominated culture, and the girls are married young and dress like street walkers, dance like strippers, but are supposed to be so chaste that they never even kiss a member of the opposite sex before marriage.

Who are these people? I was born and raised in this country and never heard of Gypsies or "travelers", as they call themselves on the show. Is this for real?

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  #2  
Old 05/05/12, 06:45 PM
 
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Yes.. It is for real.

My mom used to tell me about the gypsies that lived near us when I was a baby. I am guessing they were different from what you see on tv today, but they were definitely gypsies. I'll leave it at that.

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  #3  
Old 05/05/12, 06:56 PM
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We had some that lived down the road from us for a while when I was growing up. They did not dress weird, mostly kept to themselves. I do remember that they lived in falling down mobile homes crowded together on their plot, but drove brand new corvettes.

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  #4  
Old 05/05/12, 07:29 PM
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Oh yes in the USA. My Grandparents told me they had gypsies around the area. Parked their wagon and such just out of town limits.

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  #5  
Old 05/05/12, 07:34 PM
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Wow, this is news to me! The only gypsies I know of are the ones I read about in my James Herriott novels. Of course, here in the high desert of Southern Idaho, it might not be a great stopping place for them!

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  #6  
Old 05/05/12, 07:46 PM
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My grandfather remembered gypsies coming to town when he was a child so about 1925. His grandmother would tie him to her if she had to go outside with him for fear he'd be stolen.

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  #7  
Old 05/05/12, 07:53 PM
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Gypsies are definitely in the U.S.

About 40 years ago, my father became gravely ill in Louisville, KY and I flew up there to be with the family as I was still in Texas after my folks moved there. A man who the nurses called the "king of the gypsies" was in intensive care at the same hospital. Families came from all over, most of them pulling travel trailers or driving motor homes that were parked in the parking lots of the hospital. They were in the halls, everywhere; the police finally had to tell them that only a few could be in the hospital at once.

Several years ago there were some home improvement scams reportedly run by gypsies praying on homeowners that had tornado damage in the DFW area. I think most are from Romania.

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  #8  
Old 05/05/12, 07:53 PM
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Cher released a song a looong time ago, sung from the perspective of a young gypsy woman. I believe the title was "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves"...the next segment "you hear it from the people of the town..." In the song, one of the way they made money was the women dancing "but every night all the men would come around, and lay their money down."

Anyway, I always assumed then, that there were gypsies in America.

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  #9  
Old 05/05/12, 08:08 PM
 
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We always saw gypsies when I was a kid, they would park in the farmers market lot and set up shop.

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  #10  
Old 05/05/12, 08:09 PM
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Wow, they must have some similar ethnic background in another country or something. Maybe they are known in only certain regions of the US.

I thought the US show was just trying to create Gypsies since the Euro show was so popular. I guess they really do exist here...

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  #11  
Old 05/05/12, 08:11 PM
 
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Fun reading Gypsy Travelers put it in a search . Think those guys running around selling tools are travelers .

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  #12  
Old 05/05/12, 08:11 PM
 
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My town is under a Gypsie curse. Some years ago a bunch were camped in the city park. There is a low head dam there and a 12 year old Gypsie boy was swimming and drowned. His Grandmother put a curse on the town. Far as I can tell it hasn't had much effect.

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  #13  
Old 05/05/12, 08:13 PM
 
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My MIL tells of when she was a child in northern OK and one day her parents had to leave the homestead and go into town. The oldest boy was in charge and they saw a wagon of folks coming up the road. Brother put all the children in a closet, but MIL was the littlest one and had to go up on the closet shelf. Some one knocked and knocked but none of the children would answer. After a bit they heard the wagon leaving. All of the tools that were outside were gone and so were all the chickens and most of the vegetables from the garden. That would have been in the late 20s and she swears that they were gypsies and that they would steal children.

In the mid 50s I know there were gypsies in south OK as my g'parents would let them camp on the property. We never had any negative experiences w them. They had beautiful horses and one of the older women would sit w my g'ma and they would chat in the evenings. I was fascinated because she was the first woman I ever saw smoking a pipe. My g'ma dipped snuff. I would sneak up and sit as quiet as a church mouse under the porch to hear them chatting.

The old lady even told my grandmother where to find a ring my gm had lost. I was never allowed to go into any of their wagons. They would give me little toys and carved dolls. And when they left there would always be a stack of chopped wood and some fresh caught fish or other game left on the back porch.

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  #14  
Old 05/05/12, 08:33 PM
 
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Bunches of them life just outside of a town in SC... gigantic mansions, and until the mansion is paid off, they live in a trailer in the backyard. Keep to themselves, mostly and 'travel' at certain seasons.

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  #15  
Old 05/05/12, 08:42 PM
 
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My impression, maybe wrong, is there are gypsies we think of as those from central Europe, who tell fortunes, supposed to steal babies, like horses, etc.

Then there are the Irish Gypsies or 'travelers'.

I

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  #16  
Old 05/05/12, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haven View Post
Wow, they must have some similar ethnic background in another country or something. Maybe they are known in only certain regions of the US.

I thought the US show was just trying to create Gypsies since the Euro show was so popular. I guess they really do exist here...
Gypsies are generally of Romani decent, but racially named as a slur Gypsy i.e. short for Egyptian.

The Travelers, or Irish Travelers, are, as their names states generally Irish in decent.

Both cultures are living and thriving in the U.S. and have been for many generations.

Annie
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  #17  
Old 05/05/12, 09:01 PM
 
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We have a whole community here. About 4 or 5 family names. All of the women dress the same from old to young. Long hair, lots of make-up, high heels and short skirts. The clan is patriarch in nature with a "king". I worked at a local funeral home and we were the funeral home that did all of gypsy funerals. When the king spoke, they obeyed without question. The ones here typically do paving and do a good job if you watch them closely. You can only deal in cash with them here. Now they have to marry outsiders because there aren't as many of them. A lot of the men are barrel-chested and do not live to see 65. (At least this is the way it was when I worked at the funeral home over 10 years ago.)

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  #18  
Old 05/05/12, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GammyAnnie View Post
Gypsies are generally of Romani decent, but racially named as a slur Gypsy i.e. short for Egyptian.

The Travelers, or Irish Travelers, are, as their names states generally Irish in decent.

Both cultures are living and thriving in the U.S. and have been for many generations.

Annie
You explained it better.

I remember seeing the Romani gypsies when I was a child.

The part about stealing babies wasn't mean as fact, just the old folklore.

It was only fairly recently that I heard of the Irish Travelers or gypsies. Probably we have seen them, just didn't recognize them as such. A few years ago, some lady was caught on tape on a Wal Mart parking lot, treating her child badly and she was said to be an Irish Traveler -
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  #19  
Old 05/05/12, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
You explained it better.

I remember seeing the Romani gypsies when I was a child.

The part about stealing babies wasn't mean as fact, just the old folklore.

It was only fairly recently that I heard of the Irish Travelers or gypsies. Probably we have seen them, just didn't recognize them as such. A few years ago, some lady was caught on tape on a Wal Mart parking lot, treating her child badly and she was said to be an Irish Traveler -
Charlie Chaplin was born of Romani parents in the back of a "gypsy" wagon.

Irish Travelers and Rom (as they preferred to be called) Gypsy folk are completely and totally different.

Annie
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  #20  
Old 05/05/12, 09:22 PM
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I was in Dearborn flirting with one of them.Her Mom put a curse on me but would take it off if I paid the right amount.

big rockpile

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  #21  
Old 05/05/12, 09:27 PM
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Yep. I agree. The Romani people are NOT the same type of people (scum) that are in the Southern US.

The American 'gypsies' are truly bad news.
Come spring you can see them rolling on the highways of America in their new trucks with SC plates. They look for older homes with elderly owners and promise them new driveways, roofs or paint jobs. They do shoddy work and quite often have a guy going in the back door as the first guy is talking at the front.
The television stations run warnings during commercial breaks trying to keep the elderly folks from being taken.

Their 'culture' is very strange as well. It is very insular and difficult to escape from. The girls are trotted out in skimpy dress from toddlers on up and marriages are arranged and consumated at very young ages.
Quite often it is an abusive life for women who are not to work outside the home..ever. And are not well educated.

They may be referred to as gypsies, but we know them as Travellers.

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  #22  
Old 05/05/12, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gunsmithgirl View Post
We had some that lived down the road from us for a while when I was growing up. They did not dress weird, mostly kept to themselves. I do remember that they lived in falling down mobile homes crowded together on their plot, but drove brand new corvettes.
How did I know gunsmithgirl was from Michigan before I even looked? I know of a group in Upper MI that live as a clan. Just like the description by gunsmithgirl... Uneducated, but skilled, they never have much money- but they barter many thing amongst each other, they live next to- or near each other, they trade skills with each other, they have leaders- but the men "groom" the women-even the girls (I don't mean physically groom) but dictate what the women wear, check if they are gaining weight, pair up young people, etc... it's real creepy. I know a young woman who left her adopted family during a rebellious stage and took up with her bio family who were gypsies. She was unable to get away once she straightened out/figured things out. She was threatened that "they would come after her to come get her and it wouldn't be pretty if anyone got involved...as others from another state would get involved. " They grow, smoke, sell m-juana. They identify with an Irish heritage.
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  #23  
Old 05/05/12, 09:47 PM
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Yeah, we have them here...cons and scammers.

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  #24  
Old 05/05/12, 09:50 PM
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Big community of Gypsies live in the Fort Coffee Oklahoma area. They travel in the summer to do asphalt work. They used to camp on the Albert Pike rd now in Fort Smith. Irish travelers are a different story.

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  #25  
Old 05/05/12, 10:40 PM
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Gypsies are on the east side of Fort Worth, used to come in the 7-11 I worked at. I never had problems with them, although others did. One fellow had ALL the gloves in the showcase stolen when they came in one time. Wasn't unusual for them to come in, change a baby's diaper and leave the dirty one in the packages of diapers, still on the shelf. Sometimes they'd have a nice lunch...they were tidy with their lunch leavings too, when they ate lunch on us.

One time, one of the men came in and bought some stuff and we talked a bit...he said, "I am a gypsey" so I replied, "Hey man, everyone has to be someone". He then said he worked for CBS and showed me an ID, and I said I bet you work for NBC, ABC, PBS and a few others, too. He said as a matter of fact, I do, and pulled out ID for ALL the networks! So then, he said that since he was a gypsey, he was going to steal from me. I said "Ok. But you have to take the WHOLE thing at once."

Maybe that's why I didn't have a problem with them...they were still trying to figure out how to steal the whole store at once.

They were NOT the Travelers, just American Gypsies, the Adams clan, in fact.

Mon

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  #26  
Old 05/05/12, 11:28 PM
 
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There are gypsies in Spokane, WA. In fact Jimmie Marks, a gypsy, put curse on the city of Spokane about 20 years ago.

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  #27  
Old 05/05/12, 11:32 PM
 
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A few years back they did a segment about Travelers/Gypsies on one of those news shows. They would take advantage of older people and swoop in after natural disasters. They'd do roof and driveway scams.

Just gotta wonder how they afford those expensive, gaudy clothing.
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  #28  
Old 05/06/12, 06:53 AM
 
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I heard an interesting story from a woman now 101 years old; she told it to me about twenty years ago. She said that their farm has a gypsy curse on it.

Apparently her father, who was a very wealthy man and could afford the best of everything, back in the years after WWI, had a beautiful black stallion. The black stallion was known all around as being the very best-- beautiful movement, exquisite looks, perfect temperament, and babies that were exceptional. A gypsy king heard of this horse while traveling through, and was smitten by it. He approached this old woman's father about buying the horse.

The old woman's father was reluctant, but they finally arrived at a colossal price. The gypsy paid and left with the horse. Her father was jubilant; he knew the horse was laminitic.

A few months later the old gypsy king figured it out. He came back and demanded his money back. Of course the old woman's father refused to pay it, so the gypsy king gave the farm a curse.

Over the next hundred years, the descendants of the old woman have had many national championships, and they run a small but world class training and boarding facility. But every couple of years, some horse or another has a freak death. Most of the ones I know involve fences-- horses running at fences and flipping over and breaking their necks, getting tangled in fences and losing limbs or degloving legs, getting cast in fences and having injuries so bad they have to be put down. Broken necks or legs from being tied. Crazy stuff.

I won't say I believe in gypsy curses, but I do believe that for a very long time these people have had way more than their share of freak injuries and deaths there. And most trainers, after they lose a couple, tend to move on.

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  #29  
Old 05/06/12, 08:11 AM
 
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Gypsies traveling through a small town near where I live, many years ago (before I was born and I'm 48) had their little baby die and he is buried somewhere in the local cemetary with no headstone. Always thought that was sad to have to bury your baby and move on maybe to never come back that way again.

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  #30  
Old 05/06/12, 08:22 AM
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My great great grandmother was full Romani Gypsy. For generations they told tale sof the "gypsy woman" roaming the hills of Scioto County, Ohio on a white horse. They say when she died her coal black hair was long enough to touch the floor.

I can well remember her daughter, my great grandmother, in the later years of her life; though her hair was grey, it too was so very long.

Knowing the Romani "values" it came as a shock to know my great grandfather had left a wife and five children for this younger woman and they could never legally marry. After his death, my great grandmother had several men friends.

In the older census it was often recorded when one was a gypsy.

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