When Eva Galambos started writing her memoirs, she thought they might make a keepsake for her grandchildren.
That was sort of a family tradition. “My father wrote his memoirs. I thought it was a wonderful legacy,” Galambos said. “My grandmother wrote her memoirs and they were just fascinating.”
So now Sandy Springs’ mayor has recorded her life story. As she worked on them, she thought others outside her family might want to read her story, too.
“I thought, ‘Well, I’ve live through some interesting times,’” she said.
She has. In her self-published “A Dream Come True, My Very Good Life,” she chronicles her family’s exile from Nazi Germany, her childhood in Fascist Italy and emigration to the United States, her adolescence and college years in Athens, Ga., and finally, the long fight to create the city of Sandy Springs.
Galambos, now 82, started working on her memoirs in the 1990s and continued in fits and starts. “I wrote it at different stages in my life,” she said recently, sitting at a conference table in her office at Sandy Springs City Hall.
Fond memories of her Italian childhood show in the early chapters of the 159-page book, but the rising power of the Fascists forced her family to flee to Georgia in 1939.
“We [children] were spared the turmoil. My parents did a wonderful job,” she said. “The only time we felt any uncomfortableness was when we came to the U.S. and we were different. We were like animals in a zoo. They had never seen foreigners before.”
She began recording memories long before Sandy Springs became a city, but the struggle to create the city makes its own 30-page section of her $13.99 volume. At one point – about a decade ago, when legislation needed to create the city was voted down yet again in the General Assembly – she thought she was finished. “I thought to hell with it. I’m done,” she said.
But neither Sandy Springs nor her story really were done.