The story of the Herescu Family begins in 1780 when (a) Hereș Ioan built in Costeni a home with a porch and a pantry.
Under the foundation of the house a coin with the effigy of Maria Tereza (1780, period in which the house was built) was found.
Currently, the house is transferred into the Village Museum from Baia Mare. It is the house where my father Vasile was born in 1919, also a Hereș.
At the age of 14, fed up with the pastoral works, Vasile decided to leave home – "to conquer the world", out of the desire to achieve more than he could achieve in his native lands, thinking to leave for Bucharest, the only place where he thought he could become a Lord.
He finished high school with the desire to enroll in the University of Medicine in Bucharest, to become a surgeon.
He postpones his idea of studying medicine and surgery and he is temporarily employed at a restaurant called La Calul Bălan, located in the area Halelor on the Quay of the River Dâmbovița. Little by little, he starts taking care also of the cash register and becomes, in a few weeks, the manager of the place.
As the war was knocking at Romania's door, he was recruited. He was assigned to the Heavy Artillery, due to the very good results in mathematics during high school, and he started his one-year army training as a RT student-soldier (Reduced term). He is promoted to RT Sergeant and sent to Cotul Donului with a platoon of 20 soldiers, with four heavy artillery cannons fired by four Bernhardt trucks.
He is decorated with the Military Virtue.
After the end of the war, he started to work diligently for the prosperity of La Calul Bălan restaurant, where he returned, becoming a shareholder, and enrolls in licensed accounting courses.
The king abdicated and Vasile, with only a suitcase, found himself on the streets, due to the nationalization of the big hotels and restaurants which also included the restaurant La Calul Bălan.
A certain Nicolae Ionescu, owner of a small restaurant opposite the Studio hall of the National Theater, was looking for an associate.
Vasile shows up for the interview and is accepted by Nicolae, despite the fact that Vilma, Nicolae's wife, had some concerns about hiring him. This couple had a 22-year-old son, Georgica, a law student, and a 16-year-old girl, Elisabeta, whom everyone called Lizica, a student at the Catholic School for Girls “St. Maria”- known as “Pitar Moş” school, located on the street having the same name.
Lizica and Vasile (who is 13 years older than her) began a platonic romance for 2 years, until Lizica, born on February 22, turns 18 in 1950 and marries Vasile.
A beneficial period begins for the Ionescu (Nicolae and Vilma) and the Herescu families, which would overlap with the era in which the communist authorities had tolerated small private property in its various forms.
The two couples also owned a small soda factory.
From the profits from the restaurant, Vasile and Elisabeta purchased in 1953 a mansion and six hectares of vineyards in the village of Fințesti, Năeni commune. The vineyard was producing around 20 tons of grapes per hectare, a record in those times. Refusing to join the Cooperative, he was included in the social category of Kulak, and got his Kulak Certificate.
The communist vigilance began to go against the small private property, and Vasile was unjustly accused and convicted following a staged trial to a two-year sentence of imprisonment.
When my father returned from prison, he got a job at the Cooperativa Arta Aplicată. He was assigned to the Plexiglas section.
Here, he found opportunities to streamline some technological processes and, studying on his own in the field of chemistry, he became the chief of his section after four years. For the next 10 years, through innovations and inventions his personal earnings were significant, because the pay for these innovations and inventions was consistent.
These earnings constituted the basis of the financial comfort of the Herescu Family, which allowed his socio-cultural evolution.
"You have Memory if you have History; whithout Memory you have no Future."
This cultural evolution of the family was possible thanks to the solid educational base received by Lizica, my mother, at the St. Mary's Institute, known as the Pitar Moș School. She was a student there from the first grade up to the tenth grade, when the school was closed and confiscated by the new communist regime.
The school was a boarding school for the girls from the high society in Bucharest, but was also attended by girls from lower classes, some orphan under the care of the nuns of the Institute of St. Mary, also known as English Ladies (Englische Fräulein in Germanic territories, from where they came to Romania in 1852).
The founder of the Institute was Mary Ward (1585-1645), a very young and noble lady from England, rule back then by Elizabeth I of England, a time of great persecution against Catholics. This prompted her to emigrate illegally and to establish schools for the education of young women in a human and Christian spirit. It was the beginning of the social apostolate of the Roman Catholic nuns and Mary Ward was declared venerable.
In Romania, the girls were educated based on the principles of the founder, faithfully preserved for hundreds of years by the nuns of this Institute, which today are of great actuality, due to their opening. The human and spiritual formation, and the discipline and exigency that prepared them for the real life, all helped them pull through during the harshest episodes they had to live in the country or abroad. "The Girls from Pitar Mos" have always showed elevated standards not only in their final exams but also in the professions they practiced later, in the society in which they lived and were involved and, in the families, where they role model wives, mothers and educators.
Lizica was the one who supported me in my efforts to develop fully and freely. Vasile, my father, was a bit more conservative, but they both opened my horizons to the world and made me understand that the only thing that matters is education. It gives you the opportunity to understand the world and to accept your destiny.
The Story is well outlined in the book The Kulak, a volume of memoirs.
„The book is not meant to be a literary work, but a memory of the events that happened throughout life, which led to the evolution of the Herescu family.
Without wanting to, Adrian Herescu creates not just an annex to the photographic project, but a social and moral fresco of the period with which the Herescu family intersected”.
Adrian, the imaginary friend
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After so much contamination with morbid fiction, propagated and promoted through media channels, cinema & contemporary theater and after living superficial times for more than 30 years, propelled and globalized by the stupidity that reigns on social networks, I present to you a story of a family without a Coat of Arms. A story that could belong to anyone reading this passage.
We all have a story. Each of us has a family, its roots, its past, a present, and a future. A story that has to be told. I had the opportunity, the tenacity, the chance, and, perhaps, a grain of talent, to make my story public and share it with you.
You might ask, „why?” Because I am optimistic about a better future.
But also because I believe that it is time to resume - as we did during communism- our resistance through reading, doubled by the development of culture in our daily lives. This story is about the cultural evolution of a family that has always wanted the best for itself, anywhere on this earth, just as each of you longs, hopes, dreams for a brighter future.
Remember, if there are unfulfillments in your life, you must know not that Hope dies last, but that Hope never dies!
ADRIAN HERESCU / HEREȘ