Nagypapa László Hodosy
Anikó Laky, a Hungarian mother of six, who lived in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Tibor, was at home caring for her family on a fall day in 1985, also caring for her elderly father, László Hodosy, following the recent death of her mother, Anikó. She noticed that her father was no longer in the kitchen at the table, and she called out for him but he was nowhere to be found. She sent her youngest, Árpád, to search for her father and just then, a Dallas Police cruiser stopped in front of their home. A tall dark-haired young Police Officer was helping Nagypapa from the car and Anikó met them on the driveway. Dallas Police Officer Alex Császár greeted Mrs. Laky in Hungarian and explained that her father had been walking home and had gotten disoriented. Anikó expressed her relief and appreciation at the return of her father to her home safely.
Later, as she relayed her story to us kids, she expressed that God had sent a guardian angel to rescue Nagypapa, because Nagypapa spoke very little English, and the Policeman who brought him home spoke fluent Hungarian. Keep in mind that Arad, Nagypapa’s home town in Hungary was 9,258 kilometers away from Dallas, so the chance of an Officer finding him who spoke his native language fluently was extremely slim. On this particular day, Officer Császár’s regular partner, Steven (István) Tóth, also Hungarian, happened to take a day off, or it would have been two Hungarian Officers. As I learned later, it was actually Officer John Carr who found László, but he could not understand him. But he did recognize the name as Hungarian and called Officer Császár on the radio to assist.
Just last month, we learned that now Retired Sergeant Alex Császár was suffering from Early Onset Dementia and was near death. I contacted the family and arranged to bring a priest native to our homeland, Father Julius Leloczky, O.Cist. from Our Lady of Dallas Cistercian Monastery to Alex’s room at the Nursing Center in Plano, Texas to administer the last rites, or as it is called today, the Anointing of the Sick. Fr. Julius has ministered to hundreds of Hungarian immigrants in his 57 years of being a Roman Catholic priest. And as it turns out, Alex’s parents and Fr. Julius are all 56-ers, as they are known, Hungarians who escaped Soviet occupation and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
It is a small world indeed!
László Tibor Laky is first generation Hungarian, a motorcycle Officer who escorts funerals, parades, dignitaries, and sports teams. He is one of six children of immigrants Anikó Hódosy of Arad and Tibor Laky of Székesfehérvár. He and his wife Lynette are certified volunteer storm spotters with the National Weather Service. He is MNO’s Texas Correspondent.