|BDR (she goes by Becca), a great niece of Nick Topping, sent the
"Was just researching some information on Nick Topping when I came across your site. Nick was my father's uncle, my great uncle.
"When I was a little girl, my parents would take me to his shop to buy feta. I would wander around his store amazed by all the things he had in there, imports such as chocolate-covered bumble bees, feta, and Greek olives. I was also fascinated by the stories my dad told me about him--that he brought The Beatles to Milwaukee, that he was a spy in the war."
She also sent a link to a tribute to Nick Topping that US Representative Gwen Moore entered into the Congressional Record: http://www.fab4milwaukee.com/GwenMooreTribute.html.
I asked Becca if she had other recollections; she spoke with her father and replied:
"My father, JD, remembers Nick spoke several languages. Dad and many of the guys he worked with would go and have Nick do their taxes every year. The men came from various ethnic groups: Spanish, Polish, and German, to name a few.
"Nick was able to talk to all of these men in their own languages. The Spanish men Dad worked with told him that Nick was even able to speak in the dialects of their various regions. Nick once said that he spoke over 20 languages, which my dad did not doubt in the least.
"Anytime my father went into Nick's store, no matter how busy it was, Nick took the time to bring a piece of bread and some feta to him. It was important to him to 'break bread' when family came in. That was probably true of close friends as well.
"Feel free to add this recollection to my previous email. It is wonderful to piece together the life of such an interesting man."
* * *