When I was a child in the 1930s, many of the older men who attended our Lutheran Church in the country had emigrated from Europe to find work in this land of opportunity. This was back when men and women entered by separate doors and sat on separate sides of the church. One little old man with a long, white beard and heavy German accent always fascinated me. I was told that when he came here from Germany, he floated over in a barrel. I now realize this was probably a joke. Maybe he floated from the boat to shore, but there's no way he floated across the ocean in a barrel. During all my growing-up years, whenever I saw this man, I immediately pictured him standing upright in a wooden barrel, holding on with both hands, his long beard whipping in the wind while the barrel floated gently up and down with the waves.