Halloween Tribute to My Mom

My mother could not wait for Halloween to roll around every October.  I can’t say she was big into ghosts, goblins and pumpkins, but she LOVED sewing Halloween costumes.  I remember as a child participating in local Halloween parades and contests, and we usually came away with at least a prize or two.  Mom was very resourceful and used clearance fabric or even free fabric. For instance, when I was about five or six years old, she repurposed velvet drapes from a local theatre into matching adult and child skunk costumes, which won prizes for best costume that year.  Another year, my lion mask was created from an old Clorox bottle.  Mom always dressed up with us when we went trick-or-treating, and she continued to dress up and surprise her friends and neighbors long after we were adults.  As a grandmother she would fly across the country and change into one of her costumes at the airport to meet her grandchildren!  They really enjoyed greeting her at the airport as a frog or clown or in some other get up!  Can you imagine that happening today in the wake of heightened airport security?  Mom’s especially enjoyed sewing clown outfits – happy clowns, not the scary ones so prevalent today.  We got a lot of use out of those clown outfits, as they were used not only at Halloween but for performances and even participation in community parades such as the Fall Fantasy parades at Kennywood Amusement Park.  As I scrape up more photos of mom’s costumes, I will update this post to include them. Thanks, Mom for sharing your talents and for all the fun times……..

Labor Legacy Link Added

Duquesne Below Tracks Salopek A Puskarich E
Duquesne, Pennsylvania “below the tracks” during the mid-1930’s.     Pictured are Tony Salopek of Duquesne, Allegheny, Pennsylvania and Edward J. Puskaric, Sr. of Chicago, Cooke, Illinois.

In commemoration of Labor Day weekend, I want to add a couple of links to the “Duquesne Croatians” Tab on this website. Beginning in 1999 The University of Pittsburgh developed a website entitled Labor Legacy, which they completed in 2003.   Those of us who are interested in the lives of our fore-bearers who worked the steel mills around Pittsburgh should take a gander and reminisce.

Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania Labor Legacy

https://www.library.pitt.edu/labor_legacy/index.html

While I was searching the internet to identify faces in my most recent post, I came across a database within the Labor Legacy website which includes names and basic information about people who worked at the National Tube Plant in McKeesport, Pennsylvania during the 1940’s.

National Tube Co., U.S. Steel National Works, McKeesport, PA

https://www.library.pitt.edu/labor_legacy/natnlworkscards.htm

Look! New Photo Added

Unknown Croatian Wedding #5
Unknown Duquesne Croatian Wedding Photo, submitted by Eric Gerstbrein.

I have added another wedding photo to my collection of  Duquesne Croatian Marriages, Pre – 1950s.  This photo was submitted to me by Eric Gerstbrein who is trying to break down several brick walls in his Croatian genealogy.  Please help him gather a few more clues by studying the photo and commenting if you recognize any faces.  Eric is the grandson of Matthew (Mato) Draskovich and  Antoinette (Tonka) Magdic Draskovich who are in this photo.  Tonka is wearing the dark dress to the bride’s right, and Mato is behind her in the slightly lighter colored suit. According to Eric, his grandmother Tonka was born in 1907 and came back to the US possibly in 1927. He guesses the photo to be between 1930-1940. The bride and groom are unknown at this time.  Please help identify them if you can!  Thank you!

 

Mother’s Day Tribute to a Fayette County Family Historian

Harriet Oldacre Blair of Fayette County, PA. Photo Courtesy Yvonne L Blair Morgan

It takes a village to raise a child, and sometimes as an adult I need an entire county to help me stay on track.  Many times I have felt supported or inspired by  mother figures who don’t hang from a branch on my family tree.  This Mother’s Day I would like to acknowledge and celebrate one of these special women.  Her devotion to preserving her family’s story and that of her community has been an inspiring example to me and others.  Read more about her here.

Treadwell Mine Trail

A few years ago I wrote a page about my Alaskan Attraction — namely, the family story that my grandfather, Srdan Đođić, was one of many who caught gold fever and rushed to Alaska with a few relatives in the early 1900’s.  I have no definitive proof, but it is my hunch is that they ended up working at the Treadwell Mine in Juneau, Alaska.

A year ago I had the pleasure of visiting Juneau, Alaska.  While sitting down to a scrumptious lunch with some family members at The Island Pub on Douglas Island, we realized that the site of the Treadwell Mine Historic Park was less than a mile away.   Even though our schedule only permitted for a short, impromptu stroll along the trail, my heart fluttered with excitement nonetheless!  I had read about it, and now I would be able to experience the place, even if for only a few minutes.  During this quick visit, I was able to capture a few still shots of some mining remnants that littered the path. I wish I had more to share, but I am grateful for the experience and for the few photos I was able to snatch along the way.  Please enjoy the above video for what it’s worth!  Then find a place where your ancestors walked, and go there for a stroll…..

(c) 2017 to Present, Patricia J. Angus

If you want to learn more about Treadwell Mine Trail, here is a great link!

TREADWELL MINE HISTORIC TRAIL WALKING TOUR MAP & HISTORIC GUIDE http://www.alaska.org/assets/content/related_items_pdfs/Juneau-Walking-Tour.pdf

 

Springtime Radish Flowers

Spring has sprung!  With a lilt in my step and Easter dinner around the corner, my memories slip back to my Grandma Katie’s kitchen throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.  A green salad was part of every meal, dressed with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  I was an adult before I ever tasted any type of bottled salad dressing, and her mixture is still embedded into my taste buds.  But, my favorite memory was helping Grandma make radish flowers with blossoms that garnished our salata in the spring and all year long!  I still love watching them bloom!  Play the video and try making a few of your own!  Happy Spring!

(c) 2017 Patricia J. Angus

Remember Scottish Day at Kennywood and Green Gables

Clan Grant Pipe Band, Courtesy of James Stirling, 2017

Back when I was a kid, and long before I had a Scottish surname, we enjoyed the cadence of pipes and drums permeating through Kennywood Park every year on Scottish day. Inevitably we would end up at Green gables across the street for some tasty meat pies. My family was not the only one with such memories. James Stirling read my page About Green Gables and shared some memories of his own. I am delighted to share them with you via an excerpt he sent me from the Stirling/Robb Family History! Click Here and Enjoy!