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

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

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!



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!

Make a Difference in 2017

Crocheted Starfish on a Frosty Log. (c) 2017 Patricia J. Angus

Crocheted Starfish on a Frosty Log in Alaska. (c) 2017 Patricia J. Angus

The new year has arrived, and I have relocated to a sunnier place on the planet.  I will miss the beauty of living in a remote corner of the world, but I recognize that it is now time to move on. New year. New Location. New Life Focus.  Something I will miss a great deal is walking along a rocky beach in the summer and taking a deep breath to fill my lungs with fresh, moist air.  I will miss the vast horizon where clouds touch the water, left to the mercy of Nature’s paintbrush.  I will miss the elegant flight of eagles, the spray of breaching whales, the occasional glimpse of a shy black bear crossing the road, and the sweet innocence of scampering fawns.  Last, but certainly not least, I will miss investigating the shoreline with my grandchildren to discover seashells, beautiful rocks, twigs, barnacles, and starfish hiding from the hot sun.

The starfish is one of many creatures I will miss the most now that I am living in the desert again.  As a matter of fact, while I was preparing to move in the month of December, the starfish inspired me to create star Christmas ornaments for my family members. I crocheted a small star for each person to represent not only the new star telling of Christ’s birth, but also to represent my tribute farewell to the starfish.  In each set of ornaments, I placed a copy of The Starfish Poem with an admonition that each family member make a difference in someone’s life during the upcoming year.   I am sure you have read the poem many times. It goes like this:

The Starfish Poem

A little boy walked carefully along a crowded beach

Where starfish by the hundred lay there within his reach.

They washed up with each wave as far as the eye could see

And each would surely die if they were not sent back to the sea.

So one by one he rescued them, then heard a stranger call,

“It really won’t make much of a difference…for you cannot save them all.”

But as he tossed yet another one back toward the ocean’s setting sun,

He said with deep compassion, “I made a difference to that one!”

Author Unknown

(adapted from the original essay, The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley)

Much of the world’s suffering and commotion are beyond our control.  However, daily we are surrounded by opportunities to touch someone’s life in a positive way.  We don’t have to look very far to discover ways we can make a difference in our own homes, extended families and communities. Let us make a concerted effort this year, and always, to feed someone who is hungry, comfort someone who is sick, clothe someone who is naked or cold, or spend time with someone who is lonely.  The list of possibilities is endless and as unique as each starfish along the shore.  Although each of us “cannot save them all”, we can make “a difference to that one!”  Wishing you many blessings as you strive to touch the lives of others throughout 2017!

© 2017 Patricia J. Angus

Crocheted starfish pattern may be found at: