Eureka! — I found it!

RTdLokLT9It is always exciting when I find something interesting about Duquesne in old newspapers.  But, when I encounter a piece of information that I actually have been searching for, it is even more exhilarating! Recently I discovered the location of Duquesne’s “original” Croatian Hall, so I must share my discovery with all of you.  Can you guess where it was?  Read the article as see for yourself!  Lost Croatian Hall — Found!

Experiencing my Alaskan Attraction

Alaskan view form float planeOver the past month I have been experiencing life instead of writing about it. One of my favorite places to experience is Alaska.  While there, I felt inspired to find connections to my own heritage and in the process began understanding the culture and heritage of others.  Find out what initially prompted my interest in Alaska and what keeps it going — new article Alaskan Attraction.

Icehouse Pictures

Icehouse on Mill Pond Duxbury, MA
Icehouse on Mill Pond in Duxbury, MA

Ahhhhhh… nothing more refreshing than your favorite iced beverage on a hot summer day!  It’s almost as “cool” as hearing stories about how family history inspires and motivates people in their daily life.  The founding of Icehouse Pictures, a film transfer business, is the perfect example of what I mean.  Read it for yourself…. How does family history inspire YOU?  Contact me with your story!

Fireworks and Croatian Sluggers Post

MIke Spanitz for articlePicnics, fireworks, and baseball season in full swing — I just couldn’t resist researching an article about the Duquesne Croatians baseball team! Did they really exist?  For how many seasons? Were they any good? I don’t consider myself a sports writer, so please excuse any stylistic faux pas.  Just enjoy my latest article Fireworks and Croatian Sluggers for what it is, and Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

Duquesne Sleuthing

inspectorOur good friend, the Duquesne Hunky, posted a marvelous panoramic photo of Duquesne, Pennsylvania taken in 1938 which includes a complete view of the neighborhood “below the tracks”.  This entire neighborhood was razed for the steel mill expansion in 1941, but you can view it on this photograph along with the rest of the city.  Zoom in and join the sleuthing to help identify old buildings that no longer exist by visiting here.  I have also added the link on my most popular page “Businesses Below the Tracks”.

2 Cellos Video Link

1194986632998301175funny_music_note_01.svg.hiSpring has officially arrived, and I have emerged out of my winter hibernation!  While I was sleeping, I stumbled upon some music that is NOTHING like your grandma’s Tambura tunes!  These two Croatian guys do more than plunk the cello strings; they deliver quite the performance.  My son introduced their music to me via their official video, and this Croatian cultural experience is too good not to share! While I get back to researching my American-Yugoslavian heritage, enjoy these video performances of 2 Cellos.

Running Away to Home

bookstack with shadow webEvery American digging up their Croatian roots should read Jennifer Wilson’s Running Away to Home: Our Family’s Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters.  This book chronicles the experiences of the author and her family as they leave their middle class American life for one year to experience life in the Croatian village of Jennifer’s ancestors.  Written in a casual style, this narrative makes for an enjoyable read that easily allows the reader to identify with the adventures of the author and her family.  It pulled me into its pages and offered a good mix of Croatian Culture and History and Family — definitely added it to my book links.

Coal Black Crown

young mara face film grainA soft summer breeze caressed her face as Mara gazed upon the verdant garden she had planted in neat rows just a few months before….. “It isn’t fair,” Mara sobbed.  “How could God do this to me?”  I wrote Coal Black Crown in the format of historical fiction in order to bring my Baba’s true life experience closer to the hearts of my audience — all of her posterity and any woman who has ever yearned to become a mother.

Great Family Storytelling Article

My mother came alive and had perfect recall when recounting memories to a special cousin of mine.
My mother came alive and had perfect recall when recounting memories to a special cousin of mine.

It’s a Wonderful Life: Family Storytelling by Jeff Anderson  induced a flood of memories and emotions.  It reminded me of precious time with my grandparents as I listened to them tell stories about their lives.  Their eyes glimmered as they spoke about another place and time so long ago.  More recently I have participated in similar discussions with my own aging parents which has resulted in  smiles and tears and tender moments.  I saw a different side of them as they remembered and shared meaningful memories. Asking questions and inviting elderly family members to share their stories might be the healing balm families need to get through the frustrating adjustments associated with aging.   Thanks, Mary Beth, for sharing this link!

Find your Immigrant Ancestors this Year!

Find your Immigrant Ancestors this Year!

A friend of mine 0512-0805-0512-5720reminded me about the FREE Ellis Island website, so I have now added the link to my Research Tools. The Statue of Liberty — Ellis Island Foundation offers a free search of the Passenger Lists for persons passing through Ellis Island and the Port of New York for the years 1892 to 1924 , along with other resources and tips pertaining to genealogical research and the immigrant experience.  Visit and explore the possibilities!  Thanks, Drew!