Vol. 1-Interview-Falatko


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -1- 8/30/72 Tape 5-1

 WB: You used to live by the church up here, the Catholic Church?

 CF: Yes, the second house, second door, second block, in the first house there were but three boys and four or five girls, in the second there were 2 girlsand 2 boys in the third house there were 3 boys, they had no girls, in our house there were 14 of us.

 WB: 14? this is when you were a kid now?

 CF: Yeh, when we were kids, in the third house in every house there were 12, 13 kids

 WB: There were a lot of kids around.

 CF: The boys were grown up the girls were grown up everybody had big families here

 WB: What did you do when you were a kid, do you remember some of the stuff that you used to do? Games you used to play? Social activities that all the kids would do together?

 CF: Oh the only thing we used to shoot crap or something like that, nothing like

 WB: But with all those kids around you must have had a real good time with all those kids around there was a lot of kids to play with?

 CF: Lots of kids to play with but some of them they weren’t allowed to play in those days there was Slavish, Polish, Greek, Irish or Dutch some of them weren’t allowed to play with each other, you had to play with your own, maybe you were Slavish or Irish their people wouldn’t like it, it’s not like now everything is the same, what would the church say, he’s going to his church, he’s not going to our church that was the Catholic Church, the Slavish people weren’t allowed to go there.

 WB: That was mostly Irish up in that church wasn’t it?

 CF: The Irish couldn’t get to our church, I don’t remember but my Daddy, may his soul rest, you couldn’t get close to the church Sunday morning. On the back street there was nothing but Irish people.

 WB: On Back Street?

 CF: On Back Street in them homes, you couldn’t get close to that church on Sunday morning- goats! they’d be chasing you like hell.

 WB: The Irish would?

 CF: Goats, nanny goats, they had so much thats what they lived on, but today everything’s the same.

 WB: Didn’t the Irish, Slavish, Polish and the Greeks, I guess the Irish sort of stayed to themselevs and did the Polish and the Slavish and the Greeks sort of stay to themselves, or did the Greek people stay with the Greeks and the Dutch stay with the Dutch?

 CF: What do you mean?

 WB: Well when you were a kid you said the Slavish couldn’t play with the Irish.

 CF: They used to play, but their parents didn’t like it much but the children used play together, yes.

 WB: The kids were too young to know the difference, the parents were the only ones that were nasty about it.

 CF: But if you wanted to get married you’d say, I’m Slavish, I want to get married to a Polish, their people would say, “Please don’t marry a Slovak,” and maybe our parents would say, “Don’t marry a Polander,” again it they had trouble themselves but today

 WB: Everybody marries everybody.

 CF: And we wasn’t allowed to go to their church and they wasn’t allowed to come to our church like Protestants that new church there, it was Reformed, St. John’s Church, Luthern; St James, Episcopal, that was a big church.

 WB: Those were mostly attended by German people weren’t they?


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -2- 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 CF: We had lots of Germans here, I’m, telllin’ you on this corner here the whole gosh dam thing you couldn’t buy a house here it was all Protestants, lots of Protestants only one family that was living here across the S—– ——— Patrushka there were always Greek people living in that house but the rest of them they were all Dutch and above they were mixed already and down here there were, how many, quite a few homes all the way down, all Dutch.

 WB: How come all the Dutch got houses down here?

 CF: They were mostly bosses and everything else I guess.

 WB: These were mostly bosses homes so the Dutch were mostly bosses? So they live in the bottom part of the town here?

 CF: Mostly, bosses and teachers.

 WB: And up town was mostly Irish and

 CF: The Back Street was nothing but Irish, the second street from the breaker up Protestant homes now, Irish, that was Irish Street they used to call it and down here, Shanty Street that was

 WB: That was Dutch too?

 CF: They were mixed already there was quite a few, now everybody went away right after the first war they started going.

 WB: That’s when all the young people started to leave I guess?

 CF: Yeh, well the mine shut down because there was nothin’ but mines there, was no strippins’ here the beautiful places down here were swamp, around this way you could see all the way down around the cemetary you could see all the way down, now today you can’t see because it’s all strippin’, that’s the way it goes.

 WB: But say for instance when you were living up on the Back Street did you come down through this part of the town or would you get in trouble?

 CF: No we used to come down some times some of the kids would holler this or throw a stone at you or something, very few, they were mainly because we used to go to the same school you know, the same teachers, they didn’t bother much

 WB: Was there much trouble like much fighting between the kids like the Greek kids against the Polish kids?

 CF: No, no, we got along nice the parents didn’t like that too much you know.

 WB: But the kids got along pretty fine?

 CF: Yeh.

 WB: What did a kid do around Eckley besides go to school?

 CF: Well nothin’, in the summer time we went for huckleberries or for coal, that’s all they could do, or work in the garden because everybody had a big garden and thay all had cows and pigs and everything, they had to help to clean up the pigs and cows and help the parents.

 WB: The children had lot of chores?

 CF: Oh yeh.

 WB: A lot of work to be done, but they had some play time too didn’t they?

 CF: Oh yeh, they had lots of time they used to go to shows, the movies, walk over to Freeland, 3 miles over and 3 miles back, we used to pay 3 cents that was a theatre one time I don’t know what we used to call it, I don’t think of it, that used to be a theatre where that A & P, that grocery store, so we used to go there, 3 cents.

 WB: Three cents to go to the movies, boy that’s cheap.

 CF: Yeh, and walk over and walk back, well we’d get 10 cents or 15 cents we’d buy penny bags they used to call them for 2 cents, candy and gum and stuff like that and way comin’ home – chew. But we enjoyed it, but dances, when we were big already there was lots of dances in Freeland about 3 times a week

 WB: And you’d walk over to Freeland to the dances?

 CF: Walk over and back.



 WB: Would the boys take the girls or would the girls walk by themselves?

 CF: No, sometimes they had a lantern, a carbine latern, no oil lamp or lantern there were 10 or 15 together, there was no oil like this. They were farm roads, all mud, only in the daytime you could go right from the store where the store is, right across over the mountain, it was a short cut, you know, in the daytime it was nice to go too, in the night you couldn’t go the short cut it was too dark used to take the road used to go to church, STATIONS of the cross or something you’d have to walk all the way around but now the roads are good but whose goin’ to walk, they wouldn’t walk from here to the

 WB: Well now you don’t need to walk anymore there’s cars and things like that.

 CF: Well I’m afraid to go by car to Freeland I don’t like to ride. I don’ t like to ride honest to God you wouldn’t believe it, there’s so many accidents you can never tell if something going to happen but it will happen no matter where you’re at.

 WB: Did you always work in the mines here at Eckley? How old were you when you started working the mines?

 CF: Yes, well I’ll tell you when I started to work first I started to work down at Hazle Brook it’s more than three miles from here over on top of the mountain.

 WB: There’s a Hazle Brook Road that still goes though there.

 CF: There is no Hazle Brook Road now.

 WB: There’s an old path that goes through down here you can the whole way to Hazle Brook.

 CF: Past —— there was an old road you could take the railroad down and then there was an old road that went over top, over the mountain, it’s more than 3 miles.

 WB: You used to walk that each day?

 CF: Yeh, and walk day and night, sure.

 WB: How old were you then?

 CF: About 13.

 WB: What was you first job in the mines?

 CF: That wasn’t in the mines, that was pickin slate on the breakers for 6 cents an hour. 10 hours a day, pickin’ slate, 6 cents an hour.

 WB: You were picking slate out of the coal, where was that at?

 CF: Hazle Brook

 WB: Oh you were a breaker boy?

 CF: Yeh, that’s what I’m sayin’, on a breaker.

 WB: Oh I see, you used to sit on one of those little things and pick the slate out

 CF: I just had a little bench and the coal was coming down a chute you just take it out that’s all, all day long.

 WB: That was pretty tough on your hands wasn’t it?

 CF: Tough! your fingers were red, bleedin’, but then we got some kinds of pads they used to the company used to give us pads, rubber pads, not rubber but might as well say rubber, anyhow that didn’t hurt our hands too much – for 10 hours.

 WB: That must have been rough?

 CF: Yeh, 10 hours.

 WB: That’s a long time to be sitting there, I’ll bet that raised a lot of dust didn’t it?

 CF: No there wasn’t too much dust on a breaker, mostly water because that coal don’t go dry, the coal was gettin’ washed with water see? Soon as they dump it from the coal mine on top and from the shakers goes to big rollers, it cracks the coal chestnut, pea coal and rice coal, different sizes goes in


-4 8-20- 72 Tape 5-1 Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko

different chutes. It’s all washed, it’s not dry

 WB: but you were 13 yrs, old when you started

 CF: 13 Yeh.

 WB: Did you work on the breaker very long picking slate?

 CF: 3 yrs.y, maybe better than 3 yrs. then I got a job here on this breaker.

 WB: Were you picking slate on the Eckley breaker?

 CF: Yeah, I was picking slate. Then I was watchin’ jiggs, jiggs was where the coal goes up and down and shakes the small stuff goes on the bottom and the bigger stuff on top. That’s what I was watchin’ . For about a year. That’s all.

 WB: Then you were about 16 I guess.

 CF: And then I got a job roundin’ the coal. This here big car that goes on a railroad track runnin’ the cars down under the chute there where they were loadin’ cars on the railroad? I was there for a while. I didn’t like it. I got the hell in the mines.

 WB: What did you do to bring the coal? You said you ran the cars, did you have a little lokey that you pulled them with?

 CF: No, not down the breaker. You had a brake just start the car out and the car would go under the chute and just stop it.

 WB: You would just drift down.

 CF: No, it was level. WB. Did you have to push it?

 CF: No. It would start itself, if it wouldn’t there was a guy that would give it a pitch.

 WB: And then after that you went in the mines?

 CF: I went in the mines for a while.

 WB: How old were you when you went in the mines? Do you remember 17 or 18?

 CF: about 17.

 WB: What did you do in the mines? Were you a contract miner?

 CF: No it was company work, workin’ on the railroad patchin’, helpin’, on a motor used to pull the coal around.

 WB: Was that with mules?

 CF: No motor, from the beginning in some parts they had mules but I was down in Buck Mountain.

 WB: Oh that’s right, in Buck Mountain they had motors before. they never had motors in the Eckley mines, did they, except for the last couple of years?

 CF: Just in the last couple of years, not long.

 WB: But you were patch on one of those motors for a couple of years?

 CF: Well, that’s what happened to me when I broke my leg down in Sandy Valley. On the (white space) I was patchin’ on a motor and that son of a bitch, bastardly man I have to call him, he’s dead already, Helen Fedorsha’s brother, I was patchin’ for him. He was a mean devil. He was awful mean to me. He knowed there was a big door oh bigger than this, long, bigger not wide but higher and iron door, it’s supposed to open on both sides or the other, automatic, and had a light trip, just a few cars to go in or out he would stop the motor. And the motors gone in and out. You’re supposed to open one side or the other automatic and that door wasn’t right, he knew it, it wasn’t right and lots of times when he had a light trip, just a few cars to go in or out he would stop the motor and then he’d get up and I’d open the door from one side to the other and I’d put cement blocks to keep the door open till he passed with the motor then go and close the door because you had to keep it closed on account of the miners so they’d get air because the air was comin’ from the outside and you had to kept that closed. That day he had 13 big gondolers, big cars, jetto (Jeddo) cars we used to call them,13, and 2 big trucks of timber to go in, that was the last trip about a quarter of 2, that was the last trip, we were supposed to take for the night shift miners in it was the month of June there was lots of huckleberries and that bastard was workin’ day and


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko 8/20/72 Tape 5-1 night picking’ huckleberries and he couldn’t wait to go home, go up for huckleberries and so he knowed that long trip and the cars started bumpin’ because they were only that far apart, they started bumpin, Jesus lover, it takes awhile before they stopped the motor, he didn’t stop it, we went right through the door and the door opened and the side of the car, a big iron caught my leg right on that, yeh that’s what happened.

 WB: What did they do with you afterwards when, after the accident, what did they do did the first-aid team come down and work on you or

 CF: What did they do? There was so much coal in the tunnel, loaded cars, that they couldn’t get me out, they got me over top, top of the cars to get me to the surface by the door to get me out, they couldn’t get the doctor from Freeland, compensation doctor, we had compensation doctor, the company had, couldn’t get the doctor, they couldn’t get the doctor for about 2 hours, they had me out in the sun, month of June the 15th it was that hot layin’ me on the stretcher outside out in mud and in blood, when they got me to the hospital they couldn’t even wash me, Dr. Kettrick, he’s still in that hospital, my leg didn’t have to be stiff but they couldn’t fix it, there was too much dirt, the sun got it or some gosh thing, it was, but they couldn’t clean it out they had me layin’ outside. Dr. Dice he wanted to cut my leg off, the main doctor, but Dr. Kettrick’s still in the hospital, Dice is dead I think, one of the Dice’s, but Kettrick said, “No he’s goin’ to have a stiff leg,” because my muscles and cords and everything were all drawn up, “he’s goin’ to have a stiff leg but we’re going to save hs leg,” so I have a leg, thank God, I got myself better than a good one, if it wasn’t for Dr. Kettrick everytime I go to the hospital he wnated to operate on me 2 weeks ago, I have real trouble inside, he examined me and said, “Clifford it has to done or it will strangle you,” but when it happened he had nurses ready, and bed ready and he promised be, because 2 or 3 weeks he was the main guy in the hospital, he said, “Clifford I know you don’t have that much money for this operation and everything, I know your case and everything I’m goin’ to do for nothin’,” he was satisfied to do it for nothin’ but what the hell happened I went to a veteran’s hospital I got my gall bladder taken out. I just came home about 3 days but I have to go back to the state hospital but he had the nurse and everything ready for me, I told the nurse I changed my mind, but I was scared, I was afraid because I seen those kinds of cases you know, how they do it and how they suffer, I know what it is but I said I changed by mind, I did go. A couple of times when I went to the hospital he said, “Are you still livin’ Clifford?” I said, “Yeh doctor,” he didn’t get to talk to me he thought I made a fool out of him, you know, he was a good doctor, good to me and he’s good to me now, yeh, he’s a nice doctor.

 WB: When you had your leg cut off how old were you? Not off, when you had that accident, how old were you?

 CF: How old? Well I’m goin’ to be 77 and it was 17 yrs, in June 15 it was 17 years.

 WB: You were about 60 when that happened?

 CF: 59, 60. 17 yrs. it will be about 60, yeh.

 WB: I’m interested, what happened in the family, what was the man’s role in the family in a mine town, for instance you lived here when you were young so your father worked in the mines didn’t he?

 CF: He was killed in the mines too, up here.

 WB: Oh he was? In number 6 up here?

 CF: Number 2 where this breaker is.


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -6- 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 WB: When you were a child can you remember what kind of money he made, how much per hour he made, what was his job, was he a contract miner, so he made more than the company miners?

 CF: Yeh he was contract miner, it all depends on the job he had, sometimes he had a job where he could get a little money, sometimes he had a job that he couldn’t make money. When he worked down at the mountain he didn’t make good at all. My brother was killed up here, only 22 years old, he had four kids.

 WB: What happened to the children and the wife?

 CF: Well they’re all livin’, they’re all big men.

 WB: What happened did the company give them money?

 CF: I don’t know, they didn’t give no compensation, the give her some for each child so much, then she used to go washin’ and do housework for people, she kept them goin’ she raised them all she lived in ( ) now, that’s Helen Fedorchak’s sister, she lived in with Anna Fedorchak.

 WB: Oh she lived with Anna Fedorsha?

 CF: She had 3 boys and a girl after he was killed she had, but they’re all married now, they all have nice families; she had it pretty tough.

 WB: Do you remember when your father worked was that all he did or was there other things he did to raise a family, just mine or did he pick huckleberries or anything like that?

 CF: No our daddy never worked for anybody, now and then he’d go for a quart of huckleberries just for pasttime he used to go with the old guys, but pick huckleberries, no, but he used to go and pick a quart or two for pasttime not only him but there was lots of guys that used to go, no he didn’t do nothin’ else only he used to go for coal, carry coal, we’d go home from work, us boys, not #4 you had a church, there was an old strip there, you’d go out and make a hole and make a fire and then go with the wheel barrow and carry coal home, one would carry and the other one would crack.

 WB: That helped to save money because you didn’t have to buy coal.

 CF: No we never bought coal, we came in this house and we had coal for about 5 years that we picked up there, I never bought coal till we got here, I got it from the hospital now, with a broken leg, I take 6 qts. cans or sometime 2 6qts. cans and I go down there’s lots of coal in the ( ) region here I go over with my cane, that stick that I have, this one and I get 3 buckets everyday that we burn in the daytime and put it away, and today I didn’t have to go, yeh I used to go for coal.

 WB: How about when you were young what were the kind of jobs that you had to do around the house?

 CF: Nothin’ just go for coal or you had some things around the house like Mom did, tend to the cows or take the manure out of some things like that, you didn’t have to much around the house there were so many of us that the ones that worked didn’t have much they’d get the girls to do it, the sisters.

 WB: Do you remember anything about the boarders, did your family ever have boarders or did you know anybody that had boarders?

 CF: No there were very few boarders in this town.

 WB: If there were boarders, where did they board, were there specific areas where the boarders, like on the Back Street?

 CF: Very few around here unless you had some relations that they came from different towns, different state, if they got a job here or something, you’d keep them one or so but no strange boarders, no boarders here at all everybody had big families how in the heck would they keep boarders?

 WB: That’s true with the many kids there wasn’t much room.


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -7- 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 CF: Very few that had boarders in them days my mother would have to keep the boarders on top of us yet.

 WB: In your family that’s the truth with that many children. Did you get caught up in the strikes here, there were 2 strikes in Eckley weren’t there?

 CF: Sure there were strikes.

 WB: What happened when there were strikes, and the men weren’t working what did they do to make some money?

 CF: Well nothin’ what could you do, there was nothin’ to do only go for coal but you weren’t allowed to go for coal no palce, just cops, guards watchin’ around the breakers with where there were slopes they were fenced and they had guards the company had, you wasn’t allowed to go close to the mines during the strike.

 WB: Was that the Coal and Iron Police?

 CF: Yeh, yeh, yeh.

 WB: And they had a fance all around the mines and

 CF: Mostly, especially around the breaker here the ( ) all around.

 WB: And what happened if they caught somebody?

 CF: I guess they’d have you arrested, I don’t remember that.

 WB: I just wondered if any of them beat up any people, like that or shot any one?

 CF: No it wasn’t that wild around here, they was no niggers or strange people they were mostly, in town they said there were, no matter what kind they were Polish, Slavish, Greek or Dutch and Irish ( ) like one family they were all workin’ together.

 WB: I was talking about the Coal and Iron Police they didn’t bother nobody if some one saw that someone was taking some coal, what would they do, would they throw them in jail?

 CF: I don’t think so, I don’t remember that, they never done that.

 WB: Did they have many police here while the strike was on?

 CF: Not many, now and then they had especially around the slope that was goin’ in the mine, if they were going in the mines to do some damage, dynamite or somethin’ but not much outside.

 WB: Maybe 5 or 6 of them in the whole town?

 CF: There were some at the slope here.

 WB: So they’d keep a man or two at each slope so no one could get down in there and do anything, but didn’t some of the men do something to make some money if it was a 6 month strike?

 CF: Well some of then was old enough that they could go in the woods and pick huckle berries and then how long does huckleberries last, that’s all they could do mostly they couldn’t do nothin’ else.

 WB: Didn’t some of the men go and work for the farmers around here?

 CF: I don’t remember, maybe some, I don’t think so.

 WB: I guess the men mostly loafed around the house.

 CF: That’s all, playin’ cards and shootin’ these, whether it was a 6 month strike a 4 month or a 2 month strike no matter how long it last, they didn’t do nothin’

 WB: I guess they got on their wives nerves?

 CF: THe wives had to help anyhow, no there wasn’t too much trouble.

 WB: Were there certain chores the men had, like did they do anything with the gardening or was that all the children that worked in the gardens?

 CF: No the old man used to go, they helped, they dug the gardens. Remeber every body had gardens planted not like we had no grass no place, you could pick it with one fist, all everything’s planted when we came here in the house 17 yrs. no 15 yrs ago, well this garden from this shanty up to this house was in the back the government planted potatoes the whole garden was planted with potatoes we didn’t touch it, we didn’t plant it we didn’t plow it we didn’t dig them, the government guys dug them out and spill them on a pile for us we didn’t have to do a thing.


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -8- 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 WB: No kidding, how come the goverment planted that?

 CF: Well they did the first year when they come here, they done it after the first war, they done it not for everybody because some of the gardens were quarantined I think there was only our grarden that was gettin’ plowed there was only 3 or 4 on this corner like the neighbors wasn’t and down below theirs wasn’t, Bruno’s wasn’t, ours was the first one and this one wasn’t, my brothers, that empty house where my brother lived-there was about 3 gardens on this side not all the gardens we had no trouble with the potatoes takin’ them or plantin’ them or plowin’ them.

 WB: How about livestock, did the man take care of the chickens and things like that? What kind of things- would the man keep animals and stuff, would they keep the cows?

 CF: Yeh, well I’ll tell you, in our house when I was smaller we always had a cow and we always had pigs, geese and we always had a lot of chickens when we got married 54 yrs. ago the first thing she wants is a cow, we did but we stayed with her parents.

 WB: Oh you lived with her parents?

 CF: With her parents a couple months.

 WB: Was that tough living with her parents for the men to live with the woman’s parents?

 CF: If they were any kinds of parents but they mix into your business, it was tough I had to get out, so we got a cow- finally went to housekeepin’ I got a house one of them small houses up above, then she didn’t want no more cow, we always had 2 pigs, we had about 80-90 chickens, 40 ducks, couple geese, that’s what we were livin’ on meat- eggs

 WB: I’ll bet with 80 -90 chickens you always had a lot of eggs.

 CF: Oh we used to keep now old people like my daddy, my parents had pigs and cows, before my daddy would go to work at 7 o’clock he’d get up early and feed the cow feed the pigs and in the mornig my mother would get up pack a lunch for the boys, ones that were workin’ already and she’d just go and milk the cows, one of the kids would carry the milk around, sell it, my daddy would feed the pigs and cows before he’d go to work.

 WB: Now I guess when he came home he’d take care of it too?

 CF: We’d have to take the manure out and different things when Mom couldn’t do it because she was on the go, remember we had no water in the house, we had to carry water from far away fo washin’ there was no washer, she had to wash on the washboard for that many people you know she’d have to go, there was no kind of powder like they have different kinds of powder, this and that- yellow soap.

 WB: That must have been really rough on her?

 CF: It was yeh, but they enjoyed it.

 WB: How about who did the butchering then, say for instance when you killed a chicken or a pig or something?

 CF: My daddy or my Mom could do it herself, they can’t do anything now.

 WB: But usually the man of the house would butcher, he’d kill the chickens?

 CF: They’d have to hire somebody because my Dad wouldn’t do a cow, like chickens, yeh

 WB: What would you do with the meat there were no refrigerators then?

 CF: But jimminy fires you wouldn’t have so much meat for big families like that you didn’t have too much meat.

 WB: Well say for instance if you killed a pig you had a good, much meat,

 CF: Well you had so much for bacon, so much for lard, you could smoke hams if you had a smokehouse, you could smoke everything.

 WB: Did you have a smokehouse behind your house?

 CF: Yeh

 WB: Did a lot of people in Eckley have smokehouses?

 CF: Quite a few I guess, whoever had pigs.


Waln Brown Interviewing Clifford Falatko -9- 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 WB: What was a smokehouse like?

 CF: Made out of wood this here.

 WB: Was it made out of wood?

 CF: Boards if anybody had a shed, yard.

 WB: Was it a small shed like?

 CF: Higher than a bridge.

 WB: Say 6 ft. high?

 CF: Yeh.

 WB: Maybe 4 or 5 ft. wide and 4, 5 ft. long?

 CF: 3, 4 ft.

 WB: You said it was a pretty small building?

 CF: Yeh.

 WB: Was there special wood that was used on the inside?

 CF: It all depends what kind of taste you wanted, bacon or hams depends on diff erent wood.

 WB: And I guess there was a stove inside for smoking?

 CF: No.

 WB: How did you smoke them? (

 CF: calls his wife and is assured she is outside)

 CF: This would be the wood here it would have to be level, dig a hole over there, a big hole, dig the ditch, I’d say the shanty was 5 or 6 ft. away from that fire, this ditch cover it up so that coal smoke would go in that smoke shanty, the fire was burin’ like a bugger, the smoke would go in the ditch right in the smoke shanty.

 WB: I see in other words, I’m just trying to get this straight so excuse me if I repeat, you’d build a little fire pit back there in the ground away from it and then you’d put a steel sheet like a pipe to go up under the smokehouse and the you’d put coal

 CF: Not coal- wood.

 WB: You’d burn the wood and then the smoke would go in the pipe and then up in the smokehouse, how long would it burn, how long would it take to smoke a piece of meat, say a pig?

 CF: A piece of meat? Depends on what you’re smokin’, hams or bacon or pork chops, you can smoke pork chops in one piece.

 WB: So then it would burn all day long?

 CF: One Day? For bacon you have to have more than a week or hams you have about 2 weeks, every day.

 WB: So it was always burning, you kept the fire burning all the time?

 CF: Yeh, not in the night, in the night you take everything in because you couldn’t trust anybody, take everything in.

 WB: This shed, you said most of the people in Eckley had smokesheds?

 CF: Oh yeh. 444 [be started to whisper, didn’t want his wife (on the porch) to hear, something about a bachelor friend of his that wanted to smoke kilbasi how one night the friend brought his sausage over and instead of making a fire in the pit they made a fire right in the smokehouse and put a metal sheet over and her mother comes up and the fire’s burnin’ like hell and and she goes and puts more wood on, there was lots of fat in the sausage and it burnt the whole god dam thing, the neigh bors yelled the shanty’s on fire because everything went up, all the pork and 464 beef]

 WB: Did you say on the inside of your smoke shanty, that one, you had a fire on the ground inside the smokeshanty?

 CF: No I didn’t use that, I just put the fire in a tub under this fresh sausage in the smokeshanty on the bottom, it started drippin’ and all the grease caught


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

on fire. If I’d have a fire here it wouldn’t start smokin’ and if her mother wouldn’t come and put wood on. NB And that did it, oh my gosh, that’s a horrible thing. I guess that was all there was just a door you could go in, that was it, and it just had a ground floor you didn’t have wood on the floor you had plain dirt?

 CF: Just dirt.

 WB: Was it just wood or did you have some metal sheeting on it on the smoke shed?

 CF: Nothing at all, just the boards.

 WB: And I guess those boards were pretty tight together so the smole couldn’t go our?

 CF: Sure.

 WB: How about bake ovens were there very many bake ovens around here?

 CF: Sure there was lots of them.

 WB: On the main street here?

 CF: All over, not everybody, but most of them.

 WB: Did you have a bake oven in your yard?

 CF: She used them when she was single because her daddy had it but when we got married we didn’t have it she used to bake bread in that.

 WB: Did your mother and father have a bake oven?

 CF: No, she used to bake in the oven.

 WB: Do you remember what the bake ovens looked like, they were outbuildings weren’t they?

 CF: Yeh, outside in the garden.

 WB: What were they made of?

 CF: Well bricks or stone.

 WB: How high were they?

 CF: It all depends what kind you want, smaller or bigger or higher.

 WB: Oh there were different sizes?

 CF: Sure if you wanted one bigger or small.

 WB: What would you say a small size might be, 3 ft.high, 4ft. high?

 CF: Yeh, her daddy had a nice one about 4 ft. high.

 WB: And how about wide and long?

 CF: About as long as this stove.

 WB: It would be about 3 ft. long and how about, how wide, about as wide as the stove?

 CF: Yeh.

 WB: And that was all brick or stone?

 CF: All brick, some of had stone.

 WB: What was it like, was there some cement between the bricks?

 CF: Nothin, they had clay, they had dirt clay they made like mud and they put that in between, no cement.

 WB: And then there was a door, what kind of a door, was it a metal door?

 CF: Well that all depends if you, you could have a wooden door, some of them had sheet-iron door like, just put the board across, when you had a fire you didn’t have to have, you could have the door open, cause you had the fire made before you put the bread in.

 WB: Oh, in other words you’d get a fire going?

 CF: You burn up the stove hard, when you’re ready to put the bread in you take the fire right out, sweep it right out, there was nothin’ to it, put thaat bread in and that stove gets red hot.

 WB: The bricks get hot?

 CF: Bricks get hot and then put the door on.

 WB: And then you’d just leave it in there, inside of that was there a sheet or something that you could stick the bread on like sheet metal?


Wain Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 CF: Some of those had, most of them had, but most of them put it right on the bottom on the bricks because it was nice and little, they used to put that chop or something on the bottom, different things so it wouldn’t get muddy, but it would get right, it was alright.

 WB: Bricks on the floor I guess, bricks or stones on the floor?

 CF: On the floor it didn’t have to be on the floor because it was high, whete your were supposed to put your bread in,like in the oven, same thing, that was empty ont the bottom.

 WB: How about the roof. was roof tin, or what, you wouldn’t put bricks across the top would you?

 CF: They had sheet-iron over top.

 WB: I’ll bet that really got hot and made some really good bread, didn’t it?

 CF: Tastier bread than what we make in the oven.

 WB: Oh boy I’d like to have tried bread like that, and a woman would do a lot of baking with a bake oven wouldn’t she, especially with a family like yours?

 CF: My mother used to bake twice a week, not the loaves like they’re making now them’ small ones in a (?) pan but when she would make one like that.

 WB: No kidding, about 2-1/2 ft. long?

 CF: Your dam right, ask anybody, big loaves.

 WB: Big loaves of bread, how long would a loaf of bread like that last, with a family like yours I guess not very long?

 CF: You’ll have to ask somebody older than me, because we ate lots of bread and when she would make cabbage pies, oh boy, oh boy.

 WB: Cabbage pies?

 CF: They were as big as this, half of this carpet, just one family eat one with a glass of milk or a cup of milk and you didn’t want nothin’ else, you didn’t want any meat, excuse me. Recorder was turned off and then on again then

 CF: started whispering very quietly

 WB: How about your father, who did the disciplining in your family, your father or the mother?

 CF: What do you mean?

 WB: Well when the kids were bad and things like that, who gave them likins and stuff, the man or the woman?

 CF: Both, and Mom would say, the old man’s name was Stephen, “Stephen he done this,” in Slavish in their tongue, you know, “Posta come here” and he would ask them what they do and all that and you got it, what you deserved, what Mom told him, and Daddy would tell Mom, “You punish him because he’s gonna do this or don’t let him do that,” there was no pleasure in that, oh no, no.

 WB: What kind of disciplining was there, did the Dad take you behind the woodshed and and give you a twig across the rear end or what?

 CF: No in the house where everybody could see it, so the rest of them would see it.

 WB: Give you a whoopin’, would he hit you with a stick or what?

 CF: Not hard, just with his hand, I never remember like some of them had, a whip or straps or somethin’ or paddle like thy had in school, no, no our Daddy wouldn’t do that, honest to God, never, thank God we never got any like that, we had no chance to get a lickin’ like that because we didn’t do anything bad now and then he had to give us punishment, yeh.

 WB: So both the man and the woman would punish?

 CF: Both is right, both were bosses.

 WB: Was the man the head of the household or did the woman sometimes get to be that head of the household?

 CF: No, same thing, what one knowed the other knowed, was was supposed to be done they’d talk between themselves, we do this and we do that and it was done.


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 WB: So the man wasn’t the undisputed head of the household”

 CF: No.

 WB: The man and the woman together?

 CF: There was no things like that in our house, no siree, thank God.

 WB: Well did the father have much of a chance to be with the children?

 CF: Well when he come from work, that’s the only time.

 WB: Did he play with the children, like your father, did you pitch ball?

 CF: What would you play with your Daddy, there wasn’t nothin’ for us kids to play, what would your Daddy play, no.

 WB: There wasn’t that much time?

 CF: No.

 WB: How about the girls, did the girls spend a lot of time with their mother, like learning housework and things like that?

 CF: The girls used to be around the house, yes.

 WB: They would learn to do the baking and cleaning and stuff like that to help the mother?

 CF: Baking because them days our parents didn’t bake no pies or no cakes, pies maybe she would make now and then, apple pie or somethin’ only bread and that’s all, only she would make cabbage pie, it was just like bread, she would make dough bread and put the cabbage in, roll it out and put it in the oven, big thing, big as that is here, you would have enough for the whole family for one meal, my lady made the other day, yeh Thursday, my daughter was supposed to come from Weatherly, mother’s a nurse in that hospital, so she said to her husband and they all like cabbage pies so she said, I’m goin’ to make a cabbage pie because thay like it so,” so she got up early she had cabbage ready in the night, just make the dough, so she got up early and made it like this here, it was warm before Francie goes to work because he goes to work st 2 o’clock, he works in the Mountain Top, he’s a mechanic down there, her husband, she’s not workin’ now because she has her vacation for 2 weeks, so she made it and my daughter didn’t come and I said, “See it’s going to be up to you, me and you because God knows maybe Tommy would come, I think I finished the rest, a piece today, this morning, My Sohia comes in the afternoon after Francie,her husband went to work already, she had to make it because Francie her husband likes it so. My lady likes to make cabbage pies you can make a meal, she has a cup of coffee and she has about 3 slices about as big as this, honest to God you can make a good meal, and they’re good when they’re warm they’re good all, not bad but still when they’re warm they’re warm they’re better tastin’, she likes to fuss around like that.

 WB: Your mother, what kind of work did she do around the house, I guess she was pretty busywasn’t she?

 CF: Why sure she was busy with everything.

 WB: With 13 children and a husband she had to do a lot of baking and cooking and washing clothes?

 CF: There was no plates on the table, she made soup or gulosh or somethin’ in a big pot, she’d put it on the table and everybody has his plate, not a plate but the dish and there was this spoon to fill it up, how much you want, take it from the pot, there was no special plate for this and a fork and knife for this no, if she had meat, take a fork and everybody would have to take his own, no fussin’ around with that.

 WB: But she was busy all the time, would she get up with your father in the morning and make breakfast?

 CF: Why sure she had to get up.

 WB: So she would get up about 4 or 5 in the morning, 6?

 CF: Around 6 o’clock she’d feed the cows and pigs before she filled the can for Daddy.


Wain Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

when he was only hisself but when we started work the boys, 2oldest, firt me and Gene, Mamma would ready the cans and Daddy would fill them, the cans.

 WB: With the, for lunch?

 CF: With the lunch.

 WB: And then I guess after that was done she’d have to get breakfast fot the children?

 CF: Why sure.

 WB: And then do her washing and ironing, draw water? Cf Ironing? There wasn’t much ironing, who in the hell had an electric iron or what. There were irons you put on the stove, in the shanty, in the garage there, them old timers what we have, put on the stove, 2 irons, take a piece of rag or whatever you had, iron and that’s all, like shirt or something like that, that’s all, you didn’t get used to iron, my daughter-in-law, not daughter-in-law but my brother’s wife, sister-in-law, she used to iron those carpets with an electric iron, gee, my old lady used to say, “Gee are you crazy,” honest to God, no that wasn’t in them days, you had 2 irons on the stove and iron whatever you need and that’s all, no my parents didn’t do that.

 WB: With all the children that were in your family how did they all sleep, where did they sleep?

 CF: If you’d see them.

 WB: When there was that many kids you didn’t live on the Back Street house did you?

 CF: Why yes.

 WB: You were on the Back Street house with all those people?

 CF: No, no that was only me and my mother on the Back Street, but on the Big Street there by the church, there were 7 of us boys well only 6 because the first one Mathy, Mathew died when he was 3 years and a half old, I’ll say 6, 6 boys and 6 girls, yeh.

 WB: And how big was the house you lived in, was it 2 bedrooms?

 CF: 2 rooms upstairs and 2 down, they were smaller rooms than this, upstairs small.

 WB: Well how did you all sleep, where did everybody sleep?

 CF: Daddy and Mom used to sleep in the front room..

 WB: In the parlor?

 CF: There was no parlor.

 WB: Well that’s what we call a parlor today.

 CF: Yeh, and there was a kitchen too, that’s all.

 WB: And all the kids slept upstairs?

 CF: The boys in one room and the boys (girls?) in the other room.

 WB: 6 in each room, how many beds were in each room?

 CF: 2 in each, you could hardly pass in between.

 WB: And 3 in each bed?

 CF: You had to.

 WB: My goodness, you didn’t have much room to move did you, did you have like 2 sleep in one end and one in the other end?

 CF: No we slept together on one end, right in the center, it was hard, my Mother said when she’d come up to wake us in the morning when we were ready to go to work, she’d say, “Oh boys in all kinds of tricks,” (lots of laughter and

 CF: said something quietly). Didn’t anybody sleep in the attic?

 CF: We had no attic.

 WB: Oh there wasn’t any attic in that house?

 CF: No there was no attic.

 WB: Boy I can just imagine sleeping with 2 other people on a bed.


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko 8/20/72 Tape –

CF: Here I have a big bed myself and honest to God I’m all over the gosh hang bed. I have a bed for 3 in the middle room, she said go in there it’s warmer in wintertime than this back one and I did try, I couldn’t even fall asleep on this thing, I’ll sooner stay out here no matter how big it is but in the front room when it was so warm for 2 days I go in the front room because there’s lots of air in the front, so I went there twice, or three times and I don’t like it. I like my back room that’s all, I have 2 windows on this side and one on that side and that’s o.k., where the roof is slanted, but it’s nice and cool upstairs the front room and the middle one is nice in the summer, it’s real nice.

 WB: You must have got pretty sweaty sleeping with everybody in one bed in the summertime when you were young?

 CF: Maybe we didn’t sleep all together, there was half jumpin’ maybe on the floor when it was too hot, I don’t remember that.

 WB: What was in you bedroom with 6 people sleeping in there I guess there was only room enough for the beds?

 CF: That’s all, we didn’t have nothin’. We had one dresser or what ever she had that was all.

 WB: That was it, was there any carpeting on the floor?

 CF: Why sure we had carpets we had oil cloth and we had carpets, oh yes. [wife yells in “still talkin?”

 CF: says, “We’re talkin’ about girls, come listen and you’ll hear somethin'”]

 WB: Where did you hang your clothes?

 CF: Downstairs, they had a little extra room for your clothes an outside shanty there was lots of room for clothes and upstairs here and there.

 WB: Your clothes were hanging on the wall, something like that?

 CF: Not on the walls they had places here and there.

 WB: Did you have any pictures on the walls in your bedroom?

 CF: Pictures for what?

 WB: Well like holy pictures?

 CF: We had holy picture in every room, ye we had holy picture there was a cross or somethin’ sure but we’re not hill billies or some dam thing like they have no they don’t believe in a cross or holy picture or nothin’, they have dogs, they have horses they have– when I got married my old lady bought a picture of a horse [“Stottie,do you remember?” she is evidently sitting in another room, She says, no, he whispers again to WB,

 CF: calls his wife again says he wants to tell her something, she says, “I’m goin’ outside,” and slams the door]

 WB: But those must have been pretty tough times sleeping like that how about your parents, was that room just a bedroom, the parlor?

 CF: No they had a double bed in the front room, that’s all they had.

 WB: Did they have any dressers or anything like that in it or did the kids go in there anytime to sit?

 CF: No that was just a bedroom for them, that’s all, nobody go in there.

 WB: Really everything that happened, happened in the kitchen then?

 CF: Yes.

 WB: I guess you’d sit around and talk in the kitchen while your mother was baking or making a meal or washing or something or didn’t you sit around the house very much?

 CF: One thing the kids didn’t stay around the house too much especially there was lots of work, your mother said go and do this or do that, you were glad you were glad your were goin’ out of her sight, no matter when you come back no matter you get hell or some gosh dang think you didn’t look at that.

 WB: With all those children around how did you eat, you didn’t have a table that big that you could set 14 people down, did you?

 CF: Well what do you think, we set down at the same time?

 WB: You’d sit at different times ?


//Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

CF: Sure, when you get done the other one would come and take it and that’s all she didn’t serve every one of them separate, oh my no.

 WB: So a couple would eat at one time and another couple would eat at another time?

 CF: Sure, I’d come from work she would have everything ready, I would take it or one of us would take it, kids would come from school and they’d take it that’s all, no there was no plates, dishes, spoons and everything.

 WB: Did your mother cook in the inside of the house or did she have an outkitchen?

 CF: All winter in the house but in the summer the kitchen stove was burnin’ in the shanty.

 WB: In the shanty outside?

 CF: In the shanty and we had a table outside, table out here and nobody would come in the house all summer only to go to bed.

 WB: There was a table in the shanty?

 CF: Sure a table in the shanty and in the house, if you wanted to set outside or inside.

 WB: And then what was in the shanty, was it just a stove?

 CF: Stove and a table and benches, we had no chairs that’s one thing, we had benches made.

 WB: And I guess you kept the glasses and things out there, bowls and stuff like that?

 CF: Oh she had cabinet like that for that. They had a cabinet for dishes so she could cook in the shanty, wouldn’t have to come in the house.

 WB: Was there carpeting on that floor, did she have oilcloth?

 CF: Of course she had oil cloth and carpet.

 WB: Was it strip carpeting?

 CF: Yeh, yeh.

 WB: This type of carpeting was on the floor, rag carpeting I think it’s called. Were there holy pictures on the wall in the shanty?

 CF: Of course there were, they’re still there yet, they must be about 80 yrs. old.

 WB: With that many kids how did you wash, how did you take a bath, was the bucket outside?

 CF: How? We had a tub, wash tub, put on the floor, put the water for yourself, take it off the stove, put the water, and wash yourself and that’s all. Next one would come do the same thing, Daddy come, Daddy was always first, do the same thing, that’s all.

 WB: In the summertime you’d do it outside in that outkitchen?

 CF: Yeh, do it outside in the summer.

 WB: And in winter it was inside in the kitchen?

 CF: Well the kids wouldn’t be around, well they’d be around when they were washin’ but you wasn’t stripped, just wash to your waist, we a a ways.

 WB: Did you wash everyday or every other day or once a week?

 CF: What do you mean? everyday.

 WB: Everyday you’d wash like that?

 CF: Why of course, everyday, everyday.

 WB: It must have been pretty tough like that washing with all those people, 14 people?

 CF: It wasn’t tough we were

 WB: You got used to it in other words?

 CF: Yeh and how.

 WB: Did your mother make her own soap to wash with?

 CF: No.

 WB: Did she buy it down at the store?

 CF: No some other people used to make it but nothin’ like that she tried, with a couple of pennies she got yellow soap or whatever she was buyin’ for washin’ and every thing else, but washin’ for clothes, for washin’ like that in the house she always, what in the hell do you call it, like they have now the white soap.

/ /


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko

something like Ivory, it was round, I can’t think of it.

WB: You’d have heat up an awful lot of water to wash all them people wouldn’t you?

CF: Well she had a boiler full on, she made sure that we had enough.

WB: Who would fetch that water?

CF: Well sometimes the kids when they come home from school at dinner and sometimes Mamma would go with 2 buckets and Daddy would come, we always had enough water.

WB: I guess you kept extra water around the house anyhow didn’t you, like out in the shanty or something like that?

CF: She always had 2 buckets in the shanty.

WB: Did she put something across the top to keep dirt from getting in the water?

CF: Why no, for what? There was no dirt, we had a boiler how many gallon tho I don’t know, copper boiler, she’d boil that coffee in the shanty when she had it you didn’t have to drink water-coffee, cold coffee, it was standing in the shed there and drink it all, all the coffee you’d want.

WB: Were there other buildings in the back of the house?

CF: Why no, only the cow stable and the pig pen, chicken coop, no there was nothin’ there.

WB: With the yards all full of vegetables and potatoes and chickens and things, where did the kids play, did they have to play in the streets?

CF: The place where we lived there was lots of places to play, there were big fields in the back, there was big fields around the church, big fields all the way around, everyplace, lots of room to play on a field they all had their own work to do, no there were no game play or something.

WB: How did guys meet girls for dating?

CF: Whadda you mean?

WB: Well say for instance, like a guy’s getting to be 15 or 16 he wants a girl friend, how would he meet her, would he just know her from school or from or just know her around the neighborhood?

CF: No matter if she was from this end of town and he was from up town they know where to meet, but mostly there were strange boys used to come to town here and Freeland, they knowed.

WB: And when they met a girl how would they court her?

CF: Well i guess they’d go for a walk and that’s all, when it was time for him to go home he went home and she’d come home.

WB: So they’d just walk around the town when they were courting?

CF: You can see the street from here down as far as Gera’s up and down the Back street like a circle in the evenings, boys and girls.

WB: Did they walk around in gangs?

CF: No.

WB: Two or three couples?

CF: Yeh, yeh, not in gang tho.

WB: I understand a lot of the times boys and girls would go down here to the Love Rock, that was down here by the turn, did you ever go to the Love Rock, you look like you were down to the Love Rock?

CF: Yeh, it’s lucky that it’s there yet. There was a guy he married a French girl he lives by the church. Second house, he don’t live here now but that’s where he used to live, he was born there, he’s a professor in some college or somethin’ like that I don’t know what state he’s in, but he married a French girl, he was in the service and he married a French girl and I don’t know what state he married her see but I know she was a French and he took her there a couple of times to see his hometown and they came by car and she was drinkin’,


Frenchy she took the car and they were on the outs or something, arguing at home I don’t know, she was sittin’ on the porch up at the old house not hero, it’s been a couple years ago a long time and she takes the car and goes boom up against the Love rock, she smashed the car, it’s a wonder she wasn’t killed, something was wrong with ther that they took her to the hospital, I’m sure they took her to the hospital. Ever since, this lady never been here but I think las year he was here, maybe they don’t live together I don’t know but they said she was a wild French bastard, she was nice lookin’ you know, he’s some kind of a professor in college I don’t know what state.

WB: I understand that down there at Love Rock a lot of kids would meet down there and sing.

CF: Yeh, yeh, but not now.

WB: They’d sing songs, no I’m talking about when you were young.

CF: You could hear from the bridge all the way up from the bridge down there, you could see the Rock down there.

WB: And there would be singing and talking and having a nice time. I understand you;d also go down here behind Zurkon’s where they had a picnic ground there, there was also a baseball and a soccer field.

CF: There was a picnic ground here where this breaker is, not this one that, this one it’s workin’, picnic ground here, then they moved it and it was behind Zurkons where that strippin’ is, from there they moved right behind our house on the Back Street, I was with Mom, there was three picnic areas, honest to God.

WB: But the kids used to go there a lot too didn’t they?

CF: To what?

WB: To the picnic areas to sit and talk there.

CF: No, nobody would bother to go to the picnics only when there was a dance.

WB: They had dances at the picnic areas?

CF: Did they have dances? There was orchestra, gypsies and bands and everything, what’s the matter witchya?

WB: Oh boy, did they have them very often?

CF: Sometimes thye had during the week but only on some kinds of holidays, but almost every Saturday there was a dance, some parish or some church had it or some baseball, somebody always had somethin’, they always had dances.

WB: And then you should have people with food and soda pop and things like that they’s sell there I guess at these dances, did they had a pavilion there, like a dance pavilion where they danced?

CF: They wold have a floor just like you have in the house, big place.

WB: Did they have a roof over it or anything?

CF: No, no.

WB: Just a big wooden platform like?

CF: And a fence around, and a Slavian orchestra, it was nice.

WB: And you could get up there on the stand and dance and the band would be up there?

CF: Yeh.

WB: I’ll betcha that was a lot of fun?

CF: We enjoyed it, yeh.

WB: Maybe if you were dating a girl you would meet your best girl down there and dance and have a nice time?

CF: If she was from out of town you’d take her home maybe set around, maybe to , her maybe to (lots of laughter) lots of strange people come around here oh my god from all over.

[Wife comes in and says, “Helen said there was a cop standing right by the Sears office. Recorder turned off and then on again]


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko

AV: Could you tell me what you remember of the garden layout over here, in the old days, as far back as you can remember? What did they have in the garden? What did they plant there?

BF: Well, the front of the garden, well, from the front of the garden to the back, one side of the house, we would have all potatoes. And then on the other side of the house we would have corn, peas, string beans, tomatoes, onions, and garlic, parsley, celery, dill.

AV: Did you have fences between these plots?

BF: We had fences along side of the walk all the way down to the back through the whole yard, on both sides, both sides of the walk. And around the house, on the whole garden, we had fence.

AV: What do you mean, “on both sides of the walk”?

BF: Well, going down the back…

AV: To the outhouse?

BF: To the outhouse, yes. We had to have fences alongside of the walk, the walk in between the two fences, so the chickens wouldn’t go in and ruin the garden and your other

AV: Yeah. So this walkway led from the house to the outhouse?

BF: That;s right.

AV: And on either side of this was a fence. What kind of fence was it?

BF: Just a wooden fence.

AV: Was it horizontal boards, like at the edge of your property?

BF: Most of them were horizontal. Some places they were vertical.

AV: Like picket?

BF: Yeah, they were just rough, they weren’t fancy like they have pickets now. It’s just, you know, just straight boards across. They didn’t have pointed tops or anything.

AV: They were just vertical boards nailed together?

BF: Um-hmm.

AV: Where did you have this kind of fence?

BF: Mostly down the back.

AV: Like boarding on the alley. (vertical boards)

BF: yeah.

AV: Why? Because they were not considered as pretty as the horizontal boards?

BF: That’s right.

AV: What kind of material were they made from? Where di you get the stuff to make them?

BF: What do you mean, the…

AV: The wood.

BF: Oh, we used to get the wood, the lumber, from the company. The company gave us that.

AV: The company would give it to you for free?

BF: Oh, yeah.

AV: For the purpose of building a fence?

BF: That’s right.

AV: Would you have to ask for it?

BF: Oh, yes, you always had to ask for it. Sometimes people would go and take it in the evening, like on or two boards, but I mean they’d give it to you most of the boards.

AV: But you’d have to sign a petition for it?

BF: yeah. Something like that.

AV: And, did you pay for it all?

BF: No. Not in them days we didn’t.

AV: Where did you keep the chickens?


BF: The chickens were all the way down at the end of the yard.

AV: Toward the back?

BF: um-hmm, chickens, the cows, geese, ducks, pigs. That;s why you see that big stable back there.

AV: What did you keep in that stable?

BF: We kept a cow, we kept her hay there, we had a loft that you’d keep most of the hay in. That’s about it.

AV: Was the chicken coop located near that?

BF: Right near it. And then right near it would be the geese, and then the hogs beyond the end of the yard.

AV: How were the hogs enclosed?

BF: With a fence around them. The fence was horizontal.

AV: Horizontal boards?

BF: Um-hmm.

AV: Were there spaces in between?

BF: Oh, yes.

AV: And that was their only shelter, right?

BF: That’s right. Of course we had a coop for them too.

AV: A coop?

BF: Oh, yes, for the hogs.

AV: Did you call it a hog coop?

BF: Uh-hmm.

AV: Who gave you the material to build all those things? Chicken coop…

BF: Company gave us that. As long as it was built on the company land, why they gave it to us.

AV: And the geese, did they have a separate area of their own?

BF: Yeah they had a small coop of their own we had a big wire, a high wire, so they couldn’t get out to the yard.

AV: And was there some kind of fence between the places where the animals were kept and the rest of the garden?

BF: Oh, yes. Sure there was a fence there. They were all horizontal, too. The only ones that were vertical were those right from the back of the alley. They were the only ones that were vertical.

AV: Did you have a garage there?

BF: No. We didn’t even have a car.

AV: Where did you get your transportation from? If you need a buggy, or a horse?

BF: There was a man at the end of the town here that had a horse and buggy. He used to take us if we had to, we had to hire him.

AV: What was his name, do you know?

BF: Mr. John, I think it is.

AV: I heard, John Krokowsky?

BF: Oh that was his name, but that’s what we used to call im,

AV: And, how much did he charge?

BF: That I couldn’t tell you. I know he didn’t charge much because I know the boys, well, some of the young men , used to hire him, and he used to charge them a dollar an two dollars, from what I heard them say, but I don’t know what he used to charge. My daddy usde to hire im to go out and look for hogs and a cow.

AV: What do you mean go out and look for hogs?

BF: Well he wanted to buy some.

AV: Oh I see.

BF: And then sometimes we’d go on a picnic, and he’d hire the guy. But I don’t know what he paid him.


AV: Did most of the people in town rely on John Krokon for their buggies?

BF: Well he was the only one in town that had one. But, to go to Freeland we used to have a bus. Later on we used to. But first we used to walk. And then after that there was a bus line.

AV: Do you know any of the people in town having horses or buggies for their own use?

BF: I think the Grados’ had, I know they had a horse. They must have had a buggy then, too. But I know they had a horse.

AV: Anyone else?

BF: I don’t know of anyone else.

AV: How about the better-off people…

BF: I’ll tell you who else had horses, that was Mr. Reese. He had them for the store’s purpose.

AV: How about the people that were better-off at the other end of town. Formans, and people like the Backmans?

BF: Well, I think Mr. Backman i think used to use the horse from the store, because he worked at the store. So he really had to, he probably had that horse. I don’t think he ever owned a horse of his own.

AV: Did most of the other gardens around here look like your garden?

BF: Mostly.

AV: So, normally the buildings that you would expect in the garden would be, the outhouse…

BF: The coalshed.

AV: The coalshed. Where was that located?

BF: Usually towards the back, too.

AV: Way in the back? Why was that, why did they keep it in the back?

BF: I don’t know why. I suppose they wanted more ground in the front for the vegetables. That’s the only reason I could think.

AV: And what other buildings would you usually find outside?

BF: Well, we used to have maybe like a shed to keep our tools and things in. That would be right back of the house.

AV: Right directly in back of the house?

BF: Close to the house?

AV: Did most people have it?

BF: Most people.

AV: Toolshed.

BF: Yes.

AV: Strictly for garden implements…

BF: Pieces of coal you’d keep in there.

AV: House fixing tools, like hammers, nails, hinges? What other stuff did they keep in there?

BF: Um-hmm. I suppose most of the tings they needed for those homes, like maybe if they had some tarpaper left or something, keep the nails in there, just all things like that.

AV: What did this structure usually look like?

BF: Just like an ordinary shed. You know how a shed would look.

AV: Did it have a slanted roof?

BF: Yes, most of them had a slanted roof.

AV: Were most of them built right on to the house, or just a space away?

BF: No, no a space away.

AV: About how far from the house would you say there were?

BF: Maybe, let’s see, about four yards away or so, I suppose. Some of them maybe two yards away.

AV: And how big was the structure? How tall?


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko 8/17/72 Tape 26-2

BF: Oh, I don’t know. It was tall, about as tall as this room. AB Oh, about seven feet tall? (Tool Shed)

 BF: I’d say about six feet.

 AV: Six feet? And, how wide?

 BF: About five feet.

 AV: Five square feet?

 BF: Um-hum.

 AV: That’s pretty big. And, did it have any windows in it?

 BF: Nom just the door.

 AV: And that was fastened by one of those little knobs, that were nailed in.…

 BF: Yes, you had to turn it.

 AV: It didn’t have a hook?

 BF: No. Well, some had a hook on it, but most had the knobs.

 AV: Where did the people get the wood to build these things?

 BF: From the company. The company gave us all our wood.

 AV: And then, what other buildings would you find out there? The outhouse, do you remember when they had double outhouses?

 BF: Sure. They’d be located like between the two neighbors. Part of it would be on the one side, and the other part of the outhouse would be on the other neighbor’s…

 AV: Were the doors facing the respective yards?

 BF: Most of them facing towards the house.

 AV: Oh, Both doors facing towards the house.

 BF: Most of them.

 AV: And some were facing sideways?

 BF: Yes. But most of them were facing towards the house.

 AV: What other buildings? Like, did most yards have chicken coops?

 BF: Well, most of them, in them days, yes, as long as everybody kept their own chickens for eggs.

 AV: What did they usually look like? How big were they?

 BF: Oh, they weren’t very big. They were just about four feet high.

 AV: What was the floor size?

 BF: Oh, about, let me see, about three yards by two yards.

 AV: Did it have a slanted roof.

 BF: Yes.

 AV: And were there any windows in it?

 BF: Some of them had maybe a small window in it.

 AV: Did they have glass in it?

 BF: Oh, yes. Maybe just like two panes or so.

 AV: And it had a door with a hook? Or a knob?

 BF: Yes. A hook.

 AV: What did the inside look like?

 BF: Well. there was nothing inside, except they had those slats where the chickens used to go up and roost on. That was all.

 AV: By slats you mean, sticks…

 BF: Sticks, or sometimes they’d get some of the sticks from the trees from the woods, and they would build that for the chickens to roost.

 AV: And what about the other buildings? Like the cow stable, What did they usually look like?

 BF: Well, they were made on the same order, only they were larger. And then inside, we had a place for, like in fromt of the cow where we would have her chained, why there was a place where you’d keep hay, and she would help herself to the hay in front of her. WV Were most of the cow stables like yours back here? About the same size?


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko 8/17/72 Tape 25-2

BF: Most of them

 AV: And this one only held one cow.

 BF: That’s right.

 AV: Did many people around here have two cows?

 BF: Some of them did, yes. I think Mrs. Machella used to have too cows. She used to sell milk. We didn’t sell much milk. We kept most of the milk for ourselves.

 AV: So, her stable was bigger? Maybe about.….

 BF: Well, we could hold, no, her stable wasn’t any bigger. We could have two cows in out stable for that matter. But we just kept the one cow.

 AV: What else did people usually store in the cow stable, besides their hay and feed?

 BF: I don’t know of anything else.

 AV: And. how about this hog coop? What did that look like?

 BF: Oh, there was nothing in the hog coop. That was small, too, smaller than a chicken coop. It wasn’t quite as high.

 AV: How high was it?

 BF: About two yards, I guess, high.

 AV: Two feet?

 BF: Two yards.

 AV: That’s six feet high?

 BF: That’s not so high.

 AV: Ah, six feet high… Bf Would be what, about like that, wouldn’t it? That’s about, I guess that would be about a yard and a half high. I wouldn’t be any higher than that. And that was nothing else inside that pig coop. Just put some straw or something for the winter, I don’t know. They had nothing else inside.

 AV: It was just a shell… and how wide, how big was the floor?

 BF: Oh, I don’t know just how big it–I wasn’t interested in those things then! I was just a small girl. I know they had coops and things, but I wouldn’t know exactly what the neasurements are.

 AV: Was it a square, or more of a rectangle?

 BF: More of a square.

 AV: So, maybe it was about four square feet?

 BF: Could be. It could be, yes. Depended on how many hogs you had. We usually had around three and four. Mostly three.

 AV: And then, how large was the space around it, for the hogs, their yard, the hog yard?

 BF: Well, their yard would be about half the length of this room.

 AV: Five or six feet.

 BF: Yes, about that. Five or six feet. AV.And fifteen feet long?

 BF: No, not fifteen feet, I wouldn’t say fifteen. I would say, maybe it would be about fifteen, yes it would.

 AV: And that was their space, that they had?

 BF: Um-hum.

 AV: What about the chickens? How large was the space around the chicken coup?

 BF: Well, theirs was a little bit larger than that, than the pig space.

 AV: Would you say it was maybe like fifteen by twenty feet?

 BF: That would be more like it, yeah.

 AV: Kind of a square, or rectangle?

 BF: More like a rectangle.

 AV: And then, the area for the geese. What did the geese coop look like?

 BF: About the same as the pig, and like a shell.


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko

AV: Yeah. Same size? And did it have places for the geese to roost?

 BF: Um-hmm. Well, we usually used to send the geese out, most of the time. And they would go out in the alley and feed on the grass most of the time. That’s what we’d do with the geese. Send them out.

 AV: They didn’t have their own yard?

 BF: No.

 AV: And the cow, did the cow have any yard to walk in?

 BF: No, she’d go out to pasture.

 AV: You set her out, too. Then this was a description for a general yard lay out of this street? [written Main ST.]

 BF: That’s right.

 AV: Do you remember anything about the Back Street layout?

 BF: No, that I couldn’t tell you.

 AV: What about the streets over here? What did they look like?

 BF: Well they were just all, it was all dirt. And then we had, the ditches were pretty deep, that we had to have a walk across from our house, across the ditch. We used to have a boardwalk.

 AV: And how big was that?

 BF: Well, the boardwalk would I guess be about, let’s see, about so wide, as wide as this here. About twenty-four inches or so.

 AV: And the ditch, how deep was that?

 BF: Well, that was pretty deep. That would be about, let’s see, about I guess about eighteen inches deep.

 AV: And how wide was it?

 BF: I guess about, no, not as wide as this. And how wide is that? About eighteen inches, too, I suppose!

 AV: Now, what did people do, with these ditches and boardwalks? Like, did people congregate around them? Did they use them for any purposes? Did people sit on the boardwalks?

 BF: Oh, maybe we children did, when it would rain. We would sit on the boardwalk there and put our feet in the water that was in the ditch. But the other people didn’t. They….

 AV: I heard some people mention that, like, mother, would nurse by sitting on the boardwalk, and they’d chat with their neighbors there?

 BF: Oh, maybe. I don’t recall anything like that.

 AV: What was the purpose of having this deep ditch on either side of the road?

 BF: Oh, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know. I suppose just so the water wouldn’t all get into the gardens.

 AV: Well, if the gardens were all planted with vegetables, like you mentioned, where did the kids play?

 BF: Mostly around the street. It wasn’t very dangerous, because like I said we didn’t have no cars at that time. So it wasn’t dangerous, that’s where we played most of the time. In the streets. Streets and alleys.

 AV: What kind of games did they play in the streets?

 BF: Well, like Ring around a Rosy, Hide and Seek, Tag, Hop-Scotch.

 AV: Do you remember Nipsy?

 BF: Nipsy [blank space], right.

 AV: And do you remember something called Duck in the Walk? Was that played there?

 BF: I don’t know what game that would be.

 AV: How do you remember playing Nipsy?

 BF: Well, we would have a paddle, and a nipsy, and we’d made a circle in the dirt.

 AV: About two feet in diameter?


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko

 BF: Oh it depended on how big you wanted it. You could make it that big, you could make it smaller. And then we would put the nipsy on the line and see if we could get it–not on the line, inside the ring–and see how far we could get it out of the ring. You hit it on the end, and try to hit it with a paddle, and see how far we could get it away from the ring. And whoever got it the furthest would be the one who would win the game.

 AV: Was that how you would score each round?

 BF: That’s right.

 AV: Would you mark the place where the nipsy landed in the dirt?

 BF: Yes.

 AV: With what?

 BF: Just a stick. You’d mark on the dirt.

 AV: And this would continue, round after round, until you got tired?

 BF: That’s right.

 AV: Was there any point system of scoring?

 BF: Sometimes we would play, say for instance, we would say we’ll play up to twenty-five. Well, we would keep hittin’ it as many times as we’d hit it, we’d count each time. And when we came to twenty-five, well, whoever had more points when we hit the twenty-five mark would be the one that would score.

 AV: Oh you mean you would play twenty-five rounds of it, and at the end, whoever hit the nipsy the farthest the most times would win?

 BF: Um-hmm.

 AV: I see. Do you remember playing marbles?

 BF: Yes. I didn’t play that much. The boys used to play that. We used to watch them for awhile, but I didn’t play it.

 AV: What kind of marbles did they have? Do you remember?

 BF: Well, some were glass marbles, some were more like, I don’t know whether plaster, no, it couldn’t be plaster, somethin’ similar to plaster. And they’d be colorful, and some would be very small, and some larger, and the larger ones they’d have, well the larger would, say, count as five, instead of one, depended upon the size of them.

 AV: Do you remember anymarble game called Crocky?

 BF: Yes, but I don’t remember what kind they were. I remember them calling them Crocky.

 AV: How about Chinese Marbles?

 BF: Yeah, we had Chinese Marbles too.

 AV: What were they like?

 BF: Well, they were the ones I guess were like in glass, they were the ones that were colorful, because there were different colors in them. Like, say, for instance, you had one blue, well, there would be white through it, or some thing like that.

 AV: And, how about Glassies, do you remember them?

 BF: No, I don’t.

 AV: How did you play marbles? What were the rules?

 BF: That I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you much about it, because that was more the boy’s game.

 AV: Do you remember how the had law enforcement around here? What methods they used to keep law and order, like around the colliery during strikes?

 BF: No, I couldn’t tell you. The only thing I know is that nobody was supposed to go up around there during a strike. That’s all I know.

 AV: Do you remember anything about the coal and iron police?

 BF: No.

 AV: How about the local government. What was the government in Eckley here?


BF: That I couldn’t tell you much about either.

AV: And, do you remember the inside of this catholic church here? Like, what did it have on the inside? Did it have statues?

BF: Yes, they had a few statues in front, and then they had an alter, about four steps or so leading to the alter, then they had a railing in front o fit.

AV: What color was the railing?

BF: The railing was painted white.

AV: Painted white?

BF: Um-hmm.

AV: Was it all white, or was any wood showing?

BF: There was some wood showing.

AV: Where was that?

BF: I think it was mostly on top.

AV: And, then, in back of the later railing were the statues located on the alter part?

BF: They were on the side, each side of the alter. I believe we had two.

AV: Which saints were they?

BF: I think one was St. Joseph, and I believe the other one was the blessed Mother.

AV: Um-hmm. And then, the floor of the sanctuary, what was it covered with?

BF: I think they had a green rug.

AV: Green rug. Was it just runners, or was the whole thing covered…

BF: No, I think the whole thing was covered, as far as I can remember.

AV: What was the alter decorated with? Did it have candlesticks?

BF: Oh, yes, they had candlesticks on it.

AV: Vases?

BF: Two vases, one on each side.

AV: What kind of cases were they?

BF: Just glass vases, I think they had. Then they’d have some flowers in it. Especially flowers that were in season, they had.

AV: Yeah, did they have a cross hanging above the alter, on the wall?

BF: Yes, they did.

AV: What kingdom, wood, or brass?

BF: Wood.

AV: Was it very large?

BF: Yes, I believe it was a large one.

AV: How many feet, would you say?

BF: Oh, it wouldn’t be that large, because the alter alone wouldn’t be that large. I would say it would be about twenty-four inches long.

AV: Did it have like the body hanging from it?

BF: Yes.

AV: So it was a crucifix?

BF: Yes.

AV: The wall behind the alter, was that decorated in any way? Or was it just painted?

BF: Painted?

AV: What color, do you remember?

BF: No, I couldn’t tell you.

AV: I heard that there was some kind of design in gold on it.

BF: I think all the walls were decorated that way. It was painted a little bit of gold on it. I think they were more of like a tannish background. I think there was gold on it, just a little trimming.

AV: Was there any design, that you remember?

BF: No, I don’t think there was any design. Maybe on the ceiling there might


have been a painting of some kind. I don’t know what kind of painting it was.

AV: What was the rest of the church painted in, what color? Do you know?

BF: Well, what do you mean? The walls? Well, I think they were the same as they were in the front, the alter.

AV: Tan-colored?

BF: It’s a sort of light tan.

AV: Something like a light beige?

BF: Yeah.

AV: And the pews. Were they painted or varnished?

BF: They were varnished. Or were they painted? I’m not even sure of that.

AV: Were there hymn-books available in the pews?

BF: No, I don’t think they did have anything.

AV: Did they have any other decorations around the church that you remember? Like, were there stations of the cross?

BF: No, not that I remember. Unless they had them before my time.

AV: And how about the choir loft? What did it look like?

BF: They didn’t have a choir loft/

AV: Where did they keep the organ?

BF: They had the organ in front?

AV: In front?

BF: In front of the pews, on the left-handed side as you go in.

AV: And that organ was played by who, do you remember?

BF: I think it was played by Nellie O’Donnell, when I remember, she played.

AV: Did she organize a choir, or did the people just sing right in?

BF: I think the people just sang in.

AV: What kind of songs did she play?

BF: Well, she had some hymns there that I remember. But i didn’t go to that church often, because I didn’t belong to that church. I would just go in there mostly like inthe wintertime.

AV: Did a lot of the Catholics around here go there, like, in the wintertime only?

BF: Mostly, mostly in wintertime.

AV: How much was the contribution?

BF: Excuse me, but there wa the Irish that lived here. They almost, I guess they all went up here.

AV: Like, which families do you remember patronizing the church?

BF: Like Campbells, Malonys, Daniels, Sharkys, O’Donnells, Quales…

AV: Jacksons?

BF: Yeah. and

AV: How much was usually the contribution given by the people?

BF: They gave as much as they wanted?

AV: Which could range from what?

BF: Well, from five cents up!

AV: Was there any record of the contributions kept, do you know?

BF: I don’t think there was. I couldn’t really tell yo, but I don’t think there was.

AV: Well, you went to this school up here, right across from the church. What did that look like on the inside? There were six rooms, like three on the first floor and three on the second floor?

BF: That’s right.

AV: And, as you walked in, you’d come into what? A hall?

BF: Into a hall. And on your left side, there’d be a stairway, a wide stairway. And farther in, in the hall, then–did I say the stairway was on the right hand side?

AV: Left.


BF: Left. that’s right. And as you went further in, on the left-hand side there was another door to go down to the ladies’ room. And on the right there was a men’s room. That was down the cellar, the basement. Then they had three rooms in there, on the first floor.

AV: Further down the corridor?

BF: Well, not all were further. Two was further, but the one, as you came in, on the right-hand side, you went, in the hall, a piece-way, and then there would be a, you’d turn to your right to go into the one room. And further ahead, right again there’d be a hall, leading to the back door, and then at that backdoor , there would be a stairway to go up to the second floor, too. You had two stairways.

AV: What did the rooms look like, the grades? What did they look like, for decoration?

BF: Well, the only thing they had in there, especially in the one room, they had a piano, and they would call it the third room. That would be the room that would be on your right as you;d go on . And then on the walls they had, the two walls, they had blackboards.…

AV: Which two, the front wall?

BF: The front wall, and one side wall. And the other two had windows.

AV: On two walls, you had windows?

BF: Oh, yes. Sure.

AV: Was there a wainscoting around the room?

BF: Yes there was. Especially on the side where the windows were. Below the window there was wainscoting.

AV: What did that look like? The top part of the walls were made of what?

BF: I think they were cemented.

AV: Yeah, and painted?

BF: They were white.

AV: And then the wainscoting…

BF: It was varnished.

AV: Varnished. Like (it was arranged) vertical?

BF: That;s right. And then they had one or two pictures on the wall, of maybe President Lincoln, or something like that.

AV: Any religious pictures?

BF: Not that I know of.

AV: Where did you keep your clothes?

BF: We had a cloakroom in each room. The boys had theirs, the girls had theirs.

AV: What did that look like?

BF: And there was one window in that cloak room, and we had hooks to hang our clothes on.

AV: Was it closed by a door, or…

BF: Closed by a slanting door.

AV: Sliding door.

BF: No. slanting.

AV: Okay, Like with a doorknob.

BF: Yeah.

AV: Okay.

BF: We had a beautiful school. It was the nicest around here.

AV: What was on the floor, do you remember?

BF: Just wood.

AV: Wood boards?

BF: Uh-huh.

AV: What did the desks look like?

BF: I don’t know what they looked like.


AV: Were they the kind where the seat was attached to the desk behind you? Was it that kind?

BF: Yes, it was. Ues, it was.

AV: Had a wood top, and wrought iron sides coming down and bolted into the floor?

BF: That’s right.

AV: Did you use inkwells?

BF: Yes, we did.

AV: And you kept your books in the desk?

BF: We had chalks.

AV: And to erase them?

BF: We had erasers.

AV: Were they home-made erasers, or bought?

BF: Bought.

AV: Like felt things?

BF: That’s right.

AV: Um, what subjects were you taught? No wait a minute. Did all the rooms look like that?

BF: Yes, they did.

AV: And this third room, where the piano was kept, where was that kept? In front or back>

BF: In front.

AV: The teacher’s desk, what did that look like?

BF: Well, the teacher’s desk was pretty big, it was in front, and she’d keep her books on top. And she had ink. She didn’t have inkwell, she had bottles of books on top. And she had ink. She didn’t have inkwell, she had bottles of ink.

AV: Was it a large rectangular thing?

BF: Yes.

AV: With drawers in it?

BF: yes.

AV: And, then I’d like to ask what subjects were taught in each room> There was a first grade and a second grade, and what did they teach then, did you remember?

BF: Well, I remember, I know the first year they taught us the ABC’s, and how to write, and then in the second they’d teach us adding and subtracting, and reading, and then I guess in the third they would teach us writing letters, and they would teach us a little but of history, a little geography, and spelling. Only we got spelling as far back as in second grade, too.

AV: Were there like two grades in one room?

BF: Yes.

AV: First and second in the first room? Second and third?

BF: Yes. First and second in the first room, third and fourth in the second, and the fifth and sixth in the third.

AV: What did they teach in fifth?

BF: Well, they taught the same as they did in the fourth, only it was morea advanced. Like spelling,and arithmetic, history, geography, as far as that goes they taught that all the way through then, only it was more advanced all the time.

AV: Did they teach science at all?

BF: No, I don’t think they did. Not that I know of. I don’t remember getting science.

AV: In sixth grade, was there anything different?

BF: No.

AV: How about seventh and eight grade?


BF: No, I don’t think so. Only, like I say, it was more advanced in that grade.

AV: Yeah. What was on the second floor then? You said the rooms were doubled up.

BF: Well, they had three rooms up there also. And they had, ah, we had a library, we did have a library, I think, on the second floor also. And then we had a dispensary up there, too.

AV: If you used four rooms for classroom, there would three rooms for classrooms on the first floor, one classroom on the second floor?

BF: No, we had three rooms, classrooms, down on the first floor, and we had three classrooms on the second floor.

AV: Yeah? But I thought you said that the grades were doubled up.

BF: Well, they were doubled up. There was two in each class, in each room. And like I say, maybe they were a little more advanced, like say, for instance, in the first grade, maybe they were teaching us how to write, and then maybe in the second grade in the same room, the second grade, though, they would teach us then how to write our names and things.

AV: So, on the first floor of classrooms, there were three classrooms, in one you had first and second grade, in the other third and fourth, and the other fifth and sixth.

BF: That’s right.

AV: And you needed just seventh and eight…

BF: Well, we wouldn’t call it that way. We would call it A and B.

AV: A and B?

BF: Yeah. A and B. A and B. That’s the way we … Because when you come up to the last room, upstairs, that was the sixth room we called it, sixth grade. But it was just called A and B class. That’s the way we would call it, there was two classes in each room.

AV: Like, in the first room there were two classes but they were all first grade?

BF: Yeah, they were all in the first grade

AV: Oh, it wasn’t first and second grade…

BF: No, it wasn’t exactly first and second, because the second grade would be in the second room.

AV: So, this school went up to the sixth grade only?

BF: That’s right.

AV: Not eighth grade?

BF: No.

AV: And then upstairs you had the library, and the dispensary?

BF: I can’t remember the library, was that the second floor or the first floor? But I know we had the dispensary up on the second floor.

AV: What did that look like?

BF: Well, when I was there they didn’t use that too much. They had like a nurse’s desk in there, but they really didn’t use that too much. If anybody got sick they had a cot in there to lay down. I think the library was on that floor, too.

AV: What else did they use the dispensary room for? Did you ever get shots in there, or state examinations?

BF: State examinations they’d give, in there.

AV: Such as what kind?

BF: Well, more like on history. That’s about the only thing I remember. And then the shots, we didn’t get too many shots up there, either, but of course when we did get them, we got them in there.

AV: Shots for what kind of things?

BF: Like diphtheria, smallpox, measles…

AV: These were free?

BF: Yes.

AV: Did the state ever provide medical examinations that were given to you in that room?


BF: I don’t know, I really couldn’t say.

AV: Did anybody come to examine your ears or eyes?

BF: Yes, we used to have a doctor come.

AV: And the kids would go up there and have their eyes and ears examined?

BF: Um-hmm.

AV: Were there any other kind of medical tests given in that room?

BF: I don’t remember anything else.

AV: What did the inside of the library look like?

BF: Well, they had shelves with books on them. And there was a desk in there, also. And a chair.

AV: Were there places for the people to read?

BF: There was a few chairs there. Not many. Just around the wall, like.

AV: Any other tables? For the people to read…

BF: Not that I know of.

AV: Was there a card catalog someplace?

BF: A what?

AV: A card catalog, where it has on each card the names and locations of all the books in the library.

BF: No, I don’t remember seeing one.

AV: It wasn’t that big a place.

BF: No, it wasn’t.

AV: How many books would you say they had?

BF: Not too many. No, I don’t think they had too many.

AV: Maybe a hundred?

BF: About a hundred books is all.

AV: That isn’t too many.

BF: No.

AV: Was there any decorations in there, pictures of Presidents or something?

BF: Well, yeah, that’s what they had, it was pictures of presidents.

AV: Washington and Lincoln?

BF: Yeah.

AV: Anything else, do you remember? Was there a print of the Declaration of Independence, or something like that?

BF: I don’t remember if that was there. It could have been.

AV: What about the other classrooms? Were they decorated?

BF: No, just the same as all the others. They had maybe pictures or something.

AV: Usually of presidents?

BF: yeah.

AV: Different Presidents? Or all the same ones?

BF: No, no, different ones?

AV: Do you remember some?

BF: No.

AV: How was the tuition paid in the school?

BF: They never paid tuition paid in the school.

AV: It was free, do you think?

BF: Sure. I never heard my mother say anything about tuition.

AV: And how were the teachers elected to their posts?

BF: That I could not tell you. I guess there wasn’t very many teachers on hand at that time, so I guess they didn’t have a hard time getting in.

AV: Were they mostly local people?

BF: Mostly.

AV: From Eckley?


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko -14- 8/17/72 Tape 26-2

 BF: Um-hmm.

 AV: What about discipline? What was the general trend in the discipline over there?

BF: They weren’t very/bold really they weren’t. And if they didn’t listen, they’d paddle maybe on the hand, slap the hand with a paddle. If the female teacher thought she couldn’t handle the boys, she would go to the principal…

 AV: Who was a man?

 BF: Yeah… and he would give them a talking-to and he would give them/a couple of whacks with a paddle, on the rear! And if, they had to stay in after school.

 AV: Was there any use of putting kids in a corner?

 BF: Yes, they’d do that. Sometimes if they would be caught talking, or copying an examination, they’d put them up.

 AV: In the corner?

 BF: In the corner.

 AV: Did they use any kind of thing to, like, make fun of naughty pupils? Dunce Cap or something like that?

 BF: No they didn’t, not that I remember. Really I don’t. Not in our rooms, anyway.

 AV: Was there any teacher that was particularly strict in discipline?

 BF: Well, I think Mr. O’Donnell was. I don’t think he was mean, I couldn’t say he was mean, but I think he taught them discipline very very well.

 AV: How did he do that?

 BF: Well, he would give them a good talking-to first. And if he still thought that they needed a whack, he would give them a whack, too.

 AV: I heard that he had a special kind of paddle that was particularly viscious.

 BF: I don’t know, I never seen it!

 AV: It was supposed to have holes in it…

 BF: I never seen it! Ha, ha!

 AV: And how long was your school season? From September?

 BF: Most likely from September, like it is now.

 AV: The middle of September, or the beginning?

 BF: I think the beginning of September.

 AV: Until, when, Christmas time? Was that the first semester, that went until Christmas?

 BF: Then we had a week off, and then we went back I guess until about June. Some of them, well, not in our school. I think we went to the beginning of June.

 AV: And how many weeks did you have off at Christmas? Two weeks?

 BF: I think it was two, because we had Christmas and New Year’s together.

 AV: And then exams were at the end of May?

 BF: Yeah, well some would begin like the middle of May.

 AV: And then in the summer, was there any kind of summer session?

 BF: We never had any, no.

 AV: Was there any other kind of classes held in school that wasn’t connected with grades, like sewing classes or something like that? Citizen classes?

 BF: Not that I know of. I think when they had sewing classes, I think they had then down in/the Dutch church. I don’t remember then having them at school, I don’t think they had anything else, not that I remember.

 AV: Now, what did the playground look like? Were there swings on it?

 BF: No, we didn’t have anything at all. WE just made up our own games.

 AV: So, the playground was used, like to play games on.

 BF: That’s right.

 AV: Were the girls separate from the boys, when they played or all mixed in?

 BF: Oh most of the time they mixed in, but most of the time the boys played just with the boys. The boys would play mostly Nipsy or marbles. Every once in a while they would start like a, they’d have a little baseball game, but


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko -15- 8/17/72 Tape 26-2 486 very seldom.

 AV: And the girls, what would they play?

 BF: They’d play Chase, Ring Around the Rosy, they’d bring Jacks.

 AV: Was there a division, like, from a certain age to a certain age, some girls played mostly one game, or was there some game that only older gitls could have?

 BF: Not that I know of.

 AV: What’s Chase?

 BF: Well, we’d all get together, and we’d put out hands on a board, or else we’d stand on a stone, that would be our goal. And the one that would be counted Out, she’d have to try and catch us after we left the base. And the first one she would catch, she would just tag, and that person would have to start running and chase us! And until we got back to our goal, if she didn’t catch us, we’d be safe.

 AV: So, was the idea to leave the goal and run around…

 BF: And get caught.

 AV: Oh! But you could keep running back as many times as you needed?

 BF: Oh, yes.

 AV: And, Ring Around the Rosy, how did you play that? Around here?

 BF: Well, we’d join hands, and say a little verse, and we’d get up and we’d get down on our knees.

 AV: Do you remember the verse?

 BF: Ring Around the Rosy, Pocket Full of Posy Hee, Hi, Ho. When they’d say Ho, they would get down.

 AV: On their knees?

 BF: Well, either, just, they wouldn’t get, not exactly on our knees, because of these stones. And then we’d get right back up.

 AV: And…

 BF: Then we’d start repeating, going right around the ring again.

 AV: When did you end that game? I mean, did you keep going faster and faster.…

 BF: No, I think we just kept going faster and faster until we got tired, and stop.

 AV: How did uou play Jacks around here?

 BF: Get a small ball, and we’d have a few Jacks. We’d put the Jacks down, and try and catch, throw the ball up in the air a little bit, and try and catch one Jack, then from that you’d, ahhh , catch then all like touchin’ each Jack- another Jack- just catch the one. Then you would throw them, after you had them all caught in your hand, you would throw the Jacks down again, throw the ball up in the air, and try to catch two jacks at a time, until you got them all caught up that way. But you were not supposed to touch any of the Jacks but just those two that you was wupposed to pick up. If you’d touch another Jack, you would be Out. . . . . . (There is a third, unidentified person in the following conveersation).

 BF: I don’t know too muich about it, though, really, /Well, I was never down there but I know, I thought they had them down there /They had sewing classes down there. ?? Which church was this?

 BF: The Dutch. Protestant, but I don’t know what the name of it is. The Episcopal? Episcopal, I think. Yeah.


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko -16- 8/17/72 525 Tape 26-2

 AV: Do you know any one going there?

 BF: Didn’t the Allisons go there? (-? Flossie)’s father and mother used to go to that church.

 AV: How about the style of that church? What did that look like?

 BF: I was never inside of that church, never.

 AV: What did the outside look like? ??: (There seems to be a third person speaking at this point) Something like this one up here.

 BF: Yeah, like the one you see up here.

 AV: Was it about the same size?

 BF: Um-hmm. On the outside that’s what it looked like.

 AV: Painted white?

 BF: Was it white, or was it I think grayish. ??: It was like a greyish

 AV: What about the other church, the Presbyterian church?

 BF: I don’t remember that one. I remember they had two churches, one alongside the other down there, didn’t they? ??: Yeah.

 BF: Weren’t they right across the Allisons there? ??: Yeah.

 BF: But that’s all I remember. We never went down that way. See, when you live in these towns in them days, you just stuck around your own home. You didn’t even go to the end of the town much. Until later on when they had picnic ground down there, and once in a while you went down to 537 take your mail. But you really didn’t go down there much otherwise.

 AV: Where did you get the mail from?

 BF: They had a post office in the store.

 AV: And the mail was given out at the post office? Was it passed out right at the window?

 BF: As you came in, you went to the window, and they gave it to you.

543 . . . . . I says it it

 BF: And then she says/ how do you make/, she knows how to make/, she made it for her daughter’s wedding. And she says. you take…

 AV: This is your father’s whiskey for special occasions?

 BF: She said you would take goose lard . . . .

 AV: Yeah! Okay?

 BF: And you would put a little bit of, now it’s not garlic and it’s not onions, it’s in between, I have some that I took from my sister’s garden, we call it in Slovak : . And you cut that up and fry that a little bit, don’t brown it just fry it a little bit. Then take and put sugar and brown the sugar in this. . .

 AV: In that stuff. Is that what you call scallions, by any chance?

 BF: No, it’s not scallions either. No, it isn’t. It looks like a garlic, a clove of garlic, but it’s not a garlic. It’s in between a garlic and an onion. You brown your sugar in this, then you take it to the side of the stool, and put your whiskey into it. And you bring that to a boil, and then you put a little water in it, and that is delicious.

 AV: What do you eat it with?

 BF: You drink it. It’s a whisky. It’s a drink. It’s very good, though, honestly.

 AV: How did your father meke whiskey?

 BF: My father never made whiskey. He drank it, but he never made it.

 AV: Did they make wine?


Veresano interviewing Bertha Falatko 8/17/72 tape 26-2

BF: No, my father wasn’t very keen on making wine either. And my mother wasn’t either. They tried it once, I think, but I don’t think they made it after that. That’s why I don’t know how to make it..I’m still gonna ask,you know who I’m gonna ask, Mrs. Zosak. She might know. ……

 BF: In the shanty, we used to have a table, a stove. Now we didn’t have boughten cupboards. We used to have, I don’ know, but we used to call it.…in Slovak. It was three boards put together, like this, you know? And then they’d have shelves on it. And that’s what we used to keep as a cupboard.

 AV: Yeah. what did you store in that?

 BF: We’d keep our cups, and our plates, and we’d have a small box and put our soda in it, and we’d keep salt and pepper shakers in it. And we used to have a bowl, in fact my mother didn’t use a salt shaker much at all. She’d have a bowl and she’d keep her salt in that big bowl. And she’d just dig her hand into this bowl and use as much salt as she wanted. I remember that so well, that bowl was a white bowl. But I remember it was cracked in half, so I guess that’s why we threw it away.

 AV: This cupboard-like affair was just made out of shelves, no drawers in the bottom?

 BF: No drawers. Then on the bottom of it we would keep our dustrags. And then we’d keep drapes on it.

 AV: In front of it?

 BF: Yeah.

 AV: This was kept on one side of the stove?

 BF: Yes, uh-huh.

 AV: And then, on the other side of the stove, what did you have?

 BF: Well, that was in the shanty. On the other side of the stove we had a great big wooden box. We’d keep our old shoes in there, everyday shoes, and our boots.

 AV: What size wooden box?

 BF: About one yard by a yard and a half. And it would be about twenty inches high. And we’d throw all of our shoes in there! That’s the shoes that we didn’t use all the time, steady. The shoes that we’d use, like every day, when we’d take them off when we come home from school, we’d put them like under the stove.

 AV: What was behind the stove? Was there any racks, or something?

 BF: No, we had a bench back of the stove, and then we had a …

 AV: What was that used for?

 BF: Just to sit on. And we had a rack, just a board, it wasn’t a rack, it was a board, we’d call it a rack. It was a narrow board, and we’d have nails in there, and we’d hang our coat on that.

 AV: Was it, like, wet clothes?

 BF: Yes, or else our towels, wet towels, towels that we were using.

 AV: Is that what your father hung his wet clothes on when he cam home from mining?

 BF: Um-hmm.

 AV: Then, what else did you have in the shanty? You said there was a table…

 BF: Well, naturally, we used to eat in the shanty in the summertime. Av: Was that like a square table? Bf: Yes, just a square.

 AV: Did you have benches or chairs?

 BF: Just benches. We had one, two, four benches we had in there.

 AV: Who made them?

 BF: My dad.


Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko 8/17/72 Tape 26-2

AV: With material bought from…

 BF: No, it was material from the company. Company was good to us then! Ha! Ha! Av: What was on the table?

 BF: What do you mean, what was on, the only thing we had on the table was the sugars and the creamer, that’s all we used to keep on there, nothing else.

 AV: Was there oil cloth table cloth?

 BF: Oh, to cover it, yeah.

 AV: It was laid on there, like a tablecloth?

 BF: Um-hmm.

 AV: And was this table put near the window?

 BF: Yes.

 AV: What was on the window? Beside shades. Was there shades?

 BF: We had shades and that’s all. In the shanty we didn’t have no curtains.

 AV: And what else was in the shanty? Any other kind of thing?

 BF: No. And on the floor we would just have the boards. They would be scrubbed every Saturday.

 AV: Did you have rag carpets on the floor?

 BF: Well in the shanty we didn’t usually have, because that was used so hard.

 AV: Was there any other, something hung up on the walls, like pots and pans, or anything?

 BF: Oh, yes, we used to have pots and pans close to the stove on another rack, above the clothes we would hang, especially like a frying pan that mother used all the time, and two kind of pots…

 AV: Was this like in back of the stove?

 BF: Back of the stove.

 AV: What else was in the shanty, any other kind of container or structure? Was there any decoration on the walls, such as holy pictures…

 BF: Oh, holy pictures. Oh, yes. You see the one I have over there? That’s the one we had.

 AV: And the ceiling was not white -washed at all?

 BF: No, our shanty we didn’t have no ceiling at all, we only had the beams, you could see the beams. And then later on my dad got a few boards and he put a few boards up there. And then we would store our pipes from the kitchen on top of there in the summertime so they wouldn’t rust.while there was no fire in the kitchen stove.

 AV: Did you have like a flour bin in the kitchen?

 BF: Out in the shanty, we had a flour bin and a sugar bin.

 AV: And was there a washing machine in the shanty?

 BF: No, we didn’t have no washer then. We only had tubs, and they were put in that, back of the shanty I told you we had a coop-like?

 AV: Oh, tool shed.

 BF: Tool shed. that’s where we’d keep our tubs.

 AV: That’s what you used to bathe and wash?

 BF: Yes. Ave: And then, was there a shed outside the kitchen door? Attached to the house.

 BF: Yes, a small one.

 AV: How big was it?

 BF: Oh, that would be now let me see, by the yards I’m gonna measure – one, two, well, ours first was just about two and a half yards wide, and long, it would be about as long as this, not not as long as this room, that would be a lie. About four yards, I guess.

 AV: And what was in there?

 BF: Well, in there all we had was one cupboard and a table and a sink.

 AV: Small table?


A. Varesano intervewing Bertha Falatko -19- 8/17/72 Tape 26-2

 BF: Yes, small table, and a sink.

 AV: A real sink that drained?

 BF: Yeah.

 AV: Where did it drain to?

 BF: Out into a ditch.

 AV: In the garden?

 BF: Alongside the garden.

 AV: And where did it run off to, into the garden or into the street?

 BF: No, down into the alley.

 AV: Not this ditch alongside of the road?

 BF: No, no, no down the alley.

 AV: And what was the inside of that shed like? Was it papered?

 BF: Papered, yes. And we had an oilcloth on the floor.

 AV: Oilcloth?

 BF: Um-hmm, On the floor.

 AV: Do you mean linoleum?

 BF: Linoleum, yeah.

 AV: What about the ceiling, what was that like?

 BF: That was papered, too, but first, we didn’t have no paper, we just had every thing white-washed,

 AV: How about the shanty? What was on the walls of the shanty?

 BF: We had nothing on the walls, just regular boards.

 AV: And then, in the shed there, right off the kitchen, what was that used for? What activities?

 BF: No activity at all. It’s just, my mother used to have her cupboard there, and she used to have mostly the pots and pans there, especially in wintertime, so she didn’t have to always go in the shanty. The shanty at that time was not at tached to the house, so she didn’t want to go out there all the time. So she just kept the stuff, most of the things, like, in the shed. She had a cupboard in there, and she did a lot of her work in there. The kitchen, as you see, is not very big,

 AV: What kind of work did she do in the shed?

 BF: Well, she would do most of her cooking, like, well, she didn’t cook it in there, but she used to prepare the food in there, and then she’d cook it on the stove in the kitchen.

 AV: What kind of stuff did she store in the cupboards, besides pots and pans. Sil verware?… to bring

 BF: Well, naturally, we had/most of that stuff in the shanty into the shed in winter.

 AV: How about the dry good, like rice and beans? Where were they kept?

 BF: Well, we kept them mostly in the shanty.

 AV: Even in the winter?

 BF: Um-hmm.

 AV: In that cupboard?

 BF: Um-hmm.

 AV: There was only one cupboard in the shanty?

 BF: Some people had two, we only had the one big one.

 AV: How big was it?

 BF: The cupboard? Well, let’s see, it would be about so long, from there to here.

 AV: Two yards?

 BF: About two yards. And it was just about a foot and a half wide.

 AV: And how tall?

 BF: As tall as this room.

 AV: Six feet?


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko -20- 8/17/72 Tape 26-2

 BF: About five feet. I mean, the cupboard was five feet.

 AV: Yeah. And then, in the kitchen itself, the regular kitchen, what did you have?

 BF: Well, see, our kitchen, as you see, was very small. We only had a table and chairs and the stove.

 AV: A table, was it covered with oilcloth, too?

 BF: Um-hmm.

 AV: Did you have holy pictures on the walls?

 BF: Oh, naturally! It was a must!

 AV: How Many?

 BF: Two, because our kitchen was small.

 AV: Which ones, do you remember?

 BF: Well, we had a big one of the Holy Supper, and then we had the Holy Family on the other wall.

 AV: And, what was on the floor of the kitchen

 BF: Kitchen, I don’t know, I think we had oilcloth, I mean linoleum, in the kitchen, I think, too. First we didn’t, but that later on we had a linoleum.

 AV: At first it was bare boards? With rag carpet?

 BF: Just bare boards, yeah, yeah, Of course, the rag carpet we put down mostly on the weekend.

 AV: Oh, really? For what?

 BF: Saturday and Sunday!

 AV: Why was that?

 BF: To make the house look nicer!

 AV: Was that special occasions?

 BF: Well, we had so many in our family that they would get dirty in no time, and men especially when the/would come home from work, they had to take a bath at home, and we only had those wooden tubs. So naturally they would splash the carpets all up, and my mother thought it was foolish to even have it down.

 AV: So, weekends was considered kind of special dress-up-time?

 BF: Oh, yeah.

 AV: What did it have on the walls, and the ceiling?

 BF: Our kitchen was whitewashed.

 AV: Yeah? And the ceiling?

 BF: The ceiling was whitewashed, too.

 AV: Was it cloth ceiling?

 BF: Well, not in the kitchen. later on we had it in the kitchen, but not in the beginning. In the other room we had cloth. AF: In the beginning there were white-washed beams?

 BF: White-washed, yeah.

 AV: What was in the kitchen window?

 BF: Just shades.

 AV: Did the shed have any windows?

 BF: One small window.

 AV: Just a shade on it?

 BF: In fact, I don’t think we even had a shade on that one.

 AV: I see. And, was there a door between the kitchen and the shed?

 BF: Oh, yeah. It was attached. The shed was attached to the kitchen.

 AV: Where was the source of lighting in the kitchen?

 BF: On the metal ring.

 AV: A cracket for kerosene lamp?

 BF: Uh-huh.

 AV: How about in the shed? How did you light that?

 BF: The shed, we just used to carry a lamp in. We used to have a lantern.


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko

AV: Yeah, And the summer kitchen, how did you light that?

 BF: We had a lamp we had to carry to.

 AV: And where did you keep it?

 BF: Usually on the table. Sometimes we used to have it back in the shanty, too.

 AV: Anything else in the kitchen besides tables and chairs? Cupboards or some thing like that?

 BF: No, our kitchen was too small for that.

 AV: What about the front room?

 BF: Well, in there we used to have a couch, and chairs, and on the floor we used to have carpet, the whole floor was covered with carpets.

 AV: Was it ever used as a bedroom, that you remember?

 BF: Well, yes, in the beginning, yes. My mother used to use it as a bedroom. That was when we used to live up there. When i was sick. Where Frank Zahay lives we used to live in that house one time.

 AV: And what did they have, a couch?

 BF: Well, no, we had a bed then.

 AV: And what else did they have?

 BF: Just a couch and chairs and a small round table, in the center, and pictures on the wall…

 AV: Holy pictures?

 BF: Naturally. Then maybe a family picture.

 AV: Oh, there was a custom to have family pictures? When did you start having, like, secular pictures on the wall, besides holy pictures?

 BF: We didn’t have much of those, really we didn’t.

 AV: Just decorative stuff, like. Would you most likely to have family pic tures on the walls instead of just decorative pictures?

 BF: Well, we did. We would have mostly only religious pictures on the wall. We didn’t have any other kind. We would only have the other pictures mostly like, maybe if we had one family picture on the wall. And then the other pictures, if we had any, was just like on the table, beside the lamp, or something, or if we had a cupboard…

 AV: So, when you lived in this house, this front room was not used as a bedroom at all?

 BF: No.

 AV: Just as a sitting roo.

 BF: Yeah.

 AV: When you lived in the Zahay house, that’s Number 60, it was used as a bedroom.

 BF: Yes

 AV: What did it have on the floor, anything?

 BF: Carpets.

 AV: And on the windows, did you have anything?

 BF: Well, we had shades on and I think my mother had curtains on there.

 AV: What kind of curtain?

 BF: Just regular thin material, like, ah…like a lace.

 AV: Was it like that?

 BF: No. not like that one. It was more of a lace design in it.

 AV: What’s the name of that material, do you know?

 BF: Well, actually, material in those days was all cotton, but it was lace.

 AV: By lace, do you mean like a floral design?

 BF: Yeah.

 AV: And then, what was in the other room, like the upstairs bedrooms, what did they look like?

 BF: Well, the bedroom, we had carpets on thefloor there, and all we could have


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko -22- 8/17/27 Tape 26-2 in there was beds, and maybe one little cupboard.

 AV: For what?

 BF: To keep our, like different litle things we had, like maybe we had a chain on our necks, or something like a cross or something. And we’d have a pic ture on there, and maybe our rosary and things.

 AV: What did you mean by a “cupboard” in the bedroom?

 BF: Just a regular cupboard.

 AV: Like, how big would it be?

 BF: Just as big as my desk.

 AV: Oh! So about a yard and a half long by maybe two feet wide, and a yard high?

 BF: Um-hmm. Maybe a yard and a half.

 AV: It would be like a rectangular thing, and did it have drawers in it?

 BF: Had drawers, yeah.

 AV: What did you store in the drawers?

 BF: Our underclothes and our nightclothes.

 AV: What did you keep on top of it?

 BF: I was saying like maybe we had a picture on sometimes, you know…

 AV: A holy picture?

 BF: Not necessarily, no. It would be mostly family or maybe a friend’s pic ture. And if we had any kind of jewelry, may for instance like a cross on the neck, we’d take that off or something like that, at night.

 AV: What was the source of lighting in the bedrooms?

 BF: A lamp.

 AV: A wall lamp, bracket lamp?

 BF: Yeah, upstairs we had a bracket lamp.

 AV: That you put your kerosene lamp in.

 BF: Yeah.

 AV: And then, what about your regular daily clothes, like dresses and things. Where did you hang them?

 BF: Ah, we used to hang them them just on the door.

 AV: In the back of the door?

 BF: Back of it, yeah.

 AV: On nails, or hooks?

 BF: Well, sometimes we had a hook, mostly nails.

 AV: Did you also use the wall in the back of the door to hang clothes?

 BF: Oh, yes, My dad would put a stick-like, make kind of like a bracket or something, you know, and we would hang our clothes up there.

 AV: Yeah, something like a clothes closet rack?

 BF: Yeah, yeah.

 AV: And he used to make it so that the thing stuck out from the wall, with a dowel rod in between?


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko


 BF: I imagine they did.

 AV: Was there anything else that was common to bedrooms? Like, some other object like a night stand. Did they have that?

 BF: Well, mostly I guess we did have a night stand.

 AV: What did you put on that?

 BF: Well, we had a glass of water for ourselves, like maybe we had a night stand between our two beds. We’d have two beds in the room, and we’d have a night stand, because naturally, we were small, we almost always would get up for a glass of water or something. We’d have that, and maybe we’d have a crucifix on it, on the table, too.

 AV: Did they have many holy pictures on the bedroom walls?

 BF: Oh, yes, just as much as they had in the other rooms!

 AV: Were there a special kind ogf holy pictures, like smaller, or…

 BF: Not as large as the ones downstairs, they were smaller..

 AV: Why did they have the smaller ones upstairs and the larger ones upstairs?

 BF: That’s something I can’t tell you. I don’t know.

 AV: Was there a special kind of holy pictures or holy objects that you’d have upstairs?

 BF: Well, a special picture my mother had up there was a guardian angel, watch ing over children going across a bridge. That was one that I remembered clear. And then the other ones, maybe she would have a picture of Jesus.…

 AV: Was that in her rooom or in your room?

 BF: that was in our room.

 AV: That was shared by you and your sisters?

 BF: Um-hmm. And even our brothers. Sometimes when our xxxx was small, he slept in our room. We’d all bunch up together!

 AV: Who slept in those two beds, then?

 BF: Well, my sisters…

 AV: How many sisters?

 BF: There was three…how many did I have? Let me see… …seven, I think. And six brothers.

 AV: And where did you put them all?! B

 BF: We all used to sleep in those two rooms.

 AV: Did you have, like three in a bed?

 BF: Sure

 AV: Did the boys sleep in with the girls, too?

 BF: No, well, xxxxx maybe slept when he was smaller, you know. But after, when he got bigger, he slept with the boys. And then my mother and dad had a bed downstairs. And the boys had their own bed when they got older. We didn’t even have a door on.

 AV: Did you have the middle bedroom, or the front bedroom?

 BF: We had the back bedroom, and the boys would have the front bedroom.

 AV: Back bedroom. In the Zahay, in Number 60…

 BF: Well, see, they have, no, we only had two bedrooms

 AV: I know, but when you came here…

 BF: Well, it’s the same, we slept in the back room, and the boys slept in the front room.

 AV: And your parents (were down)…

 BF: Yeah

 AV: But over there, at the Zahay place, you and your sisters slept where?

 BF: In the back, and the boys in the front. And here we do the same. But my mother and dad didn’t sleep downstairs, because my dad died soon after that. Then some of my


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko

sisters got married. So then my dad and my mother slept upstairs. With us, we didn’t have a bedroom down here then.

 AV: This was in this house?

 BF: Yeah.

 AV: And, what was I going to ask.… Did you use the stairs for anything? Were they closed? With a door?

 BF: No, huh-uh.

 AV: That was in the Zahay place.

 BF: Yeah, oh yeah.

 AV: And over here, do you remember a door here, too?

 BF: We had a door here, too. [on the stairs]

 AV: What was that used for? Why did it have a door on it?

 BF: I really don’t know why. Maybe a lot of times, too, like in the mornings, when my mother had to get up early and get the boys ready for work, well, maybe she didn’t want to have all that noise going upstairs, so she could just close the door. That’s what I would think it was for.

 AV: Do you think it was used some times for regulating the heat?

 BF: Oh, I don’t think so. Because you needed the heat up there like you did down here.

 AV: How were the bedrooms heated?

 BF: Just with a coal stove and heater downstairs.

 AV: And it came up through the pipes?

 BF: Um-hmm. Well, we had a register like this, you see. We had one in there, too, that’s we have it shut off upstairs/now. We had a register in there, too.

 AV: And the hot air would come up through the floor then?

 BF: Um-hmm.

 AV: Were the walls papered?

 BF: No, a long time ago, like I say, they were whitewashed, first.

 AV: And the ceilings were whitewashed.

 BF: Some of them were, yeah. But then later on we had cloth.

 AV: Was that in the Zahay place?

 BF: Yeah, um-hmm.

 AV: Did you ever have cloth ceilings here?

 BF: Yes, we had them here, too. When we first came down here.

 AV: In which rooms?

 BF: In, I guess all of those rooms downstairs.

 AV: Nothing upstairs?

 BF: That was just whitewashed.

 AV: And even in the Zahay place, the bedrooms were just whitewashed?

 BF: Oh, yeah.

 AV: What did you have in the bedroom floors in the Zahay place?

 BF: Cloth! That I’ll never forget, because I was a Momma’s Girl all the time, I never left my mother when I was small. And the girls, xxxx wanted me to go with them this one time for a walk. (That would be O”Donnell’s girl), they lived all the way down at that end. And I didn’t want to go, and they wanted me to go. in the worst way, and I ran upstairs so they wouldn’t get me. And my mother had the carpets on the floor, and they were tacked on. And they still came up to get me, and I just wouldn’t, I screamed that I didn’t want to go with them. And I hung on to this carpet! That’s how I remember so well that we had carpets upstairs!

 AV: Were those rag carpets?

 BF: Yeah. Just like that one there.

 AV: Kind of like runners? Or were they all over the floor?

 BF: They were runners, but they were put down all over the floor. But they were just runners.


A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko

AV: Right next to each other, and tacked in.

 BF: Yeah, yeah.

 AV: What did you have on the windows in the bedroom?

 BF: Just regular curtain. Just like I say, lace curtains we had.

 AV: Did you have a shade too?

 BF: Yeah.

 AV: Did you have that kind of stuff over here when you moved here?

 BF: Oh, yeah, uh-huh.

 AV: Like, lace curtains in the windows, and shades. And on the floor over here, what did you usually have?

 BF: Um-hmm. Carpets. Well, in the kitchen we only had linoleum, though. We had linoleum in here, but then we had carpet on top of it.

 AV: Upstairs over in this house, did you have rag carpets on the floor? Were they tacked in?

 BF: Yeah. Yeah. You see all the fur nails yet!

 AV: Yeah! And over here, you used the attics to put the boys in in the winter time…

 BF: In the summertime.

 AV: …for the summer, I mean. What did they have up there when they used it to sleep?

 BF: They had the regular floor, was no covering at all. They only had the boards and then they had one bed up there, and then the rest of the stuff we only had, we had stored things, like our clothes.

 AV: And that’s all they had to sleep in?

 BF: Um-hmm.


[Note: this is a handwritten page with four columns. The first column shows dates. The second column has information about who is interviewing whom. The third column is labeled “Page”, and the fourth column is labeled “Subject”.

8/1/72: A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko. Page 1: Recipe for green tomato stew. Page 2: Recipe for lettuce gravy. Page 3: Recipe for Sunday breakfast. Page 4: Recipe for jelly and preserves. Page 5: Company store and post office. Page 6: Diagram of company store. 7/15/72: Page 7: Uses of parsley and chamomile teas.

7/29/72: A. Varesano interviewing Catherine Falatko. Page 8: Rules for the childrens of Nipsy and buckety-buck

8/[?]/72: W. Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko. Page 9: diagram of country downtown grade school Page 10: diagram and description of smokehouse. Page 11: diagram and description of bake oven

8/4/72: A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko. Page 12: Berry juice recipe

8/19/72: Page 13: Green tomato stew recipe Page 13: Lettuce and gravy recipe Page 13: Sunday breakfast recipe Page 13: Jelly recipe


[Note: This is a handwritten page with four columns. The first column shows a date. In the second column is the phrase “A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko”. The third column is labeled “Page” and the the fourth column is labeled “Subject”.

8/19/72: A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko. Page 14: Women in other towns Page 14: Dating Page 15: Description of the schoolhouse Page 16: Potbelly stoves in each room Page 16: Mining and Mechanical School (MMI)


[Note: This page is handwritten and has three columns. The number “8” is in a circle in the upper right-hand corner of the page. In the first column is the phrase “A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko”. The second column is labeled “Page” and the third column is labeled “Subject”.

A. Varesano interviewing Bertha Falatko. Page 17: More contents of the shanty Page 18: Ditto marks under the phrase “More contents of the shanty” Page 19: Description of the shed outside the kitchen Page 19: Uses of the shanty–what was kept in it Page 20: Rag rugs Page 20: Weekends as “dress-up” special times Page 21: Descriptions of bedrooms Page 21: Descriptions of bedrooms in the Zahay house (#6) Page 22: Storage of clothing in the bedrooms Page 23: Location of where everyone in the family slept


[Note: This page is handwritten. Down the left-hand side of the page is written “PEOPLE OUTSIDE ECKLEY”]

6/25/72 Thomas Falatko–Jeddo Boro

He is a strip miner/breaker [?] operator for Jeddo-Highlands mine –Continually unearths old mining equipment from the “old days” –Know the names of the people who lived in the 2 houses beyond Surgents –Continually unearths geological wonders: petrified wood, fossils, “sulphur diamonds”, etc. –Has huge lump of pure coal which he is considering donating to museum –Knows location of old baseball diamond near Annie Timko’s –Knows story of suicide in house where co. store is now located–and many more stories besides! –Knows location of several old foundations including that of old 3-room school


Hand written page with drawing of a grade school

Clifford Falatko (8-20-72) House #138

Downtown Grade School

506 t e 304 e r t 102 S


[Note: This page is handwritten. Parts of the page are faint and difficult to read]

Angela Varesano games Catherine (Hysick) Falatko 7/29/72 3:[?] pm.

[Below the date and time is a drawing that looks like a fat short pencil sharpened on both ends. It is horizontal on the page and is labeled “nipsy”. There is a horizontal line in the middle of the image with the Roman numeral “I” written in the space above the line and “II” written in the lower space.]

East Macadoo Nipsy She remembers playing nipsy with squared off (faceted) sides, marked with Roman numerals I II II IV. You hit the nipsy out of a circle a foot in diameter. Whoever hit it the farthest won that round. Each one of players (didn’t matter how many played) would throw it into the circle. Whoever got the highest got to go first. Then the person whose turn it was to bat would throw the nipsy into the circle to determine how many times he could bat. You stand [?] right by the circle, so you never miss. The one that hit it the farthest out would win. If there were only 3 or 4 players, the player who wins a round would get 1 point. You could designate a # of points as winning the game–a common one was 21, so whoever got 21 points first would win the game.


now Hazelton

???? she remembers playing “Rockety Bock” – ???? would ??????????? players ????? divide in teams ????? players would line up ????? the first one against the wall the 2nd would put his ???? between the 1st person ????? the 2nd would do the ???? the other team would -????- ???? + jump up on the backs, ? ???? ?? get up ferthest on the line The first in front would say: Rockety Bock How many fingers up? They had to stay on until the it player on the botton {bentdown} ???? ???? how many fingers up If the one on top fell off, they ????. If the ding one were goessed then they reversed. ———————————– + they reversed positions.


younger team encompassed ages 5 – 13. Older teams were older – yes 13-16 The bottomline didn’t move or try to throw off the top people – this was considered cheating.


This is a hand drawing of a company store

Angela Varesano Plan of Company Store Bertha Falatko 8/1/72 (9:30 – 11:00)

Back facing south side

Shelves held: -pipe collars -hardware -shoe nails -miner lamps -water buckets -shellac

A counter was under shelves and was not ?????. Drawers under counter hold -paint brushes -d[????]io

[words on drawing from left to right] Meat Block Loading doors Double doors Back Room Kerosene tank Meal Room Counter (used for wrapping meat) Loading door -Jellies 6-7 small Ice box Shelves Cellar door 6 or 7 small ???? Register Work table Counter – meat counter Hinged counter Double doors vestibule Money order ???? Post Desk Office Built-in ??? Thread box on counter Large window Shoe room Feed room -stored flour in 100 lb, 60 lb ???? -sugar ????? Steps up Platform

[Lots of indecipherable writing at bottom of page]


A drawing

Back facing south side

Front facing north side

[Writing is indecipherable]


A drawing


?????????} sides that enclosed it by heavy wire ?????????

Extended from floor up to 6′ high.

ceiling in store was about 7-8 ft high

Thread ??????????????????????????? ????????????????????? by the P.O.


Angela Varenno Folk reading 7/15/72 Bertha Falatko

9:30-10:00 a.m.

Parsley – good for kidneys – supposed to make urinate when have trouble would give a parsley tea.

chamomile tea used to give babies as a tea


Angella Varenno recipe 10:30am – 12:30pm 8/9/72

berry juice Bertha Falatko Wash berries. Put in a pan + cover with cold water. Let boil till you see that juice is out of most of the fruit. Strain + throw out skins* put juice in hot jars. Screw on lid tight. Let boil in canner from 3-5 min. , to ceal. Cool. Store in cool place, ie, cellar.

* Add sugar to taste now + stir. for a quart of berries, add in 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Bertha makes very good elderberry juice, which she is fond of. She plans to make huckleberry juice when she gets in some more berries



Clifford Falatko (8-20-72) House #138

Smoke house ___________

Most people of Eckly had a Smoke house.

made entirely of wood

6′ high Door

3′-4′ wide + long sheet of metal ditch hole for wood fire

Fire would burn for several days depending on type of meat

Could also have a fire in a tub covered by a sheaf of metal, burning under the meat in the smoke house



Clifford Falatko (8-20-72) House #138

Bake Oven _________

Made of bricks or stone. There were various size ovens. The bricks were held together by mud

Sheet iron top

4′ high

2 1/2′ wide 3’long

Bake oven dooe – metal on wood



Mr. Clifford Falatko – House # 138 June 13, 1972 – 7:45-8:15 Pm

Don’t type – Building Locations – People in Houses – Building Descriptions

H – Coal Shanties in Front of Homes O (Between the Homes) C. late 1800s U S R R R R I E E E E N S S S S G CS CS CS A ________________________ R Street C _______________________ H I -GOOD ??? Very ART???? T ECT???


Green Tomatoe Stew Fry onions in butter till slightly brown(onion) then add carrots that are cut any size (?? prefer about 1 in) Kolrobi + glass of water ??? + stem with lid on. Then when carrots are partly done add green tomatoes cut up in 1/4 pieces + finish steeming it. If stew get to thick add more water.

Recipes A. Varenco??? _______ Written by Bertha Falatko + given on 8/19/72, 10:00 a.m.


Lettuce + Gravy

Put 1 1/2 qts of water to cook in meantime brown about 1/2 cup flour in butter, when brown add cold water to flour mixture + bring it to boil, let it boil first a few min. till is thicken ????? Then pour it into the boiling water (1 1/2 qt) + add salt + pepper to taste add the lettuce to this thickened mixture stir for about 1 minute to make richer unless done + pulled off the stove for about 5 minutes to cool add some heavy sour cream. its yummy.


1 Our Sunday Breakfast

cut pork into pieces about (1 in square) + stew till almost done, then cut up potatoes (about 1 in square also) into the pork; salt + pepper + finish stewing til all is cooked.


I Tomatoe|Preserve (Jelley

Dip red ripe tomotoes in boiling water for a few min. (to be able to peel tomatoe skins) Then cut tomatoe into 1/4 pieces + cook with?? with out??? for about 20 to 25 minutes (or until tomatoes are cooked) Then to 1 cup tomatoes add about 1/2 cup sugar. Then cook this very slowly for it will scorch very easily till it thickens a little then put into glasses (over)


Tomatoe|Preserve (Jelly) Dip red ripe tomatoes in boiling water for a few min ( to be able to peel tomatoe skins) Then cut tomatoes into 1/4 pieces + cook with or without ?????????? for about 20 to 25 minutes ( or until tomatoes are cooked) Then to 1 cup tomatoes add about 1/2 cup sugar. Then cook this very slowly for it will scorch very easily till is thicker a little then pour into glasses (over)


Angela Varesano 8/1/72 Bertha Falatko COMPANY STORE

The cellar held barrels of vinegar and also canned goods.

The ???? Office was enclosed on three sides by heavy wire patterened thus:

Drawing in here

This extended from the floor up to six feet high. The ceiling in the store was about seven to eight feet high. Thread was kept in a cupboard box on a counter by the Post Office

The small shelves are the size of the ones pictured behind the counter in Bertha Falatko’s photo of a cracker dis play in the store.


Drawing of a company store

Back (facing south) Company Store -pipe roller -hardware Angela Varesanto -shoenails 8/1/72 -miner lamps Bertha Falatko -water buckets was -shellac

??????? ??? on the shelves desk ? ——— —————————

fruit, vegetables beneath that c shoe room car oil tanks hold: e quarts of ??? -paint border office ? d ? double jellies -dust pans

doors ? ? shelves shelves ——— ——————-

kerosene cellar s countertop moneyorder tank e 9 yds window ? s s reelroom ? Meatroom s 6-7 mall Main area steps shelves large big shelves leading down double flour meat was opens big shelves sugar sacks wrapped here back steps a counter was cattle feed under shelves

Front (north)


Angela Varesano 7/15/72 Bertha Falatko

Parsley is good for the kidneys. It was supposed to make one urinate when they were having trouble. The person would be given parsley tea.

Chamomile tea was use as a tea given to babies.


Angela Varesano 7/29/72 Catherine (Hysick) Falatko

(East McAdoo) She remembers playing nipsy with squared off or faceted sides marked with Roman numerals, I, II, III, and IV. You hit the nipsy out of the circle which was about a foot in diameter. Whoever hit it the farthest won that round. Each one of the players ( It didn’t matter how many played. would throw it ino the circle. Whoever got the highest number got to go first. Then the person whose turn it was to bat would throw the nipsy into the circle to determine how many times he could bat. You stand right by the circle so you never miss. The one who hits it the farthest out would win. If there were only three or four players, a player who wins a round would get one point. You could designate a number of points as winning the game. A common one was twenty-one. Whoever got twenty-one points first would win the game

She also remembers playing buckety-buck. you would divide into teams. The players would line up, the first one against the wall, the second with his head between the legs of the first, and the third and so on doing the same. The other team would, one by one, run up and jump up on the backs and try to get up farthest on the line of bent backs. The first one in the front would say, “Buckety buck, how many fingers up.” They had to stay on until the first person on the bottom would guess how many fingers up. If those on top fell off before a right guess or if the numbers of fingers were guesses, then they reversed posi tions. If he couldn’t guess, the other team would get off and jump on again. If they moved, the bottom line, they cheat

These games were played in the school yard by mixed groups, at home in the yard, wherever there were buildings, and after school or on weekends. They started playing at age five or six and played till thirteen. The older teams were from that age to sixteen.


Drawing of Grade school

Waln K. Brown 8/20/72 Clifford Falatko

Downtown Grade School “Pot bellied” stoves windows windows windows G 1 g 3 g 5 r s r r r t w a t a d a h w i d d d i n e e e n d d o o w g 2 g 4 g 6 w s r n r t r t s a d a h a h d d d e e e door door door Porch The foundation of this school house can still be observed across from the Falatko residence (house #138). There were six grades in this school, two grades in each room. The entrance from the porch, and there were doors which connected the rooms from the interior of the building. Each room had a pot bellied stove to heat the room. This stove was in the middle of the room, and divided the two grades. The building was a one story structure.


Drawing of smoke house

Waln K. Brown 8/20/72 Clifford Falatko

Smoke House

6′ high

Hole Sheet metal covering for trench from fire 3′ to 4′ wide + long Pit to smoke house

A great many of the people in Eckley had a smoke house. This structure was made entirely of wood. A hole was built several feet from the smoke house, in which a fire was built. A trench connected the fire pit to the smoke house. This pit was covered by a sheet of metal. A fire was built in the pit, and the smoke traveled down the trench into the smoke house. The fire would burn for several days, depending on thre type of meat being smoked. Every night the fire was extinguished, and was relit the next day. The meat was also taken out of the house to guard against theft. In the case of bacon the meat, may smoke for two weeks. A fire could also be built in atub, covered by a sheet of metal, which burned underneath the meat in the smoke house. Different woods were used to smoke diff erent meats.


Drawing of bake oven

Waln K. Brown 8/20/72 Clifford Falatko

Bake Oven

Sheet iron top

2 1/2′ 3′

Door of metal or wood

There were quite a few bake ovens in Eckley. These bake ovens were of varying size, some small and others larger. The above bake oven is one that Mr. Falatko remembers. These bakeovens were made of either bricks or of stones. A mud solution was used to hold the bricks or stones together, as well as to fill in the spaces so heat would not escape from the interior. The door could be made of either wood or XXXX metal. The top was a sheet of iron. The fire was built in the ovens, and once it was hot enough, the fire was removed. The bottom was clean ed, and the dough loaves were placed on the bottom. The bottom of the bake ovens were also lined with either stones or with bricks. The size of the loaves baked in these bake ovens were approximately three times the size of bread loaves made today.


Angela Varesano 8/4/72 Bertha Falatko

Berry juice; Wash berries. Put in a pan and cover with cold water. Let boil till you see that juice is out of most of the fruit. Strain and throw out skins. Add sugar to taste now and stir. For a quart of berries, add about two tablespoons sugar. Put juice in hot jars. Screw on the lid tight. Let boil in canner from three to five miniutes to seal. Cool. Store in a cool place like the cellar. Bertha makes very good elderberry juice which she is fond of. She plans to make huckleberry juice when she gets in some more berries this weekend.


Bertha Falatko 8/19/72 Angela Varasano

Green Tomato Stew:

Fry onions in butter until slightly brown, then add carrots that are cut about 1 inch long. Add kolarabi and a glass of water, salt and pepper and steam with the lid on. Then when the carrots are partly done add green tomatoes cut up in quarters and finish steaming it. If stew gets too thick add more water.

Lettuce and Gravy:

Put 1 1/2 qts of water to boil. Brown about 1/2 cup of flour in butter, add cold water to the browned four mixture and bring to a boil. Let it boil for a few minuates, until it thickens, stir often. Then pour it into the boiling water and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the letuce to this thickened mixture and stir for about 1 minute to make ?? Pull off the stove for about 5 minutes more to cool. Add some heavy sour cream It’s yummy.

Our Sunday Breakfast:

Cut pork into pieces about 1 inch square and stew untill almost done, then cut up potatoes about 1 inch square into the pork. Add salt and pepper and finish stewing until all is cooked.

Tomatoe Preserve (Jelly)

Dip red ripe tomatoes into boiling water for a few minutes (to be able to peel tomatoes easier) Then cut tomatoes into quarters and cook with or without ? for about 20 to 25 miniutes or until tomatoes are cooked. Then to 1 cup of tomatoe add about 1/2 cup sugar. Then cook this bery slowly for it will scorch very easily. Cook until it thickens a little and then put it in glasses and seal with parawax to keep.


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -15- 8/20/72 Tape 5

 CF: Those days gone, they were happy days.

 WB: You sound like, everyone I talked to when the tell me about when they were children they light up with smiles and really tell me how nicde it was around this town.

 CF: Betch yourt life, it was nice, they were all friends no matter how poor they were how rich they were, all friends.

 WB: Must have had a lot of good buddies, boys and girl friends?

 CF: I’m tellin’ you everybody had lots of boys and girls, and lot of them strangers that used to come here, oh!

 WB: I heard that sometime if like boys would come in from Freeland or something like that the Eckley guys wold chase them out because they didn’t want them messing with Eckley girls.

 CF: Eckley boys used to at Drifton lots of them would go up to Drifton they got it too, same thing.

 WB: They didn’t want you to mess with their women.

 CF: We used to get it, but my brothers or I we never went out of town, I’m the only one that got married me and Joe married Helen Fedorchak’s sister. I’m the only one that ended up married from a girl from town, Frank that lived in this house that is empty, he’s dead, he married a girl from Sandy Run but there’s nobody to bother around Sandy Run much so he married a girl from Sandy Run and brother John married a girl from Drifton but he used to get stopped once in a while and Steve, oh yeh she was from Eckley, the 3 of us married a girl from town.

 WB: What would happen if boys from Freeland or Drifton came in and would try to court some of the girls from Eckley, what would the guys do to them?

 CF: I don’t know what I would ever do to them.

 WB: Would they just yell at them or throw rock at them?

 CF: Oh yeh, that’s all, chase them tryin’ to chase them out, I was never in that racket

 WB: No I’m just wondering if there was any fights that broke out?

 CF: No, no fights here as far as I know, maybe with the other kids but I never went out of town, I went with a girl, that’s Hazel Millove. I had to walk from here to ????? trolley car, no buses, a trolley car used to come from from Freeland, to Hardy, you know where Hardy is, where that breaker is and /there had to walk about 2 miles, towards Mountain Top there to see the girl she had only an ass about that big, I hate to say it, me and another guy would go along /he is whispering/ he had a garage ??? ???lots of money he retired now home on Washington Street there he and his wife 2 sisters older sister and younger sister we had a date set and everything, it was at New Years or after New Years and snow, Jesus to to here to shoulders, walked from the trolley car over to the house we had a date and they were going to meet us there we were supposed to go in the rectory. the priest in St Joseph’s church in Hazleton and the girls didn’t show up, we didn’t go up me and him the hell with them, they didn’t show up, we were going to get married, we wanted to get married, honest to God, that was before the war I was old enough, I was past 21 and he was, he was older than me, I don’t know what the hell happened. We broke up, finally she got married to some guy from Stockton here over the mountain, know where Stockton is? she got married to some guy — she had 17 kids. And she’s only that big, honest to God, 17 kids, when I was in the hospital with broken leg now and they took me in the am bulance, I just went for a check-up, Iwasn’t in the company ambulance, just I was in the free ambulance here they took me in the ambulance like they had to take the stretcher up to the doctor’s office, the stretcher and they put me in the waiting room and who was there, I was lookin’ at the lady, lookin’


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -19- 8/20/72 tape 5-1

at the lady and she was lookin’ at me, I couldn’t recognize her a little bit but she was old lookin’ already and I was lookn’ at her and I didn’t say nothin’ and she didn’t say nothin’ but she was watchin’ me, she came over and she said “Aint you from Eckley?” I started to cry, honest to God I did, “Aint you Clifford?” ansd I felt so bad, she had 17 kids, that’s what they tell me she had 17 kids.

 WB: She’d have kept you busy.

 CF: She was a hot baby, but she wasn’t for me she wasn’t meant for me I can thank God I didn’t get ‘er I had girls in France my buddies got in wrong and my buddies coaxed me to sleep with this girl or that girl, no, I mean in the service I don’t know what can happed to me, I came in clean and I want to go back clean, yeh.

 WB: Well when did you meet your wife?

 CF: Raised together all our life.

 WB: When did you get married, you must have been 25, 26?

 CF: I was 23, 24 we not born but raised together here, goin’ to school together here, going to school up there by the church, there was a school house up there.

 WB: Do you remember what the schoolhouse was like across the steeet, that was a 4 room school house wasn’t it?

 CF: 3 rooms

 WB: That was up to grade 4 wasn’t it?

 CF: No, to 6- 1,2,3,4,5 and 6, yeh 6 grades

 WB: And what was it like, first and second grade in one room and 3 and 4th in another and 5 and 6th in another?

 CF: Yeh, yeh.

 WB: Do you remember how, was that a 2 story school or was it a one story?

 CF: No, one story.

 WB: Was it very large?

 CF: It was long.

 WB: How long do you think it was, 50 ft. long?

 CF: The rooms were big but I don’t know how long, the rooms were pretty big, it was built just like our homes, weatherboards and everything, it was the same dam thing, same, same thing.

 WB: I’m just trying to figure out what that looked like on the inside if there was 3 rooms, was it shaped like an “L” sort of?

 CF: No it was straight like this, one side from here and one side for the other side, there were 2 teachers in one. Ralph’s mother was on one side and another teacher, Miss Gaffney on the other was first and 2nd grade, 3 and 4th Miss Wyatt from here and Miss Conrad from this corner she used to live here in the second room, principal in the third room and another teacher-6 teachers

 WB: So how did 2 teachers teach in one room, it seems

 CF: Well she was teaching hers and this lady was teachin’ hers, tha’s all.

 WB: About how many kids would be in, say first grade, about 10 in each grade?

 CF: A good many, yes, that was a lot of kids, it was pretty big, all seats filled up.

 WB: How many kids do you think there were when you went to that school, maybe 60 or 70 kids?

 CF: I couldn’t tell you.

 WB: Was there blackboards all around the walls?

 CF: Yes.

 WB: And I understand the kids in that school, they had the desks that 2 kids would sit at one desk together.

 CF: Yeh, I guess it was, one desk for 2, I think so.


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -20- 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 WB: And there was a pot belly stove in each room, to keep it warm?

 CF: Yeh.

 WB: That was at the front of the room wasn’t it?

 CF: In the center.

 WB: Well that room would that be shaped like this, I’m just trying to get an idea maybe can you remember

 CF: The room was square, just like our kitchen here now, square, that’s all.

 WB: Say for instance this is the school it was long like that, was this a room here and this a room here, how did the kids get in between rooms was there doors here?

 CF: Yeh, yeh.

 WB: And then like maybe first & second here, 3rd and 4th here, 5th and 6th here?

 CF: The first that was the end of it and goin’ in you had a porch here, on every room was a porch that you could go in here you didn’t have to go thru the rooms.

 WB: Oh I see there was a long porch that went the whole way, and then there were doors like this?

 CF: You didn’t have to go thru the room, only if the teacher wants to from one room to the other they could go thru that room but from the outside you had go from the outside

 WB: But this was a long porch that went the whole way across, which way did it face the road would this be the road here?

 CF: No the porch

 WB: Oh the porch would be the road and this was playground all the way around here I guess

 CF: Well I don’t know if playground well I guess whenever you came out of school

 WB: Where there swings or anything like that?

 CF: No there was no swings, nothing like that, no.

 WB: So this would have been the street and would there be doors that went out the sides here

 CF: No, no, no place only the door out front, on side they were windows. Big windows, one window on each side.

 WB: How about the back was there any windows in the back?

 CF: On the back, yes on every room.

 WB: On every room there was a window? It was only one story there wasn’ t any second floor

 CF: No, no.

 WB: And there was a pot belly stove in the middle of each room

 CF: Yeh

 WB: I guess that sort of divided the room too in that way like the 5th grade teacher would be on one side of the pot belly stove and the 6th grade teacher on the other side, teaching

 CF: Oh well it’s all gone.

 WB: Yeh it’s all knocked down now, it’s a shame.

 CF: All but the foundation, the foundation is still there.

 WB: Yes you can just barely make out the foundation now.

 CF: That school house uptown that building was nice, very nice.

 WB: That was a pretty nice building that was up town.

 CF: That was big, that was big

 WB: That had how many grades?

 CF: Eight.

 WB: Was that from first to 8th grade

 CF: Yeh, from that grade you had to go to Fos???? to Freeland.

 WB: Or MNI – Miner’.. Mechanical


Waln Brown interviewing Clifford Falatko -21- 8/20/72 Tape 5-1

 CF: You had to go to high school if you wanted to go to HMI, you had to go to high school first you couldn’t go to MNI if you have no high school but now they aint got no high school in Fod?? they have Freeland High, Freeland ??? there’s a high school at St. Anns, Fod?? Township now they only have Free land B???? and St. Anns that’s out already and Fod??? out.

 WB: Do you remember anything about this school that used to be down here was that before your time?

 CF: No I don’t remember that, they say there was a school, I know there was a big water trough goin’ from the breaker that used to take that slush from the breaker down, right across the pike on the other side over top of the road it was big trough, the water but there was no school in there, no.

 WB: I understand around this school, around the grade school that there was down here, there was like a lot of coal silt and dust all around the playground from that trough that would bring that down and kids would play on that.

 CF: Well down here on the other side of ????? yeh there was a big stack about 15, 20 ft. high but slush used to go down there, yeh, that was a dirty place because if you

 WB: But a lot of kids used to play on that didn’t they?

 CF: Oh yeh.

 WB: And there used to be a smoke stack there did you say?

 CF: Yeh there used to be somekind of a breaker they say that was there they were doin’ there I don’t know [female voice] That was all cleared out that was a road right from here, that little hill that was goin’ right to the school and then there was houses down there.

 WB: People used to plant that area over there?

 CF: It was planted all the way down to the corner.

 WB: Who would plant that, people that used to own the houses I guess?

 CF: No people that used to take care of the churches.

 WB: Like the preachers?

 CF: Yes.

 WB: Did the preachers of these two churches live in the town?

 CF: No they came from Freeland.

 WB: That’s really pretty in there, that’s a beautiful old tree there.

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Antoinette Donchak, Camille Westmont, Avery Ohliger, Joanne Balay , Linda Albinson, Barbara Olsav-Hudock, Paula Holoviak, Melanie Akren-Dickson, larson5, Daryl Bojarcik, KENT JACKSON, Sophia Higgs and Regina M Dziak