Vol. 2-Interview-Kascak


M/M John Kascak interviewed by Denis Mercier 8/22/72 Tape 12-2

DM: When you used to add on to other people’s houses, did the company ever give you the lumber and the material, or did you have to go buy that yourself from a lumber dealer, or what?

 JK: Oh, I never bought any of the lumber. The people who wanted the work done, they furnished the lumber.

 DM: And they had to go buy it themselves, and then you did all the work with it?

 JK: And most of the time they fixed.… , they generally got some from the company to start them out, at least, you know?

 DM: The company would give a few boards…

 JK: Yeh, to start them out, and they had to buy the roofing to make it waterproof and that, you know.

 DM: But the regular mainteance of the house was by the company? In other words, you, as a company carpenter, would be called upon to…

 JK: Yeh, but I wasn’t hired, I wasn’t doin’ it for the company. The company wasn’t doin’ the work. I was doin’ it for the people that lived in the house

 MK: They paid him, and they paid him very little. He was a very, very generous carpenter!

 JK: Heh, heh!

 DM: I thought the company used to come and fix, you know, if your window fell out or something, the company would fix it.

 JK: No, no.

 MK: Well, yet they would do some, Dad.

 JK: Some of the main part of the house, they would do some work on that. That, you were sent down from the colliery to do the work. But if the people want-ed an addition, like a garage, or if they wanted a, most of them only had a building of a two-by-four in the entranceinto the house, and they wanted to make it bigger so they’d have more room, like, most, a lot of them turned it into a kitchen, made it big enough that they had a kitchen into it. Well, they done that on themselves. You wasn’t sent by the company to do that.

 DM: Who built the kitchens, the summer kitchens? Were they built by the company a long time ago?

 MK: They were with the homes, they were with the homes.

 JK: Oh, the summer kitchens, they were, everybody had one of them. Everybody.

 DM: They were with the homes when the homes were made, the kitchens were right there?

 MK: Um-hmm.

 DM: But none of the outbuildings. All of the other outbuildings were added by the people?

 MK: Yeh.

 DM: And then, like contract with you or somebody to build to build the…

 JK: That’s right.

 DM: I see. That’s very good. Umm, let’s see. We’ve covered an awful lot of ground already. The outbuildings primarily were built at peoples whims, whenever people felt like putting one up, they’s just do it? There were not, like, this year everybody got a chicken coop, or this year everybody got…

 MK: No, no. Everybody went.…listen, the coal houses the company built for the people.

 JK: And the outside toilets, you know, the bathrooms. They took care of that.

 DM: They always maintained the toilets, right?

 MK: The companies did that. Um-hmm.

 DM: And, let’s see now, the additions onto any of these houses, the kitchen additions, you know, the third room –you know, there was the parlor, and the second room or the dining room, whatever, then the third room, didn’t they all come at the same time, or do you remember that? That was probably


M/M John Kascak interviewed by Dennis Mercier -2- 8/22/72 Tape 12-2

032 before you can remember. Do you remember how, like, you know, every house, every house, look behind it and it’s got the addition on the back with the sloping roof, the kitchen is usually put there, and did they all come about the same time, or were they just added on whenever people could afford it, or what?

 JK: Well, the smaller ones, I would say yes, they, the people put them on themselves. But the bigger ones, the homes, the company built them on when the home was built. Well, maybe sometime later, after, I don’t know.

 MK: But as far as we remember, Daddy, the kitchens were all on with the homes.

 JK: The kitchens were all on with the house.

 MK: Yes, we can remember we’d say sixty years back, because we can remember the kitchens were always there.

 JK: But since then, the people that built them on, whey they built them themselves yeh.

 MK: Well, that wasn’t down on these homes. These homes had these kitchens all the time.

 JK: These homes, they all had kitchens built on with the house.

 MK: Since we remember. It’s only up there in those little homes that the people built the kitchens themselves.

 DM: And the functions of the outbuilds, any outbuilding you ever had was either a garage or a chicken coop or a coal shed, or of course a privy?

 MK: yeh, yeh, yeh.

 DM: Anything else?

 MK: No, I guess that’s all we had. That’s all we had. The chicken coop, and a coal house, and the garage, and your bathroom up thee, and if you wanted a little extra, another extra building or something, you made it yourself. Like, for wood, if you wanted to store, or something else.

 DM: Right now, all you have is the garage and a chicken coop, huh?

 JK: Coal house.

 MK: We have a coal house up there.

 DM: How come you keep your coal up there instead of down in the basement?

 MK: We have it down here, too.

 JK: This here, we get for the heater, in here. And up in back we get it for the range. See, we burned a different coal than we burned in the heater.

 DM: oh, that’s right, you burn smaller…

 JK: We burn the peat coal in here, and the chestnut coal out in that one. So we have to keep, we can mix the two of them. Of course we can only have room for two ton in there, you know. I could draw it into the basement, you know, and have them put more in here, but so far, I’ve been able to keep the snow shoveled and get up to the back to get the coal for the range!

 DM: Do you use your basement for cold storage, too? I mean, do you keep cans down there, or if you put up beans…

 MK: Oh, yes, when I canned, for canning, and then we’d put our potatoes down there, and we bought some, if we bought extra, or we had cabbage or carrots from the garden we kept it in there. Use a box made with a lid on, there, that goes, we put it in. And our canned stuff, jellies and things.

 DM: Does it keep about fifty degrees, or so, it’s kind of cool down there?

 MK: Well, it, I don’t know.

 DM: I would say around fifty.

 DM: Even when you open the door like this? Because I notice you always have your door open…

 MK: You know why that door is open? We have no window, or no ventilation. We have to have it…


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JK: That’s the only way that we can get some air down there.

 MK: See, this house settled or something. There was a window…

 DM: That’s right, your foundation is very low underneath.

 MK: We had a window, it’s right over here somewhere, it went down,you can’t even see it. So that’s why he keeps that door open all the time, for ventilation in the summer at least. In the winter, we don’t get no ventilation.

 DM: Do you remember any bake ovens around here? I know there were outdoor bake ovens.

 MK: Yeh, we remember them.

 DM: Were they just kind of, well, could you describe one for me, because I’ve gotten different descriptions from everybody else. They’ve said they were just big boxes about this high, with a grate on the bottom, and wood, and you burned the wood…

 JK: Well they built them up with stone around.

 MK: They built them like a hut…

 JK: And then they’d cover all that up with soil, you know, clay. Covery everything all up, just have the opening in the front where you put your fire in and put your bread in.

 DM: Was that an open door all the time, or was it able to be closed? An iron door, or…?

 JK: Just something that you could put, lift away, and then put back, and maybe put something in again and to hold it there so it wouldn’t fall back.

 DM: Oh it wasn’t hinged, it was just leaned up against it? JK: That’s right.

 MK: You know, people baked bread in them.

 DM: What would you do, just build a fire and then pull the fire out, and the put the bread in?

 JK: When they’d get a lot of the hot clinkers in there, you know, that would be enough heat to bake that bread.

 DM: It was all wood, and no coal?

 JK: You couldn’t have the wood, the flame, from the wood, or you got smoke in there you know. You had to wait until the hot embers would be out enough there that would give you enough heat to bake that bread.

 MK: But they put heavy logs in, like. You know? Not thin wood.

 JK: Well you had to have what they call the kindle wood to start it out, you know. You can’t start a big log off if you just light the match to it! You had to have something there to get that started.

 MK: My mother had one. See, I was raised down here in Buck Mountain. Three miles down there where that church is. My mother had a bake oven.

 DM: How big was it, do you recall? When you stood next to it, how high was it? Where did it come?

 MK: Oh, probably, maybe I was about twelve or fourteen, or so then. I don’t know how long she used it. Oh, it was. I wouldn’t know how high it would be, Daddy? How high would they be about?

 JK: Well, they generally used to build them up kind of a bank, you know.

 MK: Yeh, it was up in the hill.

 JK: They wouldn’t come right off on the level ground. They’d be up on a little hill-like, you know.

 MK: Yeh, it was up on a hill.

 JK: Then they’d built from there up, see?

 MK: And I know there was bricks, and I don’t know what else was around the bricks. There was cement, I guess.

 JK: There was mostly stone, or ground.


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DM: Stone, right?

 MK: I know she had, ah, she had something made like, you know that she would take all them hot coals out. Not coals, but the wood. Then put the bread in.

 DM: But you can’t remember how high they were? I mean, weren’t they about, something like three or four feet, maybe five feet wide, the whole oven, not necessarily the door, but the whole oven, was about this wide?

 JK: Oh, I would say about three by four.

 DM: Three by four was the interior wise? And then the outside size varied…

 JK: Um-hmm.

 MK: Would it be about, ah…

 JK: About two feet high. About two feet high.

 DM: Two feet high?

 JK: The fire place.

 DM: Oh, yeh, okay, okay.

 JK: Just the fire place.

 DM: But I mean, if you stood next to it, where would it come up?

 MK: Oh, it wouldn’t be, I don’t think, that…

 DM: It wouldn’t be over your head…

 MK: No, no. It wouldn’t be over the head. But it would be up.

 DM: Shoulder height, maybe? About four or five feet?

 JK: Like I say, they built them up on a hill, on a little hill-like, and then when you would stand there, you would, well, maybe you’d have to stoop a little… to look in…

 MK: …Stoop a little in, but not much.

 JK: Yeh.

 DM: You would never have to reach up to put the bread in? It would always be down.

 MK: Oh no, no. Not that high, no. Oh, I think I can see the one we had.

 DM: Up on the side of the hill, up against the side of a hill, right?

 MK: Yeh. The house was here, and then there was like a little hill. It was right up there.

 DM: Is it anything like Annie Timko’s? You know, she uses it now for a cold cellar. It looks like it might have settled. It’s a nice little round mound there…

 MK: It was made like one of those Eskimo hut, you know?

 DM: Um-hmm. Like an Igloo.

 MK: Igloo, right. And hers, hers looks pretty big. Isn’t it? But if she uses it — Annie TImko’s, there — it looks pretty big…

 JK: Yeh, they had a good sized one there.

 MK: Well, they use it as a cellar now, see? So maybe they built it up higher.

 DM: No, it’s not that high, but she can crawl in and out of it. Believe it or not, she can still get down there and crawl in. But you have to crawl. It’s low, a very low door. But she has a wooden door on it that will shut and lock.

 MK: It’s in that order, it was.

 DM: Well, we can move out to the garden for a minute, then, and we’ll talk for a few minutes about the garden, and then I think that will be about enough for today. This will get you tireder than your regular work, if I don’t let up, huh?

 MK: Ha ha!

 DM: Can you remember what you planted in your graden, back on the Back Street?

 JK: Oh, I planted about the same as here. Potatoes, and carrots, and lettuce and…


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 MK: …onions…

 JK: …tomatoes…

 MK: …cucumbers…

 JK: —onion…

 MK: Oh, about what we plant down here.

 DM: Just about the same as you have out in the back.

 JK: The same as I plant here, yeh.

 MK: Dad, did we plant potatoes up there?

 JK: Oh, sure we planted potatoes.

 DM: Just about everybody did, from what I understand.

 MK: Oh years ago they did.

 JK: That was, that was the first thing went in, the potatoes, you know.

 DM: When do you put the potatoes in? Early spring? After the frost?

 JK: Well, around the middle of, I generally put mine in in the middle of May all the time. I make sure that I have them in about that time. Take me a day or two, maybe. Like, this year, it took me three days to get them in! Ha ha!

 DM: You got a lot of potatoes, though.

 JK: Well, you got too many potatoes, but…I can’t work any more like I used to

 DM: Well, you have more time, and you can take your time now.

 JK: Yeah…

 DM: If I have to, you know, when I get older, I want to have a place like this where I can, you know, I don’t have to worry about bills, I’ve got my own home, I can grow my own garden. I can just do whatever I want. That’s the way I’d like to live.

 JK: Heh heh heh!

 DM: No, I mean it. You people are very lucky, to be like this. I wouldn’t trade this kind of living for anything. I really like it.

 MK: Hmm. You know, up in the other house we had, you know what we had, a cellar, a little cellar, and we had a trap door to go down into it. Not no steps like this.

 DM: This is, under the house? You’re talking about?

 MK: It was, ah, was it really there, or did the people…

 JK: Oh, the people done that for themselves. The company didn’t do that. That was only a two by four.

 MK: It was small. Well, you did some repair to it. You put shelves in for me, and you put a little door on there…

 JK: Well, it was just a hole there, and I closed it off. I put boards around it, so the rats and things couldn’t come in to it, because you had every thing in there.

 MK: We used to put our canned things down there, the po–no, we didn’t even have our potatoes there. We kept them down at his sister’s, down what she had a bigger cellar, you know? So that’s the way. We’d go down and we’d get a bucket of potatoes up, and then when you needed potatoes you’d go down and bring some more up!

 DM: Boy, that’s not bad at all.

 MK: Ha ha!

 DM: Did you use to store them down there in sand?

 MK: We’d store them down there. But the canned things, see there was just like a hole there, but, I think you put a floor in there like. I think you put some shelves. You made a little…

 JK: Well, I had it boarded off. When we came here, there was nothing, just a hole. there was no sides on it or anything.

 MK: And he fixed it, and he made shelves, and there’s where we put…then,


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I have a, in a, he made a clothes closet there for me, there were some shelves there, and, you know, you couldn’t always be opening that trap door every time you needed something. So we’d take a…

 JK: Well, it wasn’t big enough to keep a whole lot down there, either.

 MK: No, no. But we took out a jar of this and a jar of that, and we’d put it in the shelves in the clothes closet, so you wouldn’t have to be goin’ down the trap door! That’s the kind of cellar we had!

 DM: Oh, brother! Is there any special arrangement of how you plant things, you know, what did you put next to each other? Any, you know, this might be like a, you know, “cues” for gardeners, or “How to Plant a Garden and Have Every thing Come up Right”–is there any special arrangement at all?

 JK: Well, you should folley (sic) the rule of not plantin’ the same thing in the same place every year. You should stagger your plants, you know? Don’t put ’em in the same place all the time.

 DM: But I mean, is there an arrangement, like, things will help each other if they grow next to each other? Let’s say, to keep the bugs away…

 MK: Oh, we never…

 JK: That we never–hah–never worried about that…

 DM: You never worried about that?

 MK: No, no.

 JK: …kept track of that, I wouldn’t say.

 DM: You did rotate your crops, you did rotate things?

 JK: I’d rotate them, yeh, I’d change here and there, you know. But what would help one another, like you say, I wouldn’t be able to tell you that. I wouldn’t know.

 DM: Do you ever use any kind of fertilizer at all?

 JK: Well, we use 5-10-10, what they call, you know.

 DM: But that’s all? No other fancy stuff, just…

 JK: We’d put some lime in once, you know, throw some lime, dig it in.

 DM: Isn’t that high in nitrogen?

 JK: No, I don’t believe that…

 MK: No, he doesn’t mean that you use it, he’s askin’ is it high in nitrogen?

 JK: Oh, oh. Well, see, that’s somethin’ we don’t know either, because we never had it tested.

 MK: …never had our ground tested.

 JK: You should do that, you should, because, lot of times we’d say, well, the year is no good, the weather was no good. And maybe at the same time it’s not that, maybe it’s the ground needs something. You should have it tested and then they’d tell you what you’d have to put in to make it better.

 MK: You’d have to send it to Harrisburg.

 DM: How do you control bugs? Is there any special thing you do to control bugs?

 JK: Well, we have a powder, an Ortho powder they call it.

 DM: But that’s relatively new. What did you do before? Anything at all? Or just hope that the bugs didn’t come?

 JK: Well, we didn’t use anything there for a good while. When we started to plant we didn’t use anything.

 MK: No. This is only I don’t know how many years back we’re usin’ this now.

 DM: The Ortho spray, or powder?

 MK: Powder.

 JK: Powder. You can make a spray if you dilute so much in the water, you know. You can make a spray out of it.

 DM: What are the most pesky bugs right now that you are worried about in this area? Potato bugs?

 JK: Well, we have the potato bugs that we have to put up with, and outside of


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that, I can’t say that there are other bugs that bother too much.

 DM: Any corn borer, or any of that?

 MK: Well, you find them occasionally…

 DM: But not very often.

 MK: Not too much, not too much. I know we used to have punkins…

 JK: Pumpkins, yes…

 MK: And they had an awful lot one year, on, and I said no more, I’m not plantin’ no more…

 JK: I don’t know what…

 MK: We never planted them after that. There were too many of them.

 JK: We don’t plant the punkins, and we don’t have the bugs now. They must have been, come with the punkins, or something, I don’t know!

 DM: Yeh, because there are a couple of healthy pumpkins growing right in the middle of the yard that was, you know, an abandoned house, up there. It looked like some kids at Halloween threw a pumpkin out there, and all the seeds grew up, and it’s healthy, it’s beautiful. Blooms all over it, pumpkins startin’ to form…

 MK: Oh, these were terrible. I said, I don’t want anything like this in the garden. I’ll buy my pumpkins.

 JK: Oh, it really used to be a good, ah, he understood a little bit about plantin’. He always had a nice garden up there. Oh, yeh.

 DM: I knew he was a good gardener…

 JK: Yeh, he was…

 MK: His mother, up there, she lived like below us on the same street, but she had, there were some, see, certain, I don’t know how many homes there were on each side, they were bigger homes, like this, and then we lived way up further where the homes were small. And she had one of the nicest flower gardens and vegetable gardens you’d want to see…

 JK: Oh, all kinds of flowers…

 MK: His mother. Oh, boy.

 DM: You should have seen what I had to do there this year. I had to trim all the trees back, they were all grown. Nobody had trimmed the trees for I don’t know how many years. I had to mow down the yard was this high…

 MK: Up here?

 DM: Well, when we moved in it was this high. Part of it is still this high, I haven’t gotten it all down yet, but, I went clear out to the alley and beyond, you know? Then I have to work my way over to the company store, because nobody is working that, even the grounds keeper hasn’t fixed that yet, so I’ve been hackin’ it down, little by little.

 MK: Oh, but his mother, she had all kinds of flowers, and a nice vegetable garden they had. They lived up there.

 JK: Yeh, he always had a nice garden down here, too.

 MK: Yeh, yes.

 JK: He didn’t have as much flowers as…

 MK: No, as the mother, after they moved from there down here…

 JK: …the mother had up on the Back Street…

 MK: Because she got old and feeble and then she died, and after they moved here, and I guess all the flowers were left up there. She had a nice garden, flowers. Her garden was always bloomin’ with some kind of flowers.

 DM: There are still a lot of flowers up there.

 MK: Is there?

 DM: Oh, yeh.

 MK: Yeh?

 DM: Bulb flowers and seed flowers. They’re both there.


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MK: Um-hm.

 DM: I notice that you have chicken wire up there, or something. Is that to keep rabbits away, or what?

 JK: to keep the rabbits away. They go for the…

 MK: Beans.

 JK: …beans, red beets, cabbage…

 MK: Yeh.

 JK: …the cabbage, when it’s planted, they go for that, they get the leaves off.

 MK: Lettuce, lettuce, Daddy…

 JK: Lettuce, they go for that. I have that fenced off, so they can’t get in there, you know.

 DM: Isn’t it a combination wooden fence and chicken wire? Isn’t it chicken wire so far up and then a wooden rail around the top, so they can’t climb over that?

 JK: Well, no, I don’t have anything, just a couple pegs drove in, and then in the fall I’ll take it apart and roll it up and take it away, you know, be cause it’ll only hold the snow back in the wintertime. And then I may get another year out of it. If it stays out in the weather too long, it goes bad.

 DM: It gets rusty and brittle. Do you have any flowers in the garden at all? Do you have any flowers that you are growing? I forget now.

 MK: Well, we have some, but I haven’t been plantin’ too many now, I can’t do it.

 DM: Do you have any perennials, some that come up every year?

 MK: Yeh, we have the…

 JK: …the red rose, and then you have the pineys…peonies, or what do you call them?

 MK: Peonies, oh yeh, we have beautiful peonies there. We have some lilies that come up.

 DM: Tiger lilies?

 MK: Them-, no, 24-hour [space] lilies. They weren’t so nice this year, though. And…

 DM: Nothing was too good this year…

 MK: I always see that I have some petunias in. I had gladiolis, but I…

JK: Gladiolis come up, but I don’t know if they’re gonna get a flower…

 MK: …Dad planted them, because…

 DM: I thought I saw gladiolis…

 MK: …I can’t bend down to plant now. And I always put zinnias in, but this year I didn’t. And there are some Sweet Williams that will come up alone, and some pansies. I like them that come up alone! Ha ha!

 DM: Do you have any fruit trees out there at all?

 JK: Just a cherry.

 MK: Just a cherry tree. There were a lot of fruit trees, but they didn’t bear, and we chopped them down.

 DM: Don’t you have just a straight path going right out the door up to the garage? You don’t have any winding little pathways, you just have a straight path?

 MK: Just straight up.

 DM: Okay. Let’s see. Anything else…I guess you do, you do can the surplus like beans and stuff, do you put up anything?

 MK: Yes, we did, up until now, but…

 JK: This year we don’t have any to can! Ha ha!

 MK: We don’t have any to can, and ah, I would still like to get some tomatoes to can, but I can’t buy them for twenty- nine cents a pound to can. I’d sooner buy a can. You know tomatoes are very high this year, even from the farmer.


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DM: Oh, nothing came out very well this year. Too much water, and too much cold weather, I think. Do you ever have to water your garden?

 JK: Oh, yeh.

 DM: I bet you didn’t have to during June and July!

 JK: Well, no, no!

 MK: Well, Dad was waterin’, I guess today already, or yesterday.

 JK: This morning I had the hose on a little bit, yeh.

 MK: He takes care of the garden. I don’t do anything…

 JK: It don’t seem to help too much, but still you don’t like to see it there, the ground so dry and the plant is askin’ for it…

 DM: Right. When the leaves start to droop and wilt and everything. Did you ever keep any animals, back on the Back Street?

 MK: Only chickens.

 JK: Just chickens, that’s all.

 MK: Just chickens, that’s all we kept.

 DM: What else did people keep? I know they had cows, some of them had cows…

 MK: Yes.

 JK: Pretty near everybody in town had a cow at one time.

 MK: Didn’t we try to raise turkeys, too?

 JK: No. We often talked about it, but we never did.

 MK: I kind of thought we did, on the Back Street.

 DM: Did you have the animals fenced off in the back, and then the garden toward the house?

 MK: Yeh, way way in the back.

 JK: The back alley, in the back of the lot, you know.

 DM: That’s where all the chickens were?

 MK: Yeh.

 DM: And let’s see. You must have bordered right on the woods, or bordered right on an open field, on the Back Street, right?

 JK: There was an open field on the back of us.

 DM: You were on the far side of the street, so that you had no problem as far as keeping people awake at night with the chickens?

 MK: Oh, no. I can even see here where we lived, up on the Back Street, Daddy.

 DM: Was there any room to do anything else in the yard besides raise crops and livestock? Every square inch was filled up?

 MK: Down at the bottom we had a little bit of lawn, and then after, from there way up to the yard where the chickens were, why we used that for planting.

 DM: I mean, did you ever have any place to just sit outside, and, you know, I don’t know whether you had a porch or not, but, any place to just sit on the grass and have a good time, or…

 MK: Oh, ah, well there was, like here, a space, and then we had, as you came out of the house, we had a larger porch on the side than here. And there was a roof on it, and we had a swing there, the children always, it was in the shade…

 JK: I think that swing is still hangin’ up there! I made that swing, it must be forty-five years ago. And the here, that were in here, makin’ that picture, they didn’t want no swings or anything hangin’ on the porch, you know, so they took that one down and they put it over here alongside the house. And I took that one, that I had hangin’ up there, I already dis carded it, I didn’t do away with it altogether, but I wasn’t gonna use it no more, but I still hung it up there under, I had a little roof there to protect my wood pile, and I hung it onto that. So I took that down, and I hung it under my cherry tree there, where this one is now, and I used it for


8/22/72 Tape 12-2 -10 287 M/M John Kascak interviewed by Denis Mercier

that summer, and it’s still usable. Forty-five years ago, that’s the first swing that I ever tried to make.

 DM: That is really a great testimony to your ability to make…

 MK: And then he makes for people, he made a couple…

 JK: Oh, I don’t know how many did I make after that.

 MK: He made some for people.

 DM: I hope they paid you a few dollars.

 JK: Well, the most I got was five dollars, I guess.

 MK: But you supplied…

 DM: Five dollars for a whole swing?

 MK: …the lumber, didn’t you?

 JK: Then I supplied the lumber.

 MK: Yeh. Oh, he was too…

 DM: What would you charge if you made one today?

 JK: Ha ha! I don’t know.

 MK: He was too good, too good to the people.

 DM: I was gonna say, you were too generous.

 MK: He was, he was. All the time he’d put in. He’d come home from his work, and then he’d, sometimes he wouldn’t even have anything to eat, and he was gone, workin’ and buildin’ those kitchens, and garages and everything else.

 DM: Didn’t they feed you, didn’t they take care of you when you were doin’ that?

 MK: Well, if it was this here, he came home, or, this here, sometimes they had a lot of idle time then. They were workin’ only two, three days a week. then when he had the other idle days, he went out, too, and he did the big jobs, start those big kitchens or garages. Um-hmm. See, right here is our garage in Back Street there. Right there.

 DM: I wondered if you were looking at that. I thought that’s what you were lookin’ for.

 JK: Yeh, that’s it, there.

 MK: That’s it. You can tell it was different. It was painted gray. It was a nice garage.

 JK: Oh yeh, it was, it was…

 DM: It was painted gray? Didn’t it have to be the company color?

 MK: Well, no, see it was made by the people in, the people that had built, they had a contractor to make it, so, it was painted, you can see it’s painted light. It looks different than the other garages there. You see?

 DM: Oh, it certainly does. Yeh. It sticks out, quite a bit.

 MK: There, do you see? And the house was right down in there.

 DM: And that was the only thing gray in the whole town?

 MK: Well, I guess the others, I don’t know, some of them didn’t even have them painted, did they?

 JK: No.

 DM: But all the houses were either red, or…

 MK: Oh, they were all red, they were all red. They looked nice when they were red.

 JK: Some of the red was fadin’ away, too, you know, like this green is now, but it was still red, anyhow.

 DM: Did you ever have any religious shrines out in the yard?

 MK: No, we never did.

 DM: Everybody uptown has religous shrines in the yard. Nobody downtown does. I don’t know why, but…

 JK: I guess the better people live uptown!


8/22/72 Tape 12-2 –11– 318 M/M John Kascak interviewed by Denis Mercier

MK: Ha ha!

 DM: Well, I wouldn’t go that far! I wouldn’t say that.

 MK: Oh, no no! Ha ha! Well that, they only had them shrines out the last few years. They didn’t have them way back.

 DM: They didn’t have them outside at all?

 MK: No. That’s only a few years back.

 JK: A couple years back now, they have them.

 MK: Yeh, maybe you would say the past ten years, about that.

 DM: You mean like, you know, Joe Solkusky and all those people with the shrines outside?

 MK: Yeh, they didn’t have them all the time. They only had them the past ten years, let’s say. Joe has, and I think his neighbor has one, too. Are they the only two?

 DM: Oh, no. George Gera has one, um, who else? There are several in the up town area. Charnigo, I’m not sure if he has one, but the Gyurkos have one, Gyurko, and somebody else.

 MK: Well, see, we don’t go up there, we don’t go up there that much, you know. I don’t go way up there. And I don’t…but they only got them the last few years. They really weren’t there way, way back.

 DM: That’s interesting, because I haven’t talked to anybody about the outside shrines, but now that I think about it, I bet there weren’t very many outside.

 MK: No, that wasn’t way way back. That’s just, I’d say the past ten years, that they had them.

 DM: Do you have anything that you learned by experience, about when to plant things and when to harvest things, or anything, or do you just look at the plant and see if it’s ready? Any hints, or techniques that you’ve learned over the years?

 JK: Well, I guess, the plant, it’ll almost show you when it’s ready to harvest, you know, you can tell that pretty well, I imagine.

 MK: No, we really don’t go by, some people do go by certain days or something to plant certain, but we don’t. We don’t. When it’s gettin’ ready to plant, we just go and plant.

 DM: You have a pretty good schedule for that sort of thing?

 MK: Yes. Of course, you know like what plants you can put in earlier and then a little later and so on. That’s the way we only…

 JK: Well, at the beginning of May you can put your onions in. The cold weather don’t hurt the onions any, you know. Then the potatoes you put in next, because it takes them two or three weeks before they come up out of the ground. But this year, it didn’t do any good, anyhow.

 DM: Even though you put them…

 JK: We got the, we got the frost after the potatoes were up already. We got that in June, remember, June eleventh we got that heavy frost. Why, my God, it, you know, they were scorched.

 DM: It was the first time I ever had to have the furnace on full blast in the middle of June, ever in my life that I can remember. And I’ve lived in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, a couple of other states, New Jersey. Never spent a colder June in my life than I spent right here.

 JK: No. Well, I was born and raised in this town here, and I can’t remember of havin’ frost that late in June. I remember we had in the early part of June, say maybe the third, or second, or third, but not way back in the eleventh, like we had this year.

 DM: I know that there were some old diaries, the Sharpe and Weiss diaries, that we looked at earlier in the year, kept by people in Eckley, you know, when


8/22/72 Tape 12-2 –12– 362

the Sharpe and Weiss Company owned the town, way way back, and there were late June frosts even then. I mean this has always been a cold area, I guess. The cold weather would stay here later than it would other places. Well, I think that’s really, you know, I think everybody is getting tired, and I think that’s about all I have. I can just say thank you very much for the help.

 JK: Well, you’re welcome.

 DM: I’m glad it was easy for you to answer, because I knew you’d know a lot of this stuff. 369


Denis Mercier 7/20/72 John Kascak

He did construction and repair work for the colliery and homes, mostly done on washhouses, etc. A “cut nail” was used on the floors. [Following the previous sentence is a drawing of a nail. It is horizontal on the page, with the sharp pointed end on the left and the flat broader top on the right side.] Many of the buildings in town such as coal houses, garages, kitchens, and porches were built by him. The colliery is mostly “rough work,” not “finish.” The five carpenters at the colliery and the foreman didn’t work a day-to-day schedule. The day shift was 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Miners on the job were not at all concerned with carpentry. They were grateful for the job done. A “wire man,” round, was usually used like modern ones. (Biggest man used: “60 penny man,” “6”; 12′ x 12′, 8′ x 8′, 12′ x 14′ timbers; 1 1/[illegible] -3″ thickness of planks). Tools used were hand drills, anglers, saws, wood chisel, planes, level, square, plumb line, hammers, and mans[?]. Different material is used now than then. There were five “lokies” at Eckley. A big pastime was to go to Hazleton or Freeland for a picnic or just ride, if they had cars. If not, they spent time on the porch. There was a hydrant right under the museum sign, one above the clubhouse on the other side of the street, and one “more up town” than that. On Back Street there were three, one each block, not necessarily in the center of the block. [Following the previous sentence is a drawing. It is drawn perpendicular on the page and appears to be a drawing of an old-fashioned fire hydrant. The body of the hydrant is a tall narrow rectangle, described as 4 feet tall. There is a base just below it, a narrow rectangle that is perpendicular to the top one, described as 3 feet in width. There is a downward curving spout coming out of the left side of the hydrant, described as 6 inches from the top. Above the drawing are the words “Circular grip handle” with a line pointing to a handle on the top of the hydrant, which is protrudes just above and is parallel to the top of the hydrant, with curved ends connecting it to the edges of the top of the hydrant. The top of the hydrant is described as 10 inches. Below the picture is “Gravity-feed water pressure”.] Coal shanties below houses (c. 1880) were moved to the rear of the property line. The ice cream man had a horse and buggy. (c. 1910) A steam pipe was installed in 1906 (6″ pipe). It was torn down around 1940. This went to #6 to run steam engines and later electric. A five inch pipe led to #10. Lover’s rock was twelve inches thick or high and six feet square. It was on the edge of a bank and water would run off.


9/20/72 John Kaschak #132 2:00PM

Construction & Repair Work(??Homes) Washouses,etc

-Building details -Much of work in town(coal houses garages, kitchens, porches) Built by him colliery- mostly “Rough Work”(Not “Formal”) 5 carpenters at collery+Foreman-didn’t work Day-To-Day Schedule Day Shift 7am-3pm mostly

miners on job not at all concerned w/ carpentry (none grateful that he cando job. “Wing naw” (Round0-Usually used [???] -Hand drivers/augers/saws Budget nail used Had 5 ” ?okies” at ??Kloy ’60 Penny Naw (6″) differente material now ? than 12’x12′ B*B’ 12’x 14′ Timbers Tools anvil planes plumb lane 11/2″- 3″ Thicknessof planks saws level hammers wood? square nails

Relationship/Games/Amusement Big Pastime: If had cars, they’d go to hazelton or freeland {picnics on ? ?)- If in town, Ploy’d spend timon porch Architectural details Hydrant: one


Joan Kaschak # 132 9/20/72 1:2( circled)

– 3 hydrants ( 1 ea. block) on back street ( not (?) in corner of block) Architectural (?) ( written vertical on left side of page. ( Drawing of hydrant. Base is 3 ‘, height is 4′) Top has a line to words ” (?) Grip handle “Hydrant” description Gravity( circled)with question mark – feed water pressure – Coal shanties both house (?) 1880 – then were moved to rear property line Traveling stores – Ice cream man horse/(?) C(circled) 1910 Architectural details – Steam pipe: installed 1906 6′ pipe Torn down C (circled) 1940 went to #6 5″ pipe to #10 to run (?) engines (later electric) Family Group Activities – Lowevers rock 12″ thick(high) 6’ square on edge of Bank Water would run off -(Old Runnes (?) ( crossed out))


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –1– 369 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier

DM: I know that you had a very bad experience in the mines, and I know that we have a lot of other tales on tape and in notebooks about unfortunate ex periences in the mines. I know you were caught in a, what was it, a “black damp” or a “white damp” explosion?

 GP: Yes. It was gas.

 DM: A gas explosion.

 GP: Gas explosion.

 DM: And you were in the chamber?

 GP: Yes, I was in the chamber at the time it went off. After finishing, you know, drillin’ the holes. I was up there wiring the gosh darn holes up, because I had them already tamped? to a dynamite. And I thought the dynamite went off when I heard the blast. It was my buddy went and he took the tools down into a safety hole, and he threw the drills down in there, and he said probably a spark off of that must have ignited the gas. Be cause it knocked him dang [space] down, it knocked me down–my belt, my hat, my lights went th’ heck out–so then, the only thing I looked, when I was layin’ down on my back, with the big flame up above me, and I looked, sorta looked toward him where he was–he was about, I’d say about thirty feet below where I was–but his shirt was on fire, his hair was on fire, and I thought Well, I’d better go down and get him. And I could have went through a safety hole…

 DM: I was gonna say, you were right near an exit…

 GP: A narrow one, you know, air hole. I could have went down in that way. And I wouldn’ta even got burnt. But then, as I was crawling towards him, every time I’d make a move, the, the wind would bring this flame down on top of me, you know? You’d have to lay quiet, and then it would go up into the ceiling again.

 DM: But every time you moved, what did that, just jarring the air?

 J: Jarring the air, causing the flame to come down.

 GP: Singe you.

 DM: It would burn you all again.

 GP: Finally I rolled, kept rollin’, over the coal till I come to him. But probably he was unconscious, because he didn’t say, aye, no, or nothin’. I just took him. Sort of when I picked him up, the flames come down under neath us, you know, burnt my hands, my face–I dropped him, you know, and I had to lay there quiet till the flames went up. And they went up very easy, nice and slow. They didn’t go up too fast. So I stood there for about, oh I’d say about two seconds thinkin’ over what should I do. So I quick turned around I took my feet, my boots. I pushed him out. As I was pushin’ him out with my boots, all the flames was around my boots, you know?

 MP: Hon? Tell him what you thought about at that time.

 GP: Oh, before I started the…

 MP: When you were in that flame.

 GP: I remembered my mother tellin’ me, if I was ever in trouble, to ask…

 MP: the Blessed mother…

 GP: the Blessed Mother for help. And just at that moment I did, you know, and that’s how quick I turned around and started kickin’ him out. You know, the idea come to me. And I had to roll him maybe twenty feet before we come to the edge of the chute, and I throwed him down that chute. So finally, the boss was down there, and they picked him and they dipped him in a ditch, you know, right in the water. So I got to the chute, and I rolled in there, and as we were goin’ around the curve, I grabbed a hold of a prop, and I hung onto it, you know, and I happened to look up, and the


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –2– 409 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier

old flame was still burnin’–because we had no lights–you had all the light you want from the flames!

 MP: Yeh, well, that was methane gas, that’s why that was burnin’ like that.

 GP: So, I think it was Chermbury (?), and the state inspectors, when they come in the hospital, they asked me four or five different times, did I really get out of there before the flames went out? I said, I did. Then later on I asked the doctor what was the reason of askin’ these questions. And they said, If you were in there when the flames went out, he said one or two good breaths and you were finished. It would have killed you.

 J: But while it was burning, it rises all the time.

 GP: It’s lighter than air, I guess, or whatever it is.

 DM: That’s an incredible story. Didn’t you say that, even before you got out you were pulling your skin off your arms because it was…

 GP: Oh, yeh, because it was hangin’ down, all the skin, it was hangin’ on the edge here. So I took it, and I just pulled it off and threw it in the ditch.

 MP: See, you can take notice–Daddy, put your hand like that–you can take notice how far that it…

 DM: When I first met him, I noticed that his neck had been burned, but I didn’t notice anything else. I could hardly tell a thing.

 GP: Oh, my neck, my ears, that’s all new skin. You see, I have to watch, that’s just ?rough from a canvas cloth. If I would, my fingers sweat, like in the summer time, and that little rubbed irritation, you know, cut it right away.

 DM: Your skin is still tender on your hands, I imagine. This happened when? Fifteen years ago?

 GP: Oh, no, that’s only nine years ago. That happened in sixty-three. And I was home for one year, just that I got compensation.

 MP: Do you see, take notice to his eyes, when he has glasses, now he reads for a little while…

 GP: My whole face was burned up.

 MP: …and when he takes them glasses off, you just think that something just pushed this skin right in for him, and it’s so red for the longest time.

 DM: I always thought that he looked younger than he was…

 GP: Well, that’s because I was burnt.

 DM: Because your skin is new, huh?

 MP: That’s right, that’s right!

 GP: Even the doctor said, You are gonna have baby skin now.

 DM: Well, I think it didn’t hurt him at all, as far as your looks go.

 GP: Yeh, but you suffer.

 DM: Oh, yeh, I can imagine your skin is still very sensitive.

 GP: You get it in the wintertime.

 J: Here’s one. Forty-one years ago.

 DM: Oh, my gosh, look at that.

 J: And that’s the skin that you get. Forty years ago. And a big son of a bitch come down and caught me, and it just took all the beef right off of the leg. Took it right off.

 DM: That’s not a burn, that’s just a big gouge right out of your leg.

 J: That’s right. Took a gouge right out. And I never went to a hospital. Old Doctor Farrell says to me…

 M: Joe. Listen.

 J: Joe, he says, now look…

 M: Joe! Don’t swear!

 J: Ha! And Doctor Farrell says to me, Joe, as far as I can see, he says,


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –3– 444 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also M/M Joe [blank])

your leg ain’t broke, no broken bones, and he went over it for about three hours. He sat right there with me, and he filled his pipe up–he used to smoke a pipe. At home, he used to come over every day. And you know what it looked like? It looked like pus all around. You know what he said to me? That’s not pus, Joe. He says, that’s the old for the new skin. I don’t know how much you’re gonna get, he says, but that there is all gonna burst, and it’s gonna spread, he says, and that’s the skin you are gonna get. And that’s forty-one years ago.

 GP: They took skin off of my legs, you know, from my thighs. Because I lay in the hospital for about a week. And the doctor took the bandages off. Well, my hand was nothin’ but–did you ever see green mold on bread? And I was tryin’ to scrape that green mold off before the doctor come in, you know, so I wouldn’t have to go for an operation. But he said, George, you gotta go. I said What are you gonna do? He said I’ll take the skin off of your legs, he said, and I’m gonna put them on both hands. I said, all right, if that’s the case, you gotta do it, you gotta do it. And that’ what they had done. Before they did it, the doctor come in in the night. Now see, this was just like, like hamburg. [sic]

 DM: I can imagine.

 J: Before it was all set, when they were graftin’.

 GP: And he took a dish towel, and he’d take one finger at a time, you know, with a napkin or something, and he’d just take and squeeze and lift all that old skin out, you know? So, when I looked at my hand, I seen my bones, my fingers! Ha! Ha! I think, I’m scarin’ myself.

 MP: You know that he laid in ice, like a pack, it was just like a pillow case, you know. All you could see was this here out, but then you couldn’t even see that because this was all bandaged.

 DM: Did that kill the pain, or was that, did they give you some drugs to kill the pain?

 GP: Oh, they were givin’ us needles, I guess. If you only knew how many needles they broke off in my…

 DM: Rear end!

 J: That’s right! You get ’em so much in the arm, then you can’t use either arm, so then they go back there, and they start punchin’ em in.

 GP: I remember one of the nurses sayin’ well, she said, I heard that the miners were tough as mules, and I believe it now! And how many she broke in there! Then they come with a pair of tweezers and pull them out!

 DM: Mrs. Petrushka, could you just tell very briefly about when you went up to the hospital to give George some food…

 GP: The nurses would feed me, and then she would come up.

 MP: Well, the nurses asked me if I would come up, you know, if I would feed him, because they were so busy at the time in that ward, you know. And I said, well sure. So then, well he’d say, I’m gettin’ tired of this food, and I’m gettin’ tired of that. You know, the hospital food. Well, then I’d make things at home that I knew he liked. And the first day I brought it up for him, and I fed him. This poor other man that George saved was laying on the bed in the same room, because they were in the isolation ward, you know. So, he was layin’ on the bed next to George, you know? And he’s lookin’ over, and he’s lookin’ over, and I’m feedin’ him, you now, because he couldn’t pick nothin’, because everything was bandaged, he couldn’t pick nothing up. So, well, I mean every day, twice a day, I was goin’. So the next day I went up, I thought, oh, how can I just take somethin’ for him and not for that poor guy, you know? Yet, his wife was sittin’ at the end of the bed, lookin’ at me feedin’


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –4– 491 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also M/M Joe [space])

George and never thinkin’, Well, she should bring something for her hus band, you know? So then, the next day when I came up, I had two bowls of whatever it was, and you know, two packages. So I start feeding George, and I said to her, I brought something up for your husband, would you like to feed him? Oh, she said, after a while. Well, I got done feedin’ George, she still wasn’t givin’ it to him, you know? And I said to her–what is her name–I forgot already what her name was–

 GP: Was it Estella or something like that. I don’t know.

 MP: –and I said Wouldn’t you like to give your husband that before it gets cold? And she said, Oh, after while. So, you know, I couldn’t stand there because I felt that man is just as hungry as George was, so I opened the packages and went over by the bed and started feedin’ him. And she sat there, mind you, never sayin’, Well, it’s my husband, I should feed him, you know? Yet I felt funny, thinkin’ well, why should I go and feed another man, yet I thought, if I was a nurse I would do it, so why shouldn’t I do it now? And he enjoyed that so much. He said, thank you so much, that is so good, it’s so delicious, he said, oh, that’s so good. But, after that, every time I went, there was always two packages I was takin’. Even if she wasn’t there, I’d feed George and then I’d feed him. And, you know, then, after the thing was over, she says to George, she says, You know what? She says, you were a damn fool, she says, for goin’ in and savin’ my man. And he says, Why? He said, If I had to do it all over again, I would still do the same thing, he said, because, he said, I could never live with my conscience, to know that I left a man there to burn to death. He said, I got burnt, and he said, I suffered, but at least I know I saved your husband. Yeah, but, she said, I would have got eighteen thousand. Because, see, she would have got…

 GP: She wasn’t thinkin’ of her husband.

 DM: I think it was eighteen hundred, wasn’t it? You don’t mean eighteen thousand.

 MP: No, eighteen…wasn’t it, Daddy?

 GP: I think it was around eighteen thousand.

 DM: Oh, I thought it was eighteen hundred, you said before.

 MP: No, it was eighteen thousand, because, see, that would have been a payment like, because…

 DM: A death payment on his insurance?

 MP: Yeah, that’s right.

 GP: And yet the doctor said, when we were in the hospital, they only give us, what was it, four hours, or three hours, to live. See, they got all the families together. I thought it was something funny, because they had me out in the hall, you know, and–George, do you smoke? No, I said. Well, he said, here, have a cigarette. Well, I said, I don’t smoke cigarettes, I said. I said, If it was a pipe, maybe I’d smoke the damn thing. So then, later on she told me, she said, You know what the doctor said, that they gave you only two hours to live, or something, ain’t it?

 MP: Yeah. That’s all the doctor gave them, was two hours. He said, If they pull through them two hours, he said, they’ll be all right.

 GP: I said, no wonder they were offerin’ me everything! It seemed kind of funny!

 MP: But, oh, they really had wonderful doctors workin’ on them. I mean, them doctors really worked.

 GP: Well, one of the supervisors come to me about three days after. He said, George, I want you to tell me the truth, he said, Do you pray? I said, every morning, every night. He said, I believe it. You must be a God’s


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –5– 532 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also M/M Joe [blank]) Children!

 MP: Well, you know, he was still in bandages, and he says to me, You know what, I have to tell you something. And you know, he was pretty sick. And I said, What? I said, you tell me anything you want to tell me. I said, maybe you’ll feel better. You know, I says, tell me the whole thing, be cause I felt, if something should happen to him, at least I’ll know how the accident happened, what happened, you know. And he says to me, well, you know what, he said, when that flame was burnin’ so hard, he said, I felt my hair burnin’, he says, you know, on top. I was layin’ down, and, he said, I was lookin’ up, and he said, I felt my hair burnin’. And he said, I thought, Oh dear Mother of God, Help me. And he says, you know, it just seemed that that flame went out.

 GP: It didn’t go out, it went up.

 MP: Well, er, up or something, you said.

 GP: It just raised up, up to the ceiling.

 MP: And I said to him, well, good, I said, you just keep praying to the Blessed Mother and she will help you. I kept tellin’ him that, see?

 GP: As long as you didn’t disturb the air…

 J: Yeah, the air is what would bring it down like a bunch of bees on top of you.

 MP: And you know, after he told me that, I bet it wasn’t five minutes after, he was so sound asleep, that, you know, he didn’t even know nothing. He just, like, just went off that you couldn’t even talk to him or say nothing to him.

 GP: I come home from the hospital, and there was an explosion in the junk yard if you remember. Some guys got all burned up. And the nurse called.

 J: A propane gas tank erupted.

 GP: So, they wanted me to come to the hospital. I says, okay, I’ll come up. So, when I come up, we went up, remember, she said, I want you to go to this man’s bed, and tell him how bad you were burned. But they told me, he said that he didn’t have no…

 J: No will.

 GP: …no will to live.

 MP: Daddy, he was burnt in a junk yard.

 GP: Well, that’s what I was just tellin’ Joe, it was in a junk yard. When I went over to him, and I was talkin’ to him, I said, you don’t know me, I said, but I’ve been somethin’ like yourself. I’ve been all burned up. I showed him my hands and my face, and I said, you have to have the will to live, I said, these nurses and doctors know what they’re doin’, I said. Just listen to them, I said, they’ll pull you through. So, we talked for about half an hour, I think.

 MP: Oh, he was grateful. He really was.

 GP: Then I went to the nurses’ place there, you know. And then later on, I come up, because I used to go for therapy, you know. I used to go and visit him. And the nurses thought that that was one of the greatest things for him. And the guy is livin’ today. Otherwise, they said, he would have died on them.

 J: He didn’t have the will to live.

 DM: Well, if I saw my hands and my bones and everything like that on my hands, I don’t think I’d feel too good either. I suppose I can’t tell.

 GP: I drug many guys like you on my way to Germany in World War Two. If I would have left him, right there he would have died. But as long as I was draggin’ him, all you’d hear from him, Well, have I got a chance, have I got a chance? I said, just stop as much of that blood as you can, till


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –6– 570 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also M/M Joe [blank])

we get an Aide-man. Stop it! Because I says, I can’t stop that and at the same time drag you. And I’m draggin’ him over the ground.

 MP: Oh, he’s good.

 DM: Well, if you’re a miner, you’ve gotta be that way.

 M: He says, comin’ home on a ship, everybody was gettin’ sick, you know, they’re ready to puke, and he was walkin’ around with a mop, cleanin’ up. I said that wouldn’t be me!

 J: Oh, we were eleven days…And I drug that guy to the point where, well, all right, when I drug him already I had to clean my rifle, it was full of dirt and everything. So they put him on. Boy, I’m tellin’ you, George, the minute the war was over, that guy was lookin’ for me.

 GP: Yeah, I guess!

 J: He said, I’d a died, he says. I figured this was it, he says. Well, I says, when I went into that service, I went in there to live, too, I says. I’ll shoot to kill the same way, I’d…

 M: Joe! Maybe he wants more information. Stop talkin’!

 J: We drug this man out of that gas chamber, and we gave that man a lot of encouragement, draggin’ him out of there.

 GP: When two buddies work like that, I think one should take care of the other. I imagine if I was in his predicament, he would have came and saved me. Now if I would have went out the air hole and said, well, the hell with it, I’m not gonna go in there, how would you expect me to live my life today, knowin’ that I could have saved that man and he’s dead?

 MP: But you should see that man’s hands towards George’s.

 GP: He has fingers like sausages.

 MP: He has like warts, and I would say the biggest wart that you can see, and that’s how his whole hands are, with warts. But he would not go for therapy, where George went to therapy.

 GP: No, he has two little points, that’s all, on his ears.

 J: Yeh, his ears are burnt off.

 GP: Oh, yes, he was in a heck of a mess.

 MP: And, Doctor Turnoposky, you know he’s the…

 M: He’s the therapy doctor in the state hospital.

 MP: Yeh, in the hospital. He says to George, he said, I think this is the greatest thing–because I used to have to drive him up, because he couldn’t even hold the wheel, that’s how bad, you know, his hands were. And he said, you know, George, he says, couldn’t you talk to Joe and have Joe come up. He said, boy is he gonna live with something terrible. He said, because his skin is gonna all like shrivel up, and he said it’s gonna be something awful to look at. And it really got like that. But George talked to him so many times, and he says, awhh, he says, I’m not gonna bother. But George went up, oh God, for over a year for therapy.

 GP: Yeh, I didn’t work all nineteen sixty-four, I was goin’ up.

 DM: I take it you got some kind of compensation for this?

 MP: Oh, not too much. Very little.

 GP: I would have earned more for that one year.

 MP: It was just like Unemployed Compensation of some kind, you know. Very little. Oh, we struggled, I’ll tell you.

 GP: No, they don’t give you too much.

 J: They just raised that now. Three months ago they raised it.

 M: Joe, how much did you get when you were in the accident?

 J: When I had the rib carriage and everything out, I only got fifty-seven dollars, and I was off that month.

 GP: We got fifty-eight or something, ain’t it?


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –7– 615 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also M/M Joe [blank])

MP: I was just gonna say, we just got very little.

 GP: Because there was a big stink raised about it. They took…

 DM: Fifty-eight dollars, in nineteen-sixty three?

 MP: Yes, and, you know, we had two children. Well, three. We had three children to keep goin’.

 GP: And see, my fingers I can’t close all the way, because he told me my reflexes is gone.

 J: The ligaments have shortened.

 DM: The ligaments have probably shrunk.

 GP: I can carry with the one finger that I hook on, you know, but if I would leave the weight on these fingers, they’ll open up. That’s the way I work.

 MP: He has no strength in them.

 GP: So they have me down as “partial disability”. So they paid me eight dollars, was it eight dollars a week, or eight dollars every two weeks, something like that, just for partial disability.

 MP: Something like that. I don’t remember really for sure.

 GP: Until I got workin’. Once I started to work, they took everything.

 M: Now that he’s home from work, he makes notes on everything.

 MP: That’s good. That’s good. We should have…

 M: They ask you so much questions, that you can’t even remember. So it’s best. Now he’s started it.

 MP: I said I’m so sorry that when he laid in the hospital, you know, just like a mummy–all they had was the eyes cut in the bandages and enough for his breathing at the nose, and a piece of his mouth to breathe or feed him, that’s how you had to feed him, through that, just like a baby. In other words, you had to just put a little bit on a teaspoon and just push it in through them bandages to put it in his mouth, enough for him to swallow. And you had to give him something that he didn’t have to chew, that he just could swallow it, you know, something soft.

 GP: And imagine, for eight weeks, layin’ with bandages, and then a beard…

 MP: And, ah, I often say that I was so sorry that I didn’t have somebody go in there and take a picture of that, you know?

 DM: How could you know, you know, how could stand to lay still that long, for one thing? You just had no choice, I guess.

 GP: Well…

 MP: Oh, they had him, ah…

 GP: It was gettin’ so that…

 MP: …doped, they were like, you know what I mean…

 GP: They had needles all the time. But when they took them bandages off…

 MP: …they just gave them needles after needles, and they just lay there.

 DM: But you could still talk and think and everything…

 GP: Oh, yeah, through the…

 DM: Through the little mouth hole, yeah.

 GP: When they took the bandages off, first thing my hands went up like this, you know, I got a hold…

 MP: Oh, God is good.

 GP: of that, I pulled it through the hair, you know? And you should smell, stink, ogh! The nurse said to me, wait, I’m gonna get some kind of water, and she put some kind of stuff in, and then I washed it, with a washcloth, pattin’ it, you know? But then I wanted a shave, and they wouldn’t allow you to shave, because I had no skin on my face.

 MP: No, he had a special barber comin’ in. His own barber, from Freeland would come in and give him a shave and a haircut.


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –8– 650 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also Joe [blank])

DM: How do you shave skin that is not there?

 GP: Well, just…

 MP: Well, do you know what, by the time he got his first shave, he had a beard like you have.

 DM: He probably did.

 MP: Till all that had to heal up underneath. Oh, yes.

 GP: And that rotten stuff, I could pull, get a hold of it, like this here, and pull it off, there’d be hair in there and everything. Ha! Ha!

 MP: They had to wait til everything healed up, so they couldn’t touch his face.

 GP: Yeah, that was a tough one.

 DM: I don’t know where to go from here.

 M: When you see hell, you can’t go any further.

 DM: I was gonna say, we can only go up from this, that’s one good thing.

 MP: I hope in the rest of the time that I have to live, that I never, never have to see something , or go through that, because you sit back and you wonder, now how could you? Now here’s an example. My cousin from Trenton, New Jersey, her husband was hurt on the highway. Three men were working on the highway–you know, he’s like a foreman on the highway. And an eighteen year old boy come down with this car and hit into them, killed the two men…

 DM: Oh, yeah, that’s right!

 MP: Did you hear about that?

 DM: You said that, yes. And how does he live with himself?

 MP: And so, they thought that they would have to amputate his arms, so I just sat down and wrote her a nice letter, and I told her about how I understand what she is going through, you know, but I said Stella, I said, the only thing you can do, you have to give a person like that a lot of love and let them know. I said, not only you, but your children, your whole family. You have to let them know that you love them, and you want them to get better and you want them to come home. And I said, you have to do that, not only once, you have to do that every day. And I said, they get that they want to come home, they want to get better. So…

 GP: Like the miners, when they go inside, they don’t know if they’re gonna come out.

 DM: That’s what I mean. I think I’d like to talk a little bit more about that with you. How do they feel about that? Because it is one of the most dangerous jobs, was, at least.

 GP: You think, they have a fire boss, now he goes through every miner’s working place, and he has to test for gas. And when he tells, you, your place is safe, you can go in there and work, but then you have a safety lamp, and you go in right after him, and you test it yourself.

 DM: If you’re a miner, you’re a contract miner, you also have a safety lamp?

 GP: Oh, yes. They wonder how the gas got in that chamber. We generally drill eighteen feet of a hole in the center of a pillar, because you’re goin’ on the blind. You don’t know what’s ahead of you. Maybe there’s water, if you should fire, maybe you, you know, drown the place out. You don’t know what amount of water is back there.

 DM: That’s what I mean. Every time you fire, you should check again, right?

 GP: That’s right. So when we go to take a cut of coal out, we drill a center hole, eighteen feet long, see. Now when we were drillin’ this one, I re member this morning because we put three six-foot sections. You drill six feet, then you take the drill off and put another section on and drill six more. The second section we were goin’, it was about ten feet. The old drill went in about, you know, four or five inches, we got that jar, all at


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –9– 698 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also Joe [blank])

once. So, I figured there must have been a crack in the coal, in a soft seam. Then I went in through and put the other six on, pushed it through. Joe Lee, the big superintendent, the owner of the place, was right there. So he says, George, he says, you know what, he says, just take a six foot cut. In other words, generally we would take in an eight-foot cut, see? I says, okay. Well, we drilled around a six foot. After we got them in, he was there when I tamped them, and then I was already wiring them up, and I said to my buddy Joe, I said, Take the tools down, Joe, and throw them down in the safety hole, you know? So he was carrying the tools down while I was putting the copper wires together, you know. I put the one lead on, from the blasting cap, you know, and then I just reached over for the other one, you know. When I did, and this went off, it picked me up against the pillar you know, against the face of the hole. I thought, Holy Crap, the dynamite went off or something, you know, but I was laying down, not hat, no belt, it blew everything off of me, see? And all I seen was one big red flame comin’ in. I thought, Oh, oh…

 DM: That was where, right up here?

 GP: In Drifton. And my buddy, Joe, I’m lookin’, I pick me head up and look, and there he is, you know, down on his knees, and he’s clappin’ himself like this, you know. His hair is burnin’, his shirt is burnin’, so I thought, Oh, oh, there’s somethin’ terrible out there. So I looked a little further, and that one place, that safety hole we had, that thing was really burnin’. Because that was where most of the flames were. And then the air that was gettin’ from the tubey was pullin’ that flame right up in towards me, up in the face. Yeah, and I could of went and snuck down, I would of went down through the air hole, you know, and went down and got in the main gangway.

 DM: You still would have been burned up, though, wouldn’t you?

 GP: No, I wouldn’t of been burnt.

 DM: You mean you weren’t burnt the first time, when the blast went off?

 GP: No, she just pinned me up agin the face of the thing, you know, and I had to lay down like this, and the flame shot right up…

 DM: (the women interrupt at this point) Look, if you guys want to visit, I can go.

 MP: No! We have to go shoppin’. What time is it?

 J: Twenty-five minutes to five.

 GP: Oh, you’s got lots of time.

 MP: You’s got lots of time. It’s open til ten o’clock.

 M: I had a brother that was killed in the mines, too.

 DM: Can we hear that?

 M: That was a horrible death. Tell him, Joe.

 DM: This is really fun-time, isn’t it, tellin’ about all these accidents and stuff.

 J: Oh, that was in the [the next word is handwritten into the typed text with a question mark after it] Everdale? Mine.

 M: That was horrible, too.

 J: He used to run a motor. He used to service the miners with empty cars. And servicing these empty cars, he always had a [the next word is handwritten into the typed text with a question mark after it] patcher?. So, workin’ in the mines, you are always tryin’ to learn your buddy to do the same things you are doin’. He left him run the motor. Well, and the motor has to have a trolley. Whatever happened, the motor jumped, and her brother Charley was in between the cars. He lived long enough til they took him out of the mine and to a hospital, but right there on the operating table–he was crushed, the pelvis and everything was crushed.

 DM: You mean he was standing and the car smashed into him?


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –10– 745 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also Joe [blank])

J : That’s right.

 DM: Yeah.

 M: It knocked them off the motor, when that jumped off.

 J: Well, yeah Julia, once it jumped off, sure, but he was standing (noise of passing car here drowns out his voice) [space] and it knocked him off. He was already crushed. So then they stopped everything, they got him together, and they always have that litter down in the bottom, you know, they put you on the litter and then take you up the slope, and then in the ambulance. But that’s how that happened. Just that quick. You could snap your finger…

 M: They were givin’ him the blood transfusion one way, and the other way it was all over the floor, just comin’ right out of him.

 J: They were tryin’ to keep him alive. He was…

 GP: That was, just like that King that got killed down here at Number Ten. I worked down here when he got killed.

 DM: King?

 GP: The fellow they called King, yeah. They worked two shifts down there. We were on the day shift, and then when they come in I told them not to go inside, I said We got all the coal out–we left two [the next words and question mark were handwritten into this typewritten text] sheet iron in there, you know(?) (the women begin a separate conversation at this point) …so I guess King thought, Well, boy, look at the god-darned coal hangin’– I seen it hangin’ there myself, too, you know, but I, it was too dangerous to go and get. So he went and wrapped about six sticks of dynamite, tied them together, you know, put a short fuse on that damn thing, you know on the plank. And when he fired, the damn thing just shook it, it didn’t bring it down, and he gets a bar and he goes back up there and starts pullin’ with the bar…so he pulled with the bar…

 MP: No, I have material, but I want to make myself a dress. I want to get the buttons–because I have material for him, he wants me to make him a shirt.

 GP: …she gave way…

 MP: So I have to get buttons for him, and I’m afraid to tackle it, because I never made a shirt.

 GP: …the whole pillar. I was there in the shop, and Gaddy come… [space]

 MP: So I have to cut it out on a different kind of material, and if I ruin it, it’s all right. It’s gonna cost me about seven bucks.

 GP: Well, I wasn’t [blank], but my boy was. Dad, he said, there was a man killed down at your work. He said, The superintendent was here, he wants you to come right down right away.

 MP: So I have to look around for buttons. And maybe I’ll get material there.

 GP: So, Gee I went down, you know. And then already Gaddy’s men from Drifton, I mean, Joe Lee’s men from Drifton were down. And then I went in and I seen Andy Helig, and I said to Andy, Andy, I said, was he tryin’ to work up in the crack? He said Yeah. He said we fired up in there, he said, we thought we’d knock it down. I said, Jeez, I told you guys not to even go in there. I said What the heck you want to pull that out? So…

 DM: Were you the foreman?

 GP: No, we both acted like leaders of the men, you know. and even we put a plank across, and put “danger–keep out”, you know? That your place is finished, you’re not allowed to go in. So finally, I got lookin’ around. I crawled away up over top of the coal, you know, and got down behind a big clump, and I figured to myself where the end of the chute would be about. So I took and then got down on my knees, and I’m pullin’ this loose coal out from under a big lump,


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –11– 788 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also M/M Joe [blank])

you know? There I seen him, King, under the big lump. So I hollered over at the lump, I called up, and I said, Hey, here he is. Soon as I said Here he is, everybody left! The whole top. They wouldn’t come. The only guy come in was Boxer Bradosh. Boxer come in. I said, Can you see him under the lump? He said, Yeah. I said That’s his belt. He said, How the hell are we gonna get him out? I said Well the only thing we can do is get a jack. I said I’ll clean the coal away and I’ll stick a, put like a plank under that we get a heave for the jack, you know. So we did that, and I started jackin’ it up, and the lump come up, you know, and finally I got him by the belt, and I pulled–he was doubled up like this. So when I pulled him out, he fell back, on me, you know. And his eyeglasses was on, they weren’t smashed. But I looked at his head, and boy he had a hole in about this size right down the side, you know. His helmet was smashed, and Boxer said, Well he’s finished, Well I said you didn’t think he was alive, did you? So I said, you better go out and tell them to bring in the stretcher. Well then he come in, you know, the other two guys come in. We put him on the stretcher and walkin’ out the gangway with him. And you know, as you’re walkin’–well, one of the legs fell off, and I said to Friedrich, that’s Jonathan, he’ll tell you, I said to John, pick his leg up! Oh, not me, he said! He was afraid to pick his leg up! So then the inspectors and all come in there and they asked lots of questions. Oh, they quiz you, on those accidents. Which, it was no fault of ours that the dang thing happened. And maybe if he was more a little bit careful, like I told him he shouldn’ta went in, if he’d only listen, he probably would be livin’ today.

 J: That’s right.

 GP: But when you see all that coal, and you think you can load maybe fifteen twenty cars more, so you’re gonna go after it, you know?

 J: That’s faith, George. You gamble with faith. [space]: Yeah, that, ah…

 GP: Hell, and that roof down there, that used to be, it’s still solid, that roof never come in.

 DM: You’re kidding–it’s still there?

 GP: That’s right. It’s just the coal that come, they call it a top bench, but that roof, that’s outa granite, that thing.

 DM: Down at Number Ten, it’s really rocky anyway, the whole area is rocky from the way it looks.

 GP: Like I was tellin’ you, I think, once before, when you’re walkin’ into the mine first thing in the mornin’, look along the pillar, see the loose coal? You know that that’s pushin’.

 J: You’re damn right, that’s pushin’.

 GP: You’ll hear them big pillars go Whoom! They Crrack! They give you warnin’, lots of warning. Heck! We were workin’ in a place, we seen it already it was just like, well, I’d said like a God darn ball, like this here, the roof come down, you know? Just keep saggin’ in, like that, but it wouldn’t break, until we start widening the pillars, you know? Once you shot the sides out, that’s come down, she’d come in. And what a rumble! If you ever hear it cavin’…

 DM: I’ve never heard anything that big cave.

 GP: Well, the Number Two here, when it blew the God-darned doors offa the way that the mule there used to go down, we used to go down with the mules, the way that darn things caved in, we were inside. Powder kegs, everything, through the gangway. We come outside, the God-darned door layed about fifty feet away from the entrance! It even blew the door off! That’s the


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –12– 843 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also M/M Joe [blank])

pressure you get.

 J: It can’t go nowhere else, George.

 GP: That’s right. It has to come out there. Oh, you get some tough ones. [space]

 M: Well, what do you say, Joe, by the time we get to Hazleton?

 J: Yeah, we better go, because…

 DM: I hate to break this up. I knew I’d hit you at the wrong time.

 GP: You’re not breakin’ us up. It’s just that…

 M: No, this is all right. We were just coming here for a short… 851….….

 GP: Well, then, I built that goddarned clubby up there. So, Cash over here,– you know Cash, he was the carpenter, and [the next word and question mark are handwritten into this typewritten text] Gera? was a carpenter, you know–they were buildin’ it, and finally I moved up the case and everything from the garage and we, I even ran [space] two picnics…

 DM: This was kind of like the clubhouse, your garage was like the clubhouse before this one?

 GP: That’s right.

 DM: And Danny Cox gave you permission to…

 GP: To build up there…

 DM: To build up there with the mule stable wood.

 GP: That’s right. It’s all from the mule stable, all of it!

 DM: That’s what I heard, I heard it was. What year was this?

 GP: Oh, I don’t know, it was around, after the war already. It’s forty-four was the war, wasn’t it?

 DM: Well, forty-four it was over.

 GP: Well, it was around forty-five, forty-six, I guess, in around there, because during the war, hell, in the years I was down here and they used to come down in here. So finally I said to them, Nate(?), we’re stuck, you know? I needed plasterboard, you needed flooring, you needed lights. I said, Okay, I’ll take the money, I’ll buy the goddamn stuff, I got Gera and Cash to figure out how much lumber we’d need for it…

 DM: That’s Kascak you’re talking about…

 GP: Yeah.

 DM: Yeah, okay.

 GP: And, when I got the panelling and everything, that’s, plasterboard was first, we got the panelling later–so I figured everything was all fixed. Well, he said, now look–I said, I don’t want to take care of the place. Because I was behind the bar up there, you know. I said, youse guys is formin’ a club, youse gotta nominate your own president, your own secretary, you know, and do it the right way. I said, I’ll be here until I run two pic nics, that’s two nights, I said, Saturday and Sunday, which I figure we could come up with about anywhere from twelve to fifteen hundred dollars.

 DM: That was to be used for the clubby, right?

 GP: Yeah. They said, you’re crazy. I said, I might be crazy, but I know how to make money! So, finally we got, I got two, well about four other fellows with me, you know, and we ordered…

 DM: Who was the other guy?

 GP: Dula Whitnan, Gerballa…

 DM: I don’t know who he is, or was…

 GP: We got together and started this goddarned picnic. I had to go to Beaver Meadow–did you ever hear of Evelyn Hornig’s Orchestra, all girl orchestra?

 DM: Yes! Yes!

 GP: Well, that’s who I got for the two nights. For Saturday and Sunday.

 DM: This is the first picnic the clubby ever had?


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –13– 890 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier (also Joe [blank])

GP: That’s right. Finally we tallied up everything, and we had made a nice profit on it, and the money that I spent on the plasterboard and on the flooring was returned, and then later on they took over, we had a meeting, they nominated their own president, their own canteen man, you know? And they had me down as a, like a trustee, an overseer, you know, to take care of the place. Me and Frank Bananas–if you know Frank up there–so now that they were gettin’ along pretty good, I left them. I said, now I’m gettin’ old, I can’t be up there every day now. Youse better look for somebody else. So finally they have their own now, and they’re comin’ along pretty good. So now they tell me there’s some kind of a friction up there, again…

 DM: I didn’t hear about that.

 GP: Huh? About these picnics that they were holdin’ and stuff. About the women, you know, goin’ up, cookin’ and stuff. The women…

 DM: Are they mad?

 GP: Well, they should be paid for it. They’re not compensated in any way for it. They just go up free of hand, you know.

 DM: You mean, they don’t even buy the potatoes for the potato cakes, or any thing?

 GP: Oh, they buy the potatoes, but the women work…

 DM: The women make all that…

 GP: They work pretty hard, they should be compensated for the, for the darn stuff that they do up there. That’s what I at least think, anyhow.

 DM: Well, how did you, ah, you got all your own orchestra going, how did you publicize this?

 GP: Well, we had it in the paper, you know.

 DM: The Eckley Social Club? What was the name of it?

 GP: That’s what it was, Eckley Sports and Social Club.

 DM: And I take it you’re a lifetime member, are you?

 GP: Oh no.

 DM: They didn’t make you a lifetime member?

 GP: No.

 DM: You’re a founding father of the place, and they didn’t make you a lifetime member?

 MP: Do you what I just said, they just had an article in the paper, just not too long ago, and they had, I think there was two of them that were recog nized there, but I don’t want that to come out, because…

 DM: Well, you wait and see how it sounds…

 MP: …I don’t know, as memberships or something. I says to George, well how do you like that. I said, the men that really built that clubhouse, that really worked, ruined their cars, ruined their tires, runnin’ back and forth for donations and things, you know…

 DM: I didn’t know you had anything to do with it, and I’ve been here for three months.

 GP: Oh, yeah, I was the father…

 DM: I didn’t know that, see, now that’s why I want to hang around you more!

 MP: Not only him, but Mr. Bananas, is still living, and Mr. Dulas, he is in Freeland, he is still living…

 GP: Gerbala.

 MP: Pigeon is dead…

 GP: Pigeon.

 DM: Pigen Yenshaw?

 MP: Yes, he was one of them, he’s dead. And who else?

 GP: Gerbala was with us.


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –14– 935 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier

MP: Yeah, well he’s in Ohio.

 GP: He’s in Ohio somewhere.

 MP: You would think now that these young men would say, now wait a minute, who gave us the, you know, who done all this for us? In other words, we stepped right in here, but this was already here. But who put this here? But there’s no such a thing as…

 GP: I told them it was in our garage!

 DM: Yeah, that’s what I, you know, what did you have? Was this you and your friends, is that what it was?

 GP: Yeah, they are a bunch of the town guys, which, I, we used to gamble and everything down there, you know?

 DM: In that little garage?

 MP: Just a place…

 DM: Just a place to get together.

 MP: Yeah, just a place, so that the men had a place, just a place so that they’d…

 GP: During the nights, winter nights…

 MP: There was no profit in it, so far as that–it was just, you know, to well, they’d come in, they’d buy drinks, and whether for beer or soda was sold, or candy…

 GP: And Bartels I used to sell at that time, ten cents a bottle.

 MP: So we went right back into buyin’ another case or two, you know, that’s all.

 DM: Who came down here in the early days, do you remember? In your garage? Some of the people that I might still know?

 MP: Oh, some are already out of here, some moved out…

 GP: Medash’s boys, you know, the young guysm Nagle up here, Jimmy…

 DM: Jimmy Denion?

 GP: Jimmy Denion, yeah. Dwarnyar, all them, all them guys used to come down.

 DM: They never once mentioned it. Probably because they were embarrassed. They probably thought I’d be mad at them, or something.

 GP: Oh, there’s lots of things probably you didn’t hear!

 DM: That’s what I mean. That’s why, that’s why we can’t leave now. We don’t know half the stuff we should.

 MP: But [blank] that clubhouse, there was no place for the men to go that was, you know, you had no place for activities or anything. In [space] there [space], you know. I guess like every place and everything, there’s a certain bunch will get a hold of it, and then that’s it. And the one that really should get the credit, they don’t even recognize.

 DM: Oh, we’re gonna see if we can change that.

 MP: No, no!

 GP: No, no! I don’t want you to even mention that.

 MP: He wouldn’t even want that, huh-uh.

 DM: We, we are not gonna embarrass anybody…

 GP: You know, I was gonna ask you a question, too. When they put up one of these boards that they had for, when the war was over, for those boys that were killed overseas, and you have a son whose name is there, and who was in the war…ain’t it?

 MP: Yeah, I guess, it was the ones, was it the ones who were killed, I don’t know how they have it there.

 DM: You mean, what happened to it?

 GP: No. What I was gonna say, the names is there, but I told her, I says, them names, the poor fellas, they are dead. That don’t mean that the live ones should have their name there, too, right?


8/23/72 Tape 12-2 –15– 982 M/M George Petrushka interviewed by Denis Mercier

DM: Well, I mean it depends on what it is. If it’s to honor the war dead, then make it to honor the war dead. If it’s to honor those who served in the war, then make it that way.

 GP: That’s what I was thinkin’. Because I got talkin’ here, and she said to me when we went up that time how come, she said, our Bobby’s name ain’t on that list? I said, well our Bobby is alive, I said, he’s not dead.

 MP: No, I think that’s all for the dead only.

 DM: I think it must be just for the dead.

 GP: That’s all it was for, they honored the dead.

 MP: You know, you have that on, and…

 DM: You’re right. That’s okay. See…

 MP: I mentioned them two names, which I wouldn’t want to be out, you know?

 DM: Who?

 MP: That I says they were recognized in there. 995

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Melanie Akren-Dickson, Tara Campbell, Evelyn Pridemore, Camille Westmont, Daryl Bojarcik and Julie Riga