Vol. 3-Interview-Susk


A Vare. interviewing M. Sulkusky -7- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

AV: And then where did you keep that barrel with the salt meat

MS: In a cold place, in a cold storage

AV: Which was the summer kitchen maybe

MS: It was out in the outside more in a cold spot, like a cold place

AV: Oh right outside

MS: Yes, you’d have a shanty or some kind of shanty you know and keep it cold in there

AV: In the summer kitchen or some other small building

MS: In some other small building

AV: Toward the back of the property line

MS: Yeh

end of Mary Sulkusky

A. Varesano goes into talking to another woman without introducing her, I’m sure it isn’t Mary Sulkusky so I guess It’s Mrs. Banas, volume up high yet her voice is very faint

AV: Tell me something about how the marriages were arranged around here

MB: Well before the girl, they need to all get married at 15 years, 18 years they were married already when they were 15 years they used to

AV: Did they choose their own partners

MB: I don’t know they used to get together they need to meet, you had a boy friend and you went for him for awhile and if you wanted to get married you’d get married you’d have to ask the consent from the parents, you know

AV: Did many parents arrange the marriages of their daughters

MB: I guess so

AV: Even in that time yet

MB: In that time

AV: Did you know of any of your friends that were married just with their parents arranging it and without their consent

MB: I couldn’t tell you because I don’t know [?] was married the same time she was


A. Ver. inter. M. Banas -8- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

MB: married 2 weeks before me

AV: Oh Anna Falatka

MB: Not Anna she died, Mary she was married on the 24th of April and then I was married 2 weeks after, the 4th of May

AV: How did the girls get to know their future husbands

MB: Just took a chance, sometimes it was for good and sometimes it was nice, you had nice living and everything but sometimes you made a mistake well I guess you made a go and they used to break up, you know

AV: Did they date or how or how did they talk with them

MB: Well they’d date or go out something like that and date them

AV: Like how did you meet Joe

MB: I went with him I guess about 2 years, 2 years I went with him before to get married

AV: How did you meet him was he a neighbor of yours

MB: He used to live right where [blank] lives and I used to live on the other street, there was homes there, they’re all [blank] now already and we moved here in this house and my mother, moved here in this house

AV: And then how did you get to know him

MB: Well he used to come to see me and that’s how we matched up one another and he wanted to get married so I got married

AV: Did he take you out anyplace

MB: Yeh, he used to take me out

AV: Was it the custom for the boys to take the girls out someplace

MB: That was the custom then to take you out, you know

AV: Where

MB: Bus rides and they used to get together and take you out

AV: And when you decided to get married was there an engagement ring


A. Ver. inter. M. Banas -9- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

MB: I had no engagement ring, I just got married [blank] you have your calls, you have your announcements in church

AV: Oh the bans of marriage

MB: Yes, the bans of marriage for three weeks or so, for 3 Sundays they used to annouce it in church that, the priest would say if you have anything against the couple, announce it and they will have no sermon or the wedding

AV: Did you have to pay for that

MB: You had to pay $3 for the calls

AV: Who had to pay

MB: The groom and then when you were married you had to pay him for the marriage

AV: The license

MB: The ceremony and the license but you had to pay for the ceremony to the priest

AV: Who had to pay for the wedding

MB: The groom

AV: Everything

MB: Some parents used to pay for the wedding

AV: How about the clothes, who paid for that

MB: Well the groom used to pay for the clothes but it was your place to pay for clothes for the bride

AV: She made it and paid for it herself

MB: Yeh

AV: Did they usually make it or buy it from the store

MB: You could buy it but now days they go to where they sell these gowns

AV: How did they celebrate your wedding

MB: You saw we had a big wedding on my picture

AV: Did they have a party in this house


A. Varan. inter. M. Banas -10- 9/23/72 Tape 29-1

MB: if you didn’t want a big time goin’ on but if you wanted to have a big time well then you had to have all them people I had 12 bridesmaids and 12

AV: When did they start the party, what day

MB: Monday night, I was married Tuesday because when I got married why the priest didn’t like to see you get married on a Sunday, Saturday and Sunday to have the celebration because they use to drink over Sunday and he didn’t want to see that they wanted quiet and peace you could have it Monday evening and start and then Tuesday have the marriage, so that’s what they used to to but now they don’t now they have it on Saturdays

AV: What did they do on Monday night

MB: They use to get together, the cooks and all would get together and start to celebrate and start makin’ the food

AV: Who used to do the cooking

MB: Well you had so many cooks hired to do all the cookin’

AV: Neighbors like

MB: Neighbors and all, they used to start fillin’ cabbages and cook the chicken, they’d have the chicken prepared and then cook it the day the wedding was in the morning all the cooks would come in and get ready while you went to church they would be doin’ the cookin’

AV: And then was there any celebrating on Monday night at all

MB: Oh they use to come in and help out and Monday nights like the weddin’ was on a Tuesday and Monday evening already they’d go around and invitin’ the peoople you know the ones who were bein’ invited to the wedding

AV: Who used to do the inviting

MB: The ushers would go around from house to house the ones they wanted to come to the wedding, they’d go from house to house

AV: And then on Tuesday morning what would happen

MB: Well you’d get all together and they would take you to church


A. Varen. inter. M. Banas -11- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

AV: By the buggy

MB: We had a big bus load and on cars and they’d take you to church and come back and then they’d have a big dinner

AV: Did you have your portrait taken at the studio the same day

MB: The same day

AV: Where abouts was that where did you have to go

MB: Right in the same town, Freeland, they don’t take them you have to go to Hazleton where you go to have your picture taken

AV: And the wedding dinner when did that take place

MB: When you came back from church, at 12 o’clock you had the dinner but now they have it any more they have it a place ordered out like they have it like this place like [blank] in Freeland that’s where they go and in Hazleton you go by Hardy’s there at [blank] and they go there and have the big dinner there

AV: But then the party was in the home was there dancing afterwards

MB: Oh yeh, after the dinner they had dancing, and they danced as long as they wanted

AV: And what kind of band did they have

MB: An orchestra from Freeland

AV: Was that the Gypsy orchestra they told about

MB: The Gypsy orchestra is right

AV: How much did they charge

MB: I don’t know I guess they used to charge about $40 I think

AV: Boy that was pretty good for those days

MB: At that time it was but who knows what they charge now

AV: And then was there other customs that you did after or at the dances

MB: Well when I was gettin’ married the next day they used to play jokes they used to , like for the women they used to fix the shoes for the ment they use to shave the men that was a joke that they used for past time


A. Varen. inter. M. Banas -12- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

AV: Now who used to fix the women’s shoes

MB: The men

AV: All the women

MB: Whose there they go around and ask if you want to get your shoes fixed and the women use to shave the men, it was a joke that they use to play and you had a lot of fun dancin’ and we need to have mock things like shavin’ and

AV: What did that mean did it symbolize anything

MB: No it was just to have lots of fun

AV: The day after there was dancing you said

MB: The day after

AV: I never heard of that

MB: I heard too that sometimes the bride took off ther veil

AV: Oh when you were done with the ceremony in the evening they danced with the bride she takes her veil off and put a kerchief on

AV: A babushka

MB: Yeh, and they would dance with you and put money for you on the plate, on a dish

AV: Why did they take off the veil

MB: Well that you were a married woman and then they put the kerchief on that you were a married woman

AV: Did they also fix her hair

MB: Yes they would fix it up and make a ball out of it

AV: Like on top of the head, a bun

MB: Yeh

AV: And did the groom do anything or not

MB: When they are all done dancin’ with her he comes and picks her up and runs away with her, out the door, and then the wedding’s over

AV: Where did he take her


A. Varen. inter. M. Banas -13- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

MB: I don’t know where he take her and then they go for their honeymoon

AV: But you stayed here for the honeymoon

MB: Yeh, I stayed here

AV: You were living here for the first couple of years

MB: I lived here with my mother for 2 years

AV: You lived here because you couldn’t find any houses to rent

MB: It was hard to have a home here and one thing you didn’t like to go from your parents already you wanted to still be with the parents

AV: Even tho you were married

MB: Yes

AV: I thought that they wanted more to set up their own household

MB: Now they do, now they want to go right to their own home before you wanted to stay with your parents

AV: Usually the people stayed in with the bride’s parents

MB: Yeh, or wherever they wanted to stay

AV: Or where there was room

MB: Yeh

AV: And there was no way to get a house if you needed it

MB: You had to have so many months ahead of time to get your name in for a home before you could get a home and when I was gettin’ a home at that time if you were workin’ in the mine well the miner got it and if you were an outside worker if it was an outside house and there was an opening the outside man would get the home you would have your order in so long as you wouldn’t get it if there was an outside man living in that house before

AV: By outside men you mean a man that works on the top

MB: Yeh, and if he worked in the mines a miner got it

AV: More of a chance to get the house


A. Varen. inter. J. Banas -14- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

Handwritten note in right corner says “Speaks very broken English”

JB: Oh you goneta put that on record

AV: That’s right, did you think I was going to write it down, the first thing you have to do it what

JB: There’s the hole, take that sheet-iron out (smoke house handwritten above) and there’s the hole there. There’s the pipe for the smoke goin’ in that chimney over there and then I have a stick that has to be washed and put sausage on that stick and afterawhile when it goes smoke how easy

AV: How long does it take to cook

JB: That depends, how fast that burn and how long have to be smoked. [Blank space] night time, now Oscar Meyer’s now I was working in the in the [blank space] department come down and grind it, make sausage, frankfurts, scrapple any kind you want

AV: How long does it take, 2 weeks

JB: That depends how smoked, you have to know

AV: How can you tell when it’s done

JB: That thing nobody goin’t to tell you because you have to have so long for the smoke not cooked, not fried just smoked and then take it out when nice and dry put it in the ice-box come today, come tomorrow and taste how good it is, some time you think I don’t put too much salt in now, or pepper or garlic sometimes you think you put too much you can take it out

AV: What does it look like when it’s done

JB: When you got to the store and see Polish Kilbosi

AV: Where did you use to store it in the old days when you didn’t have ice-box

JB: In the house and then I take it down in the cellar we take it in the shanty like that where it’s nice and dry, nice and dry and I have sticks in there keep it in that so long until you eat salami

AV: Not in the cellar under the house

JB: No not in the house, keep in the cellar a little bit and then the ice-box that’s


A. Varen. inter. J. Banas -15- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

JB: all [blank space] you eat and now you good and healthy and don’t put too much fat in but my Kilbasi [blank space] not so fat and not so skinny

AV: How long has this thing been here

JB: Oh about 10 years, I had it down below where I was livin’ before

AV: On Shanty Street

JB: Yeh, Shanty Street [blank space] and I told my grandson I goin’ to put a fire in that smokehouse before the whole business burn

AV: Yes, and what did you do

JB: Nothing, get another one

AV: Was the other one like this

JB: No I can smoke in here 20 lbs, 30 lbs. of sausage

AV: Where was this in the yard at Shanty Street which part of the yard

JB: Down below on the other side

AV: Always built like this style with a hole in the ground

JB: No, I make a hole in the [blank], hole over there and that’s it and smoke go out you never see smoke go down

AV: And the one on Shanty Street had this thing too

JB: Sure, same thing

AV: How about the other people, did they have smoke houses like this

JB: No

AV: How about the other people what kind did they have

JB: Nothing, he go to the store and buy it

AV: They had some smokehouses too

JB: Mrs. [blank] she has a smokehouse, maybe her father, not her

AV: But didn’t you hear of anybody else in town having a smokehouse

JB: No, oh they had it down like that or something you put paper in that smoke some time good sometime stink like

AV: Oh that’s to burn the paper in


A. Varen. inter. J. Banas -16- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

JB: Have to have wood [smokehouse handwritten]

AV: What kind of wood

JB: Oak

AV: And where do you get this oak wood

JB: I go in the woods and find oak and I cut a piece wherever I go

AV: On Shanty Street were there any bake ovens, you know those out-door ovens that they use to bake bread in

JB: They told me, but I don’t see it

AV: On Shanty Street

JB: Yeh, someplace there they told me there were, I didn’t see it, I come over to Shanty Street in 1921 and I came over from [blank] that’s it, they told me but I never see it

AV: Who told you

JB: Miners, I bake myself bread after my first wife

AV: Did you ever hear anybody talking about bake ovens on Main Street

JB: No, maybe they had but I don’t go that far

AV: You never heard any old timers talk about them here

JB: No I don’t but I tell you the truth when I was over in the [blank] workin’ with the [Bo.…] I tell them the kind of job, I workin’ in the slaughterhouse workin’ on Second St., Market and Second and that son of a gun

AV: When they tell you about the bake oven did they ever tell you where it was located

JB: No I never hear I was here and somebody tell me but not show me

AV: And they never tell you what it looked like what kind of shape it was in

JB: The bake oven, no, I see bake oven in Europe but not here

AV: How do you make the bread

JB: I buy myself flour [blank] and I make myself yeast

AV: How much flour do you put


A. Varen. inter. J. Banas -17- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

[Bread hand written at top of page]

JB: About 7 dippers

AV: And how much water do you put in there

JB: That all depend if you don’t put enough you goin’ to have softy and if you put too much you gonna have tough

AV: And how do you put the bread together, what do you put in besides water and flour

JB: Well the flour and salt and butter and that’s all

AV: How much salt do you put in

JB: That all depends, I put a spoon or half of a spoon, not much and then and sometime ago I was crazy for [blank] and I buy myself flour after the children go to work and I was out of a job nobody bother me I got mix and I ask my other daughter, daughter how much you put bakin’ powder in and she told me and I put in a big plate and put it in the oven so I said son of a gun it come out of the, through the door just floppin on the floor I think to myself maybe that’s too hot for them so I leave it go then so I open and God you never see, so I clean it out and

AV: How did you finish the bread

JB: To tell you the truth I have [blank] in a big dish

AV: How much yeast do you put in the bread, you have flour, and water, when do you put in the yeast

JB: And salt, and I have some butter but not much [blank] and then I mix it and mix it till that thing comes out in my hands

AV: How much yeast did you put in

JB: That time I put 2 yeast cakes, dry yeast cakes and then I leave it go for about 4 or 5 hours and then it come up

AV: Now where do you keep it for 4 or 5 hours

JB: Along side the stove so that it not goin’ be too hot

AV: Do you cover it

JB: Oh yeh, and then I mix it again, I mix it again, 3 times


A. Varen. inter. J. Banas -18- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

AV: How long do you let it stay between each time

JB: That depend how fast it grow [every now and then a woman’s voice in the background]

AV: Do you slash it first or

JB: No depends what kind of pan you have, but don’t crowd, let it grow and then you punch it again

AV: And then what

JB: Then punch it again, 2 times and then it grow, oven supposed to be hot [blank] you never eat that kind of bread

AV: You put butter on top when it’s done

JB: When it’s done yeh

AV: Do you bless the bread

JB: No

AV: Don’t you make the sign of the cross over the bread

Ladies voice, yeh, when he start to cut, sure, then when you finish make the bread you cover it and cross it and let it grow [I guess it Mrs. Banas]

AV: When do you bless the bread

JB: The first time it come up and then I bless it 3 times

AV: What do you say

JB: Nothing

AV: How do you bless it, what words do you use

JB: I don’t use no words, I just use my hand, oh yes that don’t hurt I don’t do nothin’ lots of people do anything I bless the bread when I got knife {sausage is handwritten] I go in the store and buy meat and then I bring it home and cut that fat off [blank] nothin’ in the machine, I take a knife and dice and cut in pieces and then I put it in a big pan [blank] pepper, salt, that’s all I squeeze it, not squeeze it but mix it so you can recognize what’s up and I put the guts in the machine but the guts have to be clean


A Varen. inter. J. Banas -19- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

AV: You never put it through a sausage grinder

JB: Yeh, sometimes, crank it with one hand and sausage come out

AV: You never use the sausage grinder

JB: Yeh, sometimes but I don’t like it

Woman’s voice – We like chunks of meat

JB: Best thing use a sharp knife mix it and you see the different, that sausage can lay for years and not spoil

MB: We have a machine some lady gave it and we still have it

AV: Where do you get the guts from

JB: You buy it [blank] they have some yet but I don’t think I goin’ to make any pretty soon I

AV: When is the time of year you usually make it

JB: Well I use if for Christmas and right now when it’s nice and warm not when it’s cold and for Easter I use it, about 2 or 3 weeks before Easter but some time you find lots of snow, lots of rain or something

AV: Who was living on one side of the home

JB: Michael Bruniak on one side and I was livin’ on the other side and he raised the dam chicken, rooster to fight [cock fighting]. [Blank] lots of rats come over from his chickens to mine and I report it one time I was sleepin’ upstairs and the rats come over and

AV: What did his yard look like, what kind of buildings did he have

JB: He had coops, small ones, he had it outside in the garden,

AV: And were there one of those wire fences around it

JB: Yeh, and some place to go some day to fight

AV: How many roosters did he keep, the game cock

JB: I don’t know, even me after my wife died I have so many chickens I don’t know even how much, the chicken came in with small chickens, I chased them out


A. Varen. inter. J. Banas -20- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

AV: What other buildings did he have in his yard, did he have a smoke house in his yard

JB: No

AV: How about the cow stable, did he have a cow stable

JB: He have a cow stable, right along side

AV: Right near the house

AV: Maybe about 20 ft. from the house

JB: Maybe but not much

AV: What did this cow stable look like

JB: Just like my garage over there, he have a cow there and you get a place for hay

AV: What else did he have in this garden

JB: Nothing but dog house

AV: Where did he keep the dog house

JB: Right along side the chickens so nobody would grab them

AV: And did he have a coal shed in the house

JB: We have it right along side the highway, so they can dump the coal

AV: Did you have the summer shanty in front of the house

JB: Yes

AV: And the shanty run into the front room [Shanty Street]

JB: Yeh and my front room was in the back and the kitchen in the front

MJ: And the kitchen was like by the road and the front was in the woods someplace

JB: When my wife died and they take her to the cemetery they had to take her in the back and come that way in the front

AV: What kind of buildings did you have in your yard did you have a chicken coop too

JB: That’s all and I built that myself


A. Veren. inter. J. Banas -21- 8/23/72 Tape 29

AV: And where was that located

JB: I got it lots of places

AV: It was not near the house

JB: No

AV: How big was that chicken coop

JB: As big as that garage

JB: The chicken coop was like that. I had a big one I had room for hay, I had room for chop and stuff like that

AV: What did you use the hay for

JB: For the cow

AV: You had a cow stable too

JB: I had cow stable, I had pig stable and I have pigeon from

AV: Oh you had a pigeon coop too

JB: Yeh [he talks quite a bit but can’t understand him]

AV: Why did you keep pigeons for

JB: Just for pleasure sometimes I come out and have a nice hat, zingo the pigeon

MJ: The pigeons shit on hit hat

AV: You didn’t eat the pigeons

JB: You can but it was something I like, I sell them, one time I sell for 50 cents a pigeon [blank] homers I had for about 3,4 years then a fellow buy it and I go in about 2 days later I get my pigeon back

AV: What did the school house look like

JB: In 1921 was very nice they have a meetin’ there, union have a meeting there, society have a meeting there and then afterwhile they abolish lickin’ and everything and all abolish and then the county and state they abolish [blank] to build another one behind the church

AV: How big was the schoolhouse


A Varen. inter. J. Banas -22- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

[School House written at top of page]

AV: How high

JB: One floor

AV: How many classrooms did it have in there

JB: There about 4 classrooms, they’re pretty big ones, then they have, and they have 4 rooms

AV: And what color was it, black trim around the windows like 12 panes

JB: Yeh, that’s it I still have one pane over there

AV: How many windows in each class room

JB: 3 on one side and 3 on south side

MB: 6 windows in the whole school, in every room there was 1 window

JB: No 6 in one room, 3 on one side and 3 on south side

AV: And where were the doors

JB: Door was right in middle of class room

AV: Each classroom had one door, did it have steps to go up to the door

JB: No

AV: Maybe a platform in front of the door


A. Varen. inter. J. Banas -23- 8/23/72 Tape 29-1

JB: I forgot

AV: How about the ceiling, ceiling was just like other ceiling they have some kind of sheet-iron

end 696

AV: The stable and chicken coop mentioned by Mr. Banas is located at the end of the boardwalk in their present yard it has, about 10 ft. high with a gable roof and 2 windows and a door facing the boardwalk and it has red shingles on the side

Now interviewing Helen Fedorsha

HF: Machella’s had a bake oven and Sennicks, Mrs. Sennick had a big bake oven and I think up here the Sherman’s had one, there was either a bake oven or an out side cellar I don’t know which

AV: Shermans

HF: Yes, right across from Mrs. Timko’s that house was torn down well now those 2 I do know, Mrs. Sennick and Mrs. Machella they had big bake ovens because Mrs. Sennick always had a large family and Mrs. Machella she didn’t have such a large family but she had an awful lot of boarders because anyone that came and got a job in the stripping and was worried where they were going to board they would take the job if they didn’t know where to stay well the stripping boss would send them all down to Machellas

AV: Now what did this Machella’s back oven look like

HF: Well I was telling you already how I could picture it I can’t picture it exactly Angela because I wasn’t that old things like that wouldn’t have interested me but I do know it was made out of brick, then there was a big opening now where the logs went, they must have gone in the back somewhere and then there was a heavy iron sheet, a heavy sheet of iron that was down and that’s where she used

Contributions Message

Janis Sheppard and Camille Westmont