Vol. 3-Interview-Timko


Mr. Timko Bake Ovens 7/19/72 (Arrow pointing right) Bake oven located in what is now Teddy Shanes garden

Brick w/ top made of iron burned apple wood Drawing of box with 6 1/2 ‘ on left side, 6 1/2 ‘ on bottom x 6 1/2 ‘ high on right side

Drawing of box with smaller box inside, left side says brick, middle says open “door”, right says iroon grille, bottom says wood fire

Locations: 1 on Back Street 1 near Bertha Falatkos


[ ?. Mercron ?] # 130 #126 Mary Zurko / Margaret Mahoney 8/1/72

Children ( circled ) Mary’s Zurko’s mother was blamed for her last 2 children (twins) who were miscarried into the mgmt pail (underlined) (!) – It’s darn good for you – you only went to Hazleton for nonsense, people said. She actually went to shop for her kids. Young kids Used to hitch rides on ole Beer wagons or any itinerant merchant who passed through. Especially favored were wagons going to Freeland or Hazleton.

Remedies( circled) Every January – sulphur & molasses tonic

If you got a cut, put a broad leaf from a plant on cut to stop bleeding & cleanse it.

If you had a carbuncle, you got pine sap(pitch) & mix w/ fels-naphtha soap to make a paste. Apply to carbuncle to get the core of the infection out.

Flax seed used to make a poultice – put flax seed in hot water to make it.

Some people said they “had to have a bottle of beer to make me strong.” Women especially drank a bottle before doing garden work.


Mary Zurko – 7/19/72 6:45 p.m. – 7:30p.m. House # 130 Proprietors ” Co.” store – #1 Mr. Keller – early 1900’s – late 1800’s #2 Evan C. Reese/ #3 Mr Shoepak “Anything” -Would take you out of – in car town to get any furniture you wanted – would be delivered to co. store – ” Bridgie” O’Donnell – worked for Evan as Bookkeeper – lives on Washington St. Freeland Has phone # listed under Nellie – See Agnes Kaschak about Co. store – Contents Yard goods: cottons, linens, silks, etc flannel ( “outing” flannel) – used for girls’ winter slips & nighties Paints: lead-based, enamel, stain Shoes: work/boots/rubbers Molasses in keg Vinegar in keg/cask Box cakes – 10 lb. box of cakes/cookies -[?] 2 1/2 ‘x 1 1/2’ x 1 ‘ ( arrow from word box pointing to ) Hitchner’s Brand – good Patent medicines Crackers in boxes 10# wood w/lids on top Shave cream [?] Ready- made clothes Hardware: tools/rakes, etc. young plants,seeds, fertilizer, feed brooms, brushes kitchen cabinets – $60-$66 (up left had margin up side of lines 8-16) If he didn’t have it, he’d get

Prop. went to surronding towns to get goods people wanted – got em wholesale

Mr. William Bachman took weekly orders house – to house – came around filling every store wagon- saurkraut, fish, cake – all kinds of foods

Fresh fish: flounder, lshad, smelts, oysters ( works scribbled out) smelts, oysters rugs, curtains, draperies, thread


Law N’ Order|Mary Zurko|9/19/72|8:10pm

1905 Roving gang of fellas – went all over the area – Trood on us to broke into homes – were chased by group of Eckley “Vigilantes.” Shot at “low” so they wouldn’t be hurt.

“Only trouble we ever had”

Coal & Iron Police – watched to see that people wouldn’t pick the coal – arrested.

“If you were Arrested the Co. would fire you so you had to move or change your name.”

Union – Non union people had arguments But never really BATTLED.


Law N’ Order People arrested for coal pickin’ Most of the people [unreadable] around their {unreadable] and/or moved up so to avoid paying co. store bills

Coal & Iron Pol. would chase “Thief” and/or broke their buckets.


Mary Zurko/ Agnes Kascak Women’s Role( circled) [ 7/19/?] 100-[?]

Women’s role ( words next to bracket for next paragraph) [Sc?] carpet on [Ben?] or [ Poll?] take carpet out to hydrant – rinse wring it out (3 women to do this) Later done with hand wringer – “Z- fold” ( drawing of how to fold)

Housing [In??] ( in left margin) Early rugs were coarse bags (burlap) Early chairs were benches (horizontal line across page) Games Amusements ( arrows pointing to each paragraph below)

– Square Dances / Virginia Reels at [Laur?town] 50 yrs ago + before – Fri. & Sat – nites Warned – boys would accompany the girls in goups – often teased about what the dangers were – ghosts, snakes, etc.

Sleigh ride parties in winters – groups of boys & girls would organize – 2 horses pulled sleigh ( like Currier & Ives Prints)

Ice skating parties

Some evenings boys would take girls in mine cars down in to mines. Boys would clown & show off a lot


D.Mo[??????] Mary Zurko

House Architecture Margaret Maloney 7/26/72 Welsh mine foreman Mr. Crabtree ordered the house down from Nicholas’ to be torn down! – Capricious action on – his part — Now site of Co. store.

(The next paragraph is bracketed on the left side)

– Coxe’s – Fixed houses anytime any thing went wrong with the interior or exterior – colliery carpentry crew always took care of it. Foreman was Mr. Keller, as Mary recalls it.

If your toilet went bad, the CO. Built a new toilet on the site “if it was good” – if not, someone from the colliery dug a new hole and the carpentry crew came in. “Owner” had no say as to how it was built or what style it would be.

– ” Huss never gave us a nail.”


Mary Wilko # 130 Occupations other than mining( all words underlined) Carpet making a good pastime Arrow pointing down – Gyurko – Timko – Mary Adams’ Relatives


The Yerkos lived next door for 50 years. They put up the present porch in 1936, when they built the kitchen. Before they only had a roofless stoop. She doesn’t know much of their interior except that it was generally the same in furnishing + decor as her aunts home was. Shandy ( underlined) Was used as kitchen in summer. For summer use, they carried the kitchen stove in there for the hot weather. It was never papered the walls were boards + were scrubbed every year Ceiling was bare boards. There was a small wooden table by S + W wall + chairs. Many people had homemade benches to use with the tables, not chairs. A window ( 12 panes ) was in the S wall, where the closet door is now. In E corner, she kept a cupboard later on. At first she had nothing there. In N corner, had coal buckets flour bin, in W corner pans were hung on nails on beams behind door to present kitchen + on W wall beam near ceiling. ( On nails, lined through) Window had shades + “lace” curtains she made (dotted swiss). There were


plain hemmed curtains hung from rods. Kerosene lamp kept on table Floor had pine boards, till they got linoleum in the 1920’s or a bit before.

Wash tubs were stored in one of the backyard sheds + brought into shed on wash day. This was used for bathing, too.

Dishes were washed in a dish pan on shed table, or a chair. Washboard was kept in shandy in corner behind door.

She got an electric washer in 1928, this was kept back of the door in shandy, + it was used in shandy.

Note: By “lace curtains”, in shandy + farmer kitchen + ( word scribbled out) bedrooms, she means the white, then veil – like stuff that came either plain or with tiny designs woven in it.


Yard: garden

Yard was planted with food: corn potatoes, cabbage corn beets tomatoes beans lettuce onions cucumbers parsley, all the way from the road to where the shade are now, + extending to the Back (?) Road.

Huckle berry bushes + peach trees were in yard.

The yard was fenced by 3 or 4 boards laid horizontally, similiar to present fence but with more boards.

Swing in yard was( word scribbled out) put up in late 30’s or 40’s. It was a gift to Mary, daughter who was doing domestic hours work in Freeland. Husband put up swing on stout logs cut from the woods.

She thinks the grape arbor was there before the swing + was put there for shade.

Sidewalk was made of boards, ( boardwalks). Ditch on N side of yard near house was there always + was there to drain off rain water from neighbor’s higher yard + porch into the street.


Fences were also in front of house. It surrounded the property, even in bacof sheds.

Flower garden was located in front of the stoops + (?) the porches, up to the fence boardering the road.

There was a gate for each neighbor.

There was a boardwalk from gate over the ditch in the road, onto the road.


Angela Varesano 8/7/12 recipe Anne Timko ( Timko is underlined) Buck Mt. Rd. Canned beans Wash, cut in pieces, cook for 10 min. Wash + clean jars with soap + water. Put in stove to sterilize; sometime she’ll leave them there 1/2 a day, sometimes less. While you’re cooking on the stove you sterilize them that way, too.

(Full, lined out) Cool beans a bit. Drain. Fill jars with beans. Put 1/2 tsp. salt in each pint jar, Fill jars with cold water to cover beans.

Cook in bucket, or canning pot with rack (to, lined out) Pad bucket with a rag on bottom to prevent them from cracking. Cook in boiling water for 15 min., depending on how soft they were precooked. This preserves the food + prevents it from spoiling.


A. Varesano Architecture

9:45 am

Anne Timko 8/10/72

Outside cellar

Anne Timko believes that Johanna [Pan???????] father built it. The structure was there when she came to live in her present house in 1915. She always has used it as a storage cellar – because the house has no cellar.

Her present kitchen was built by her husband in 1950. Before that time, there was a small shed between between the old kitchen + summer kitchen.

The closet (off the shandy) was built in the 1930’s for use as storage space.


Bread baking

8/10/72 Anne Timko

Sequence of shots 1-13

1 Cutting cabbage pie (Kolachis)

Turning potato pie in oven

Brushing pie with browned butter.

Flipping pie over

Shot of clothes closet off the shandy.

Turning pirohi in oven.

14-18 Bread panning


A. Versano Anne Timko House interior + architecture 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm 8/16/72 1915 – The year she married + moved in here.

This Back St. home consisted of a kitchen, front room + upstairs bedroom. There was only a shed aagainst the kitchen, and the summer kitchen or shandy. There was also an open porch ( boards) on front of the shed, and a board walk leading from the shed to shandy.

Shed(underlined): 6 ft. long _

At first it was small, built for protection against rain. It had a door to the outside. Later, husband built a bigger one. It had a slanted roof, Then she had a bench with buckets of water, a little table, a cupboard, chairs, some pans stacked on top fo each other. Toward the last she had a small shelf bor a clock in the corner ( Western.) Worked in shed: Wash dishes, prepare meals. When it was hot.


Had a coal stove (where hole is) a ( word crossed out) table on W end + chairs. Walls were not decorated, but were papered. It had a cloth ceiling. In kitchen kept burlap (bug?? ????????????) flour.


Used as a front room [?] bedroom by her + husband (till 1939) (crossed out writing – Used by her + husband) the double bed was facing the [c? or s?}hair way on the W wall. A (crossed out writing – vanity table) “buffet” [sideboard table]* (crossed out writing – with a mirror in the middle) was on the E wall. 2 chairs were there. Holy pictures were on the wall: Sacred Heart Sacred Heart of Mary St. Joseph Infant Jesus At first, there was plain boards. Later, carpet rags were put around the room, from door way to N wall. Walls were papered, ceiling was cloth Windows in both rooms had window shades Later, they got curtains (lace curtains) These she made herself. Kitchen window was a small 6 – pane window. There was a stoop porch there when she moved in. Husband Joe found some boards & built the present structure, in the 60’s.

The present kitchen was built in 1950 by Joe, as was the indoor bathroom + washing machine room. * This is now in middle room. See photos, 8/10/72


Upstairs Ceiling was papered around the beams, walls were papered so was the chumneys. Floor had rag carpets around mostly near the bed where you walk. Before, the S wall was 3 ft or 4 ft closer to [center] of room. It had 2 beds (1 bed at first), a cradle for the baby. Storage boxes for clothes and things in corners. Room was lit by a Kerosene lamp. In Kitchen, a lamp was kept on the table, a nickel lamp. In bedroom downstairs, there was no set place for a lamp, it was seldom needed. Most people had lamp racks on the door frame.

Clothes were stored back of the door, and on a board nailed on the W wall.


Angela Varesano Date (?) Anne Timko [???] [??] – 12:30 pm. 7/26/72

[??] remedy ( bracket down next two paragraphs )

Used black salve [Ointment of [??] , 20% ] to draw pus from a wound that has festered. This deep [??] wound open [??] it heals right, that [?] so it heals from the bottom upward. [?] to get it in drugstores in Freeland.

[??] wound, to draw the pus [?] bread in the milk warmed on [??] apply like a polultice + bandage it. This will draw out the pus + help it heal.

Some people use to used grass from the garden – a kind of feathery weed They use to wet it + squeeze with fingers to soften it + get the juice out [??] right on the wound + bandage it. The [?] to heal it.

Flax seed poultice was also used. Remembers her daughter Anna [ ? ] getting hurt at playground on sight of [??] – her nose was bleeding + head wash[?}. The girl was about 3 years old. The girl complained about her hand the day she was supposed to be in the school Christmas play; the compl[?} was on her finger, which became infected. Anne took her to the [?] the day after Christmas


Doctor said to put on a flaxseed poultice . Her hand blistered. Her hand was swollen up to the elbow, + went up to her shoulder. ( words crossed out) [??] + her brother took the child to [?] for treatment at the doctor’s he [?] wet turkish towels on arm [?] to help keep swelling down and gave a prescription for a drug [?] for some medicine. Child was in hospital for a month. If the [?] was a boil or a little cut, the poultice would have helped but not for a big infection. Flaxseed poultice: (underlined) Cook flaxseed in a pan with butter + [?] water, till it gets soft. Used butter in there so it wouldn’t stick to the wound. Then apply it to the festering wound, directly. This way, if there’s something wet then the wound doesn’t close up from the top + seal in the pus; it heals from the bottom up + the pus comes out. When the top closes + the bottom isn’t healed up. Use it when the infection is bad or serious, so it needs to be drained by a doctor. Then bandage it on. Change it when the[?] is getting dry + the poultice is drying out.


Colic(underlined) Used to [?] chamomile [?] brewed up in a tea for newborn babies who had a colic. Sometimes gave it to them because it was good. Sweetened with sugar. Sometimes added saraway seeds, too, because that was good for pain. They loved it, because it was sweet. The grown ups didn’t take any.

(This next paragraph is crossed out) Remember when there was a girl she went to the house of George Matwak’s mother, the mother [?]

Summers Her mother-in-law had a pow wow [?] in to deal with Joseph’s father. But she didn’t believe in him. The pow wower asked for a drink before he started. The treatment included breathing on the man, who was almosst paralyzed. It didn’t help and she didn’t believe in the pow wower. It seems the man had (crossed out word) a stroke or several strokes. [Joseph was [?] husband.] Her father-in law was [?] that way for a long time.

Folk remedy (arrow pointing up and down) Castoria was given to the kids when they had colds, this was to keep them regular. [“Keep” the bowels open] You’d give them warm milk + keep them in bed. 1 teaspoon was the dose a (day, crossed out), as needed; they used to like it beuase it was sweet.


For some throat, [ words scribbled out] you’d give them salt wafer to gargle with. But they’d choke on that. Seems the throat got better, less sore.

Remembers her mother-in-law once got a bad cough. The doctor gave her a bottle of cough medicine. But after she came home from church, She never coughed no more – the cough went away. Sometimes it works like that, that if you do something for them, it you give a remedy, you think it does good.

Mustard plaster – Used to use a lot, for her bronchal cough. Used dry mustard (depends on where you want to spread it over) dissolved in warm water + made a paste out of it. Put on a rag on the body + spread it on. Keep it there, + fold over the other part of the cloth; (drawing of a rectangle with a dotted line vertically in the middle, a line drawn to words mustard plaster on right end of rectangle, another line drawn to words cloth for chest)

Kept it between 2 cloth layers. The heat draw the cough. Must be careful that you don’t get burned. Kept on for a while so it penetrated – an hour or more. The mustard combined with


The mustard helped the cough. Used it even for aches & pains, on the back & chest. Sometimes even on head for headache – placed on forehead. She learned this from people around here.


Foods Within 3 years had a 5 1/2 month strike + 5 1/2 months again, it was like 1 full year of not working. This was in the 20’s. There was no income- the people had to grow food in garden + can it – “putting the stuff up.” The materials to preserve it was available – vinegar, sugar, spices. Vinegar – for chow chow + pickles sugar – added to everything Ketchup added spices, Ketchup (?) For ketchup. used beer bottles + put in bought corks, for storage. Later on, used to wax them – that didn’t help, The stuff used to spoil sometimes, if the seal was loose, Later, got a capping device that capped the bottles by hands. This was before the 20’s. Ketchup Cook peeled tomatoes – that had been sliced or pieced, till they got soft enough to come through a seive. Then put it through a sieve + cook the mass. Add salt to taste, sugar, pepper + ( atl lined through) spices,( cloves with a line through it), Put (?) spices by put in cinnamon directly, (? lined through) but allspice + cloves, ground, in a piece of cheesecloth, twist it up +


tie it with string after twisting it up Put in to pot to cook. Cook till it was thick enough for you and liquid was boiled off. Put the ketchup in bottles boiling hot. The bottles were washed. They were kept on the stove on a dish. They were filled right over the pot on the stove. You stirred up the ketchup so the thick part on the bottom was mixed in. Then cork or cap the bottles & put away. This was done by mother of house. Stored in the outside cellar on shelves. Taught her by some of people around here


Used to make jelly from apples, + peaches, later, made from peaches + pineapple, also banana jelly with pineapple.

Apple jam ( underlined) Cooked apples with skin sliced up in pieces, until soft. Strain through a sieve to get skin + seeds out

Cook again with sugar + cinnamon till done , to right spreading consistency. Had small pint jars cleaned (washed with soap + water + rinsed). , on the stovem so they be hot. Pour it in boiling. Melted hot was ( parafiin) by put in pan on coal stove in back. Pour it on jam + seal it – a layer of 1/4 inch or more Layer should be in neck of jar. (?) Jars (in margin)

Jars (underlined) – used with zinc lid that screwed on. Washed + ( s + w) + boiled the lids if they were old lids, from the year before. Kept in a pan of hot waater on the stove. Had to use rubber collar – jar rings( underlined) – around the neck, withh zinc lids.


Kept in pan of hot water, sometimes in with the lids if were too many lids, Kept in a jar of hot water to keep soft so you could handle them better.


( looks like a hole was punched over the word Recipe) Grape Jelly (underlined)

Crush grapes with hands + cook till soft.

Put thin cloth over a colander: put cloth in collander, then put in grapes, and let juice drain into a container below. Squeeze grapes in cloth when it gets cool.

Used Certo, according to directions, to form jelly.

Also, used pectin powder, from stores, according to directions. Put in sugar to taste _ ( word crossed out) they used to use ( something crossed out) ” a cup to a cup”. She used more tha ” a cup to a cup”, since she thought (“it” is crossed out) that made the jelly too (“thin” is crossed out) watery. Boil sugar + juice together, till almost done.

Test it by putting some in a dish + put in refrigerator + let cool so you could tell how thick it was.

When was thick enough, put in Certo + let come to a boil for about a minute.

Bottle it hot. Seal with wax, ie, by pouring melted parafin (?) come out too thin, when used a ” cup to a cup” . If cooked longer, it wasn’t so clear. If you added more sugar, it would be sugary + when opened, sugar would settle to bottom. If warmed on stove, sugar would dissolve + recombine.


Canning Season Used to can in fall, whenever stuff was ripe. Grapes were jellied later than September. Canned in summer Kitchen. Used to do it herself, some times daughters washed jars. They’d be in school during day.


Vol. 3 Interview-Timko Education

All her kids used to go to school till 8th grtad. Mike and Agnes, her last ones, used to go half term a number of years because they used to bus in kids from Buck Mt. & the Eckley school had no room. All kids went to high school in Freeland, by bus – driven by Pat Evanchko & his wife. Anne had to take 1 girl out of schook, at 8th grade even if she was top of the class. because Anne needed help; she wasn’t feeling well. She was oldes daughter. She finished at 14 years old in the 1930’s. Ann had a strain in muscles of chest. Had a “gang” of people to work for & take care of. She had to do all the houes work, with Anne’s help. Had 6 children & Anne & her husband. John – oldest son – was put through college by parents. His father never wanted him to struggle in the mines. Other sons – had other job opportunities that he could take & not be at college.[?] They were willing to put him through too.


Hole punched through word, Fold remedy

During the 1918 flu, the people used gun powder dissolved in water to treat the flu.

Anne Heard people were eating garlic to keep away the flu, they even put it on the window sills to keep out the flu. Those that( knew is crossed out) she knew that did this all got the flu. She didn’t + her family never got the flu, so she doesn’t believe this.


(Unreadable Header on right upper left) Woods Foods

Mrs. Jane Timko (Unreadable Date)

When she + her brother went out for huckle berries they used to carry their dinners with them. This consisted of a piece of bread which was eaten with berries.

The berries grow in sunny areas, not where there is thick woods; They like open spaces between rocks; This was where she used to look for them.

Edible foods from the woods included huckle berries, pignuts, chestnuts, walnuts, + mushrooms. Pignuts grow in burrs on short bushes + where not eaten by her + her brother Chestnuts used to be found by her family at Sandy Hill, towards Sandy Valley. They used to pick them off the road. Now they are scarce. Their family didn’t sell them, just ate them for food. Preparation: They are good cooked in salted water; the shells would then pull off easily. Some people would roast them in the shells on top of hot coal stoves. The skin wasn’t cut – it would burst by itself. These chestnuts are smaller than horse chestnuts. Walnuts were not not found in the woods in this area, she said. Some people had walnut trees planted in their yards, however.


[ Food Recipes ]{.depth3 depth=“3” title=” Food Recipes “}

Mushrooms were cooked fo christmas in a soup. * Preparation: Dried + stringed mushrooms would be soaked in hot water, taken off the string, washed several times in water so as to leave the rinse water clear. Then they would be put through a food chopper so the pieces would be even. They would be cooked in a pan with water to cover + salt to taste; + cooked till tender. This takes a long time, since the mushrooms are dried.

Wash out rice to get the starch out. Add raw rice to cooked mushrooms. When this starts cooking, add saurkraut juice to taste.

Brown butter + onions with a teaspoon of flour. Let cook till this “seasons” – ie, till it browns. Add this mixture to mushroom + rice + let it “bubble through” till it’s done.

* Other way of serving mushrooms as a dinner dish: Chop mushrooms, add to browned butter + onions, with salt to taste. Add beaten eggs + let it finish cooking. (Eggs added depend on amount of mushrooms you have + ratio of eggs to mushrooms you want.)


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -1- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

AV: So, what did the men do in the household? For example, young boys, what were they supposed to do?

 AT: Well, usually bring in the coal, or little chores around the house, that was their line of work.

 AV: Were the chorese of the boys different from the ones of the girls?

 AT: Oh, yes, the boys would usually do the outside work, and the girls’ was on the inside, do dishes or sweep or something like that, you know. Dust, that was the girls’ work. It was different from the boys’.

 AV: Did the boys tend the gardens?

 AT: No, the older people usually used to do that. They weren’t interested in that! JT: (her son, Joh, speaking in the background) They was interested in girls!

 AT: Oh, no. Not little boys, John! JT: Oh, you don’t know, there Mom!

 AT: I guess I don’t!

 AV: So, did the boys have to go off to help their father chop wood?

 AT: Ask my son. Joh, did you hear that one? Did the boys have to go and help their fathers chop wood? Tell ’em how you were choppin’ wood. Oh, I don’t know how old he was, about how old were you at that time, John, do you remember? He was only a young boy yet, and Mike was a kid, I don’t even think Mike was goin’ to school yet. And John was choppin’ wood, and Mike- Joe went up to help, and Mike was the younger one- he wanted to help, too. And he was choppin’ the wood, and they were picking it up, you know, to put it in the woodshed. And as they were pickin’ it up, and John swung the ax, and the ax flew off the handle, and hit Mike’s head. Boy, did he have a gash in his head. Oh, my gosh, that was terrible. They often talk about it. But it wasn’t John’s fault, the handle just got loose, and the ax flew off the handle and caught him in the head. So they had to take him to the doctor, and he got, I don’t know how many stitches he got into his head, because it was in Mike’s hair, and you know, it was dangerous if he wouldn’t had those stitches. That was the kid only had so many accidents. All serious ones! And one day he said to me, It has to be me, Mommy, it’s always only me! It was him, he always got the most of everything. He was so unlucky.

 AV: Did the boys have certain times that they had just to work, and then other times that they could play?

 AT: No, they’d drop playin’, they felt like doin’ anything they were told, they would do it when they had their spare time. They weren’t really, you know, say that, well you have to do your work. You’d tell them to do it, but still they’d go out to play first. And then they’d come back in to do it, if they thought of it. If they were pushed again. If they weren’t pushed, they wouldn’t do it.

 AV: That’s just like them!

 AT: Yeah, And bring the coal down from the coal shed. Mine didn’t like to bring it down. Then, my husband won’t bring it either. Said he has kids, let them bring it. And I complained to my brother, and he said, You know what to do with them? He said, Let them go in bed, and when they’re asleep, he said, get them up to go and get the coal. I says, Mike, I couldn’t do anything like that. Well, that’s the only way you’re gonna teach them, he said, otherwisethey won’t, they’ll always forget! But I never did that with them, though. I’d go up and get it myself!

 AV: So, your sons never had to get the coal from the back shed?

 AT: Yeah, they’d bring it, they brought it on occasion, but most of the times they’d forget. You know, like children, like to go out and play, and they’d forget what their chores are, what they’re supposed to do.


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -2- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

AV: How about your brothers? Did they have to get coal from the back shed?

 AT: Oh, my brothers had to carry their coal from the banks.

 AV: Oh, they went picking?

 AT: After school, they always went picking. The time that we were talking, last time, you know, about my brothers, that was Vern, and he was only nine years old, and he went out to get this coal first, and his friends helped him to get the coal, because they wanted him to join their gang to go out with this powder, to burn it. So they helped him to bring in the coal, he has cans, I don’t know, I guess they were about five-quart cans, it would amount to about half a bucket I guess, or something like that. And these boys went out with him, these firends went out with him and helped him pick the coal, so he’d get home sooner so he could go with them, and then it cost him his life. Then he went with them, and got burnt, and he died.

 AV: Did you remember that?

 AT: Oh, yes, I remembered that. I was seven years old. He was an older brother than myself. He was nine years old. Because I was telling you here, before then, my younger brother, another brother next to me, my younger brother, come in to tell me, you know, that my brother was burning there some place, and he jumped in the water. And he overheard one of the friends tell a man that was going up that way, and then we went lookin’. And it was getting late in the evening, and we didn’t tell my mother. We were afraid that my mother will cry, and we didn’t want to tell our mother, so we went – we were kids, he was five, I was seven – and we went up in the alley to look there, but by the time we come home he was in the house, and all the people were there already, this man brought him in, but he had come through the woods, you know, a path through the woods, come right up the back to the alley and that man brought him in. That was something.

 AV: I’ll bet it was. Did he die then?

 AT: Oh, yes, he died the next night in the hospital then. He was burnt completely. Oh, that place stunk. Oh, everything stunk, just like, worse than burning meat or something. He was burnt terrible. The whole body, everything was burnt. The whole house smelled. It was terrible. The next morning – well, he stayed home overnight. The doctor wasn’t in. He stayed home overnight. And the next morning, the doctor came and was flipping off that burnt skin from him, and then he sent him to the hospital, and one o’clock the next night he died at the hospital. Well the doctor at the hospital told my father, he said he didn’t die from the burns. He said, I’ve seen worse burns than that. But he said, he died from the cold water. See, there was a water there about knee-deep or deeper, I guess, and thse boys were all kids, they didn’t know what to do, so he jumped in the water to outen the fire. So he did, he jumped in the cold water. And the fire, you know, and the cold water, and that ended his life. It was terrible.

 AV: Where were you living at the time?

 AT: In my brother’s place, where my brother lives now. That’s where I was born and that’s where I was living, until I got married. Even after I was married I lived there, til we got the house.

 AV: Whereabouts was this place where he was burned?

 AT: Where my brother is living, on Main Street, Gyurko’s? In that house.

 AV: I mean this water…

 AT: Oh, that was down in the alley, that was down further, and they used to call that a cistern. Kids used to go down there and, you know, wasde through that water. I never went. I was afraid of water. I was afraid something was going to bite me on the feet if I’d get in the water! I was always afraid of water! But other children often did. They went in there. I got my friends


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -3- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

and they’d go through the water, and I;d just watch them. I wouldn’t go. They’d say, come in! No, I’m afraid something’s gonna bite me at the feet!

 AV: Well, these young boys, did they have to clean out the stable, or who? Who had to do that?

 AT: No, the mother or the father usually did that, you kno, to clean that out. Maybe some of them did, but as far as I remember, they didn’t do that. Usually my mother use to take care of that stuff when she was able to do it. Then afterwards, already when she wasn’t able, one time she had an ulcer, her leg was so bad she couldn’t even walk, so my brother thirteen years old had to even milk the cow then. See, because he had to do it. There was no one else to do it.

 AV: Why didn’t you do it?

 AT: I was married already, I was in my own home. And my father was gone already by then. So then he was taking care of the cow. We had the touch life around here.

 AV: Did both the boys and the girls have to help with the berry-picking?

 AT: Oh, yes. Even the youngest children would go berry-picking. That’s the only way you raised some money. And you needed the money badly.

 AV: Like how young did they make them go out?

 AT: Well, my brother was seven years old, and he went a distance, after my father died, and he went a distance of I don’t know how many miles that was. It was very far out in the woods, like out on the farms we used to go, picking huckleberries. And he was only seven years old. I was twelve, my brother was nine, and they younger one was seven years old. My mother would go with us. And I used to go with our children, too. And they’d get so angry! They didn’t want me to go because I made them pick! When John was there, he even come with an attack of appendis, lucky he didn’t die. He had an emergency operation that night, he was rushed to the hospital, and had an emergency operation for appendix. And I didn’t even know they performed emergency operations. That was 1930. He was fiftenn years old.

 AV: Well, when the boys got to be more teenagers, then what kind of duties did they have? Anything else that they’d do around to help out more?

 AT: There usually like, during the summer, huckleberries; after huckleberries it was coal; after coal then you had to pick leaves for, you know, they kept chickens and cows and geese and everything else, well, instead of buying straw they’d go and carry leaves then, you know, to keep that for the bed for the animals. So that kept them busy all the time. They were always busy. And in between they always found a little time for play, just the same like you’uns had in the paper that time when the governor was here, that he was taking over the state – ah, town – and he was saying the way they used to go and ride in the and saw off some lumps of coal and then they’d go and pick their coal, and then they had time yet for sleigh riding. He said they still had time for play!

 AV: Your father was a miner, right?

 AT: Yes.

 AV: He had like a miner’s certificate that he was working there?

 AT: Yes. Oh, they had to have a miner’s certificate. They weren’t allowed to, you know.…. A laborer wouldn’t need it. He’d just help the miner. But the miner had to have a certificate, you know, to be allowed to mine coal.

 AV: Well, was he the only source of income in your family, beside the berries?

 AT: That’s right. And he died, and we were young left, and there was no other income.


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -4- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

AV: It was an accident that killed him?

 AT: No, he died from asthma. He was only forty-six years old, as far as I can remember – he wasn’t quite forty-six, I think a month later he would have been forty-six years old – when he died. His birthday was in March, and he died in February from asthma.

 AV: He left how many kids?

 AT: Well, there were four of us, but Mike was seventeen, he was already working. That was my brother, Mike Gyurko, that’s living on the other street. He was working then.

 AV: What did he do then?

 AT: Working in the mines. With the mules.

 AV: Oh, mule-driving. He left yourself, also. How old were you then?

 AT: Twelve. I was twelve when my father died. My brother was seventeen, his birthday was on the ninth of Febrary, and my father died on the tenth of February, the next day. My father was in bed for six days, from Saturday til Friday, and all night already, Thursday night, like over Thursday night and Friday morning, he had a bad night, and I recall I got awake a couple of times, and I heard my mother in the other room by my father, and she was, you know, trying to help him. He even got angry at her that she was, you know, bothering him all the time. So then in the morning at five o’clock, he wakened my brother up to get up, because at six o’clock he had to go down to the mule stable to clean the mules and harness them to go to work. And then, on the way back, because they were working on this section, on the way back they would pick up their lunch cans and go on to work. So he waked my brother up, and my brother got up and he got dressed, and he went down to the sable, and Mom looked upstairs, and, she had a tiny little bit of a lamp up there, just you know, for a little light, and the light wasn’t out. So she thought, that’s funny that he didn’t get up, you know, to put out that light, which he always did. And that morning he didn’t. So she went upstairs, and she put out the light, and she stood by the door, she said she was afraid to holler at him, that he would scold her for bothering him. And she thought he was alseep. And she says to him, Mike! He didn’t answer. She said, Mike, are you sleepin’? He didn’t answer. And she was afraid to go to him, but she said she was gonna go and check anyway. And he was dead. Just like that. Within an hour, just an hour, he was dead. And the doctor told her, he said, Mike, one of these days, you’re gonna block, you’re no gonna know what happens. Your lungs are gonna block, and it’s gonna kill you.

 AV: And what could he do about it?

 AT: Nothing. There was nothing you could do about it. Look, like my sister-in-law, now. She’s got asthma, and there’s nothing you can do about it. She’s been in the hospital and everything else. At least now they have oxygen, where in them days they didn’t even have that.

 AV: Well, who else did he leave besides you and your brother Mike?

 AT: My brother Mike, and I was next, and then the two younger brothers. Joe, the one that’s in Ohio, and my brother , he’s in Upper Lehigh.

 AV: How old were they?

 AT: I was twelve, Joe was nine, and Pixie was seven.

 AV: Well, what happened then, when you didn’t have any more income from your father?

 AT: Just had to struggle, that’s all.

 AV: What did your mother do to get some money?

 AT: Well, I’m telling you, she’d make us pick huckleberries, then she had a cow, and she would sell milk, they used to sell the milk, they’d call it a pint


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -5- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

of milk, but they would get a quart for a pint, but they only called it a pint, they were paying for a pint. I think it was five cents or something like that. Then, there was a nurse in town here, she had some people that, Mrs. Cox must have been giving some support or something, so then this nurse would get milk from my mother, through my mother, to deliver milk to these peoplepeople, you know. And then she would pay the regular price, you know, she’s pay more. When she was getting a quart, she would pay for a quart, it was ten cents. So that helped her a little bit. But from one cow, how much milk do you have, and then we needed milk for the home, too, so it wasn’t too much.

 AV: How much did she sell, about?

 AT: She had about four customers, I guess. I don’t know if everybody was getting a quart, or were some of them getting a pint, or how it was, I don’t know.

 AV: That’s not too much milk.

 AT: No, it’s not too much milk.

 AV: How else did she get money for you people?

 AT: She didn’t. That’s what I’m saying, that’s the kind of life it was, you had to struggle, because you didn’t have what you needed.

 AV: Well, when the huckleberries were out of season, you only had the cow to keep you going.

 AT: And the cow couldn’t keep you going with that little bit, because we needed the milk for home, too, you know, there was five of us at home, six of us. Because Mike my brother and the two younger, and myself, and my mother, there was five. So we needed milk at home also.

 AV: And did you at the time go to work, like in a factory?

 AT: There as no work for girls. You know, I was asking Helen one day when she was here, I says, Helen, could you tell me, what year did you start working? You know, because I wanted to know, because we were talking about this, and I didn’t remember when they started to work, like, the ladies to go to work in the factory. And she said she was working during the first World War. I said, Where? In a silk mill in Weatherly. That a truck used to come over for them and they used to take them, that there were several of them working. But as far as I can remember, there wasn’t any work for women until World War Two. That’s when they started hiring women already, and sisnce then, then the ladies kept working, even the married women were going to work, but til then there wasn’t any work.

 AV: You don’t mean the First War?

 AT: No, World War Two. Helen said she was working when she was fourteen. That she was working during World War One, that she was working in Weatherly in a silk mill. For how long she was there, she didn’t know how lng she workied there, but she must have worked there a couple years, because I know her sister Anna Falatko worked there, too, she said. And I even forgot about it. When she mentioned it, I said that’s right, I said, I do remember that you’s were working. She says a man came up from Weatherly that was going from door to door where there were single girls, and asking them to go to work there, they needed workers there. And he said if he got enough, that he’d send out a truck for them, to take them to work. And she said that’s how they were going , on this truck.

 AV: Why did they ask the single girls?

 AT: Well, usually married women can’t work, like they have families, they have children. Well, you know, you can’t be at work all the time, maybe miss too much time from your work, so they didn’t want married women. They only wanted single ones, because single ones are sure to work.

 AV: Well, did your mother take in boarders after your father died?


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -6- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

AT: No. My mother didn’t. My mother couldn’t. My mother was only six months in the hospital, and my father died. A serious operation. And six months after she had that operation. She had that operation the end of August, or the beginning of September, and my father died in Febrary.

 AV: Oh, dear. And then, had got to help the family support at all, and that’s why she wanted to marry you off quickly?

 AT: Right. And the kind of working conditions, this town worked very badly. Other towns worked a little better, but this town, I don’t know, was it under Cox’s or was it under Lehigh Valley, becuase so many companies had this, and we would work two or three days a wek. Well, where could you suppport, like says, he says, lot of times you had to pay rent, you had nothing coming in then. And it was only four dollars rent at that time, in the house he is living now, it was only four dollars. And you had hardly anything coming in. Sometimes some men would take something from the store, and they wouldn’t even get no pay at all. They used to call it Red Snake, you know that they owe the company it!

 AV: That means that they don’t owe any.…

 AT: They don’t owe the company that money, because we didn’t have to pay the bill at the store yet. But my mother didn’t deal with the store. She only used to buy from a store man, you know, and she know ho wmuch you could afford to pay, well, maybe sometimes she couldn’t afford to pay everything that she got, because she had it yet that she had to feed us somehow.

 AV: Where did she get some of her food? From the garden?

 AT: Yes. Well, everybody planted gardens, the potatoes and cabbage, and corn, pumpkins, and onions, and oh, all kinds of vegetables.

 AV: Whe did you plant yourself, at that time?

 AT: Oh, we used to plant the same thing, too. Then I gave up planting potatoes, because there was too many bugs on them. And it was a job, picking those potato bugs. You had to through them sometimes two, three times a day, picking them. I thought there aren’t any more bugs on them, but Helen showed me the kind of bugs they have on hers. And I thought there isn’t any. Then in later years, I don’t know what year it was then, was it during the depression, or when was it, I don’t remember, the Agriculture men, the State men, they were agriculture men coming around, and they were planting gardens, some of the gardens that were diseased – not all the gardens, just the gardens that were diseased, but they would plant nothing, only potatoes. They would just put potatoes in those gardens. Well, in time, a couple years, would just put potatoes in those gardens. Well, in time, a couple years, boy they used to get beautiful potatoes. They’d leave them for us. They wouldn’t take the potatoes. They’d just plant the garden. You weren’t allowed to touch anything in the garden. But it was only potatoes that they would put in.

 AV: And so the kids had to go through with a can of what, kerosene, to drown the potato bugs?

 AT: Well, you’d put them in a can or a bucket or something, and then you would pour either hot water on them, or kerosene, on after you had them picked, you would pour it on. But, you would go through the garden again, and the were there again, where they come from so fast, I don’t know! They used to breed fast.

 AV: Did your mother preserve much of the stuff from the garden?

 AT: No, they did some things, but they didn’t understand preserving much in them days yet. They couldn’t do them, you know? They did chow-chow, or something like that, red beets they did, but like other stuff, they didn’t know much about preserving in them days yet. Until later on, then already they – I don’t know how, did somebody get some information from someone, and


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -7- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

then one owuld tell the other and they would try it this way – like, for tomatoes, they would put up and lot of times the stuff would spoil for them because I guess they didn’t preserve it right or something – so they didn’t know how to do it in them days.

 AV: Well, what did she feed you during the wintertime, when there was no vegetables or anything?

 AT: I told you before. Our diet was meat, potatoes, and cabbage. That was our menu. There was nothing else.

 AV: And you could afford that, even after your father died?

 AT: You had to eat something.

 AV: Did you have less meat then? And more potatoes and cabbage?

 AT: Well, not really. I never can forget one time when my brother was…that ought not to go there, I won’t even say it…

 AV: Was there a grandfather in your family?

 AT: My father was an orphan from seven years. My mother had a father, but he was in Europe. I don’t know how old he was when he died. But her mother died when she was two years old. Her father remarried, and she had a stepmother.

 AV: Around here, what was the role of the grandfather in the family? What did he do to help out?

 AT: I don’t remember any grandfathers around here. One thing I do remember, we had a neighbor there, and she had a mother. And Iwondered – because she had a son as old as I was. She was our next door neighbor – I wondered, and I wouldn’t ask anybody, but I often into myself – what does a daughter call her mother when she is married? I didn’t think she calls her Mom, you know. I thought she called her something funny! I never asked anybody! I often think of that now, how funny that was!

 AV: What did the grandmother do in the family?

 AT: Well, there weren’t any grandmothers or grandfathers, not as far as I can – because people came from the foreign countries, so they just had their own children, they maybe had a sister and brother somewhere, but they had no parents around here. That was the only one that I can remember that had a mother. She had no father, or was her father still living? I don’t remember. I knew the father, her father, but I don’t remember if he was still living. He must have been living yet, I guess, at that time.

 AV: In your family, your mother helped out a little bit, before she got sick? Did she do some kind of cleaning around the house or something like that?

 AT: What do you mean?

 AV: Ah, when you were married, and your mother was living with you?

 AT: I was living with my mother. I was in my mother’s house. I stayed with my mother.

 AV: After you were married.

 AT: Um-hum.

 AV: Did she help out?

 AT: Oh, yes, my mother did everything. Yes, she did the regular work all the time. Well, there was no one else to do it, I was the only girl. So she used to do all the work. Even when we were children, and used to go for huckleberries, and at night we’d go to bed, and overnight she’d be baking bread and washing clothes, and the next day she’d go look for berries with us.

 AV: Who was the “boss” in the family?

 AT: The man.

 AV: Didn’t the wife have anything to say, like for disciplining the children?

 AT: Oh, yes, that was the wife’s work, to discipline the children.

 AV: Did she smack them when they got bad?


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -8- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

AT: Yes, she did, but the children were never afraid of the mother. They were afraid of the father just by looking at them! Instead of the mother. Because the father didn’t punish them much, but when he did, he gave it to them, so everybody was afraid of the father, more the father than they were the mother. And the mother would smack them once in a while, but that didn’t mean anything. They were used to that stuff!

 AV: In your family, was that the case?

 AT: Yes. Um-hum.

 AV: So, the mother was with the kids all the time, though?

 AT: She was with the children all the time, and she was trying to discipline them and teach them whatever was necessary, that was all the mother’s work.

 AV: And she would smack them when they did something wrong?

 AT: Oh, yes, she smacked them.

 AV: But, your father had no hand in raising the kids, sort of teaching them, or anything like that?

 AT: No, everything was the woman’s work. The women used to take over. As far as I know. Maybe someplace there was a man that did it, I don’t know. But mostly it was the woman’s side, part, of the job. To take care of their family and the upbringing and the care of them and everything else. But still, they were afraid of the father. If the mother would tell the father something about the children, that they were wrong or something, well they would give the punishment, too. And they were more afraid of the father than they were the mother. Well, they didn’t get punished very often. But they were afraid of the father. He really dealt with them strictly, you know, if they deserved it.

 AV: What kind of things would the mother tell the father, so he could discipline them? Mostly they were pretty important things?

 AT: Well, it guess it was something that was too much, that she couldn’t control, so she’d complain to the husband, then, about it. And then he’d get after them.

 AV: Did your father do much of that?

 AT: No. Very seldom that he would smack us. Very seldom. But he had a strap. Used to call it catty-nine-tailer. There was a handle, and there were like strings, like a strap, about that wide, you know. And we used to get it with that, then! And that used to hurt!

 AV: Strips of leather on it?

 AT: Um-hmm. Strips of leather on it. I don’t know if it was seven straps – we used to call it catty-nine-tailer, but I don’t think there were nine tails on. See, they were like tails, they were long strips.

 AV: Not with knots in them? Just strips.

 AT: No, not with knots in them, only they were fixed on a handle, you know, see, for instance this, you know, they’d be attached around here, and these things were hanging loose, like hair or something.

 AV: And what did he use that for?

 AT: To spank us.

 AV: Oh, he didn’t use that as a razor strap at all?

 AT: No, he used to spank us with that. That hurt, too, see, because they were thin, and if he’d spank you, you know, put the pressure on it, that would hurt.

 AV: So, he made that on purpose?

 AT: Yes. That was on purpose. When we’d see the catty-nine-tailer, we’d hide!

 AV: Where did he keep that thing?

 AT: Anywhere! He had it around anywhere. Then when the boys got bigger, they would be hiding it, they’d hide it! Pick it up and hide it!


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -9- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

AV: He would smack the girls as much as the boys, too?

 AT: If they deserved it, yes.

 AV: Did your father believe in educating both the firls and the boys?

 AT: Well, none of them got much of an education in them days. But my brother wanted to go to work, he was I guess about twelve, thirteen years old, I don’t know exactly what it was. And my father didn’t want him to go to work. And see, in them days they had to be fourteen years to go to work. But they could go to a justice of peace, or whatever he was, and tell him they’re fourteen. And he’d give him a release and put on there that that’s their age. Which it wasn’t. They told a lie. They weren’t that old. They just would say they are that old. But they could get away with it, you know. So my father says to my brother, he says, Mike, I’m getting blue from work. He says, You will, too. So he says, Don’t try to go to work, you’ve enough time. He says, you’ll get black and blue on teh face from work. But he wanted to go and he went anyway, to work. Was he twelve or was he thirteen? He must have been, I guess, about twelve, when he went to work. On a breaker. And I believe at thirteen, or was he fourteen, he went in the mines. I think it was ’59 when he left the mines, and he had to, because he couldn’t work no more. He had that asthma bad, you know, and he’d get weal spells, and he couldn’t work already, and had to leave the mines.

 AV: Did your parents believe in giving to kids some kind of education or not?

 AT: They couldn’t afford it. They didn’t even get high school educations. Not even high school. As far as I can remember, at my age, already, that I can remember, maybe there was more, but just that I can recall, it was only one lady that was going to high school. And Mrs. Coxe was helping them, because her mother was a widow. She had six girls. And she was the second of the family, and after she got through school here, and Miss Whiteman, the nurse here, well then insisted on her goin’ to school. She lives in Freeland now, or Kistland. Her husband died, Kellys, they used to call him. Kistland is down with his mother. Well, she went to school, to Freeland, to high school that was in Freeland. She she went to school. But she was the only on goin’ from town, and she had to walk back and forth, regardless of weather. So I don’t know, was it one or two years, two terms, she put into school, and then she left it, because, you know, you’re afraid to be walking in the wintertime, regardless of what kind of weather or anything else, and go all by yourself. And I don’t remember anybody else goin’ to school.

 AV: Well, how much education did your family, were allowed to get?

 AT: Oh, as much as they wanted to. I mean, like you used to finish the eighth grade. But some of them didn’t, because the kids didn’t even want to go to school. You know, some of them didn’t want to go to school. Especially boys. They could get work. Well, they didn’t want to go to school. And even girls, a lot of girls, they’d leave school early, or they didn’t want to finish. They found some kind of excuse, and they’d get away with it.

 AV: But what else did the girls have to look forward to, but lots of work and marriage?

 AT: That’s right. That’s all that was left. Just work and marriage. From one problem into the next. Even a worse one!

 AV: And they were willing to give up some of their education, just to go right…

 AT: Well, they couldn’t get the education!

 AV: I mean, even stop school before eighth grade.

 AT: Well, I don’t know, some of them just felt that way. I guess they were poor students, and they didn’t like school. So they’d quit anytime. Some of them say that they quit at third grade. And they are my age. I can’t understand that. It was forced to go to fourteen when I was in school You had to go


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -10- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

to fourteen. And if you couldn’t make your test that they give you, if you couldn’t make your test, you had to go til sixteen. So I can’t understand so many of them I hear that tell me they went to third grade, or they only went to fourth grade. How could they get away with it? Such kids can’t do anything at home, that they could say well my mother needs me, or something like that, you know? Already when you’re older, say about twelve, thirteen, maybe you could say well, my mother needs help, or something, well I have to stay home and help my mother. But what can a little child do, from third or fourth or fifth grade? At home, you know, to help her parents. So I don’t know how they got away with it.

 AV: Well, you mentioned Mrs. Cox twice now. What did she do for the school kids?

 AT: Well, she didn’t do much for the school kids. She used to come before Chirstmas, and then we’d get Christmas presents, everybody was looking forward to that. And then she’d come to visit the school before Christmas, and we’d be looking forward to that, too. She always came with four horses and a buggy, I guess that was a cab they called it, and with four horses. But she was always dressed simple. She had a little black bonnet, you know, with black strings underneath, it was cute. She was a wonderful person.

 AV: What did she do for the people around here?

 AT: Well, some got help, but not too many. But they say in Drifton – whether it is true or not. I don’t know, because she lived in Drifton – they say the Drifton people, that she supported quite well. Whether it is true or not, I don’t know, because I didn’t live in Drifton. I can’t say.

 AV: What kind of Drifton people did she support?

 AT: ALl kinds. Even here, I remember, when I was goin’ down to the school, down there, and I was a kid yet, and there was a, I think Mr. Fry they called him. I used to see him many times, going with big suitcases into homes, you know, I’d be comin’ home from school, and they said that that’s from Mrs. Cox and he was bringin’ clothes for certain people. So, there was just a few that I know, for instance, Spires, and I think or somebody, I forget who the other – several families, like that, you know, that he’d stop, and whether that was it, or not, I didn’t see. I just seen him go with the big luggage, you know, with big suitcases into the homes, and they were saying that’s what he’d bring. But then, I remember there was a woman up here living, a widow, the children, some of the children are still living yet. And their mother was very sick and they had no father. So she was supporting them, too, and then that she brought wool, red wool petticoat for the mother. And she told the mother, she said I wore this myself, so, she said, I’m gonna give it to you now. And then I heard that this lady compained – I didn’t hear it from her, but I just heard other people say that this lady complained then that Such old things she brough her! So she wasn’t satisfied with it. I says, I guess people don’t look at the donations, that, you know, that it’s free. Just then want something perfect. I guess. And the way she put it to her, she said, well, I wore this myself. Well, if she oculd wear it, why couldn’t this poor one wear it, that she can’t afford it? But she didn’t appreciate it.

 AV: Did Mrs. Cox do anything special for, people liek your mother, who was a widow?

 AT: We never got anything. Some of them did, but we never got anything from Mrs. …Oh, we did, to tell the truth, first we did, I think for about six months. That wasn’t from Mrs. Cox, though. That was, well, what a Poor Director was, I don’t know. I don’t understnad what a Poor Director was. Was he from Mrs. Cox, or what he was, I don’t know. But there was somebody that called him a Poor Director. He was directing us, well, the poor people. So she used to


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -11- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

get a bag of flour a month, and a bag of flour at that time was four dollars, that was very expensive in 1911. I mean, for the wages and everything, you know. For about six months, I think, she got a bag of flour. The order would come to the store here, and they would deliver it to her, and after that they stopped it. So then one day my mother asked me to go – it was a Davis, from Freeland, that was the Poor Director at that time – so my mother asked me, because she couldn’t speak English, so she asked me to go, you know, with her and talk to this man, you know, that why did they stop it? And he says, Well, you have a son working. And she said, Well, my son doesn’t make enough to support the family. And if he has to be supporting the family and he won’t have anything himself, he’ll leave then. And the man says to her, Well, won’t he be ashamed to leave you? And they stopped it, she never got it any more. Now some others I heard them saying they got shoes, and they got orders, food, you know, orders, and we never got it.

 AV: Why do you think they got some of these benefits from Mrs. Cox?

 AT: I don’t know. I don’t know. Well, I know this friend of mine, this Mrs. Wasko’s sister-in-law, the one that is in California now, well, many a time she’d have pretty good shoes, and she would take them off and put on old shoes, and she’d go down to the nurse – she’d tell me this herself – she said, I’m going down to the nurse. I’m gonna show her what kind of shoes I have. She’ll give me a ticket to go to the store to get new shoes. And she did! She used to get them! So, I don’t know, was it just some people lucky, or did they know how to go about it, or what it was. I don’t know. But we didn’t get it. I say, for about six months Mom got, well I say six bags of flour, a hundred pound of flour. That was about all, and we never got anything afterward.

 AV: Outside of that, Mrs. Cox didn’t have any kind of widow benefits around here?

 AT: Not that I know of. Some widows got something, but I don’t know how they got it.

 AV: You know, I heard that one of the things she did, well, somebody said, was to give all the widows free rent, to pay their rent.

 AT: Well, my brother was working, so they’d take it out of his check. See, the company would take it off his check.

 AV: He was working at that time, where?

 AT: In the mines. In the mines, when my father died. Because he was seventeen, and he went in the minds when he was about fourteen.

 AV: And that’s why they didn’t give you anything…

 AT: I guess that might have been it, I don’t know, but that must have been it.

 AV: Oh, boy. I wanted to ask, you know, you spoke about the people having cows and chickens and things like that. They had slaughter day on Thanksgiving, didn’t they?

 AT: Well, yes, because that was like, you might say, along the weekend, you know, they had time to work with that stuff. And most men weren’t working then, so that’s the way they used to – and the weather was getting cold already, it was the season for it. So they could slaughter. Even then, many times it would spoil, because there was no refrigeration, you had nowhere to put it.

 AV: Who did the killing?

 AT: There were some men in town that used to do the killing. And some people would do it themselves, you know, some men from their own family, you know, from the home, they could do it themselves. Usually, there was a Mr. Horvath here, that he used to do a lot of killings through town. And then there was another man, I don’t remember his name. But Mr. Horvath was the mine one that used to do a lot of killing, you know, to kill the cows and


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -12- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

pigs and stuff like that for the people.

 AV: And did you father go to him to have it slaughtered?

 AT: I don’t remember of us having anything like that. We didn’t keep pigs. She had a cow, but she kept the cow for butter and for milk. And they didn’t raise any pigs. They had geese or chickens that I know they had.

 AV: How did your mother go about milking the cow?

 AT: What do you mean, how?

 AV: Well, how do you milk a cow?

 AT: Oh, I could milk a cow, too!

 AV: Yeah? Whwat did you do?

 AT: Sure. I had a cow. But just for a short time, like for a couple years. My mother-in-law had an old cow there, and then they were getting another one, so they gave us the old cow. But that cow was dry for about three or four months before she had a calf. She’d go dry. So you had a cow and you had to feed her, and take care of her, and buy your milk and buy your butter and everything else, it was no worth it.

 AV: What’s the way of milking the cow that you used?

 AT: Just the hands. You pull one, you pull one, you pull this one, and pull that one. Like this. One after the other. You had to wash the udder, and then you’d have butter to grease the udder so it wouldn’t get sore for them. You’d want to take warm water, and you’d wash the udder, and then you would butter it a little bit, then it was easy, you know, to pull on the tits, and the milk would come into the pail, and then you would, it would come down, then you would strain it, you know, on top of that, because maybe something would drop into it or something.

 AV: What did you strain it with, a screen?

 AT: Yeah, there was a scren, and a cloth. We used to put it in a cloth. There was a screen in the milk pail, because it was a regular milk pail that was for that purpose. But then they’d spread a cloth over the pot, or whatever you, these crock pots, they’re made of crockery, and they’d put the millk in there, so then they’d put a cloth over that, then they’d strain it through the strainer and into this cloth to catch any little fine, you know, anything that was really fine was in there, so it wouldn’t go through.

 AV: What that that cheesecloth?

 AT: No, cheesecloth is too fine, too many holes in it. It was finer stuff of some kind. A finer rag they – finer than that.

 AV: I wanted to ask you if you know anything about what they call the kubys – kuba players?

 AT: Oh!

 AV: Do you remember them!

 AT: Sure, I remember them! It was the Santa Claus, the kubys. Well that, that was the same thing. In Slovak, it was kuba, and in English it was Santa Claus. They used to come around at Christmas time. They were dressed in white, some kind of robes, white robes they had a special-made for that, and they’d have big hats, like cardboard, you know, they were about this tall, and they’d have holy pictures on them, like a manger and stuff like that.

 AV: On the hats?

 AT: Yeah, on the hats. Well, it was made of cardboard, you know, a round thing, and the cardboard, and it was about that high and about that broad. And it would stick up on their heads about like this, you know, they put that on their heads. then they had a thing that come under the chin, you know, that would hold it on for them. And I think there were how many, about four, were there, or were there six of them. I don’t remember even exactly how many were there, that were dressed in the white. And, oh, the one was the angel,


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -13- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

he was carrying the manger, so he was called the angel. And then those four were they used to call them. And then the kuby was the guy already that was dressed heavy and he had an ax, and you know, kids used to be afraid of him sometimes, because they were afraid that he was gonna hurt them with his ax. It was just a wooden thing, you know, but it was shaped like an ax. And the kids would be running away from him, but still they would go after him, you know, they’d be teasing him yet. And they’d come in the home, and they woudl sing Christmas carols, you know, they would sing, and then you would give them a donation with that, for that singing, and it was cute then, at last they would sing then that – it was a Slovak piece, but it rhymed, you know – We ate and we drank, And you’s give us all you can, So God bless you, no, Leave you, And God bless you… something like that, it would go.

 AV: Do you remember the song? In Slovak? Could you sing it?

 AT: Yeah, in Slovak. It was We ate and we drank, Now stay with the Lord. Stay with God, or with the Lord, whichever you want to take, whatever it would be, I don’t know how it would be. So then they would thank you for it, and he says, now wait.

I can’t remember the whole part of it. I used to know it, because our neighbor’s boy used to be, and they used to practice in their outside kitchen, you know, in the wintertime? Before Christmas, oh, more than a month that, so they’d be practicing for this. And I’d hear them quite often, there, you know, so I know almost all these things, but it’s so long I forgot already.

 AV: Who were these boys that did that?

 AT: Any boys from town. They’d get together then, you know, and a group of them would get together like that. Sometimes they had more than one party in town.

 AV: Do you remember thse boys next door, who they were?

 AT: Yes. Kopcha’s boys were there, two Kopcha’s boys. This John, he’s a Gyurko, see, their mother married the second time, their father was a Kopcha, and then she married Gyurko. Their parents, I say, my neighbor died during the flu, in 1918 in December, and he had three children left. Mrs. Adams, and Annie Matisak, and John Gyurko, the one that is in Freeland, he lived here next door. And then her husband, she lived in Sandy Run, her husband died in Sandy Run, in February I think. Well, she had no home, because she was very poor then, so she had no home, so she went to live with a sister-in-law in Jeddo. And six months later, no three months later, her husband


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -14- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

was dead three months and my neighbor was dead six months, and the neighbor married her. So then she brought her three children here. Well, his three children were younger and her three children were older. So they were just like the one-family children, because they were about the same age apart as though they were from the same parents.

 AV: So, who around here, is there anyone around here living that took part in this kuba playing, that actually did the parts? I’m asking, do you remember the names of the boys that did it?

 AT: Well, our neighbor’s boys were in it, but I don’t…two of them, Kupcha’s were in it, but this one, the one’s in Philadelphia, and the other on lives in Freeland. He was in Connecticut, but he came back, he lives in Freeland now. And I really don’t remember the other guys, who the other guys were. There used to be, like, see, it wasn’t the same ones every year. Sometimes they didn’t want to take part in it, so they had to find somebody else to take part.

 AV: Well, how did they pick the boys in the first place?

 AT: Just themselves! They’d get after them, ask anybody, you know, who’d want to join the party, you know, to practice for it. They’d go into anybody’s home, into the, you know, outside kitchen, like these outside kitchens, in wintertime you don’t use them. Well, now people mostly use them, in but them days they didn’t use them. So, they’d use one of those outside kitchens, and they would practice in there, in anybody’s home.

 AV: Well, where did they get the pieces to memorise? These speeches? If the roles were not the same year after year, where did they get the speeches?

 AT: Well, I imagine almost everybody knew them, you know, because they heard it over and over so many times, so everybody knew the pieces. Whether they had extra, that they were reading from them, I don’t know that.

 AV: And the costumes, where did they get them?

 AT: They’d make them, somebody would make them for them. Some women would make them for them.

 AV: New costumes every year?

 AT: No, they had them from year to year, but sometimes they had to have replaced, maybe, but really they just used them at Christmas time, so they’d wash them and put them away again, they’d be all right.

 AV: Well, where would the costuemes be kept?

 AT: I don’t know where thye kept them. I guess the one that was the leader would take care of them. I don’t know.

 AV: There was a leader?

 AT: Oh, yes. Well, you know, you need a boss in everything, so, they had a leader too! There were two kubys, there used to be a spady kuba and a mady kuba. One was an old one, one was the young one. Well, the old one was dressed heavier. He was bundled up with heavier clothes, and a young kuba was dressed lighter. So, one was an old kuba, and the other one was a young kuba. Spady kuba and Mady kuba!

 AV: What did the angels do?

 AT: The angel was to carry the manger, and he came in first, and asked if he was allowed to come in, so they could sing. So he’d come in and he’d say his part and then one by one the others would be coming in to say their part. And then the group of them all together then, they would be singing carols.

 AV: Who would be the others that would follow the angels?

 AT: Just the other ones. Which one had what part that was supposed to go after that, you know.

 AV: Didn’t you remember who it was?

 AT: No, I can’t remember. It’s too far. But they haven’t been around already for


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -15- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

years, I can’t remember who they were. But I remember that several times they had even more than one group in town. But I can’t even remember their names. Maybe Helen would. She remembers everything more than I do! She does! She’s got a good memory. She remembers so many things. Look, like she mentioned, I said, what time – not what time – how old were you when you went to work? Oh, she said, I worked when I was fourteen. I said, Where? My daughter, Mary, she was born in 1917, and she had no work. She didn’t get a job anyplace in a factory. And, well, of course, it was during the Depression, and then, one of the girls from the other street, she’s in New Jersey now, she came over one time, and she asked it Mary would go to someplace, there were some Jewish people having a factory or something in Freeland, and they wanted girls, to teach them to sew on electric machines, and that they would give them a job, but they never gave anybody a job. They’d have them owrk, and without pay, I don’t know, was it for six weeks or two months or something like that, and then they’d take other ones, and they’d put these out – nobody got a job. So this lady come after Mary, if she’d go. No, I says, you’re not gonna work for nothing. I need help at home, too, because I have a gang here. I need help at home, so you’re not gonna go. So, I don’t know, was hse about nineteen at that time already then, and she went to do housework in Hazleton. Well, you wouldn’t believe it, she was working for three dollars and a half a week, washing, and ironing and cleaning and everything, even the mending she was doing, everything. And then one day she said, that she was pressing – and she was working for Jewish people – and she was pressing her own clothes, when another Jewish woman come in, and she was telling this, her lady, that Does she allow her main to do her own things on her time? See, like Mary was pressing her dress and, you now, it was still the lady’s time there yet. Well, Mary was a very good worker all the time. She’d iron the shirts so nice and all. So then, some of the others would complain, the Jewish women, you know, like, they’d get together, they had nothing to do, so they’d get together. Then they were talking, you know, about it, and this lady that Mary was working for said how long it takes Mary to do the ironing. And the other one said, Oh, that’s long, she said, You better get after her, she’s wasting too much time. ANd when she told Mary that, Mary says, all right. I can not it for you in shorter time. But, she said, don’t tell me so the job sould be like it was before, because i can’t be. Because Mary was a wonderful worker all the time. She used to iron shirts real pretty. Well, you had to take more time, you know, if you wanted to do a good job on them. So, she said, after that he never told her anything.

 AV: Well, did many of the Eckley ladies take work out as housemaids?

 AT: Some did. A godchild of mine, she’s what, she’s gonna be fifty-eight in December, Mrs. Zahay’s niece- well, her mother died, she lived up the street here, she was four years old, she was the first of the family, and she had a brother two years old and a baby two month old, and the mother died with the flu, in December she died. She died right after my neighbor. She was, I guess, about twenty-four years old at the time, when she died. Well then, her father remarried in five weeks after his wife died. He remarried because he had this little baby. So he had to have somebody take care of the baby. The in-laws were taking care of the baby, but they didn’t want to take care of the baby after the daughter was dead. They didn’t want to. So then he remarried. Well, the step-mother wasn’t so bad, but her father, she said was very strict, so at fourteen years old, she went to do housework for Rosens in Hazleton. They had a furniture store. Jewish people. And there were seven children there, and Mrs. Rosen was sick. And she worked, she practically brought up them children. The seven children. She was there for


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -16- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

seven years, she was working with them people. Because her father wanted the money that she earned to give to him. And he liked to drink. So she says, I’m not gonna be giving my hard-earned money so he spends it for booze. And she says, what’ll I have, how am I gonna live? So then the father didn’t want her to come home, so she didn’t come home, so she had no home, she had nowhere to go to. So she just stayed with these Jewish people. Well then, that was her home. She was like one of the family. So she was there for seven years with them, she practically brought up those seven children there. And then she remarried, so they got another girl from town here to work in her place. She worked one day, and she left! She said that they made her pick the ashes out of the coals, and Anna come – because every Mother’s Day, because I was her godmother, so she would always come here. And I was telling her, I said, Well, how come, Anna, you lasted seven years, and that girl, she was a girl, I said, she was only one day? Maybe she didn’t give herself chance enough, to get accustomed to the work or something. And she complained that they made her pick the coals out of the ashes. And she said, well they made me do that, too, but she said, if they weren’t looking, I would take and just dump it in the ash bin! And see, she was with them so long that they trusted her with everything. And this one, for the first time I guess, when they started nagging at her, well, just one day, and she quit there, she wouldn’t work there any more. So I often told her, even when she was working there, I said, Why don’t you go some place else? And she said, No matter where I go, I’ll have to work. So I might as well stay with these. Because she said, Nobody’s gonna keep me if I’m not gonna work. I have to work for my money. Well, then she was married already, when Mrs. Rosen had died. And then they called her to come and cook for the Rosens yet. So she was married, and she used to go and do their cooking for them. And for the funeral. they took her in a family car. And she had a husband. They liked her so much, she was like one of the family, because she stayed with them so long. They had their ups and downs, I guess, and in and outs, but they got along. They’d overlook that and they got along.

 AV: Were there other Eckley ladies that went out to housekeeping?

 AT: You mean housework. The domestic work. I guess there were, but I can’t think off-hand who it was from here.

 AV: When did they first start doing this domestic work?

 AT: Well, that’s been always, for ages. Like, way years back, even the ones that were older than I was. That’s the only kind of work they would get if they’d go – housework. You know, if there were more girls in the home, and there wasn’t work for them, well, couldn’t support them, well, send them out doing housework someplace for somebody, you know? But the pay as very poor. Our Mary was only getting three and a half a week, and that was in, what, about 1938-39, I guess. And that’s all she was getting, three dollars and a half a week.

 AV: So, in your time, when you were a girl, did they have that domestic work for young girls?

 AT: Yeah, they had the domestic, too. Yeah, they had domestic work. Well, see, where there were more girls in a home, you know, well then, some of them would go out to do that work.

 AV: Did you know any? Of your age, like?

 AT: Not of my age. I don’t know any of my age. But that there were older, and when I was younger yet, you know, and some of the older ones that I was. I don’t remember any from my age that were doing housework.


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -17- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

AV: I wonder how much they got in your time? Or before your time?

 AT: Well, they couldn’t have gor more than my daughter did!

 AV: That’s for sure!

 AT: So, I don’t know, well, when my mother come from Europe she was doing housework for, this John Fatula that lives down where the store was, you know? I guess you met those people down there, ain’t you? So, for his parents, my mother was doing housework. She says they got five dollars a month. A month, now! Not a week, but a month! And when he was younger, oftentimes he’d meet my brother, he’d meet me, and he’d always say, We’re related! Because your mother was playin’ me when I was a baby! I remember she was playin’ as a baby! How he could remember, he as a little kid! But, a small baby, an infant, yet. They had boarders down there, so my mother went, before she was married, you know, she went there, to help them with the housework, domestic work she was doin’. And he was a baby, so she used to carry him around, I guess, once in a while. And they must have been tellin’ her this. So he always would tell my brother and myself, he said that we’re related, because my mother was playin’ him when he was a baby!

 AV: Well, what did the duties of domestic work include?

 AT: Everything! Like in them days it was hard, because even scrubbing and cooking and washing, and everything else you had to do, I mean help the landlady – not the landlady, the boss of the house, the lady of the house, I should say. Because she had boarders, she had children, she couldn’t keep up with everything else. So that’s why they hired maids, because they needed help.

 AV: Did the people of Eckley hire other girls from Eckley to help out, where they had lots of boarders?

 AT: No, I don’t know, but Mrs. Fatula – she’s stayin’ with her son now, she is living next door to Joe Charnigy’s, there, two years ago she broke up house so she was tellin’ – and I always thought she was a whole lot older than I was, because I remember her, you know, and she was doin’ housework, she was don’ housework in Jeddo, she was doin’ housework in Foundryville, where there were boarders, you know, she was doing’ housework there. And then she said she was thirteen years old and she was working, doin’ housework – that town isn’t there any more, Foundryville. It’s not there any more – and she said they had a truant officer there, for school, you know. The children didn’t come to school, then he’d come to the house, find out why they didn’t go to school. And if they missed too many days, well then he’d have their parents arrested and they had to pay a fine for not sendin’ the children to school. SO she was thirteen years old and she said this truent officer was in Foundryville at the time. And he seen her, she was for water or something out by the hydrant, and he seen her. And he asked her why she wasn’t goin’ to school. And I don’t know what she said that she told him. That she was out of school, or she was older, or something, and she was out of schoool already, She said that she told him. So she got away with that, but she said she was scared she used to be on the lookout for him, you know, if she had to go to the hydrant or somewhere, so he doesn’t come on top of her again, you know, and meet up with her! And then, as I was tellin’ you once before, she was tellin’ me when she was, when we were quilting there. She was working for Dr. in Freeland. And her sister wrote her a letter and says Susie, come on home, you’re getting married! And she was seventeen when she got married. And before then, it was before her mother was sick, and they had a small baby. Her mother got sick after this baby there, she had cancer or something. There were seven children altogether, but one daughter was married, the oldest daughter was married. And Sue was the next to the


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -18- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

oldest. So she had to come home to take care of the family, it was six children, I guess, that were left, because the daughter was married so she was on her own. So she was taking care of the kids. And then this baby died. I don’t know how old he was, was he about two years old, or wasn’t he, I don’t remember? I don’t know, did he get measles, or what, he died, then, from that. He used to call her Mom, because he didn’t know – the mother died then you know, and this was the baby left, so he just knew this, the sister as the mother, you know, taking care of her, so he called her Mom. But then he died too. So then the father got – this is Bertha’s mother – he got the wife’s sister from Europe, and he married her. Well then, after, they got married in June, or when the father got married, and then in November I think, Sue Fatula got married. So then she went to her own. Well then, Mrs. Falatko, the one from Europe, well she brought four children. Mrs. Gaydos was one of the other mother’s children, and Clifford Falatko, and Andrew Gaydos, see, he was one, he came from Europe, and who was the – oh, Katy Yenshaw, that lives in Jeddo. Katy and Clifford were the older ones. And Mrs. Gaydos and Andrew Zahay, they were the younger ones. And they had two children together yet. Bertha and a sister she has in Freeland, Veronica Falerik. And then there were these other children, so there was a mob in there. Big family.

 AV: I wanted to ask what else you did at Christmastime, to celebrate the holiday?

 AT: Such as what?

 AV: Well, what customs did you have, besides going to Mass, maybe. You did go to Mass?

 AT: Oh, yes.

 AV: What did you do, did you bake special foods?

 AT: Oh, yes, well the parents did that. Well, of course I did, too, when I was on my own. You always had to bake your special foods. That was already a holiday custom, to be bakin’ all kinds of things.

 AV: What kids of foods did you have?

 AT: Well, you’d make poppy seeds, your bread, and you’d make different kinds of buns, with different things. And the Christmas Eve foods, like I was tellin’ you once before, you know, you’d make a special food for Christmas Eve that you’d only make – that’d be called Holy Supper. You know, when you had that special food for that, too.

 AV: What did the Holy Supper include?

 AT: Well, we used to have, they used to call it boleskis (?), they’re little balls of bread, like. Well, different people made them different ways. My mother used to make them, she’d fry the sauerkraut with butter and onions, and she’d bake these boleskis (?), you’d bake them in a pan, they were just little balls, like, you know? And then she’d scald them, put hot water over them, drain them fast, and then put butter on them, and put the sauerkraut on it. Now, some people do it that they’d put honey on it. They’d scald them too, because you had to, to soften them. Put honey on them, well honey instead of sugar. Some used honey, and poppyseed. And some just used sweet water, made with sugar, and poppyseed on that. They used to eat that, make that wet, and you would eat it that way. And there’s those different baking things that you make. Some people, then, used to make twelve, thirteen different kinds of food. They’d make pirogies, they’d make tomatos – no, not tomato – bean soup, some of them made pea soup. All kinds of stuff! I says, if you just take a taste of each one, I said, you have enough. I never made that many! Because who would eat all that stuff!

 AV: Is there some significance to the number thirteen?

 AT: I don’t know! I don’t know why is it that they say thirteen different kind


A. Varesano interviewing Anne Timko -19- 7/19/72 Tape 22-2

of foods is supposed to be eat.

 AV: Well, I heard something similar to that, too. But why do they call it Holy Supper?

 AT: I can’t tell you why, what was the reason it was Holy Supper. It was Christmas Eve supper.

 AV: When did you eat it?

 AT: The day before Christmas.

 AV: What time?

 AT: Well, it depended. Any time at all. But it had to be in evening, you know.

 AV: It was after you fasted the entire day?

 AT: The entire day, yes. It was strict fast all day. And then, in the evening…Some of them even in the evening now, that you see sometimes in the paper, what St. Michael’s from Hazleton, the Ukrainians, they have a little different custom, but its a Catholic, also. And they wouldn’t even eat, for Holy Supper, they wouldn’t eat buttered things. You know, if was without butter. I clipped out of the paper one time, and I had it for the longest time – I think I threw it away – because I liked the idea, you know, the way the put it in the paper, there, from, see, around Christmastime they would get it, almost every year they have it in the paper. Around Eastertime and for Christmas, the custom from St. Michael’s Church, the Ukrainian church. But I haven’t got it now. The different, well, they used to call some kind of wheat they uesd to have, with honey, and, now, what the world did the call the others? They were from red beets. Borscht, I think they used to call it. It was like soup or something. I never ate that, I don’t know what it was. But this borscht, they used to call it, they’d make it from red beets, or from red beets’ leaves, or something. You cook it, and how you make that, I don’t know, because we didn’t do that.


A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -1- 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

AV: You could tell me about what the women used to do in the old days.

 AT: Well, as I said, practically everything is alike around here, you know? Most everybody had the same routine. Only some took it, I guess, more easier than the others. We used to do our regular housework, carry our water, wash our clothes on the washboard, scrub them. And then we used to have the – I don’t know when that came in – wringers, to wring our clothes, by hand. But I can’t remembe what year we started with those. So, you had to have a wooden tub. There were, not what would you call them, clasps, I guess. There were clasps, and you would have to attach them to the tub, you know. But when the tub would get soaked up with water, when you were using it lots already, well then, see, it would be falling out, because the wood would get soft, you know. And then it would be falling out. So, there you would be, with your knee on the tub, holdin’ the tub, and one hand holding this wringer, and the other hand turn it. Sometimes you’d almost die if it were something heavy in there like carpet or something that you had to put through it. Because, you know, it’s be jumpin’ out – if you could use your both hands, you know, to – but you couldn’t because it would be jumpin’ up from the tub! So you had to hold it down. It was tough work to do.

 AV: Did you do that yourself?

 AT: Oh sure, who elese would do it for me? I had to do it for myself.

 AV: Were you married then? WHen they came out?

 AT: Yeah. I don’t know when they were, I’m sayin’ I don’t when they came out, but I had it when I was married, but I don’t know, did I get it right away after I was married, or, wore they, did they come in later, I don’t know, I don’t remember. But they had, that was the wringer-type, we had, you know. There were no washers that would wring, so you need the tub for a – there were all wooden tubs at that time. I had one til not long ago and fell apart. And my daughter-in-law almost took a fit. She said Why didn’t you keep it? I told ou don’t throw anything away! she said, I want it! Ha ha!

 AV: What did you use when you were young, to wash the clothes, what did your mother use?

 AT: Same thing.

 AV: Washboard and tub?

 AT: That went on til, wait, 19…28, I guess. I know it was 1928 when I got a washer. I never had any before that. And in 19…about 1924, maybe 23, I didn’t know, but 24 I know it was for sure, when they start…we had no lights in town. There weren’t any lights in town. Nothing at all. And then some men, you know, they were tryin’ to get the town, you know, to bring the lights into town so they could get electric washers for their wives, ou know? So, my mother wasn’t feeling well, she had ulcers in her leg, and, she went and she ordered a washer. And when they came home, she told ah, brothers, her sons and my brothers, she says, I ordered a washer. They said What kind? She says, A hand washer. The said, well who’s gonna do it? She says, Well, you’s will. Because she had, you know, had the ulcers in her leg, she couldn’t stand on her feet. And they said, No they won’t, he said, they’re gonna get the place wired, and she better cancel that order that she ordered, and they’ll get electric washer for her, you know, with nobody’d have to handle it. Well, that was some washer! She was sick in 1924, and I used to go up there to do it. Well, they must have been the first ones that came out. Because they weren’t nothing like this is, nowadays. The motor was all exposed, and the tub, it was a wooden, I think it was a wooden tub, and inside of it, the agitator was just of wood, and had, now how many were there, three or four, I don’t remember, just like, oh, what the world should I call them, like pegs or something. You know, just sticks, stickin’ down. And this’d twirl back and forth, and that was washin’ the clothes, but you


A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -1- 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

AV: You could tell me about what the women used to do in the old days.

 AT: Well, as I said, practically everything is alike around here, you know? Most everybody had the same routine. Only some took it, I guess, more easier than the others. We used to do our regular housework, carry our water, wash our clothes on the washboard, scrub them. And then we used to have the – I don’t know when that came in – wringers, to wring our clothes, by hand. But I can’t remember what year we started with those. So, you had to have a wooden tub. There were, now what would you call them, clasps, I guess. There were clasps, and you would have to attach them to the tub, you know. But when the tub would get soaked up with water, when you were using it lots already, well then, see, it would be falling out, because the wood would get sofrt, you know. And then it would be falling out. So, there you would be, with your knee on the tub, holdin’ the tub, and one hand holding the wringer, and the other hand turn it. Sometimes you’d almost die if it were something heavy in there like carpet or something that you had to put through it. Because, you know, it’d be jumpin’ out – if you could use your both hands, you know, to – but you couldn’t because it would be jumpin’ up from the tub! So you had to hold it down. It was tough work to do.

 AV: Did you do that yourself?

 AT: Oh sure, who else would do it for me? I had to do it for myself.

 AV: Wer eyou married then? When they came out?

 AT: Yeah. I don’t remember when they were, I’m sayin’ I don’t when they came out, but I had it when I was married, but I don’t know, did I get it right away after I was married, or, were they, did they come in later, I don’t know, I don’t remember. But they had, that was the wringer-type, we had, you know. There were no washers that would wring, so you used the tub for a – there were all wooden tubs at that time. I had one til not long ago and fell apart. And my daughter-in-law almost took a fit. She said Why didn’t you keep it? I told you don’t throw anything away! she said, I want it! Ha ha!

 AV: What did you use when you were young, to wash the clothes, what did your mother use?

 AT: Same thing.

 AV: Washboard and tub?

 AT: That went on til, wait, 19…28, I guess. I know it was 1928 when I got a washer. I never had any before that. And in 19…about 1924, maybe 23, I don’t know, but 24 I know it was for sure, when they start…we had no lights in town. There weren’t any lights in town. Nothing at all. And then some men, you know, they were tryin’ to get the town, you know, to bring the lights into town so they could get electric washers for their wives, you know? So, my mother wasn’t feeling well, she had ulcers in her leg, and, she went and she ordered a washer. And when they come home, she told ah, brothers, her sons and my brothers, she says, I ordered a washer. They said What kind? She says, A hand washer. They said, well who’s gonna do it? She says, Well, you’s will. Because she had, you know, had the ulcers in her leg, she couldn’t stand on her feet. And they said, No they won’t, he said, they’re gonna get the place wired, and she better cancel that order that she ordered, and they’ll get electric washer for her, you know, with nobody’d have to handle it. Well, that aws some washer! She was sick in 1924, and I used to go up there to do it. Well, they must have been the first ones that come out. Because they weren’t nothing like this is, nowadays. The motor was all exposed, and the tub, it was a wooden, I think it was a wooden tub, and inside of it, the agitator was just of wood, and had, now how many were there, three or four, I don’t remember, just like, oh, what the world should I call them, like pegs or something. You know, just sticks, stickin’ down. And this’d twirl back and forth, and that was washin’ the clothes. But you


A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -2- 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

couldn’t put it on like you put this on. That thing wouldn’t go unless, if you put the lid on it, and there was an arm, and you lay this arm over this lid. And when you laid this arm over this lid, then you could turn on the power, and it would run. But if you didn’t have that arm, it wouldn’t run. That arm, see, it was goin’ back and forth, and that made it go. But it wasn’t very good, because if clothes had a tear in it, somewhere, and one of these pages got into that hole, well it was nothing left of that thing any more, already! It was awful, you know, unhandy to use. So they must have been one of the first ones, because that was the one, my mother had that. She wasn’t feeling well, already, so then, you know, they got that. She had cancer already, she was sick, already, then, you know, she couldn’t do her work. And I used to go up there and do it.

 AV: Well, now what did she use before these, any machines came out at all? How did they do it?

 AT: They had hand-washing machines, but you had to stand there, you know, and work it yourself, with your hands.

 AV: Do you remember when they just used scrub boards?

 AT: I used a scrub board, til, I said, til 1928 I used a scrub board! The washboard. Well sure, I didn’t have it, my mother had it, I didn’t have any! I was doing my wash on a washboard!

 AV: Oh, you did! How did you do it?

 AT: Put water in a tub (did I kick you? I’m sorry.), put water in the tub, and use the washboard, and rub it on the washboard, and have another tub for rinsing water, and then rinse it out with this wringer.

 AV: Would it be cold rinsing water?

 AT: Well, you could use warm or cold. But we usually used cold water, because we didn’t have any hot water in the house, you know. You had to heat all your water, you had big boilers, and we used to heat our water in that. Then we used to boil our clothes, too.

 AV: Yeah? How?

 AT: In this boiler. A big copper boiler. And you would put your clothes in there, and, everybody was boiling their clothes in them days.

 AV: Why did you boil it?

 AT: Well, to get most of the dirt out of it, you know, because you were scrubbin’ and so much didn’t come out of it, and then you would put soap suds in it, and water, and you put it on the stove, and you had to boil them. So, when my husband had spinal mengitis (sic) and the younger daughter, the second daughter, had no work – she worked in the store in Baltimore and the store burned down, so she was waiting for the repairs, so John called her, he said, You better go home, he said, because Mom’s alone, so, he says Go home, while Dad is in the hospital. Come home. So she was coming home, and the neighbors there told, Isn’t she afraid to come home? You know, that Daddy had spinal mengitis, she was coming home. She says, no, she says, I’m not afraid. She said, I know my mother will boil all the things. Which I did do, before she had come home, you know. The bedclothes, and everything, whatever he used, I washed everything and I put it in the boiler on teh stove and I boiled everything. So she says, I know, she says, my mother won’t neglect it, she’ll take care of it. And I did. I took care of all that stuff. So then, in 1928, I guess it was in January, when I got the washer. And I had that washer for forty years! Forty years! So many people had them. They were Easy Washers. And these were, oh, they had cups in them. It wasn’t agitator, it was cups that were going up and down. It was copper, I don’t know, was it copper or brass, whatever you want to call the tub. But it was a great big tub, see, because these cups had to run up and down. Well it


A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko – 3 – 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

needed space for it to come up, you know, and go down. It used to do a good job on it. So then, when was it, yeah, it was in 1928 when I got it, and then I was washing on that, we were using, you know, the washer then. So than I had that washer for forty years. It was before Agnes was born. And Agnes is gonna be forty-five, I guess, now, on the second of July, so it must be five year, I guess, since I have this other one. I still could have used that one if I could have got the part for it. But it broke, and I couldn’t get that part for it. First the hose went bad on it, and they took just a part of a hose from a water hose, you know, and they connected it and they repaired it, but that didn’t last too long. Then we tried to get a part, and they weren’t making then, it was so old, and they weren’t making them any more.

AV: What happened to it?

AT: Well, my husband sold it to . And when my daughter-in-law came, she says, What’d you’s do with it? She said, didn’t I tell you, she says, to save it for me? She was so angry, well not angry, but I mean she make believed she was angry, you know! But we did away with it, and she wanted that, because she goes for antiques – Any old thing! She likes everything! So then we, well, one time my some was home before that, and I had it, like in the summer time, see I keep it there, and in the wintertime I keep it in there, because now I have my other washer in there, too,see I can drag it out on the porch and I do my wash there, because it’s more handy for me, I can slobber or any thing! In the winter I keep it in the other room, because I can’t wash outside, so I wash over there. So, Mike come home one day, and he says, Why, you still have this washer? He says, You know you can get a lot of money, he says for that copper. I says, Mike, money won’t do the wash for me, copper will, I says, the tub will, because it’s in there, that’ll do it for me. And then when Eileen came and found out that my husband took it apart and he took the motor out of it, and he sold that stuff to the junk man, and I don’t know what he did with the motor, did he sell the motor to the junk man, too, or 203 what he did with it I don’t know.

AV: My goodness! Well, now what did you use for soap?

AT: Well, we used to buy soap, but we made soap, too.

AV: How did you do that?

AT: Oh, don’t ask me today how we used to do that. Used to do it with lard, some how, we used to old lard, you know, used lard?

AV: How did you get the lard?

AT: Well, stuff that you would be cooking, you know, with lard, we used to buy lard, use a lot of yard- uh, lard- yeah yard! Lotta lard! And when we were through, well we didn’t throw it out, but we would save it. And you would get lye, I guess you know what that is, you still can but it now in cans yet. I don’t remember exactly, now. You used to melt the fat, and then you’d put the lye into it, and I think water…(her phone rings).

AV: We were talking about the soap, how you made soap.

AT: Yeah. So, I’m not sure. I know it was the grease, used grease, and lye we’d put into it, and I think there was a portion of water goin’ into that. And then, I don’t remember, I think we didn’t cook that. We just made the grease hot, and I believe you pour the lye into – well, it does get hot even when you pour the lye in it, you know, but I think, well, you had to melt the grease. And I don’t know what portion of water you used to put into it. And then let it harden. Then you’d cut it up in pieces. But that was strong, that was 217 hard on the hands.

AV: What did you use it for?

AT: Clothes. For washing.

AV: Did you wash yourself with it?

AT: Oh, no. No. That would be too strong for washing yourself. Even, you know


A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -4 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

219 for washing clothes, like when rubbing on the washboard, well your hands would get irritated from it. It was strong, you know, the lye made it strong

AV: Was that the kind that you put in the boilers?

AT: Yes. Well, you could buy soap, too, but most people, you know, they used to do things, because you did all your cooking, you know, then you had the grease. Instead of throwing it out, you know, you’d save that. When you’d get enough, you made soap. Not everybody did. Some people did, some people didn’t even 225 know how to do it. They had ideas for everything!

AV: That’s right! They did! Well, now, do you remember having a bake oven?

AT: No, we didn’t have any. My mother had none, and I didn’t have any. There was one across the street here, but it wasn’t used already when I come to live here. And then they took it apart. It was out of bricks, so they tore it apart, because, I don’t know for what reason. They never used it. I never seen them used, either, because my mother didn’t have any. There were lots in town though. There were a lot of bake ovens in town.

AV: Where were they located?

AT: Outside, in the back of the yard. That’s why so many of them think that this is a bake oven, you know, because that’s how they used to have it, back here. One up here, up above here, there waw one til, oh, I don’t know, oh, it’s a number of years, I guess, I would say, but I mean that it was there for a long time when I was living here already, but they weren’t using it.

AV: What did it look like?

AT: Well, it was, how shall I explain it to you? I don’t even know how. It was built up, you know, pretty high, out of bricks they usually used to make it. And then they had a big, heavy, sheet iron inside of it. You know, and then they used to burn wood in that, to make it hot, and then when they thought it was hot enough, they’d pull that wood to the side and they used to put their bread in there to bake. See, like they used to keep boarders and everything, well, they needed a lot of baking, so how could you be able to do it in the stove like that? So, a great many people had those bake ovens. My mother never had any, and I really never seen really how it was done, but I heard then saying, you know, that you had to burn a lot of wood, and then this heavy iron. I guess they used to have this heavy sheet irons, like on the coal cars that used to go in the mines. So, did they get them from there, or did they buy them, or what, I don’t know. Because in them days they could get most anything, you know. You could pick it up anywhere, because the working conditions were here, they used that stuff, and say if the car was bad or something, maybe they left it on the side there where you could pick this thing up for yourself. But whether they got it tht way, or whether they bought it, I don’t know.

AV: You think it mght have been the bottom of a mine car?

AT: I don’t know whether it would be the bottom, or is it the side, or what it was, I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was. But it was real heavey iron, it wouldn’t bend, it was real heavy and would stay solid. Say, it was like this table, and it was a big piece, and they had that in there, and they’d put this wood on there, and light this wood and burn the wood, you know.….

AV: It was big like this table?

AT: Well, it depends on the size of the bake oven. But they were big. Well not exactly like that table, but probably, it must have been over half of this table, I guess it must have been. And they burned the wood in there and get that sheet iron real hot, and then they used to pull that wood aside and put they board there, you know, where the fire was. Whether they outened the coals, I mean let them go out, or whether they still had them, they must have


A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -5 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

254 probably had them still burning, I don’t know. Because I’m saying, I didn’t have it done, and my mother didn’t do it, so I didn’t really see how it was done, so I don’t know.

AV: Well, what did the top part look like?

AT: It was covered, something like my cellar is.

AV: Round?

AT: No, not round. Square. And straight. Not exactly square, it was straight, you know, straight, up on top. I don’t know, they probably must have had another sheet iron, I guess, on the top, too, to throw the head, or something. I don’t know how they.…Could have been, I guess, the one on top, and then the one on the inside, you know, like for a platform.

AV: What was the door like? Did they have a door on front?

AT: They just used to put something in front of it. I can’t tell you what.

AV: A square opening? Or a round opening?

AT: It was a pretty big opening. A square opening. It was a pretty big opening. And what they used to put infront of it, I can’t tell you. We didn’t have one, so I can’t describe it completely.

AV: This one that you’re describing to me, who used to have one like that?

AT: Oh, a great many people had them in town, then. I said, there’s one used to be across the street here, but they didn’t use it while I was living here, already, they didn’t use it. But they still had it there. But see, it wasn’t in use. I guess it was too much work, you know, to take it apart, because there was a lot of work to it, there was brick, and there was sheet iron, and everything else. You know, it was hard work to take it all apart. So, it was standing there. But then finally the people broke them up. They didn’t have any use for them.

AV: Well, you know why I asked about the shape, because some people have told me that the top was rounded, cone-like.

AT: Well, what I remember, this to me seemed it was straight on top. And I don’t know whether they had a chimney to it, or not, that I don’t remember. They must have had a chimney, because how else would the wood burn inside of it?

AV: What family was that?

AT: Well, there were so many people living here, so I don’t know who used it. But the last family that was here, they wer Slovak [?], and I think they were the ones that knocked it apart there. But there were other people, they never used it, it wasn’t theirs. Because they come to live here after I was here, already. They come here later, because she was living with her mother. And then they come in here to live, later, after, you know, way after I was here. I don’t know how many years I was here when they come here, so they weren’t using it. That thing used to stand there. And then they went and they, I think it was them that tore, broke it up, tore is apart. And my mother-in-law 250 had a smokehouse. She lived right next, across the road here, on the other side. She had a smokehouse. She used to, you know, she kept pigs and she’d kill them, and she’d make her sausage and the hams, and keilbasas and different things, you know, and she would smoke them in the smokehouse. She’d cure her stuff, her bacon and everything, she’d cure it. My brother had, too, he had a smokehouse. He used to raise a pig about six months, and then he would kill it. And the bacon would just be that thick! The fat was like butter! It was young, you know. After he cured it, and he smoke it, and he’d.…

AV: How did they do that?

AT: Well, they used to, you had to put it, when you’d kill it, and you cut the bacon up, and yu had to soak it. Well, usually they used to put it in tubs, because they were wood. And put salt on them, and then you had to


A Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -6 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

289 be turnin’ ’em and pourin’ this salt water over them, you know. I don’t know how long they cured them, I don’t know how long it was. And then they would smoke it. And it was very good.

AV: Who did that process? The men?

AT: My husband did. My husband! My brother! And my mother-in-law used to do the curing and the smoking herself. And our Joe, what is he, he’s forty-eight years old, he was born in 1924- he was forty-eight in February- and I don’t know how old he was, one time, and the mother-in-law comes up here, and she says, Anna, were your boys down at my house? I says, I don’t know, I says, when I come home, I says, I’ll ask them. I don’t know. I said, Why? She said, Somebody went and put wood on the fire, that she was smoking her bacon. See, you’re only supposed to have smoke, you know? So the smoke would be going. And she says, Somebody put wood on it, and it was burning. She says, lucky I went out, she says, the whole thing would have burned for her. Because, see, they lay coals into the top of it, you know, and put a rope through it, that they used to hang it in the smokehouses, you know, you it’d get smoked in there. Well, then. the fire’d be too strong, that would burn through, and it would fall down into the flames and would burn. And the brother-in-law, the one that lives in Buck Mountain, that would take me shopping and everything else, he came home from work, and he used to come down the back way, you know. And she accused him of it, that he did it, he put wood on there. He says, I didn’t! He said, I didn’t even look in there! Well then, he got it. Well, why didn’t you look in there? He would have seen what was happening there! So, first he got it that he did, and then he said he didn’t look in it, so she didn’t like it because he didn’t look in i! So then she come to ask me if the boys were in there. I says, I don’t know, I don’t think they were, but when the come home I’ll ask them. So when they come home, I said – I don’t know, I guess Mike and Joe, the two of them, must have been home – but anyway, I remember, I said, Joe, were you down at Baba’s? (Because, the grandmother, you know, so often we used to call them Baba). said, Were you down Baba’s? Why? I said, Were you in Baba’s smokehouse? And he said, Yes. And I said, Did you put wood on it? Yes, because there was no fire there. So he went and put kinling on it! And, I said, I’m 310 gonna ! Ha! Ha! Because Baba was hollering at Uncle John, she thought Uncle John did it, you know! And I says, Do you know that thing could have burned? It would have fell down into the fire, and all her stuff would have burned that was there? Well, I don’t know, but there was no fire there, so he found some wood and he put some wood on there, and it was a certain kind of wood you have to use for smoking – you can’t just use any kind of wood. There’s a certain kind of a wood they would use for that smoke the bacon. It’s better with a cerain kind of wood that they use for it, you know.

AV: Oh, my goodness! Well, explain how they used to smoke things?

AT: Well, I don’t know, that’s about all they used to do with them, cure them, and then put them in that smokehouse and smoke them, then they would keep 320 already, all winter.

AV: How did they smoke them?

AT: Well, there was a shanty. They had a shed made, you know. I think it was square. It wasn’t too big. Maybe it was about three feet, maybe less than three feet square. And you had a door you know, to get in there. Well, they had this, you know, standing up, and then they had like a, now what should I call it? It was like a ditch or something, only it was covered, you know? The wood would be put in there, and then the smoke would be coming up into the smokehouse – it wasn’t directly underneath the stuff that they had been


A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -7 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

327 smoking, but it was comin’, it was just a short thing, you know it was like a, I’d say, a pipe or something, only this was all out of ground, you know. And they must have had something more underneath that it didn’t cave in or something. I don’t know. And then they used to put stuff in the smokehouse to smoke, and at the other end there they’d be burning this wood. They wouldn’t have it burning, just smoking. Only smoking. You never had it that it would be flames, because it would burn. Just the smoke. That’s all they wanted, the smoke, to come in. And then I don’t know how long we used to smoke it. I guess it depended how long they wanted it, how well done. You had to understand just what you’re doing, you know, otherwise, if you didn’t understand you didn’t do the rifht job of it. You get either too black or bitter, or maybe you had it too raw, or something, so you had to know how to cure it, you had to know how to smoke it.

AV: How long did it usually take? One day?

AT: Oh, no. It used to take a lot of days. I don’t know, maybe a week, maybe two weeks. It used to take a while.

AV: And they used to smoke what, sausage.…

AT: Keilbasa, yes, sausage, and hams, and bacon. Bacon was mostly the important thing.

AV: Why? What did you use the bacon for?

AT: Eat it?

AV: Just plain?

AT: With bread, yes. It was delicious. If you didn’t have an old pig, you know. It was like butter. Oh, you cut it, and you could chew it, just like butter. It was very good. My brother used to make the good one, oh, we used to have wonderful- because he used to, he’d just keep the pig about six months, you know, and the bacon woudn’t be too thick, and they was very good. Because often he’d bring a piece for me to try, and I said, oh gosh, it you could 345 buy stuff like that! But you couldn’t.

AV: Well, how did you make the sausage?

AT: I didn’t see that, that I don’t know, how they made sausage. They still used some kind of meats, I guess, I don’t know if they mixed other kind of meat, or just the pork. I’m sure they didn’t use all pork, but I don’t know.

AV: Who used to do all this work, make the sausage.…

AT: My mother-in-law did. But yu had to buy the casings, you know, for them. Well, it’s like, when you killed the pig, you had some casings from the pig, and if you did, well then you had to be washing out these casisngs and scrap ing them, you know, so they’d be clean. Because many times we’d be teasing our kids, you know, when they didn’t want something, or, you know. And I said, What do you think that is? I said, that’s from the intestines that they had the, the stuff in, like, you know, the sausages are in it. I said that’s what it is, you wash them out, and you clean them, and you fill them. Now they don’t do that, because they use plastics or some darn thing But at one time, it was just everything live, from live animals, you know. Everything was live in them days. It’s already later on, then, that they invented different things But it wasn’t- they even used to buy the casing to fill them up and make their stuff.

AV: So you think it was mostly women that did all this work?

AT: No, it depended. If the woman was handy, she did it, and if the woman wasn’t handy, the men did it. My mother-in-law was good at it, because she came from Europe, and she had seen all that stuff done in Europe, maybe she even helped there, you know. Because she came her with the children, when she had four children she came here. She didn’t want to come her earlier. She had


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361 trouble with her eyes, and she was afraid they wouldn’t pass her. And the father-in-law was here about two or three different times. And she was afraid they wouldn’t pass her and so she didn’t want to come. But the father– her husband, rather- the father-in-law says to her, if you don’t want to come, send the children to me, then. So then she decided to come over. So I guess it was about 1908, 1909, something like that, when she came over, and her husband had been here. She went back to Europe, I think, about twice, or something like that, you know, and the family was still in Europe.

AV: So, what do you mean, some women were handy, it was because they came from Europe?

AT: No, they just had interest in these things, like it is now. Look Helen. Helen’s like a carpenter. She’ll do anything. She’s handy. Now, I couldn’t do that, like she does. Here last year, she went and fixed her garage, ad then she made, well the garage, that I wouldn’t mind it, because it was only the tarpaper she put on. but then later on, she went and she fixed those garage doors that, now they’re very big and heavy, and she took them off, and she fixed them, she went to Hazleton and bought the kind of wood that you needed for it, and she fixed it, she jsut got one of the nephews or somebody there to help her, you know, just to hold it or something, and she did all the work herself. Then the front porches, if the steps are bad she fixed that. I says, You are handy, I said, to do things like that, I said, that’s hard work, and it takes strength, you know to do things like that. So she said if there was a vocational school some place, you know, that would be teaching carpentry she said she would go! Just to get a little more idea! And she woud, she’s that type, she would!

AV: So, if some women were handy, it’s because they had an interest in it not that they’d have to do it.

AT: That’s right – no, but they have interest in it, and they do it. Now there is lady mechanics, fixing cars or something else. Well, they don’t have to do that, they’re just interested in that. Or engineers, or, you know, a lot of that stuff, that women do that, or dadies do things, what is men’s work, and still they do it.

AV: Well, I thought that, like in the old days they had to do this work, otherwise the family wouldn’t eat?

AT: Well, they wouldn’t have it. That’s about all. There’d be other things, you know, they’d have to substitute. But if you want something home-made, it’s much better, you know? So that’s the reason. Of course you had to one day only make everything at home, you couldn’t buy anything. Now, take, for instance, my mother was sick in 1924, and I think it was around Christmas time. 392 She was craving for lettuce. Do you know, money couldn’t buy lettuce? So she asked me, she says, Annie, go and get me lettuce someplace, she said, I will eat. Because she couldn’t eat, you know, she had a poor appetite. So she would just think what she could eat, you know, to build up an appetite for something. So she thought she wanted some lettuce. So she asked me. I said Mom, there’s no place to get it! One time there was a produce store, some grocer started with produce. But it didn’t sell, so he went bankrupt. The stuff spoiled for him. People didn’t have the money. they wouldn’t but that stuff, because they couldn’t afford to buy it. You know, you bought what was filling, but produce, you didn’t buy that stuff. So then that guy went bankrupt. so you coudn’t buy it. So, you know how she got it then? There was a man working for a grocery man – see, the grocers and butchers used to come to town and deliver the stuff, the grocer would come I think every other day, and the butcher would come I guess about four or five times a week and bring it to your door. So, this guy that was working for this grocer, he come to the


A Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -9 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

404 house, and she was complaining to him, says, You know, I’m craving for lettuce and I can’t get lettuce anywhere. So then, what he done, there was an agent from Wilkes-Barre coming to this store where he was working for, for this store. And he asked this agent from Wilkes-Barre if he could find a head of lettuce somewhere. So he picked up a head of lettuce in Wilkes-Barre at the market, and he brought it to Freeland to the store, and this worker that was working for that man that owned the store brought that lettuce to my mother That’s how she got her lettuce! Could you imagine? Well, in them 412 days it was only meat, potatoes, and cabbage. That’s all you could have for winter.

AV: That’s all?

AT: Sure, that all! There was nothing else!

AV: What kind of meat did you have?

AT: Well, any kind of meat, just like now. There was all kinds of meat. (Pause in the interview while Mrs Timko removes screen from her window.)

AV: We were talking about the lettuce.….

AT: So, that’s how she got her lettuce, and she satisfied herself then. Because in the winter, even money wouldn’t buy it. If you had the money, you couldn’t. Because, see, she was cravin’, she couldn’t eat anything – why she’d have paid any price to get it. So, I don’t know what she paid for it, you know. But, just think, he got the orders from here, and he’d go to Free land, from Freeland he have it to an agent from Wilkes-Barre, and that agent got it at the market, and then he brought it to Freeland, and from Freeland back here. And, my father was lving yet – my father died in 1911 in February, so it was two, three years before, maybe, before, I don’t know. And, we never had any fruit during the winter. In the fall, late in the fall after the 425 apples were picked, a farmer would come in, selling apples, and they would buy a bushel of apples, and then they’d store them in the cellar, put them in the straw or put them in the hay or something, you know, and you’d have them little by little, you know, one by one, and after trhey were gone, that was the end of it.

AV: Well, what cellar did you use to put them it?

AT: Well, not here, my mother’s. This was when I was a kid yet. This was at my mother’s place, where my brother’s living, on the other street. See, it was a cellar like Helen has, over there. See, that’s what kind of house my brother lives in, like Helen’s place, you know? So then, my father would put them in there, then. After them apples was gone that was it. We didn’t have nothing all winter.

AV: So you said, during the winter all you had to eat was meat, potatoes, and 435 cabbage?

AT: Right. Sauerkraut. Make a barrel of sauerkraut, some people would even make two barrels of sauerkraut. That was your diet.

AV: How did you make the sauerkraut?

AT: You mean, to put it up? We used to put it in barrels, and the men would walk on it, to tamp it.

AV: Whole cabbage?

AT: No, you cut it up, the heads, you know, cabbages, you cut it up. There was a cutter. Well everybody didn’t have a cutter. Maybe one or two people had them in town. Then you’d borrow it and you’d pay them a couple pennies for the use of it, and the men would wash their feet good, and they would get into this barrel, and they’d be walking over it, tamping it down. They couldn’t do it otherwise, because there was an awful lot, you know, so that your hands or something like that, you couldn’t tamp it down. Used to be big barrelsful. And then they put apples in there, if there was some apples available ye,


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445 they’d put some apples in there, some whole heads of cabbage in there, so for the winter, you know, if you wanted to make this filled cabbage, what we called[????], so then you’d take one, because you couldn’t buy it, you know, fresh cabbage, then in the wintertime already. So you would have takin’ sauerkraut, so that we could get some apples out of the barrel! They were good! They were sour apples- they were good! But you had to have little tarty apples, you know, to put them in cabbage. They were delicious that way.

AV: Who did all the slicing of the cabbage in town?

AT: Anyone did. Well, the family did, who was ever putting up the cabbage, they did their own slicing. You loaned this cutter from someone else I think I have a little one here, it’ll give you an idea of what it’s like, but these were great big ones. You had to put them on two chairs, it was a big, long thing, and it had broad cutters. But I think I have a small one here, if my daughter didn’t take it already…… It was long thing, maybe about as long as this otr longer, and about this wide, and then it had a little box on top here, you know, to plut your cabbage into that box. It was a little square thing. I mean it was big, so this box was bigger, too. There was a groove there, and you woud slide it in there, and then you’d be holdin’ this head of cabbage and pushin’ it back and forth, and they’d have about three knives, bigger knives than this, you know. So that’s how they used to cut it. And then they’d salt it, before you’d put it in the battel, you had to put salt on it. And that’s the way it would salten up and it could pack down good. If it wasn’t packed, it would get soft. It would spoil. It would get rotten. It would get real soft and yu had to throw it out. It wasn’t any good. And if you tamped it down good, and then if it fremented (sic) good, then it would last, oh, all winter, and longer yet. And then ou put boards on it, you know, just to fit it, like the barrel is, and you put heavy rocks on it, to keep it down, you know, to keep it solid. And you had to be cleaning it every so often, because it’s comin’ foam on it, so you had to wash that off, and take all that water out and put fresh water into it.

AV: Well, how often did you have to do that?

AT: Well, it depended on the weather. If it was warm, the scum would form sooner. 474 If it was cold, it would last longer. You didn’t have to change it so soon.

AV: Where did you store the barrel?

AT: Well, people had cellars, they stored them in the cellar.

AV: Where did you put it when it was fermenting?

AT: Well, you had to keep it in the house, where it was warm.

AV: And where was that?

AT: Anywhere, in the room anywhere, in the house temperature, you know. Room temperature. You could keep it anywhere while it was fermenting. But after it was done frementing(sic) already, well then they used to drop it down the cellar, and keep them in the cellar, people who had cellars

AV: Well now, how can yu tell when it’s done?

AT: Well, it won’t ferment any more. See, it was like a foam coming up on it. And when that foam stops, already, and the water will go down on it, already then. The water won’t be there any more. So then you have to clean it off and put fresh water on it, and put them thing, and then you keep a cover on it, some kind of cloth or something, you cover it so the dirt doesn’t get into it, so it’d stay clean.

AV: And put it in the cellar.

AT: Um-hmm. And if you didn’t clean it quite often, and it was warm, well that would smell then. The scum would form on it, and that would smell then. So


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485 you had to clean it.

AV: What did you use that cabbage for?

AT: All purposes. It was for cooking, for frying, for, if you’re baking, if you want to make something good, that’s all kinds of purposes.

AV: What kind of recipes would you use?

AT: Oh, we didn’t have recipes, it was just a put-together, that about all! I used to like it, too, if, like when I would fry pork you know. And when the pork was done, and then take out the pork, and into that grease with the onions in it, you know, that the pork was cooking, frying, in it, and you put the sauerkraut in there and fry it. That was delicious. Oh, it had a wonderul flavor! That was very good. I used to like it that way.

AV: What did you call that, anything?

AT: Oh, just sauerkraut, that’s all. Fried sauerkraut!

AV: And you said you baked with it. What did you do?

AT: I do now yet, too! I guess, when was it I was baking, about two weeks ago I guess, well you could make most anything out of it, you know. What I make are like three-corners. I let the dough rise, and then I roll it out, and I cut it in squares. And I fry some onions with butter, and I put that sauer kraut in – I chop it a little, because you know sauerkraut is long, so for this purpose it wouldn’t be good, so I chop it a little bit – and then I fry it, well, stew it rather, I should say, not fry it. And then cool it, and put it in each square a little bit, and then fold it like a three-corner. You know? It’s a square, well, instead of putting it double this way you fold it from corner to corner, so it’s just three corners on it then. Then I bake them in the oven, not ina pan, just like that, becausse, see, in gas or elec tric stove you couldn’t do that, because there’s flame there, but these coal stove you can do that. So I just put them inthe oven, and I bake them, and when they’re done on both sides, top and bottom, I have butter ready, and as I’m taking them out – because they all don’t get done at the same time, you see, the ones closer to the fire they get done first, then the other ones are back, so I have to move them up closer – so I have butter ready, and a brush, a pastry brush, and I butter them, as soon as I take them out I’ll be butter ing each one, on both sides. They’re delicious, if you like sauerkraut.

AV: That sounds really good! And what did you call them? Did you have a Slavic name for them?

AT: Oh, yes, call them pierogies But you, pierogies, the regular prune[?] that you make, you know, out of other dough, well, you get them mixed up with 515 this, because very few people do this from the bread dough. So I guess they would think of the other one first thing. Well, you could use it for the other ones, too, you know, like what you make the regular dough for the pierogies, you could use sauerkraut in that, but I don’t think too many people use sauerkraut in that.

AV: How big are the squares?

AT: Well, it depends how big you want to make them. I make mine pretty big, because it’s too much trouble. The dough is pretty thick, you know. Well, then, even it I cut them in small, maybe, say, about three inches or so, square, and then when I have the sauerkraut in it, and I fold them togethere and close both ends, tighten them, well, I squeeze it and flatten it a little bit, so it gets maybe that big then, I guess about three and a half-four inches big it gets them. But if I let it go, well it wouldn’t be that, it would be thicker. And this way, it’s thinner and it’s bigger.

AV: Do you let it raise a little bit after you put inthe filling?

AT: Oh, yes. When I put the cabbage in it I let it raise, about an hour or so. And then I put it in, well, it depends, because, see I’d be baking other things.


A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -12- 6/23/72 Tape 16-2

Our children, grandchildren, I should say, what i take – some of them just call them ?? of something. But our grandchildren gave it a name, they call it Cabbage Pizza Pie! Because there’s cabbage in it. The same way, you make a dough, and after it rises, well then you take a piece of it out, and you roll it out and let it rise. Then when it rises, and you have the regular cabbage, you know, that done, and – you have to have everything cool, you can’t put it in hot, because the dough would get thin and would stick to everything and you couldn’t handle it. The cabbage has to be cold – and you put the cabbage in it, and then you fold it up again and let it rise again, because you won’t be able to roll it out if it doesn’t rise, you let it rise again, then you roll it out, and bake in the oven, it’s a whole, big thing, just like a pizza pie, you know? You set it in the oven and bake it. And then you take it out, and you butter it on both sides. And that’s the reason our grandchildren named it Cabbage Pizza Pie! That’s a good name for it!

 AV: And that’s regular bread dough? AT: Regular bread dough, yes. When I was at Joe’s place, now, over Easter, in New York, and their kids are crazy about that stuff, so they were pestering me to bake for them. I said, I don’t want to, because I don’t know how to handle your stoves – they have electric stove, you know – so one day I did try to bake it then, and it didn’t want to rise for me. Oh, it took forever, that dough, to rise! And Arlene wanted me to go out for a ride with them, she was going with a friend some place, she wanted me to go, and I said, No, Arlene, I’m not going, because this dough will rise, and will run over everything. Well, she said, if you’re not going, I’m not gonna go, either! I said, Well, you just go, I said. I’m gonna stay home and take care of this. No, no. So we went. I says, Arlene, this is gonna rise and is gonna run over everything! So when she insisted on me going, so then I went and I separated it. She didn’t have a big container, she just has regular pots, so then I left some in a pot, and I went and, those stainless steel bowls she has, I put some in there, and I put it on the bed in the bedrooms, downstairs. I said, I’ll leave it there, it will stay covered and will be pretty warm there. We come back I don’t know how many hours later, and that thing hardly budged, it didn’t rise for me. I says, Arlene, it’s not rising! I don’t know what happened! I says, should I add more yeast? I put yeast in it like I do at home, you know, but I have the place hot when I’m baking, you know! They have the furnace, you know, so they don’t use too much heat in the house. So then, was it she, or when Joe come from work, he says, Mom, heat up the oven, and turn it off, and then stick the pot into the oven. So that’s waht I did, and then it rised. Well, it was getting late in the day already. So, I said, Well, I’ll have to start making them. So then I started using the one out of the bowl first. Well, I rolled it out, and it was thin, but you know! Well, it was a lot of cabbage in, because it was very thin, but everybody liked it, because they said they like it thin, so it was very good. So then the next time that I was baking, Arlene and Joe weren’t home, they went to Florida then, when I was baking the second time there. So I was doing it by myself. I says to the girl, I says Judy, do you know how to operate the oven? Well, she says, she doesn’t do the cooking, she doesn’t know much about it. The first time I was doing it, Joe was showing me, so I had some idea how to use the oven. So then, already, I put more yeast in it, and I turned up the heat in the house, and it was warm. And the boy, Michael, he’s eighteen years old, he comes and says, Grandma, did you turn up the heat? I said, yes, I did, Michael, and I said Don’t touch it, because I need heat in here for this thing to rise. And about three times he come after me and said Aren’t you done? I says, No I’m not done. I need, still need the heat up,


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don’t you touch it. I’ll turn it down when I’m finished. Well, it rised better, so I had more out of it, see, because the more it would rise, you know, the more I had. And they loved it! Oh, they loved it, they go for it!

 AV: So, what kind of meats did you have to eat in the wintertime? Before. AT: Well, it was mostly some kind of minced bologna or pork or beef, veal.

 AV: Who made those things? AT: The butcher would bring them to town.

 AV: It wasn’t smoked meat, necessarily? AT: No, it wasn’t smoked meat. It was all fresh meats. See, the butchers used to slaughter their own animals for this stuff. But they said that they weren’t allowed to sell it unless it was frozen for twenty-four hours. They had to put it in the freezer for twenty – whether it had to be frozen or what, but, for twenty-four hours they said it had to be in the freezer or cooler. Well, then, it even slices better when it cold. Because with it’s warm you can’t slice it, it’s too flabby. When it’s stiff it cuts nicer. And there was no refrigeration. When they’d bring it, it was in a wagon. Because that’s all there was, there was no cars, it was wagons in them days.

 AV: What did that wagon look like? AT: Oh, dear. Like any wagon, I guess. Something like, what do they call these – wagon train!

 AV: The covered wagon? AT: I was something like, only it wasn’t, you know, with a cloth on it. I don’t know, was it leather, or what it was. It looked something like them, but not shaped exactly the same. It was like, oh, like even a roof or something towards the back. More like a point, it seemed to me. Maybe not, I don’t know. It wasn’t exactly like, but it was something like them, those covered wagons that they had for, you know, when they’d travel.

 AV: How often did he come in? AT: I was saying, about four or five times a week. The one day, Friday, he didn’t come, and then, if business wasn’t good, well then maybe he skipped another day of the week. But the butcher never came on a Friday.

 AV: Why not? AT: Well, people weren’t using meat on Friday.

 AV: Oh, that’s right. AT: So that’s the reason they didn’t come, they didn’t have much business, so he didn’t come on Friday.

 AV: Did he come summer and winter, too? AT: Oh, yes. And when we got a snow storm, oh gosh, and they couldn’t get into town. One time, was this in 1914, we had a terrific snow storm, it was when we were married, we were married in January, and I think it was the first of March, and we had a terrible snow storm. And there were no plows, there weren’t anything. Well, in wintertime he’d use a sleigh, because he couldn’t come in on a wagon in winter, so they had a sleigh. It was a wagon, only it had the runners underneath instead of the wheels, you know, and pulled by horses. So then, when we got this big snow storm, they got all the men out from the homes, the working men, to go out and shovel snow. Because, you know, it was windy and drifted it, so some places it was even with the roofs of the houses. And the other side maybe not quite so much, but it was an awful lot of snow. So they asked all the men to go out and shovel snow, and where the banks were too high that they couldn’t get over, because there was nowhere to throw all that snow, so they make like a tunnel underneath the snow, and that as frozen, so it would stay up. Well then, the butcher as far as he could get, not into town, but as far as he could get, well, he’d get that far, and then the people had to meet him to get their meat, who


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wanted to get something. And then as the snow was going down a little bit already, so then he’d come in closer and closer into town. Sometime maybe for two or three days he wouldn’t come to town at all, because he couldn’t make it, he couldn’t get in. There weren’t roads like it is nowadays.

 AV: What did they have? Just dirt roads? AT: Dirt roads! That wasn’t bad. Ruts! Oh, God! Such ruts they would kill you! And when it was muddy, you know, like in the spring of the year of something like that? Well, just like now, with the cars, when there’s snow and the ruts form, and they freeze, that way you will have those ruts. And that was out of the dirt and mud in them days, like that. They would have it, and they didn’t come out with these plows to scrape it, that they didn’t have that stuff in them days. To do like, you know, smoooth it off. So it just stayed that way, til it went away itself.

 AV: Oh boy! So, what else did the women do in the house? AT: Oh, all their chores, whatever came along. Cooking, washing, cleaning. And like, years way back, well, that wasn’t in my time, though, I don’t even remember that very well – they even had boarders?

 AV: Oh, did they? AT: Oh, yes! They had boarders. One woman was telling me, she was living up in the corner house – a house like this (she lived way up in the upper end, the last house she lived, there. Then she lived by my mother-in-laws, there, next door) – and she was telling me she had twenty-one boarders! I says, Where did they sleep? She said they took turns at sleeping. They were working different shifts. And they said, all they were doing is baking bread, and cooking all the time. They didn’t have time for cleaning, really. See, places weren’t like they are now. They were only white-washed. There was just the plain wall, and they were white-washed. They didn’t – the floors weren’t covered or anything. When I come here, I didn’t have floors covered. There was no money to buy it for you. You bought what you needed. You’d buy a table and chairs and a bed, and what ever was necessary that you had to have, but nothing else.

 AV: What did you have on your floor? AT: Nothing! You’d scrub your floor, and then use burlap bags, wash the burlap bags, and then put them on the floor, tack them down, and that’s what the covering was.

 AV: That’s all? Burlap tacked all over the floor? AT: Well, the walking places. And then later on already, if you could afford to cut up some carpet rags and get some carpet weave, well then you’d throw a strip of carpet here and there, you know, through the house. That was it.

 AV: But my goodness, twenty-one boarders! How did she do it? AT: Well, that’s what I was saying, too. Where did they sleep? That was the important – because for somebody – and there was only one room upstairs. Like I have! It was a house just like that one! And in them days we didn’t have all this – these houses were just the two rooms, that room and this room and upstairs, and this shanty, that they called it. That was all.

 AV: In the Back Street. AT: That’s all. Not all of them. The two blocks. This one, and the one below. And then, down – Helen was living down in the last block – well there were big homes there already.

 AV: How do you mean, big? AT: Well, they had, I don’t know, you can ask Helen how many rooms they’d have upstairs. Did they have two or three rooms upstairs, and they had an attic,


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663 and they had (Back St) bigger rooms downstairs Because they live in one of these homes up here, too, and then they moved.

AV: Oh, big, something like the Denions live in?

AT: Something like that, yes. Yes, on that order, yes.

AV: That’s interesting to know. Well, who was this woman who had twenty-one boarders?

AT: She was a Mrs. Yenshaw.

AV: Yenshaw? Not this one?

AT: Oh, no. Her mother-in-law.

AV: What was her name? First name?

AT: Susan, I think was her first name. She died years ago already. That was her husband’s mother.

AV: How much was she charging for these boarders?

AT: I don’t know how much she was charging for them. What I understood, that they had different ways of doing with it. I don’t know whether she did it, 675 or was it a way before that, but I used to hear them talking, you know, but I never lived through it, but just what I heard them talking about it. That some had, that they would eat altogether, and then they woud add up what it cost and they would divide it among themselves, so much for each one equally. And some of them, I don’t know how, were they buying their own, or how it was. I don’t know, I can’t tell you.

AV: Do you know what they called these different kind of systems?

AT: No.

AV: Well, how old were these boarders?

AT: They were all young men, because they were all working in th mines, they were all young men.

AV: Didn’t she have any problems with them? Their behavior, like?

AT: I don’t know. Probably , you know, because like all men they’d want to take a drink or something and so many of them there together, and then she had her own children, I don’t know how many young children she had there yet, too. I don’t remember, did she tell me how many children she had at the time, or not? But I couldn’t believe, you know, she told me, this lady was telling me herself, that she had twenty-one boarders! I said, Where did you put them? Especially for sleeping, because for food, well they could cook food. And people didn’t eat like they do now, everybody has their own dish, but then you cooked something, you put the pan on the table, then everybody was reaching into it, taking out of it. Because, where could she keep up with everything, you know, to do all that work herself? You couldn’t do it! To do the wash, the cooking, and serve them, and everybody at different times they’re working, you know, you have to have a meal for everyone. It’s difficult.

AV: And how much was she charging for them?

AT: I don’t know. You couldn’t charge too much, because the wages weren’t high. So, it probably didn’t cover up your work, how much you put into it. That’s hard.

AV: Not to mention, she had to have water ready for them every night, too.

AT: Right. Because there were no wash shanties. And you had to carry your 700 water. Then they’d bring a tub, and they’d be washing- because my brother used to change here – the youngest brother, the one that liver in Upper Lehigh – he used to change, before they had wash shanties. So then, in 1934 they built a garage, because my husband wanted to get a car, so they built a garage. So he put his car in the garage, and he’d wash here and change here, you know, change his clothes here, leave his work clothes here, and put on his shift clothes. And in the morning the same thing, when he’d come he’d


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707 change over here. So you had to put a tub, and they’d wash in a tub. They’d get down on their knees and strip themselves to the waist, you know, and they’d wash themselves over here. And after, when they had the wash shanty, well then it wasn’t that already, because they left their clothes in the wash shanty, and just bring them home to be washed, that’s about all. But before, everybody had to wash at home, because there was no other means. And dirt! You know, I often used to laugh. This son of mine that I’m telling you about that’s forty-eight years old, he was about three years old, I think, at that time. And when my brother was changing here – because he was married, I guess in about 1926, 27, I guess, I don’t know. He stayed with me then for two years, before he was married. But this was already after he was married. And he like to go play there where my brother would be washing, you know. He’d sit there beside him, my brother was kneeling on the one side washing, and he’d be on the other side, playing in the water! And he’d do something to my brother, you know, and my brother would tell him, he said, Don’t come up to the garage, he says, you’re not gonna get a ride! – He’d always go up in the garage, get in the car, and down to the corner here he’d give him a ride! Well, would he order him! He’d tell him right away, You take your clothes out of our house, and you take your car out of our garage, and you don’t have to come and wash! He would lecture him! He says, Annie, he says, if I didn’t know better, I would think he used that from you! I said, Please! Because 730 he wasn’t dumb then, either! He’d tell him right away, order him out!

AV: Well, how else did you preserve food beside smoking it? And the sauerkraut?

AT: There wasn’t really too much of it. Even people didn’t kow how to jar in those days, too well. Food would spoil for them. They used to do like chow chow, or something like that, they would make and that would keep. But other things they didn’t know how to do. You know, as time went on, they tried it, one would try it this way, another would try it that way, and then they’d tell each other, and that’s how they’d learn to preserve it then. But from the beginning they didn’t know how to do that. And they didn’t even have time for that stuff. Because there were boarders and families, and everything else, where are you gonna get time to jar? It takes time with jarring. You have to wash jars, and you have to get the food ready and yu have to cook it. Well then, the gang would come, and they wouldn’t have what to eat. And like when they’d go in different shifts to work, well, I fuess not all of them had so many men. It must have been I guess very few. I remember some that my neighbor had, two boarders here, when I come to live here. She had two, but that wasn’t too bad. Well, they were paying her monthly, I don’t know what they were paying, I don’t remember what they were paying. She said they were 747 paying her by the month, then already. So much a month.

AV: Well, did you ever clean house at all, in the old time?

AT: Well, the houses weren’t like they are today. Understand, because it couldn’t be. How could one woman take care of everything, children, and boarders, and to keep a clean house and everything else, what was impossible.

AV: They were small houses.

AT: Well, they were the same houses we have here now. But I mean it wasn’t like 754 this, brcause it was just what the company had on there, that’s all.

AV: You mentioned about white-washing. Who used to do it?

AT: The woman. The woman of the house. And she couldn’t do it herself, she’d get another woman to do it for her.

AV: How did they do that?

AT: Oh, there was lime, you’d buy lime, you had to dissolve it in water. It used to come in like a rock form, like huge stones. You can’t buy that kind, they only have the powdered now. But in them days it used to come in pieces about


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the big, you know, like stones. And you pour water with it, and would that boil! Oh, it would be boiling when you poured water on top of it. You had to be stirring it, and then you had to let it stand maybe a day or so, and then it would thicken. And they’d buy, it was a powder, a blue powder, and they’d buy that, that was the blue dye that they would put into it, and they would dissolve that in water and put it into this whitewash. And the color you want it, you know, light or dark. Of course it would appear dark when it was wet, but when you put it on the wall, it would dry out and it was light. So then already when we started papering and putting ceilings up, well, this whitewash from the ceilings was falling off, because it dried on there and it’d be breaking off, falling off. So then, many of the times, the paper would crack, or like at the beginning when we didn’t have plasterboard up there we just used to put material, material up for the ceiling. And everybody didn’t know how to put it up. First it was nothing, just the beams, the plain beams were there, and they were whitewashed. And then later on they started with the ceilings, because there was no plasterboard in them days. So then you put the – there were just certain women know how to do that – you had to attach it, you know, to each corner, and she needed help, you know, somebody to help her, and then you had to be stretching, you’d get one end up, and then you had to be stretching it stiff, you know, to get it to the other end, and tack it around. Now if you didn’t know how to do it, it would get crooked or something, you had to know how to do it. But then as time went on, everybody learned how to do it. First there were just a few women that knew how to do it, so you had to ask them to come and do it, and you had to pay them for doing it. That was expensive, because the material, because take like my kitchen. The floor upstairs was about, well it wasn’t a floor, it was that room that I was showing you, well that was about a foot away from where the material went, you know? And when you had the window open upstairs like in the wintertime – we didn’t have windows like we have here now, either. We only had one-half of a window, a sash, just one sash was there. That’s all the kind of windows we had. Just, like a half of a window. In the kitchen here – that was our kitchen – and upstairs, that’s the kind of windows we just had. And yet, I used to keep flowers in the house, soe that was our kitchen. I’d keep flowers there. And the flowers would grow – they won’t grow for me like they used to in them days. They used to grow so big they’d close in the window. And yet, it was so dark in the place, you couldn’t see anything! And a coal-oil lamp, that’s all you had for the light, you didn’t have anything else!

 AV: About the material on the ceiling – you said it was expensive?

 AT: Well, the material wasn’t so expensive, but then you needed so much yardage.

 AV: Where did you get the material?

 AT: Oh, the drug store.

 AV: This country store here?

 AT: Yes, they usually used to get printed material, different kinds of flowers on it or something. And later on then, they started getting unbleached muslin. Like I was gonna tell you, our ceiling in the kitchen, it was far, and that would be swaying up and down, then them winds would come through the material and it would be hanging. Well I had to put a new one on practically every two years, because I was afraid it was gonna fall down on the stove and it’s gonna catch fire. Because that lime would be in it, the whitewash would fall into it, and by swaying it back and forth, then it would come through the material, like rust through, you know, and then that thing would be loose and I was afraid, so it doesn’t, like at night, suppose it falls, or even during the day, if it breaks loose and come down on the stove and the stove is hot,


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you’ll catch fire. So practically every two years – I said that was very expensive, you know, for maybe say five, eight dollars, one, see it cost you, you know, for once. In them days that was awful lot of money! So then when the plasterboard came out, that was wonderful. You put that up once already and there it was.

 AV: When did it come out, that plasterboard?

 AT: I don’t know when it came out. But it wasn’t when, I said, for the longest time I was using the material. Not only I, everybody else was, you know, to cover the ceiling, because first it was just exposed beams, that’s all.

 AV: When was the first time that you remember that anyone put up any of this print material?

 AT: Oh, well most people were using it, you know? Somebody wanted a change, so they would just put that. Then some of them tried table oil cloth, you know. But that was awful hard to put up. Because you take, say, for a whole room, take like that room, maybe you needed about eighteen yards. Well, to put that up, that’s so heavy, you couldn’t stretch it or anything, because it was too heavy, it was hard to handle. But some people had it, though.

 AV: Who had it that you know of?

 AT: I think my sister-in-law had it, too.

 AV: Was she living here?

 AT: Yes, the one, I believe that, was it her or was it my mother, I don’t remember. And a neighbor had it. She’s dead already, they’re dead already, the neighbors that were living next door here. Gyurko.

 AV: When did they first get the idea, what year was that, to put up the material?

 AT: I don’t know.

 AV: Was it after the first war, or before the war?

 AT: I don’t know, I couldn’t really tell exactly when it was.

 AV: No? Did you put any up yourself?

 AT: Yes.

 AV: After you were married.

 AT: Well, I didn’t put it up, that’s what I’m telling you, I was living here already. And when they just started. Well, then we had to get ladies to do it, because we didn’t know how to do it ourselves. But then when we seen how the other ones were doing it, then you’d get the act of it and you’d try it yourself.

 AV: Printed material. You mean like wall-paper-type pring?

 AT: Yeah. Something like that, with some kind of flowers on it, or something like that, you know.

 AV: Who were the first ladies in town to help you out?

 AT: Mrs. Brunowski, and…I think it was only Mrs. Brunowski. She’s dead a long time ago. Or was it Mrs. [?] helped, but I don’t know, I remember Mrs. Brunowski’s name. I rememeber her. She was the one that used to put most of them up. And then after while, they seen how she was doing it, well then people started doing it themselves. Who couldn’t do it for themselves, they’d get some relative or a friend or somebody to help them, and they’d put it up. Because, see, this lady had to pay her, you know, she couldn’t expect her to spend her time and doing that strong. But for herself, she did a wonderful job for the women, you know, she did a wonderful job.

 AV: Well, how much was she paid?

 AT: Oh, maybe a dollar or so, I don’t know exactly, but it wasn’t much she was paid, because money wasn’t plentiful, so nobody got too much, because there wasn’t enough to go around!

 AV: And who were the ladies who helpedyou out, to put up the ceiling?


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AT: To what?

 AV: To put up your ceiling. Who were the ladies?

 AT: You mean to paper it?

 AV: To put up the material?

 AT: Anyone! Any of the friends. Anybody would come. I used to do it with my husband, though. He and I would put it up. We used to do it ourselves.

 AV: Well what kind of material – that came in yard length, or 36 inches long?

 AT: Well, it depends. Usually they were 36 inch. Well then, throught that, you had to figure how much you needed for the room, the width of the material. The yardage was all right, out then you had to sew it together. Take it like you do a sheet or something else. So you had to figure it for yourself, how much you needed. Because the width of the material, well then, how many widths you needed for the whole room, and the length of it. So you had to figure out youself how many yards you needed. Sometimes sixteen, like for the living room it was sixteen, or it would be eighteen yards, it depended on the width, because some was 32 inches, some was 36 inches, it depened on the width of the material.

 AV: How did you measure the shape of the ceiling?

 AT: Well you didn’t. No, you just, you know, measured it so long and made it so wide. So you didn’t have to measure the shape of it. The width and the length of it, you know. So you had enough pieces in it, length in it, to make it wide enough. And the first piece, you would just measure it for the length. But then the others you had to, you know, add, til you had the fill width for the size of the room.

 AV: And the rooms were kind of a rectangular shape, right?

 AT: Well, no, but like the one in the other room, see that corner there, where you had the stairway, well that was a little difficul. Where, a straight room liek this one here, you know, square, it’s not too bad, but them kind, it’s more difficult.

 AV: How did you do it?

 AT: Well, you just had to measure out what to there, and how much you needed, you know, for one part, and then cut the others shorter.

 AV: What kind of tacks did you use?

 AT: Oh, some kind of short nails with a broad head on it, I don’t know. Was it carpet tacks, or what it was, I don’t even remember what kind they were. I think they were carpet tacks. But you had to get the longer ones, you know, because these shorter ones, this was heavy, and it would, you know, should it spin back, it would pull it out.

 AV: And who held the corners? Were two people enough to hold the corners up there?

 AT: Oh, no, sometimes you needed more. But if you knew how to do it, well, then you’d tack it in one corner and then the other, and maybe you could nail the one here and there, to get it on. Well then you could go to the other side already, and pull it in certain parts, and get that just here and there, and then go in between it, and get it on firm, you know, put more nails later on. But first, just enough to hold it up in space.

 AV: And then, you say these things lasted about two years?

 AT: Well, some people’s lasted a long time, but I couldn’t in my kitchen. That was my kitchen, there. I couldn’t because, like I’m telling you, the flooring upstairs wasn’t really firm. It was packed like I was telling you, with that little cuby-hole (cooby) that we had up there. And the breeze, you know, would be swaying it back and forth. And then, we tried to paper over the top of that. Well then, it would get too heavy, well then, it wouldn’t last nearly as much. Where they didn’t have that, you know, that it was just like, say, in


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the living room, well that would last longer there, because it didn’t have that pressure on it.

 AV: So, these bottom rooms here, where you had just a bare ceiling – and these were beams across here, right – and you didn’t want the beams to show?

 AT: That’s right. Well, and it looked neater, too, and the whitewash, you know, the lime, would be coming down through the beams, because that would get loose like everything else, and you’d be whitewashing it every year, every year, every year. But you had to, because it would be dusty and dirty, so you had to whitewash it every year, you know, to make it look good, just like painting you do, or something, but you don’t do painting every year. And then that would accumulate so much, so then crusts that thick would be falling off, it was not too long ago, before we had the plasterboard there, it used to be falling off. Or like, take upstairs, well then, people didn’t paper those staris over here on this street, you know, because we didn’t have plaster on these walls. Ours was just boards, there was no plaster. So, I often used to laugh, you know, because when you had it papered, well, you had to pull the paper off, because it would be hanging, it didn’t stick to the wood, it would be hanging. And you’d take it off, and, the way they cut the tree down and slice it on the saw, that’s the way they’d tack it on the wall, with the bark and everything on it, and then that bark would dry and come off, and when you were papering again, and you were pulling off the paper to the bare wood, well probably that bark would come off with it, too! You could stick you hand on the neighbor’s side, there were holes in there! So everybody had to be tacking it themselves, you know, fixing it up themselves to cover up these holes! And they’d crack, they’d break up and crack, and you never had any place, no matter how much you’d paper. The plasterboard is good, you put plasterboard on already, why then…We did all this. These homes never would have been standing here. That closet back there that we have, we built that. We bought the plasterboard for all these rooms here. And once you’d pay for it, when you had the plasterboard, it would last. I don’t have any in this room, so this room doesn’t look good at all. But when they painted the front room for m, then there was some paint left, I said, well paint this one. ANd, see I had a paper with a flower on it, designed, you know, and these cracks and crinkles in it didn’t show. And now with the paint on it, it shows. But even my daughter-in-law was telling me, she says, Ma, why don’t you get paper? I don’t like that room. I said, I don’t either, but it’s gonna stay that way. She says, Why don’t you get paper some time, and we’ll come over and paper it for you. Because they painted this for me last July, painted the ceiling and that closet and this other closet over here for m, and the table and the chairs, that was my son and his wife did all this work for me. So, I said, Well, it would be alright, liek it was once, you just could go to a store and pick out what kind of paper you wanted, and they had it. Buty now, no. You have to pick it out and they send for it. I guess people don’t buy enough paper, because everybody’s painting now, not everybody – most people are painting. So they don’t keep it on hand. And one time they used to have it on hand. They had books, you know, samples, like they do rugs, you know, so this was the same way. They had patches of paper, and you could pick up what kind you wanted.

 AV: At the country store?

 AT: No, not here. In Freeland, wallpaper stores, they were. So then, you would just pick out what you wanted, and the had it right in the store, they’d trim it for you and sell it. But now you have to order it. I had to order two rolls, I didn’t have any use for them, but I had to have two rolls, becaause one isn’t enough. It was two double rolls, and it is very expensive now.


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965 Them days, you know, they’d just call it a roll, and it was a double roll. And now already, well they tell you they’re selling it to you by the single roll, but double the price with half the roll, might as well say!

AV: How much was it in the old days?

AT: Well, you could get it different prices, you could get it real cheap, and you could get it a little more expensive.

AV: How cheap?

AT: Oh, sometimes ten cents a roll, that’s a doble roll yu could get. And if you wanted some, say like for a living room, so maybe it would be twenty-five cents or thirty-five cents or fifty cents a roll.

AV: Oh, why?

AT: You know what I paid for this? Two dollars and, I don’t know was it ten cents a single roll! Not a double roll like we used to buy one time, that was four dollars. I think I still have the bill someplace. It was four dollars something. So this little room here – and then I wanted border for it. This cost me eleven dollars.

AV: And how much would that room cost in the old time?

AT: Oh, maybe about two dollars or so, I guess.

AV: So, that was quite a bargain, to get your houses clean that way. How else did you clean your houses? Did you scrub your floors with soap?

AT: Um-hmm.

AV: What kind of soap? That home-made stuff?

AT: Well, home-made stuff, or maybe you even put some lye in the water or some thing to make the floors look better.

AV: How would they look better?

AT: Well, they’d be brighter. They’d take some of that dirt out, but it wouldn’t last too long, because, you’re going in and out, in and out, well the dirt gets carried in to it right away again. So, it’s the same old way, you always 990 have to be cleaning it.

AV: What did you use for washcloths and things like that?

AT: Rags.

AV: Dress rags?

AT: Any kind of rags, from any kind of old clothing, you know, you make a rag out of anything. I often said, it costs lots more to live now, because you buy papers for everything. You buy paper diapers, you buy paper towels, you buy paper napkins, everything you buy today. Even I often mention, I said, in our days, we didn’t buy that Kotex. We used rags, and made our own pants. Sure. I don’t even know if they sold them then. I says, today you have to buy everything. You need an awful lot of money. Same thing with babies. We used to nurse our babies. Today you have to buy the baby food, you have to buy the formula, you have to buy everything, so it takes a lot more money to live nowadays, you know with all that stuff that you have to buy. In them days, it was everything rags, you’d wash them and use them over again. Now you 1006 throw it away and you have to buy other ones again.

AV: Did you make your own clothes?

AT: I did.

AV: How?

AT: What do you think I had a machine for? To look at me? It was my first piece of furniture that I bought, was the machine after we were married.

AV: My goodness! Where did you get the material?

AT: We could buy them at the stores, they had dry goods stores.

AV: Here in Eckley?

AT: They had some here, but we didn’t do too much buying at the company store. We used to go to Freeland, and buy our stuff in there mostly. Everything was


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1013 much more expensive here. Most people did, you know, they used to buy it here. It wasn’t a company store. It was just some other people. Maybe, years ago it might have been, I don’t know if it was a company store or what not, but now it wasn’t. The coal company didn’t own this store. It was another party had it. Mr. Reese had that store . Some kind of Keller, I think, first had it. That I don’t remember real well. It must have been when I was real young yet, I don’t remember too well. But then I remember Mr. Reese had 1023 that store. He was there, too, but he had people working for him.

AV: And, did you use a pattern?

AT: Oh, yes.

AV: Oh, where did you get the dress pattern, make it yourself?

AT: You could buy it. Sometimes you’d make it yourself, from another dress. And if you wanted to, you could buy it. There wasn’t much of a choice, I guess, but nobody was fancy!

AV: What kind of style dress did you make?

AT: Well, it was just like now, changing styles. Sometimes they would have them with the waist, and then later on one time they had something like the shifts are today. That’s the kind they had in them days. Because up about here, 1032 there was one lady living up there, she was pregnant and nobody knew she was pregnant, not even her mother! And her mother lived across the street, and she was at her place every day. She didn’t know her daughter was expecting a baby. Because she was on the heavy side, and she had one of those loose dresses, like a nightgown, you know, something like the shifts are today. Well then, who knew she was pregnant? So her friend was there when she went into labor. See, because they didn’t go into the hospital to have babies then, they were born at home. So, when she went into labor, well they called for the doctor, she was sick and her friend was there. So her friend went home because the doctor was gonna come, and her friend was sick, so she went home. Next day, she hears her friend had a baby! She was struck dumb! She says, I was there so many times, she says, I didn’t know she was pregnant! And the girl, this lady’s girl, went up to tell the grandmother, you know, that they have a baby. She said, Are you crazy? Her own mother didn’t know she was expecting! It was loose, you know, so you couldn’t tell on her, whether she was fat, or whether she was pregnant, or what. She was on the heavy side. She’s dead already. Now they moved, they built a home down in Buck Mountain someplace, both their parents are dead. So, one of the boys I think is a state trooper. Teddy, was it Teddy Nagle? I think it’s Teddy.

AV: Nagle, did you say? His mother?

AT: The boy is the son. He’s married already. The parents are dead. But the son is married and I think he’s a state trooper, stationed in the Poconos someplace.

AV: Any relation to this William Nagle here?

AT: Yes. This one up here was a brother. And then these are his children already now. They were brothers.

AV: And they were living back here.…

AT: Well, Willy Nagle first lived on the Back Street down here at lower end, too. Well, first they lived on the lower end here, in the second block, in the small houses, and then they went down to the bigger houses, down there, too. They lived near Fedorshas some place, when Fedorshas were living down there.

AV: Yeah, I think she- I remember that.

AT: Yeah, this is Willy, and this guy’s name was Teddy.

AV: And, did you make the clothes for the kids, too?

AT: Even little suits for John, when he was going to school. And material, just plain, you know, like dress material, only more like for boys. You had to


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1095 make everything. You couldn’t buy no clothes. You couldn’t buy no bread, you couldn’t buy any clothes, you couldn’t buy any fruit, you couldn’t buy anything, because there wasn’t money to buy it, or yet they didn’t sell that stuff.

AV: Even men’s clothes?

AT: Well, no, you could buy men’s clothes. You could buy a shirt and suit, and stuff like that, you know. But I used to make shirts for my husband. Like for around the house, you know. I used to make them myself.

AV: Did you make his mining clothes?

AT: No, no. They were overalls. They needed heavy stuff for that, and you used to buy that.

AV: What colors did you use mostly?

AT: Oh, many colors, what kind of colors they had. Either striped or printed, or whatever, you could buy whatever you liked. Solid color.….

AV: How much was the stuff?

AT: It was about ten cents a yard, maybe. Depending what kind of material it was, you know.

AV: Was it thirty-six wide?

AT: Some was twenty-seven inches wide. Some was thirty-two. Seldom you got a thirty-six inch material.

AV: Any forty-five wide?

AT: No, I don’t remember having any forty-five at that time.

AV: What was the difference in price in material? How did they make one kind more expensive than the other? What did they judge by?

AT: Well, just like they do now, the kind of material it is. If it’s better material, you gotta pay more. And if the width of the material, or the quality of the material in it, just like they do nowadays. Everything isn’t the same price, because you’ve got better and cheaper material. Cheaper 1105 quality. It was the same thing in them days.

AV: What did you wear in the wintertime, over the dress? When you went outside?

AT: I often laughed about that! I says, in the winter, when we had to walk to Freeland, and everywhere we went we walked, well you had a short jacket, like a coat suit, you know? You were wearing tht, in the coldest weather, you had to walk to Freeland, to church to whatever you were going to buy some stuff, you had to walk. And this little thin jacket you had on. Well, we used to make them at home. Then later on, already, you could buy a coat, the regular winter coats, you’d buy them. Well then there were buses, we used to ride buses. I said isn’t that something! When we were walking and freezing, we had this little ragged thing on ourselves. And now, I says, you put on 1119 a heavy coat, and you go on the bus!

AV: Where was the bus stop?

AT: It used to go all around town. And then later on, already, they only had the regular stops, you know. They’d stop just at a corner or something. But first they used to go all around town. Because too many people didn’t ride, and most people walked then, yet, too, you know? And first, when they started, it was just a truck with benches in it. Oh, was that hard to ride. That was after the first world war when the began that bus run. And then later on they started with the seats in it and so on.

AV: How did they signal for the people to come out and take the bus?

AT: Well, they used to blow their horns. And then some people were complaining that they disturbed the babies. So they had to stop that. So then you had to watch for it. Well then later on already, they just would stop at corners. But first they stopped at every door. Whoever was waiting, then they’d stop at every door and pick them up, and they roade all around town. Because, see


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1136 we didn’t have this road going through, like I told you. It was down at the lower end. So they’d come up that corner, and come up this way and then go around the other way, and go down the other street.

AV: And how much was that?

AT: Fifteen cents.

AV: And you paid cash, right? You didn’t have tokens.

AT: Oh, yes. There weren’t tokens in them days.

AV: And, what did you do for shoes or boots?

AT: We only had rubbers, there were no boots then. Just rubbers. Just these short things. Just the rubbers. That’s all we had from the beginning.

AV: Well, how did you go across the snow, in rubbers?

AT: You went across it! You got your shoes full and everything else.

AV: I’ll bet you did. And you didn’t get sick from it?

AT: Well, who got sick, got sick. You’d get sick anyway, whethere you were goin through it or not! It was a tough life, like I told you, real trying days. I was telling my granddaughter there in New York, she was saying that Golden Days. Golden Age. And I couldn’t figure that out, I said where’d you hear that? She says, From a book. We have a book about the Golden Age. Well, you know, a couple days passed by, wer were talking about it again, and I happened to think about it. I said, Judy, I said, You know, that Golden Age was our days, because when she come home, you know, from school, and she was asking, she said, Grandma, is it true that the boys didn’t go to school but they went to work for ten cents a day? I says, Judy, no, I says, it wasn’t ten cents a day, it was five cents an hour, and they had to work ten hours, so they would get fifty cents. And you know it’s all these things coming together, I said, That was our age! I said, I was brought up through these days, because my husband only got ninteteen cents and hour when we were married, in 1914. He was paid two cents more, because he was working on a breaker then. And the other guys that were doing the other work were making seventeen cents an hour. And he got two cents more, because he had more dangerous work; he had to crawl around this machinery to oil all that machinery, it’s very dangerous. So they were paying him nineteen cents. But from the beginning, why.… because she mentioned picking slate, that’s the reason I know what she was taling about, she mentioned picking slate. I said, well, they only got five cents an hour, and they had to work ten hours a day. I don’t know, was it seven o’clock, until five o’clock at night. At five o’clock the whistle would blow, then they would come home already, and I said now if your daddy and mother give you fifty cents allowance, you think it isn’t enough. I said, these poor boys had to work ten hours a day for it. It was hard work.

AV: I can’t believe you went over to Freeland over a mountain path with just rubbers. And the snow must have been about three feet deep.

AT: Maybe even more. Well, see, they would be going back and forth, it was tampened back already. But if you were the first one going through it, well, you had a tough time to get through it! Usually they’d get some men, you now, to go first, because they had big feet, so they’d tamp it down. So you’d always wait for someone else to go through, to break it through! And not only that, but many times when there was ice, and we used to go the back way, there was paths that way, shortcuts through the woods over the mountain, it would be that icy that you couldn’t stand on that ice. Your feet would just be running away under you. And you went to church just the same, no matter how bad the weather was.

AV: That’s amazing! Oh, boy, you people were built tough. What did you have on your heads?


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1210 AT: It was some kind of shawl or something, I guess, I don’t even remember, we must have had something like that, I guess.

AV: You people were really built tough!

AT: I remember one time I had a hat on, it was cold, it was frosty, and I froze my ears! I says no more! I says, I don’t care if they are gonna laugh at me or not, I’m gonna put something better on my ears. My ears were so sore, they were peeling and everything else, you know.

AV: What did you do for it?

AT: Nothing! What could you do? Wait for them to heal!

AV: No kind of medicine?

AT: Nothing! It healed by itself, then!


Denis Kercier 7/19/72 Mary TImko and Agnes Kascak

Carpets were scrubbed on a bench or on the porch. They were taken out to th hydrant to rinse. It took three women to wring it out. Later this was done with a hand wringer on a “Z-fold.” Early rugs were coarse burlap bags, and early chairs were benches.

Square dances and Virginia reels were held at Laurytown fifty years ago and before. On Friday and Saturday nights the boys would accompany the girls in groups. Often the boys would tease the girls about what dangers there were such as ghosts, snakes, etc. Sleigh ride parties were held in winter. Groups of boys and girls would organize. Two horses pulled the sleigh (like a Currier and Ives print). Also in winter there were ice skating parties. Some evenings boys and girls would race in the mine cars down into the mines. Boys would clown and show off a lot.

Contributions Message

Daryl Bojarcik, Marisa Bozarth, Ann Kline, Ian Scheil, Beverly Brennan, Sara Nelson, Camille Westmont, Wendy Henry and judyak