Ethnic Women of Cleveland
Ann Hankavich Recording & Transcript
Listen to the interview as you read along.
- INTERVIEWEE: Ann Hankavich
- INTERVIEWER: Jeanette Tuve
- DATE: October 22, 1986
- PROGRAM LENGTH: 70:36 min.
JT: Mrs. Hankavich, what was your maiden name?
AH: Ann Cherepacha.
JT: When and where were you born?
AH: I was born in Europe in 1928. September 9.
AH: A place called Jezupol.
JT: It's in the Ukraine?
JT: Near Kiev?
AH: No, quite a ways. We're close to Lvov, if you're familiar with that. The closest city to that is the town of Stanislavil.
JT: That's close enough.
AH: It was quite a large city where I used to live.
JT: When did you come to the United States.
AH: We came in 1939. In the beginning it was, I believe, either January or February. Oh, here I'm saying the United States for Canada.
JT: Oh, that's right. You came first to Canada?
AH: Yes, we came first to Halifax. My mother and my dad came first to Canada.
JT: You lived in Canada for awhile?
AH: Oh yes, I went to school there until I met my husband. Then I...
JT: Where in Canada?
AH: Kirkland Lake, Ontario. It's North...way North. Winters are like winters, like 70 below zero.
JT: What did your father do in the Ukraine?
AH: He was a regular like farming...type of living. He had just so much land that he would work on the land and live off that.
JT: Did you live on a collective farm?
AH: No, at that time people owned their own land.
JT: Oh you came just after collectivization?
AH: Probably. It was...at the time that I was born and lived in Europe, it was under the rule of Poland.
JT: Okay, all right.
AH: It was Polish ruled. Most of the people owned whatever they could afford as far as the land was concerned.
JT: And your mother? Did she work outside the home?
AH: She sewed.
JT: At home?
AH: She was a very good seamstress, yes.
JT: How large was your family?
AH: Just myself until we moved to Canada. Then our family enlarged.
JT: Oh, I see. But you were ten or eleven when you came to Canada?
JT: And then your parents had more children when you came to Canada?
AH: When we came to Canada, yes.
JT: I wonder if I could ask, did your mother belong to any women's organizations in Europe?
AH: I'll tell you, where we lived was far up North. We didn't have no church. When somebody had to be baptized or someone had to be buried... for one thing, if you died in the winter time, you didn't get buried then. You waited until probably around May. They would just stack the people in one of these chapel homes at the cemetery, and once the winter started to break, then you got your different religions have their ministers, the priests or whoever come out and bury the people, as they could break ground after it was thawed out.
JT: What kind of priest?
AH: Well, the Greek Catholic people had their own church there. The Orthodox people, which we were, we had a little chapel, but nobody served it because there were no clergy to serve it. The only time we served it was when somebody would write to the Consistory and have a priest come out.
JT: Had the neighborhood ever had an Orthodox church and priest locally?
AH: Not to my knowledge. You mean as a steady priest?
AH: There was after I left. They had... after I went to Winnipeg to school. Then they finally got a priest assigned there on a steady basis.
JT: The area in which you were brought up is now part of the Soviet Union. Is that correct?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: I asked about your mother belonging to Ukrainian women's organizations because I heard a very interesting paper. The thesis was that Ukrainian women's organizations in an area of Poland between the wars did a great deal to keep the national spirit alive and so I just was curious as to whether your mother might have belonged to one.
AH: I don't think she belonged to an organization. I know they had like a... more or less what we would say... a social hall where young people would come and congregate and talk or I know they had plays, because I remember just as a little girl that some of the performers would stay at our home since my dad was already in Canada...
JT: Your father came to Canada first? And, you and your mother remained in Poland some time?
AH: Right. Well, yes.
JT: You say they had Ukrainian plays at the social hall?
JT: That's interesting.
AH: There would be young women that performed would stay at our home. My mother had rooms... facilities to put these people up.
JT: That interesting. Your father came to Canada first? Why did your father leave the Ukraine and go to Canada?
AH: Well, that's a story I had asked them why and he told me that if you wanted a job, at that time when we were under the Polish rule, you had to denounce your Orthodox religion, go to the Catholic church and get like a baptism certificate from their church, belong to their church and say more or less that you were Polish, then you would get a job.
JT: Then that was religious persecution as much as anything?
AH: Well, religious as well as the nationality thing. He would have to say that he was Polish and not Ukrainian and he didn't believe in that so he left my mother and he told her that it would be just for a very short time until he would make enough money to get a ticket for her and bring her to Canada. He wasn't the only one who left. I know four of them left at the same time for the same reason.
JT: How long before your mother went to Canada?
AH: Well, when he got to Canada, that's when the depression hit. So, he was pretty bad off. The only way he survived was on the farms by working on the farm and just getting the food that they would give him.
JT: As a day laborer?
AH: Yes. There was no job to be held as a steady job. It was strictly day by day. He had, you know, all types of jobs. This continued for almost ten years for him.
JT: Was your mother very distressed because she wasn't able to go?
AH: Well, distressed, I'm sure she was. She was kept busy with her sewing and of course, she had her parents there and her sisters and her brother. So, that kept her, you know, quite sane. She was with the family. It's not as though she was by herself with a child and nobody to turn to. So, she was all right because like I said, she had a home. My dad left us in a home.
JT: What happened to that home?
AH: It was just left. The government took over once the war... I don't know what year, but my mother's sister asked my dad, which the home of course was his, to write to the communist government to allow her to live in that home. They did allow her to live in that home and she's staying in it until today.
JT: That's interesting. So, you came to Canada, you and your mother in 1939. What was your father doing then?
AH: He was working on the railroad. He had a problem with his heart. This was a gold mining town. They had about 19-20 gold mines in Kirkland Lake. He wasn't allowed to work inside because the doctors kept saying he wouldn't be able to take that type of pollution and there was no actually fresh air under the ground. They suggested he get a job someplace on the outside where he had a lot of fresh air. So, he looked for a job and of course, you know, after the depression way up North, things weren't exactly rosey shiney either. But, he did manage to get a job on the railroad which was outside every day. That's where he worked until he retired.
JT: And, your family lived then in the North all the time. What did your mother do? Did she work?
AH: No, she was still involved in sewing. People would come to her and she did a lot of sewing. She took school for sewing. She went to... I believe it was in this city Stanislavil where they taught sewing. Her father happened to be the conductor on the railroad in town from city to city. He had her go in and learn sewing. So, this is what she learned and this is what she lived on. She did that in Canada also.
JT: Well, she must have done very expert sewing. What kind of sewing did she do?
AH: Dresses, suits, coats, or even men's things.
JT: She had more children then?
AH: My brother was born in 1940, and my sister was born... let's see... she's 41 now, so... in about 1945, '46 '44... somewhere in there.
JT: So, you were a family of three children then. In Canada, did you live in a Ukrainian community?
AH: Yes, oh yes. We had a Ukrainian Hall that we were involved with. Ukrainian plays. There was a play every Sunday. There wasn't a Sunday that a Ukrainian play wasn't held.
JT: Did you participate in some of them?
AH: Yes. We had a Ukrainian dancing. We had Ukrainian music where we were taught the mandolin. We had Ukrainian school.
JT: This was the regular school?
AH: No, this was extra.
JT: A Saturday school?
AH: Saturdays, yes.
JT: Did you attend the Ukrainian school?
JT: What did you learn there?
AH: It was strictly reading, writing and a little bit of history about our country that they would...
AH: Well, literature they tried as much as the kids would...
JT: Dancing and singing, is that where you learned?
JT: Who taught the school?
AH: There was a gentleman who taught Ukrainian school and there were two girls. One taught singing, she was very good in music so she led the choir. Then we had the young fellow who taught dancing. So, we had the people to teach us all these things, it was just for the children to take interest and partake in it.
JT: It sounds like a very nice community. You had a happy childhood there?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: And your mother was happy there?
AH: Well, in the beginning she did miss her home and her family and all that. But, she managed real good with the new people and I know with her sewing she met a lot of ladies. And, of course, we were busy with the church. My dad, he... I think he built the church right from the bottom basement with the men.
JT: So, they started to build a church right away?
AH: Oh, yes. They bought... I don't know whose church it was... the building was there. But, they had to renovate it completely top to bottom into an Orthodox church.
JT: Actually, your church affiliation then was closer and more active in Canada than it had been in Europe?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: Your father must have known English quite well to work on the railroad.
AH: He learned it on the farm through the ten years that he struggled during the depression.
JT: How about your mother, did she learn English?
AH: She went to school when she came.
JT: To public school?
AH: Yes, night school for adults.
JT: So, she learned English very well, too?
AH: I would not say it was very well. But she learned English. She knew enough to talk to get herself around.
JT: In your home, what was the language?
AH: Ukrainian. Strictly Ukrainian.
JT: And, your sister and brother, too?
JT: Strictly Ukrainian.
JT: Do your sister and brother still speak Ukrainian? I assume that you do.
AH: I do, and my sister and my brother. They never say a word in English to my mother or my father. Never.
JT: How about their own children?
AH: Their children don't speak it because both of them married Canadian born. My brother-in-law is Irish and my ister-in-law, I believe she is part Irish and part Scotch or something in there. But the children do not speak Ukrainian. Now, my nephew, my brother's boy, who's 21, 20 or 21, he's in his second year in the University of Toronto, he took the Ukrainian language at the University and he really did a beautiful job. He mastered it and he writes like I do. He really learned it and I really didn't think that he would, but he did.
JT: Why did he learn it? As matter of interest or does he work in some area...?
AH: No, not that he works. He just... he made a trip to Ukraine, which gave him a start there and he wanted to know his roots and all. So, this is the purpose he took it. He said he wanted to know where he came from. He's very pleased that he took it.
JT: I know there's a great development in Ukrainian culture in Canada. Back to when you were a child. Did you celebrate any special holidays in your home?
AH: Christmas, Easter, those were the big things, yes. They were the big traditional holidays, as far as the church part which was the biggest thing. Then came your food and your...
JT: I'm sure that your mother cooked Ukrainian. What was special?
AH: It was... well, if you take Christmas... the twelve different dishes that you make and the preparation for it all. The fasting, first of all, came before any one of the holidays came. They were great because you could feast then.
JT: Was there fasting before Christmas?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: How long?
AH: Oh, let's see... when I was kid already, you know it didn't matter. We fasted.
JT: It wasn't 40 days?
AH: It was about two weeks or three weeks before Christmas that the fast is. Is it 40 days the same as Easter? [AH asks her husband, Father Stephen Hankavich]
JT: It is 40 days. What were the special dishes that your mother cooked that you all loved?
AH: I presume... I guess... the favorite was the Kutia. That's wheat. She would cook it and that takes a long time... almost half a day of very slow cooking. Then she candied it up. You put honey to it. You put walnuts to it. She would put poppy seed in it and then she would take maraschino cherries, cut them up and add to that. That was the dish that she had to watch.
JT: That it didn't disappear?
AH: Right. Of course, she was real good with the fruit cake. She really had to hide that from us in different places. We used to find it, but that was another thing that she was really good at making... fruit cake. Of course then your regular other meals that came with Perogi (Pyrohy), (Varenyky), if you're familiar. It's the dough filled with potato, sauerkraut and cheese, and prunes. Then your Haluchies. That was with rice and your different types of Borsch. Of course everything was made as a fast dish. It was all meatless, the twelve dishes for the Christmas Eve Supper. There were different things that were made out of sauerkraut... out of peas.
JT: Then when did you have meat?
AH: The next day... on Christmas Day.
JT: What was the traditional meal?
AH: Well, the traditional meat was... she would have, like here in Canada, turkey. Turkey, pork, beef... most of your regular meats... whatever you liked. Those were the kinds of meats that were used.
JT: So, as a child you went to public school and also went to the Ukrainian school?
JT: You went through high school?
JT: And then did you go on to college?
AH: I went to Winnipeg. It was I believe in 1947. We have a college in Winnipeg... St. Andrews College. They would advertise the summer courses for young students to take: Ukrainian language, history dancing, sewing, singing. It would be like for seven weeks, through July and August. So, my dad had sent me there for the summer school, which I took. And then I stayed on. Instead of going back home I signed up... it was a business college in Winnipeg. But I didn't go long because at that time I was talked into quitting and going to work for the Consistory. They needed an office secretary at the Consistory. So, one of our clergy talked me out of going. He said they needed somebody... a Ukrainian-speaking individual that would work at the office. You know, I was a young girl, it was a big opportunity.
JT: What did you do at the Consistory?
AH: Typing, answering the telephone. There would be different clergy coming from different parishes to speak with the administrator. Making the appointments and the administrator used to put out different pamphlets and books. I used to run the Gestetner and...
JT: The what?
AH: The Gestetner.
JT: What's that? The mimeograph?
AH: Yes. I call it the Gestetner because it's the company name.
JT: I never heard it before.
AH: Oh, no?
AH: It's a mimeograph machine. I worked everything that had to be done in the office.
JT: Did you think of that as a lifetime career? Or did you think of doing that until you married?
AH: Probably, yes. I worked until I would get married.
JT: And so, when did you marry?
AH: Well, with that job that I had in the Consistory, I also used to work at St. Andrews College. I had... the students would come in and I would register them and make out their different slips and things. Then the Dean asked me if I would also take it upon myself to become the head of the girl's institute.
JT: A Dean?
AH: Well, they didn't exactly call me a Dean. They would just say that I was to watch over the girls because they didn't have nobody. So, I got it, went in and lived at the girls dorm and I checked in the girls when they would go out and come in. The different things that they needed they would come to me. Then in the morning I would go back to the Consistory and work there. When my job was done at 5:00 o'clock, I went back to the girls' dorm.
JT: You lived in the dorm, I suppose?
JT: How many years did you do that?
AH: Three and a half years.
JT: How did you meet your husband?
AH: At the college. He was a theology student at St. Andrews and this is where I met him.
JT: Can you tell us his name?
AH: Stephen Hankavich.
JT: When were you married?
AH: We were married September 2, 1950.
JT: Did you ever consider marrying someone who wasn't a Ukrainian? Or even dating someone who wasn't Ukrainian?
AH: Oh, heavens no. That was against the law.
JT: Did you have a Ukrainian wedding?
AH: More or less, yes.
JT: Was it a big wedding?
AH: Yes, it was a big wedding.
JT: Where was the wedding?
AH: It was in Youngstown, Ohio.
JT: How did we get to Youngstown, Ohio?
AH: Well, Father's dad said, “If she's going to marry you, she had to come to the States because I am not going to Canada.” So, I had to come to the States and be married.
JT: It was big wedding. How many people would you say?
AH: Oh, there were 300.
JT: Could you tell us something about it? What was especially Ukrainian about your wedding?
AH: Well, early in the morning the orchestra came to the house and they started to play wedding music and the house was just a hustle and a bustle. Everybody coming in and out... it was not your typical American wedding. There was, you know, we had people coming from Canada from different place that were invited. It was like a wild house until everybody got to the hall. Before you go to church the parents have a blessing over the children. Then you go to church and from church you go to the hall and you stay there all day. It finished, I believe, about 1:00 or after midnight.
JT: What time was the ceremony?
AH: It was at 2:00 in the afternoon.
JT: What kind of music did the orchestra play?
AH: Strictly Ukrainian wedding pieces. Whenever somebody would come to the house the orchestra would, you know, start to play and greet these people at the door.
JT: Then did you have a wedding feast or dinner?
AH: Yes, at the hall.
JT: After the ceremony?
JT: Then more dancing?
JT: Are there any traditional dances at a wedding?
AH: Really, the Ukrainian type of dancing, it varies. It's not exactly like they play one thing all the time. There's a variety between the polkas and the waltzes and other things they can dance.
JT: Where did you live after you were married?
AH: Well, right after we were married Father was assigned a parish in Northampton, Pennsylvania.
JT: Could we go back a minute?
JT: How long was it after he graduated from Theological Seminary before you were married?
AH: He graduated that summer and we were married in September.
JT: And then you went to live in...
JT: Northampton. How long were you there?
AH: Ten years.
JT: Then did you come to Cleveland?
AH: Yes, from Northampton, Pennsylvania.
JT: You came to Cleveland then; in the '60's.
AH: In 1960.
JT: Why did you come to Cleveland?
AH: Well, he was transferred by the Consistory and it was more or less... you have to, you know, when you're transferred, you have to comply with the orders and go.
JT: Did you work at all after you were married?
AH: I worked in 1968 and 1969, in 1970. I worked for about 3-1/2 years.
JT: What did you do?
AH: I worked a keypunch machine.
JT: Did you enjoy that?
AH: More or less, yes, but it was hard because the girls were already older. They were in school and they wanted their mother at home and, of course, with all the activities by the church... But I did go to work for, like I said, 3-1/2 years. I figured we needed the help for college education for the girls.
JT: I haven't interviewed a clergyman's wife, but I would think that you would have many obligations in connection with his position.
JT: You're very active then in the church? What especially do you do?
AH: I have to be active in the ladies club. Any type of thing that goes on in the church, you're expected to be the first one there, if not to organize it, at least to participate in it. There's always something going on at the church. There's always something to be done.
JT: It's really endless, then. You could be doing something all the time?
AH: I was there for many years. Like from early in the morning, such as 3:00 in the morning. Well, not actually 3:00 but about 4:00 in the morning until about 5:00 in the afternoon. After so many years, we had to give it up. It was just too much to do. This was extra things that weren't actually involved with church. This was helping them with making pyrohy, getting the women down here, taking them back home and making sure everything was running smoothly. Then after Father had his heart attack, it had to come to a halt and we had to slow down.
JT: I know that you built this beautiful new church since you've been here. Did you participate in the fund raising for that?
AH: No, we had men in the church that had like groups of campaign committees that went to members of the parish. Two men went in a certain area, two men. They had their... I guess they divided the parish into so many parts. But, two men would visit and they would more or less like pledge for the church. This is how they...
JT: So, it was done mostly by men through pledges?
AH: Yes. They went from, you know, from home to home.
JT: But, you must have been involved.
AH: Then there were the dinners raising funds. There were extra things that whenever you could make a dinner, sell tickets, do any type of extra work to help along in raising this money, it had to be done. We were always in that.
JT: How many children do you have?
AH: I have two daughters, MaryAnn. She will be 32 this December. The younger one, Donna, she was 28.
JT: You've always lived in a rectory?
JT: When your children were little, what language did you speak at home?
AH: Well, their father made sure that they spoke Ukrainian. Mother was more lenient. She would speak in English to them.
JT: So, from childhood they spoke Ukrainian fluently?
JT: And they spoke English fluently, too?
JT: And they went to public schools?
JT: Did they go to Ukrainian school?
AH: Yes, for ten long years. They didn't like it but they went.
JT: Did you or your husband participate in the Ukrainian school?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: As teachers?
AH: Well, he teaches plus he's the administrator of the Ukrainian school.
JT: You must have had a rather large attendance.
AH: It started... when we first started, my goodness they had... what did you have? [AH asks Father H] 120-150 children when it was at Tremont. I thought there was more? I know when they had it at Tremont, because we used to rent the school at Tremont for the Ukrainian classes. Then we rented Harper School. We used to take our children there. There were quite a few, I would say between 150-180. As the years went on, of course you know children would graduate, go off to college.
JT: Then grandchildren came?
AH: Right. Right. It was a Saturday thing. A lot of kids thought well, all their friends are out playing and I have to be in Ukrainian school. That was...
JT: So, they had their Ukrainian friends and they had their American friends?
JT: And sometimes they had a conflict in their schedules. How about dance groups or singing groups in connection with the young people?
AH: We've always had a dance group at our church. Always.
JT: Have you been involved in that?
AH: Yes, you're involved with it in the fact that when you bring your children there, you have to make sure that the children have costumes. You have to work with the other parents to make sure that they are uniformed and that they look good. So, you work together with the other members.
JT: So, you spent many hours on that. Did you ever teach any of the dancing?
AH: Not myself, no.
JT: Did the group travel?
AH: Yes, they used to go to... I know they even went to a fair... the State Fair.
JT: The Ohio State Fair?
AH: Yes. Then there would be different organizations that would call our dance instructor and have our children come out and dance at different occasions.
JT: This was all for children? You didn't have adult groups?
AH: Well, no. This was strictly children. Yes.
JT: And what they did was folk dancing?
AH: Ukrainian folk dancing.
JT: Would you say that the folk dances came from the Ukraine? The choreography from the Ukraine? Or was it something new that was created here?
AH: No, it was strictly from the Ukraine. The old standard Ukrainian dances. Now I see they have gone more into their own choreography.
JT: Written their own things?
AH: Yes, yes. But, still the background is there. They just sort of modernized it a little bit, to give it a little different effect, whatever.
JT: How about the costumes? Incidentally, when you were a child did you have a national costume?
AH: Oh, yes. Heavens to Betsy, you didn't go nowheres without it.
JT: Oh, where did you get it?
AH: My mother made it.
JT: Your mother was an expert seamstress?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: Did the other children in Canada have a costume?
AH: Oh, everybody. There wasn't a child that didn't have a costume.
JT: Did your mother have one?
AH: Yes, she had a Ukrainian blouse. That was a thing that everybody owned.
JT: Did your mother make them for other people or only for her family?
AH: She would make them for other people too. Some women that didn't know how to embroider or sew.
JT: And so you made them for your daughters?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: Did you put the Ukrainian embroidery on them?
JT: Do you do other embroidery? The pillows on your sofa, did you do those?
AH: You mean these right here? The one was a gift and the other one my mother made.
JT: They are very beautiful. Do you do Ukrainian embroidery?
AH: Oh, yes.
AH: I have a tablecloth I did when I was in school. I was working for my trousseau. I still have it. There are other things that I prefer to tablecloths.
AH: There's things like pillows, for instance, that are more interesting to me than... I don't know if I can show you a lot of... we call them serviettes or whatever. That's our embroidery that you put on top...
JT: Oh, that's a beauty. We call them runners. Your Easter eggs. You have beautiful Ukrainian Easter eggs. Do you...?
AH: I collect those things.
JT: It's a remarkable collection. Do you make them?
AH: I've tried making them and I don't make them to perfection that I like to see an Easter egg done.
JT: Did your mother make them?
AH: No. My mother was just busy with her sewing.
JT: I would think so. How about your daughters, do they make them.
AH: They learned in Ukrainian school and they went to Ukrainian camps. So, they all know how to make them. I don't know if they make them for themselves now. But they do know because they were taught.
JT: The ones that you have here in your collection, are they mostly from parishioners?
AH: A lot of them are from parishioners and a lot of them I have bought from Canada. You see I go to a ...it's held once a year in June. It's called a caravan in Toronto. And it's strictly Ukrainian type of, how do I say? It's a weeklong when things sold...You can buy all different things in Ukrainian...embroidery; Easter eggs...all sorts of...You name it as far as ceramics, flowers. Oh, heavens, we have everything. So, this is where I purchased a lot of my Easter eggs...in Canada.
JT: You have some beautiful embroidered costumes here. I assume that one your husband wears for services?
AH: These are...
JT: Oh, my!
AH: These are Ukrainian vestments which my mother embroidered every one of them.
JT: Oh they are really beautiful.
AH: So, you can see she was talented in her work.
JT: Yes, the typical cross stitch...very fine cross stitch. And it's done on...
AH: Material alone...no canvas. You just count the stitches on the material.
JT: Is this linen?
JT: It's done on linen material and the colors are red and green and orange...
AH: Orange, yellow, black...
JT: It is beautiful. How often does he wear that?
AH: He wears it on Easter Sunday mostly, Christmas.
JT: It's lined in red?
JT: It's very, very beautiful. Think of the hours your mother must have spent on that.
AH: It took her almost a year and that was sitting at it through the day, through the evening, any spare moment that she would have outside of cooking and washing. She spent a lot of time on that.
JT: It's very artistic. Your mother must have been quite an artist. This one is on white material but I see there is another one there on ecru. Does he wear that one more frequently?
AH: Just about the same, I would say. The ecru was done first, then the other one was done later.
JT: Those are simply beautiful vestments and we thank you for showing them to us. Are there singing groups of young people? We talked about the dance groups; are there singing groups?
AH: We have a choir at the church and we have groups of young girls who like to come in and sing the national songs, more or less, for concerts and different things. We have the rehearsals here at the hall. We have the choir rehearsal on Thursdays and they come. The other girls come in whenever they have time.
JT: You probably don't have time for it, but are you active in any other civic and community organizations?
AH: No, that just about keeps me busy right here. Because it's quite a large parish. This household alone keeps me busy. So, between the church and the ladies different auxiliaries and Sixty Pluses and the Orthodox League...
JT: You're active with the senior citizens?
AH: I'm not as active as I should be because I'm not a senior citizen yet. But, I go in with them whenever...They invite me quite often, so I do go in.
JT: Jenny Bochar gave me your name and she thought that you would know some senior Ukrainian women that I might interview. That's one reason why she suggested your name. But then, of course, she thought that you would know a great deal about the culture and so on. When your children were young, I suppose, that you did all the Ukrainian cooking?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: Did your daughters learn to cook Ukrainian things?
AH: Oh, yes.
JT: Are your daughters married? Either one?
AH: My older one, she lives in Baltimore and she has her own business. She owns a court reporting firm.
JT: Oh, that's interesting.
AH: So, she lives, like I said, in Baltimore and she's by herself there. My younger one, she's married and she lives in Great Falls, Virginia, just outside of Washington, because her husband is with the cemetery with the Honor Guard.
JT: I see. Did she marry a Ukrainian?
JT: Does she keep what I would call a Ukrainian home? Does she do the cooking that she learned at home?
AH: She tries. She tries quite a bit of the Ukrainian things that she likes. She misses it because I know when I come there she says, “show me how to do this” and “show me how to do that.”
JT: Does she have children?
AH: She has a little boy, Adam. He was just born July 22.
JT: Does your daughter and her husband speak Ukrainian at home?
AH: No. I'll tell you the reason why. Mike comes from a Ukrainian family as far as his father is concerned. Now, he met his mother in Germany during the war and his mother is German. She does not speak Ukrainian. So, Mike was brought up in a family where English was spoken mainly in the house. So, he does not speak Ukrainian.
JT: But he eats Ukrainian food?
AH: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. He's eating Ukrainian food. See, his grandparents were Ukrainian. He was brought up by...his dad died when he was only 17. So, he was often at his grandmother's and his grandfather's and they were strictly Ukrainian. So, he knows how the Ukrainian...
JT: Are they active in a church?
AH: He was active when he lived in Arnold. He was active in his Ukrainian church in Arnold. Then when they moved to Washington, they went to church there, but it was quite far from where they live. Now, they're building a church right now in Spring something, Maryland. So, they do attend there now.
JT: And that is Ukrainian Orthodox?
JT: Are they involved in promoting the building of the church?
AH: Yes. It says Washington, D.C., but actually it's not in the city. It's in Maryland.
JT: Silver Spring?
AH: Silver Spring. That's the place where I'm searching for. They go to church there now with their little boy. The church is being held in the basement of the parish home. In the summertime the services are held outside. Now that it's getting cold they made a chapel in the basement and this is where they're serving. So this is where they go.
JT: So, they'll probably bring up your grandson to be Ukrainian Orthodox but probably not to speak the language? But, he will appreciate much of the food.
AH: Oh, yes. Well, we are...her father keeps telling her that she should talk to him in Ukrainian so he would know how to speak it.
JT: Do either of your daughters do embroidery?
AH: They're not as involved with embroidery. They have other things that they like to do. Donna, the younger one, she does a little more of the embroidery. Although, when they were at home they were taught how to do it. They do know how. Then, once you know how, you don't forget. You can always pick up and it's just a matter of wanting to do it.
JT: Let's see...anything else about your daughters. They both seem to have very successful careers.
AH: Especially the one that's a nurse. She's a visiting nurse in the Washington area.
JT: Very good. Have you ever been back to Europe?
AH: No. My father has, but I never had a desire to go back.
JT: What are your feelings about the Ukraine, today? Do you approve of our policy toward the Ukraine?
AH: Well, the Ukraine is strictly under the Russian rule. There is no freedom there at all. So, I don't know if they'll ever get their freedom.
JT: Do you do anything actively for the liberation?
AH: No. There's nothing you can really do. Because those people are so suppressed that they don't dare do anything. If they do, they're automatically put into prisons and there's nothing that they can do.
JT: So, you don't have much hope for the liberation of the Ukraine?
AH: I pray to God that someday it will come, but I don't know when that time will come.
JT: Do you correspond with anyone in the Ukraine?
AH: Yes. I have aunts there. My mother's sisters that I write to. I send them little packages whenever I can every now and then, which helps them a little bit.
JT: Do you think that the correspondence gets through and the packages?
AH: Yes, they do get it.
JT: Do you get letters from them in response?
JT: Very good. Do you take any Ukrainian magazines or newspapers?
AH: The house is full of them. The house is full of Ukrainian newspapers, magazines, you name it and we'll give you one.
JT: Are any of them from Europe?
AH: No, not from the communist part. He gets papers... church papers like maybe from Canada, Australia, Germany, Belgium.
JT: Do you read them?
AH: Oh, yes, oh, yes. I do more needlework.
JT: But your husband reads them regularly?
AH: I like to read if there's a paper on the table, nobody in the house, nobody bothering me, I can concentrate. The minute I pick up a paper somebody walks in, the telephone rings, my distraction just goes off that article and I lose interest and that's it.
JT: How about books?
AH: Same thing with books. I have to be completely by myself and no noise and no distraction. I'm not one of these readers like the kids can. They can have a radio going, they can have all kinds of things and they can read and they tell me that they know what they're reading. I'm not one of those.
JT: No, I'm not either. How about radio programs?
AH: Ukrainian radio programs? We have a Ukrainian radio program.
JT: Do you listen to that?
AH: Not as often as we should because we're either not at home at that time or something that is not coinciding with the time the program is on.
JT: Have you ever been interested in politics? Either Cleveland or Parma politics?
AH: That's one thing I stay away from. They never talk about religion or politics. Religion, I live with it. But, politics, no. Politics and me just do not get together.
JT: Well, that's interesting. I don't have any more questions. Is there anything that you would like to add or we have omitted? It appears to me that you have followed quite closely the family customs that your mother and father brought from the Ukraine and that you and your husband have continued them in your home and it's a major part of your life. But, that maybe your children are getting away from it somewhat.
AH: They still, no matter where they are...they still come home for the Easter and Christmas holidays. That then is dear, so they do come home for it. They don't make it for themselves. I suppose because of so much work involved and so much food involved and one person consuming and it's not...When I make it and when it was just the two children we used to invite a lot of friends and people, so we had, you know, a nice group of people sitting at the table for Christmas and Easter. So, I doubt if they do as much. For one thing, because I know they come home for the holidays.
JT: And will continue to, I'm sure.
AH: As long as mother's around, I think they'll be coming.
JT: I suppose that you and your husband are as deeply involved in the Ukrainian community as anyone could be. What do you see in the Ukrainian community that's dynamic right now? Is there anything that they are promoting or that growing? I'm thinking of cultural things.
AH: Oh, there's always some type of concerts all the time that we attend. Ukrainian concerts. Whether it be local people or whether it be people that come from the different cities...from Canada, Chicago, New York or even from Europe. There's always some type of concert that's being sponsored.
JT: Yes. Do you think any new music is being written in the Ukrainian community?
AH: Here in the States?
AH: I'm sure that there are people that are musically inclined that do. Most of your Ukrainian music has come from Europe. I guess the most popular one that has come out was from this young man that was killed. His name was Iwasiuk. His first name was Vladimir, I believe.
AH: I believe it was Vladimir Iwasiuk. His music and his words were the newest things that he wrote. They killed him. They jabbed his eyes out.
JT: Who is they?
AH: The communists? Because he wrote quite a bit of music pertaining to the Ukrainian people and to the...
JT: I was thinking of the new developments here because I understand there's quite a bit of creativity in the Ukrainian community in Canada. That they are writing new music and that it's very modern music and that sometimes the older people don't like it at all and they have arguments about whether this is Ukrainian or not.
AH: Yes, we do a lot of that on the farms in Canada. There's young people that, you know, like to have fun. They modernized the Ukrainian music to American...not American...
JT: Rock and Roll?
AH: Yes. Americanized it or whatever you want to say which a lot of the older people are offended I'm sure. But they don't mean any harm by it I'm sure. They just want to be creative.
JT: Well, it is. It's a sign that the community is creative. I understand that there's some art work. That some new people are doing abstract art and doing it as Ukrainian within the Ukrainian community. Do you think there's any of that in Cleveland?
AH: There's an art place right here on State Road just before Brookpark. What is the name of it? I know where the place is and they do have Ukrainian art there on display all the time. And then there's art displays at different churches...well, they come in from different places. They show it. We have an artist right here in our own parish. His name is Swyrydenko and he's quite well known. His first name also is Walter. He teaches in, I believe, Ashland College. He's an art teacher, but he does a lot of Ukrainian art and he has a lot of displays in New York, in Canada and travels quite a ways with his art.
JT: I like to classify the embroidery as art. Are there any new designs? Or anything new in embroidery?
AH: Most of your embroidery will tend to stick to the old type of embroidery. But there are revisions of the old embroidery to give it a little different look or perspective about the whole thing. I believe it's all up to the woman that's embroidering, how creative she wants to be or whether she wants it to be just as it was. It varies with the different people and the different...and they come out with different books. I know we've got quite a few because we have a library in our church here. They come out with different embroideries. The women's society in Canada is very active with this embroidery.
JT: And I'm sure the fabrics have changed. Or is it still always done on hand-woven linen?
AH: Well, the fabric had changed to the fact that it's easier to launder now. It still has to be the type of material where you can count the threads. Unless you pick a silk material where it's absolutely impossible to count your threads, then you must sew canvas on top of it and sew on top of the canvas and then pull that canvas out when you finish.
JT: Thread by thread?
AH: Thread by thread. Then you have your embroidery on top of silk. But most of your embroidery materials are kept either to linens or to some type of white wash and wear material that can be washed, laundered and the thread must be such that you can count it in order to embroidery on it.
JT: I understand. How about literature? Is there anyone in your community here in Cleveland who is writing in Ukrainian? Either essays or literature, fiction, prose, poetry?
AH: Well, I'll tell you, my father has had about five, six, seven poems published in the Ukrainian papers.
JT: Very good.
AH: He dabbles in poetry, believe it or not. He's 85 but he's...
JT: He has time for it.
AH: Now, he's writing all his memoirs. So, it should be quite interesting when he's done. He's put on tape all the different Ukrainian songs that have been sung at weddings. The different things that you do at weddings and you don't do, he's put all that on tape and he put on paper the different songs...the words so they don't get lost and forgotten about. Every night he sits in his chair and he writes all the different things through his life that he's remembered.
JT: That's great. How about the Ukrainian church? I'm sure it's very active here or you wouldn't have built a new church. And I assume that it's active and growing and is very community conscious.
AH: In Parma, yes. There's an awful lot of Ukrainian people in Parma here. I don't know if you noticed this, there's a lot of Ukrainian churches, too.
JT: Yes, I did notice that.
AH: I would say this is the Ukrainian community in Parma.
JT: Did they move out of the central city here? This is the suburb they moved to or did they come here?
AH: Well, most of them lived in Cleveland around W. 14th Street, W. 11th Street...all around the Tremont area.
JT: So, they moved to Parma and established in this area?
JT: Well, that's very interesting and I have no more questions. Is there anything you'd like to add?
AH: The only thing I can say is we try to promote our culture, our traditions as much as we possibly can to our people or to outside people who are interested or even to people that like intermarried with our children to teach them the different things and we think it's interesting. So, we feel whoever is interested, we're pleased to teach it to them and to pass it on. We just don't want to see it die off because as you can see the embroidery is beautiful. I don't know if you've ever attended Ukrainian dancing.
JT: Yes, I have. It's beautiful.
AH: Because we have a group right here in Parma, one of our parishioners is the teacher. He just lives down the street from us. He's got, I think, 150 adults learning Ukrainian dancing. They dance to perfection. I mean they...when they go on a stage, they are just gorgeous.
JT: And they have beautiful costumes too, I'm sure they do.
AH: Oh, yes, and they must keep everything up because for one thing, each dance requires a different type of ostume...say from a different region of the Ukraine or a different...whatever the dance wants to show, the costume must go along with it. So, they are busy and the parents are busy with them. We're trying as hard as possible. So, I don't think it will die. It'll be kept going as long as we're here.
JT: I'm sure it will. We thank you very much for the interview.
AH: You're welcome, I'm sure.