Ethnic Women of Cleveland

Helen Pukach Recording & Transcript

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  • INTERVIEWEE: Helen Pukach
  • INTERVIEWER: Jeanette Tuve
  • DATE: December 1, 1986
  • PROGRAM LENGTH: 58:03 min.

JT: Mrs. Pukach, what was your maiden name?

HP: Helen Repuzynsky.

JT: Where and when were you born?

HP: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 1916.

JT: And what is your nationality?

HP: Ukrainian.

JT: Where were your parents born?

HP: My mother was born in Galicia and my father was born in Bukovina.

JT: When did your father come to the United States?

HP: My father came to Canada first. That was in 1912, I think. He was there only a year and then came to the United States, 1913. My mother came in 1914.

JT: Why did your father come?

HP: To make a better living for himself.

JT: Why did your mother come?

HP: My mother — her father came over here first. He was here for two years, he made a little bit of money and he came back to Europe and he wanted my mother to come here to make a better life for herself.

JT: How old was she when she came?

HP: She was sixteen years old.

JT: She did not know your father, then when she came?

HP: No.

JT: How did they meet?

HP: They met here, at social gatherings and at church. At that time there was only the Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

JT: That's the church of the Byzantine rites?

HP: Yes.

JT: When were they married?

HP: 1915.

JT: How many children did they have?

HP: They had two children; a brother and a sister.

JT: What did your father do?

HP: My father worked for the US post office at one time, and then he had shares in Auburn Baking Company and he worked for them.

JT: Did your mother work outside her home?

HP: Yes, she did. She worked nights.

JT: Your father worked in the daytime and your mother worked at nights? Did your father take care of the children while your mother worked?

HP: Yes. Also my father was one of the directors of the Ukrainian Bank.

JT: What did your mother do?

HP: She was a housekeeper.

JT: Was your mother active in the church?

HP: Very active in the church. She was with the sisterhood, and in those days money was scarce, they were always donating their time to church, cooking for different affairs.

JT: Your mother did a great deal of cooking for the church?

HP: Oh, yes. We had a lot of dinners at that time.

JT: What language did you speak at home?

HP: My mother learned to speak very well in English from going to the movies. At that time there was no sound, just the pictures and the printing, so whenever we went to the movies she remembered. And every day my dad and my mother, we had three papers coming into the home. At that time it was the Press, the News, and the Plain Dealer. My father was a very avid reader and so was my mother. And they read in Ukrainian; we had a lot of Ukrainian papers coming in, from Canada, from South America, from here in the United States.

JT: They read English and Ukrainian?

HP: They both spoke it well and they read in both English and Ukrainian.

JT: As a child did you speak Ukrainian?

HP: Oh, yes.

JT: And you still do?

HP: I still do.

JT: And your brother?

HP: And my brother, too, although he has forgotten a lot, which surprises me because he's younger. But he isn't as close to the church as I am so he doesn't get to use it much.

JT: Did your mother do a lot of Ukrainian cooking?

HP: Oh, yes.

JT: What do you remember that was special?

HP: Her stuffed cabbage, her holuchi and her pyrohy.

JT: What was pyrohy?

HP: That's a dumpling with stuffing of potatoes, or sauerkraut, or cheese. And they make little pyrohies with mushrooms or meat. And then we had pyroshka, where instead of cooking them, they make them more like a doughnut, and this they stuff with meat or buckwheat, or cabbage, or potatoes. And they deep fry.

JT: And what did she bake?

HP: She baked the Ukranian bread, that was her specialty.

JT: Was she interested in music?

HP: Very much so. My brother and I, we attended the church choir, that was a strict thing in our home. We went to the choir, we went to Ukrainian dancing school, we went to Ukrainian school, and our school at that time was conducted after we came from regular school. Now the school is held on Saturdays and they have a full day of it. Then we went three days a week.

JT: What did you learn in Ukrainian school?

HP: We learnt the history, we learnt how to read and write, the art, the culture, the religion. We had catechism.

JT: What did you do in music? You mentioned dancing.

HP: Dancing and choir.

JT: What kind of dancing?

HP: Ukrainian dancing. Folk dancing.

JT: Was that in connection with the church?

HP: No. I wouldn't say it was with the church because the lessons were held at that time at the Ukrainian National Home, at the Ukrainian center there. But I know that it was approved by the church, and it was well spoken of, and every program we held at the church the children danced. So it had to be with the sanction of the church, too, I think.

JT: Where did they get their dance patterns or their choreography?

HP: Well, the choreography was done by Mr. Avramenkoff. He was fantastic! And he didn't speak any English at all these children would gather and he would really have a time for it. But he was fantastic. We went all over with these dances. We traveled to Youngstown and to Buffalo, to Detroit, to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933, a long time ago. We really had a fantastic time with this man.

JT: He was from Ukraine, I'm sure.

HP: Yes, he was.

JT: Was he a professional dancer?

HP: Yes, he was. He came just before 1933. I was about 12 years old when I started to go to dancing school and choir.

JT: But it was the church choir?

HP: Church choir and then there was the national choir. He national choir was the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church together. They would put on some fantastic concerts together. It was very nice.
JT: Where did you go to school?

HP: I went to Tremont and to Lincoln High School.

JT: Where did you live when you were a child? Did you live in the Tremont area?

HP: We lived on Professor and Jefferson and Auburn. My early adult life was on Auburn Avenue.

JT: And now you live in Seven Hills. You said you went to Tremont and then to Lincoln high school, and after school you went to Ukrainian school?

HP: We were very busy and I think that helped... Well, it was the depression and you really couldn't go anywhere so most of our life was around the church or around the Ukrainian National Home. That was three or four nights a week, so you really kept out of difficulties. I think that is one of the things nowadays, that the children have too much time on their hands.

JT: And your mother was active in helping out with most of these things?

HP: Yes.

JT: She baked for bake sales, and helped out with church suppers. Did she sew too?

HP: Yes, she sewed.

JT: Did you have a national costume?

HP: Oh! I did! In fact I had two costumes, and one of my costumes came from Europe, from the village where my father came from. You know how you lend things out, and I'm sorry to say, I don't have either costume. I lent them out and I've never been able to get them back.

JT: That's too bad.

HP: Yes, it is, because I had beautiful costumes. The village my father came from, oh, I wish I could have brought you some of the things my cousin has. They sew from the back to the front, and you sew on really heavy linen, and it's so tiny, the threads are so close together. I don't know how they manage to sew like that. It's really fantastic. I'm sorry I didn't think of bringing any to show you.

JT: We have some fine examples here. We are having this interview in the Library of St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Church and there are many examples of fine Ukrainian embroidery here. Did your mother do that?

HP: Yes.
JT: And you do it too?

HP: Yes. Just the cross-stitch. I don't do the back to the front work.

JT: I see, but your mother did all of it?

HP: Yes. And she found time to sew in addition.

JT: And did she knit or crochet?

HP: She crocheted.

JT: And did she sing in the choir?

HP: No. And neither did my dad.

JT: Was your mother active in any organizations outside of the church?

HP: Yes, she belonged to the society of Ukrainian Women.

JT: Did she do anything special for that?

HP: No. She was just a member. She was one of the charter members of St. August's from the church.

JT: That's a women's guild?

HP: Yes, most of he members are gone now. There are very few original members left.

JT: Were either of your parents interested in politics?

HP: Oh, my dad was. In Ukrainian politics, we heard it from knee high up.

JT: In Cleveland or in the Ukraine?

HP: In Cleveland and in the Ukraine. He was so well read.

JT: Did your mother and father ever have a chance to go back to Ukraine?

HP: Yes, my mother went back in 1970. Her mother was 97 years old at the time and she had been bedridden for eleven years. When she was leaving her mother got up out of that bed to wave goodbye to her and the next spring she died.

JT: How nice that your mother could go back. I'm sure she enjoyed the trip.

HP: She did, but she got sick on the water, so she was in bed for seven days. But she was very fortunate that they let her in to her village, because there were other people on the tour that they wouldn't allow them into the villages. She was very happy that she was able to get into the village.

JT: Did she have any impressions of her homeland?

HP: You know before you can go into a village the people of the village have to give permission and the village is notified that if they want a visitor everything has to be spruced up. She said the church — you know they close all the churches after Russia came in — was falling down. There was no priest in the village. A doctor had to come in from another village to tend to her. And they had just gotten electricity into the village that time. They had gotten the electricity and she gifted them with a refrigerator before she left.

JT: It sounds as if her village was worse off in 1970 than it was when she left it.

HP: Just about.

JT: Well, it's wonderful that she had a chance to go back. You went to Lincoln High School and you graduated in 1934, and did you go on for further education?

HP: Yes, I had two years at Fenn College.

JT: What did you study there?

HP: Business.

JT: And then you worked for a while?

HP: Yes, I worked for Ohio State Employment Services and then I worked for the Sheriff's Department.

JT: That was during depression, I'm sure. How did you meet your husband?

HP: At the church. We grew up together.

JT: So he's Ukrainian too?

HP: Yes.

JT: And what is his name?

HP: Michael Pukach.

JT: Did you have a Ukrainian wedding?
HP: Well, it was partly Ukrainian. The ceremony was all in Ukrainian. At the time they didn't go into the bilingual. Some of the ceremonies now are bilingual or all Ukrainian if you want it to be. I was a beautiful ceremony.

JT: You had the liturgy in Ukrainian?

HP: In Ukrainian, and the choir sang.

JT: What kind of dress did you wear?

HP: Oh, it was beautiful.

JT: Was there anything Ukrainian about it?

HP: No. But I've heard there have been a lot of weddings where the bride's gown is all embroidered in Ukrainian and the bridesmaids are all in Ukrainian and the men wear Ukrainian shirts.

JT: Do you think there is more of that today hat there was when you were married?

HP: Yes.

JT: Interesting, isn't it?

HP: Yes, this all came, this embroidery for the weddings, this all came after World War II, after the new wave of immigrants came in.

JT: Do you think it was because of the new wave of immigrants? They brought the know-how with them?

HP: Right.

JT: But it's happening in other nationality groups too.

HP: Oh, is it? I'm glad to hear that.

JT: My name is Norwegian, and my husband's niece had a very Norwegian wedding and that was the first one in the family in this country. I think there is a renewed interest in ethnicity, but as you say, many Ukrainians came after the war.

You have in the museum cases here some very interesting wedding bread. Is that what it's called?

HP: Yes. The wedding bread is called korvey. The little birds on it are for happiness and health and wealth. Each quest is gifted with a little bird of happiness at the place setting and these korveys are highly decorated. They are really beautiful. The korvey is cut at the same time as the traditional wedding cake and everyone is gifted with korvey too. Plus the little birds that they give.

JT: The korvey is yeast dough?

HP: Yes, it is.

JT: Is that ordinarily made by the bride's mother?

HP: By the bride's mother or some friend of the family. Not many women would do the fancy work on the bread.

JT: Make the fruit and the flowers and so forth?

HP: Right.

JT: Did you have a reception after your wedding?

HP: Yes.

JT: Did you have dancing and all that?

HP: We had dancing and at that time we had a traditional bridal dance and you danced practically with every invited member to the wedding. But I've been to several weddings in the past years and they don't have that traditional wedding dance any more. At that time they had plates, and whenever a man came up to dance with the bride, he would try to crack the plate with at that time they had fifty-cent pieces. Or a silver dollar, and they would try to see if they could crack that plate.

JT: And the money went to the bride?

HP: Yes.

JT: Anything else that was traditional? What kind of music did you have?

HP: Just the traditional music. But when the bride and groom would enter the hall for the reception, usually the two mothers, the mother and the mother-in-law, would be waiting to greet the couple and they would greet them with salt, sugar, and bread. This is for fertility, and health... and love.

JT: What did your husband do?

HP: My husband was in the restaurant business for 22 years. When we were married he was a printer.

JT: Where did you live then?
HP: We lived in Parma; we moved right out to Parma when we got married.

JT: So you've moved from Tremont to Parma to Seven Hills. Did you continue to work after you were married?

HP: For about a year. In the Sheriff's department.

JT: And then you retired to have a child?

HP: And then I retired to have a child.

JT: How many children do you have?

HP: I have two boys.

JT: Did you work after they became older?

HP: I helped my husband in the business. And I worked at the Ukrainian Bank for a while.

JT: I haven't heard of Ukrainian bank before.

HP: Oh, you didn't? That was started around 1917 by Father Tornowski from St. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church. It started on College Avenue right across from the church, and then it moved to a building on Professor and Fairview and they were there and his son became the manager of the bank, John Tornowski. And this bank was all shares, stockholders. It was called Ukrainian Savings and Loan, and Mr. Tornowski sold to West Side Savings and Loan. That was about 20 years ago, and then it became Cardinal Savings and Loan.

JT: Oh, that's part of Cardinal. What did you do when you worked at the bank?

HP: I was a mortgage secretary, and a teller. It was very interesting work.

JT: How many years did you work at the bank?

HP: About four.

JT: What else did you do in the way of work?

HP: I was always a secretary.

JT: That's because of your training at Fenn College.

HP: I guess so. Although I always wanted to go back into history. I loved history.

JT: You've been very active in the church, I'm sure.

HP: Yes.

JT: You and your husband both?

HP: Yes.

JT: What have you done for St. Vladimir's?

HP: How can I put it into words? I hope I have helped to keep some of our people together. I belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox League. I'm a vice-president in St. Anne's. I belong to the 60+Club. I've been a very secretary here for twelve years.

JT: You mean you work in the church office?

HP: No, from our Board of Trustees. And I hope that I've been able to implement some of my thoughts.

JT: What are some of your thoughts?

HP: I would like to see more cooperation among the younger men coming into the church and not leave out the older folks that are still left here. But I can see their point of view. They are all out in big business and they are trying to bring that big business into the church. In my opinion that isn't going to work. Most of the members of the church here, about 55% I would say, are older people. And you can't push something very new on them. They have to work themselves into it. We have such hardworking groups here that I hope everything will come out all right.

JT: Do you see this church as a sanctuary of Ukrainian culture?

HP: I hope it will be.

JT: Do you think it is preserved better in the church than it is elsewhere?

HP: I think so. I brought a picture of our headquarters in Bound Brook; that was a cover we had on one of our commemorative series. Have you ever been inside of our church?

JT: No, I haven't. Does this church have any folk dancing groups?

HP: Yes, they do. The group meets on Wednesdays and David Woravel is the director of it. They have a nice group... Some children are five years old, up into the teen-agers. There is another group which is made up of Ukrainian students from the Catholic and the Orthodox and whoever; it's called Kashtan. They are very popular. They travel all over the United States and Canada.

JT: Have you been active in that?

HP: No, I haven't. Because that started up in my later years, so I haven't been involved. I'd like to, but I don't think I could keep up with them.

JT: What do you think is your special talent that you have given to the church?

HP: I really don't know.

JT: Organization, do you think?

HP: Organization, I think.

JT: You know how to get things together.

HP: And I think the stamina of trying to keep it all together.

JT: How much of your time do you spend in connection with the church?

HP: I'm here at least three times a week. For half a day or more.

JT: That's really a wonderful endeavor. Are you active in other organizations?

HP: I belong to another retirement club, but no organization other than that.

JT: What do you do with your retirement club?

HP: With the retirement club... To me our retirement club here at the church has a different purpose than the retirement club that I belong to in Seven Hills. There that's mostly a social club. Here we visit our elderly, our sick, in the hospitals. We try to do different things for the church. We do Easter decorations, Christmas decorations. We try to put a little bit of religion into our club. We have an awful lot of lectures, people coming in. I really enjoy this one more that I do the other because, like I say, it's more of a social club in Seven Hills.

JT: When your children were little did you speak Ukrainian at home?

HP: Well, my mother and dad lived with us, so most of the speaking was done by them, in Ukrainian. My husband and I, we talked too in Ukrainian.

JT: And your children learned Ukrainian?

HP: Yes, but no as well as I would have liked them to.

JT: Did they go to Ukrainian school?

HP: My oldest son went to Ukrainian school for a bit, but my youngest son didn't. At the time the church was being built, this church here was being built, and we lived out of the district, so there was no way for my younger son to come to school. For many years we didn't have Ukrainian School.

JT: But now there is one again?

HP: Oh, yes, we have a very nice Ukrainian School.

JT: How many students do you have, approximately?

HP: At the last count there were 72, I think.

JT: Were your children involved in the dancing?

HP: No, neither one of them danced.

JT: Did they want to?

HP: Like I said, there was a period where there wasn't anything going on. So they lost out on it.

JT: That's too bad. But you continued your mother's Ukrainian cooking, I'm sure.

HP: Oh, sure.

JT: What's your specialty?

HP: I like to make stuffed cabbage. I like to make borscht. And the usual, the pyrohy. I like to bake; I bake the bread and I have recipe for honey cake, for nut rolls and poppy seed rolls that as a tradition has been handed down, the recipes.

JT: What schools did your sons attend?

HP: Both my sons attended James Ford Rhodes. They both graduated from James Ford Rhodes.

JT: And then did they go on?

HP: My oldest son went into the Navy and my youngest son has his degree from community college.

JT: What is he doing?

HP: He's a lieutenant in the service department.

JT: That's a good profession. Do they speak Ukrainian now?

HP: Yes, they do.

JT: Are they married?

HP: Yes.

JT: Did they marry Ukrainian girls?

HP: No. Neither one married a Ukrainian, but they married ethnic girls. The oldest son is married to a Slovak girl, and the youngest son is married to an Italian-Slovak girl.

JT: It's all in the neighborhood then.

HP: My granddaughter asks her mother the other day, she says, "What nationality am I?" And she said, "A quarter Italian, a quarter Slovak, and half Ukrainian."

JT: How old is your granddaughter?

HP: One is eight and one is seven.

JT: Do either one of them speak Ukrainian?

HP: I hope to enroll them in school this fall.

JT: They live in Cleveland?

HP: They live in Brookpark, yes.

JT: Do your daughter-in-law cook anything Ukrainian?

HP: The traditional, the pyrohy and the stuffed cabbage.

JT: They come back to your house for holidays?

HP: Even for Thanksgiving — pyrohy.

JT: What is your favorite holiday?

HP: My favorite holiday is Easter.

JT: Why do you like Easter?

HP: The religious part ... and I love Christmas Eve. We have services Christmas Eve and all the responses are carols. To me that's ... I'm very sentimental. And Easter we have the blessing of the food, and my mother always had our food blessed at home. She would prepare everything and the priest would come and bless it at home, and I've kept that up. And I think that's why I like it so much.

JT: But many people take the basket to the church?

HP: To the church, yes. Last year I asked father if he had many [homes to visit] and he says no that most of them are bringing their baskets to church.

JT: What else do you especially like about Easter?

HP: I love the ceremony. The liturgy is beautiful. We have a beautiful choir. In fact, Ihor's brother is the director, and he is just a young man. He's sixteen or seventeen years old, he goes to Baldwin Wallace. He's majoring in music. But our responses are so beautiful for the holidays. By the choir, and the mass itself is just beautiful.

JT: Do you sing in the choir?

HP: I did. I don't now.

JT: What did you and your husband like to do for recreation?

HP: We liked to dance, we liked to go to concerts, to plays, and we just joined in all the activity of the church.

JT: Did you ever do with anyone or think seriously of marrying anyone who wasn't Ukrainian?

HP: I dated people that were not Ukrainian, but, no, I don't think I ever considered seriously anybody else.

JT: Did you and your husband ever go to Europe?

HP: No. My husband wasn't a well man, and, first of all, he couldn't fly and that held us back. But we traveled all over the United States and Canada, but always by car.

JT: Your husband ran a restaurant. Did he have any specialties?

HP: No.

JT: When you helped out did you do some of the cooking?

HP: Well, when he first went into business my mother was with us and she did the cooking, so we had our usual pyrohy and things like that she prepared.

JT: But in the long run it was regular American food?

HP: Right.

JT: I assume that you and your husband read many Ukrainian papers and so on?

HP: Yes, we did.

JT: Do you still have Ukrainian newspapers and magazines in your home?

HP: Yes, I do.

JT: And you read them regularly?

HP: Yes.

JT: Can you read Ukrainian as easily as English?

HP: Well, I'll tell you, the words that have come over after the Second World War, there are a lot of words that are unrecognizable to me and very hard to pronounce. It seems like most of the people here at our church have come from the province of Kiev, around the city of Kiev, the capitol, and they call that Veliko Ukraine. Like my mother [was] from Galicynia — the words are different. It would be just like here in the United States. When you talk with anyone from the South they have a different dialect from us here in the North. And this is the same way in some of the words. Sometimes when I come across a Ukrainian word and it's almost a half a line across it's hard for me to get it at once because I'm not used to such long words.

JT: But in this country, although you have different dialects, you have no trouble reading things that are printed. Do you mean they have a different vocabulary in different parts of the Ukraine?

HP: What I think is that they combine words into one and it makes it difficult when maybe that word would have been three for me otherwise. So that when I read fast sometimes have to go over it a couple times before I get the meaning. But they give me letters to read and I read them.

JT: You correspond, then, with people in the Ukraine?

HP: Yes, I do. I correspond with folks in my mother's village. My father's family is all gone so I don't correspond with anybody there.

JT: Do you have any trouble getting the letters back and forth?

HP: We've never had any trouble. It takes a little longer for the letters to get here.

JT: But you do receive them and they receive yours?

HP: Yes.

JT: You have trouble reading their writing?

HP: No. The village where my mother was raised, that was different writing, too, that was mixed with ... it doesn't compare with the Ukrainian writing of now. But I can read it, and when I write to them I write the way I was taught and they don't have any trouble reading my writing either.

JT: You should go over for a visit.

HP: I would love to go. When my mother went back she went to her village, to Kiev, and the tour included Moscow and they took her to visit the museum. It was very nice.

JT: When she originally came to this country did she plan to stay here? Or did she plan to go back?

HP: No, she didn't plan to go back.

JT: Some people do.

HP: We had a lot of people that came after World War II that were here for a couple of years and didn't like it; they went back. Like that case in Chicago with that boy and the parents didn't like it here. There were quite a few that went back.

JT: Well, I didn't hear about that in Cleveland. Those things they don't put in the newspaper. Why did they find it difficult here?

HP: I don't know whether it was the language barrier. I could never understand why they would want to go back, because when they first came they were telling you about all the hardships there and what they could do and what they couldn't do, what the government took away from them. And then they went back. I couldn't understand that.

JT: Probably something was difficult for them here, maybe finding work.

HP: Well, at that time almost all of them were sponsored. In fact, my mother and dad brought over four families, but before they allowed to come in we had to find them employment.

JT: Did any of them go back?

HP: No.

JT: Do you listen to the Ukrainian radio programs?

HP: Oh, sure.

JT: What do you like to listen to?

HP: Oh, I like to listen to music.

JT: The polkas and so on.

HP: Yes.

JT: Do you like the modern music?

HP: No.

JT: Do you listen to the talking too?

HP: Yes, I do. It's interesting. I like the concerts and I like to listen to their speeches. I learned a lot. I learned a lot about the famine. We knew there was a famine, because my father would get papers from Brazil or Argentina and it would tell about the famine. And different things — when they have their speeches about different women, the poets that were imprisoned. Whenever they have any kind of program I usually try to go.

JT: Do you babysit for your children?

HP: I do on occasion. My oldest granddaughter, one is 22 and one is 20, so I don't do too much of it there.

JT: But when they were younger?

HP: Oh, yes, I did.

JT: Did you tech them any Ukrainian?

HP: Oh, yes. They know some Ukrainian. I tried to teach them Ukrainian dances.

JT: I don't have any more questions. Is there anything you would like to add?

HP: I think children and grandchildren should take a pride in their history, in the Ukraine, because I think without their support if there should be another war it would demolish all the culture.

JT: It might demolish the culture here as well as in Europe. What do you like to do for recreation now?

HP: I read a lot. I could get lost in a book.

JT: What do you like to read?

HP: I like to read a good novel, history.

JT: Do you ever read Ukrainian history?

HP: Oh, yes.

JT: Did you read Robert Conquest's book about the famine?

HP: No, I didn't, but I have a book here about the famine. I've read it and I don't know... It's so tragic that I had to read it through a few times to gasp it, how terrible that was. I remember the depression here and how bad it was. And I remember the strikes. And now when I see that strike in Lorain it brought back so many memories, and I'm just hoping that we've not headed for anything like that again because I don't think the children today could cope with it as well as we did.

JT: Do you associate depression here with the famine in the Ukraine?

HP: It happened at the same time. I just can't think that anyone would be that cruel to cause anything like that. Here it was mostly a financial crisis that brought this on, but over there they didn't have the money ...

JT: I find it very hard to believe that [the famine in the Ukraine] was intentional.

HP: I can't believe ... how evil can people be to do something like that?

JT: I think Stalin believed [collectivization] would work. I don't think he planned a famine. I find that hard to believe.

HP: I really don't know. The more I read that pamphlet through — like I say I just can't understand that such a thing could happen.

JT: Did you see the movie on channel 25, "Harvest of Despair?"

HP: Yes, I did. But isn't the same thing happening now in Ethiopia?

JT: Last summer, yes, it was.

HP: And in Africa, some of those provinces. And you wonder, because right now you hear all this food being shipped there, of the medication, where is it all going?

JT: Much of it never gets to the people who are starving, because famines, I think, are partly problems of transportation.

HP: Do you really think so?

JT: Yes. In other places there is plenty of food but the transportation is not adequate to get it to the people who are starving. The famine in the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 was very complicated and very heartbreaking. None of your relatives were affected, as far as you know?

HP: No, but they were hungry, but they were fortunate that they got through it.

JT: Are your sons and their families active in the church?

HP: Not as active as I would want them to be.

JT: But they do attend occasionally, holidays and things like that?

HP: Yes, occasionally.

JT: And then come to Grandma's for holidays? They come to enjoy your cooking?

HP: Yes, yes.

JT: Your granddaughters who are 20 and 22, are they in college?

HP: The older one is married and the younger one is going to Welsh College in Canton.

JT: Do the granddaughters do any of the dancing?

HP: No. Like I say, the younger ones are going to enroll in the dancing and in the Ukrainian school.

JT: And the parents are anxious for you to do that?

HP: Oh, yes.

JT: Good. I hope they like it.

HP: Oh, I hope so, because I really enjoyed it. I guess my life has been right by the church, all my life.

JT: It sounds that way and that's very satisfying, I'm sure.

HP: To me it's very satisfying. In fact, I was very surprised, in 1982 I was awarded the Women of the year [award] of the church.

JT: Very good. Was there a citation? Why did you get this?

HP: For my work for the church.

JT: That's very nice. It's nice that they awarded it to you. I do think about this church and many Orthodox churches, they do preserve the national traditions.

HP: They do.

JT: I'm a Methodist, and you know that doesn't preserve any national tradition.

HP: Is that because it is mixture of nationalities?

JT: I think so, and it never had any cultural connection of that kind. For example, in your church the liturgy is in the language. I think that makes lot of difference and perpetuates the tradition.

HP: Oh, I think so. Because I understand the language. But we have two liturgies, one in English and one in Ukrainian. A lot of it because of intermarriages. Now when we were growing up it was all by the church, by the Ukrainian Center. This was your life, like I say, it was the depression, you didn't have any money, so you just stayed by the programs at the church. But now, with the intermarriages, the children going off to college and meeting other people and marrying, we had to go to the bilingual.

JT: Which service is more popular?

HP: We have more older Ukrainians so their attendance is greater than the English liturgy. But still you have to have it.

JT: We thank you very much for your interview.