Our first TV was a Dumont, I think, that bleached-wood Dumont, that was our first TV. Andy won a TV through sales and he and I went to select one at some store connected with the sales contest and we picked a Dumont. That was maybe 1953. I liked all the pictures on television. Television was so new. I just liked everything. At first we had the TV in the breezeway.
I think it was about that time, about 1953 that Andy left Westinghouse. He started to work at Johnson Refrigeration.
Baba had developed a heart problem. She was bedridden a long time. We went there to visit once, maybe in '52 or '53 and Andy set up a screen in her room and showed her some of his slides. She died in 1953. Nobody notified me when it happened.
In those days, Rollie and Linwood played a lot in the field across Curtis with Lee and Terry Woodry. I could keep an eye on them out through the kitchen window while I was washing dishes. Once Rollie brought home some little red field mice, babies, in a bottle. I made him bring them back.
I used to watch the lightning when there were lightning storms there on Annchester. I used to watch it hit the TV towers over on 8 mile. Once I thought there was going to be a big lightning storm so I separated the drapes to watch the lightning flashing around. I thought it was going to be a big lightning storm. In a few minutes it had stopped, but I watched the TV towers anyway. Then a big bolt of lightning struck the towers. The one on the left, it slapped it so hard and the lightning buried itself in the ground on the left and on the right it kind of... billowed, went half way and kind of balled itself from a point.
We belonged to the Guild, the Detroit Photo Guild. Andy was interested in photography and won a lot of awards. We belonged to the Guild about 5 or 6 years. We had our meetings in the Barlum Hotel.
I had heard that they were seeing flying saucers. There was a lot about it in the newspapers and stuff. Pilots were chasing them somewhere over Washington, that's what they said. I thought it was very interesting.
In 1954 there was a lot of stuff that there might be an atomic war. They tested the Conelrad radio warning system every Saturday and on one Saturday every month they tested the air raid sirens - first the warning then the all-clear signal. The kids in school practiced going down to the basement shelters under the school and they wanted people to have fall-out shelters at home. Somebody that Andy knew bought one and we went to take a look at it. It was like a big metal tank that you dug down into the ground. I don't know how you got down into it. I think there was like a tunnel with a hatchway that you crawled through to get into it 'cause it was buried into the ground. Oh, I guess it was expensive - first you had to buy it then you had to get it buried in your back yard. Andy's friend, they never did use theirs and we didn't buy one.
We saw in the paper that there was going to be a talk, a lecture. The lecture was being held by the UFO club there in Detroit. A woman by the name of Laura Marxer was leader. They had said that something from the saucer had left a footprint, a footprint with markings or unknown writing on it, on the sole. Someone had taken a plaster Paris cast of it and they were going to reveal what was the message of it from the footprint on the shoe. I thought it was very interesting. This meeting was in '54. I went to that meeting and it had a very powerful emotional effect on me. Right after that meeting, that auditorium meeting, that's when it affected me the most.
Laura Marxer's dead now. and I have no idea if they have a UFO club of any kind any more. They do have some organization in Texas where they wrote about 1000 books about UFO's.
Myron was born in 1955. We had a cousin Myron and I liked the name. I didn't name him especially after that, but somehow it came into my mind and I liked it and that's how the name was chosen.
I think it was in 1956 that Andy left Johnson Refrigeration and went over to Paul's Heating and Cooling, but that was short. That was just a few months. While he was there he got them to change the name to General Air Handling. He thought that was a better name. He didn't like the old name, he didn't think it sounded very professional. But he was there just a few months. He soon got a job with Chrysler. It was time to get out of the air conditioning business. Air conditioners had been installed almost everywhere by then and in new buildings they were putting them in right when the building was been built. So it had become a lot harder and everything was sales and commissions.
That was in 1956, too, I think. Linnea was born in 1956. When she was born Andy went to the library and brought home a book, Swedish names, we wanted Swedish names. He wanted to name Linnea Mary, but I didn't want that. Mary is such a common name.
Colette was born in 1959. The name Colette came from that book, too. Andy wanted to name her Vivika, but I didn't care too much for Vivika, but Colette was nice.
I had done general duty, staff work while I was at Nassau and then for those few months at Jackson Memorial in Florida and that's what I started to do when I came to Detroit. I did general duty at DOH. DOH, that's Detroit Osteopathic Hospital. The three youngest children were born there. I mostly worked afternoons.
That's when Myron got pneumonia. We took him to the hospital and he was in the hospital. He had quite a few antibiotics before they cleared it up. He was in the hospital about 2 weeks, I guess. His room was across from the operating room and they were coming out with their face masks on and green operating-room uniforms with the patients on gurneys and he said, "Mommy, do they do murders in there?" He was 5 then, I guess.
Colette was about one year old when Andy got a job with AMC, I think it was, no, AMF, in South Dakota. We were in South Dakota when she celebrated her first birthday. Colette had a birthday candle and I remember because she burned herself on the candle, so I couldn't help but remember. So we were in South Dakota by February 1960. Andy had been laid off at Chrysler and got that job with AMF. They were building the Titan missile bases. They lowered the missiles into the ground. Andy had moved to South Dakota ahead of us, about 6 months, I guess. He had a little one-room basement apartment there somewhere in Rapid City before we came. When they were building that subdivision he planned to buy a house there in that subdivision, bought it, when it was ready we came out there. But the house on Annchester wasn't sold, we rented it, we rented it out. We flew to South Dakota. The ride was very bumpy, stormy. Things were flying around in the plane. Linwood had a white mouse with him and lost it on the plane, a white mouse, he was playing around with it and he lost it on the plane to South Dakota.
The house in South Dakota was at 1314 Greenbriar street in Rapid city. It had beautiful linoleum. It had a disposal. I liked it a lot. It was a nice little house. It had three bedrooms. Andy and I had one, the three smallest kids shared another. They had cribs. Colette was one year old and the other two were not much older than that. Rollie and Woody shared the third bedroom, but Woody slept in the basement a lot. He said he liked it because it was cool. And it was at times, I guess. But mostly he went down there because he smoked at lot. We used to find cigarette butts in the rafters. He hid them there if he heard someone coming. He smoked a lot, so he smoked in the basement.
It was the summer of 1961 that Tato died. (photo) He died from general deterioration, all kinds of problems, Miner's asthma. It was working in the mines that killed him. He died at home, suddenly. They didn't know it was coming. They say that he was sitting in bed talking to Uncle Steve and my mother when it happened. He just died there sitting in bed. My mother said that the back door seemed to open and go shut just like his soul walked out the back door - they talked about that at the funeral. I went to his funeral. They didn't have a five-day wake like they used to have when somebody died, it was just a three hour viewing at the funeral home. He was a member of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and they buried him in the Orthodox cemetery in Plains.
St. Elmo's light, or ball lightning, or whatever it's called, I saw that in South Dakota. I was sitting alone in the kitchen when it happened. I don't remember if it had been storming or not, but right when it happened it was clear. It was a ball of fire, ball of light, about a foot in diameter, 10 inches, about a foot. A yellow ball about 10 inches. It came in through the window, hit the chandelier, kitchen chandelier, went into the living room, hit the TV set and vanished. The TV set wasn't on. It lasted just a few seconds. It made no sound at all, it just swooshed around. I found a half an inch crack in the chandelier that I thought it made.
Rollie made a mask in South Dakota. A brown mask that looked like some kind of African mask. He put a secret message inside, on the backside of the nose.
We left South Dakota in 1962. Andy had got a job with NASA in Cleveland. We bought a home at 21881 Overlook Drive, close to the NASA complex there. It was a tri-level. It was a brand new home. It wasn't landscaped when we moved in. Andy did the landscaping there, too, on Overlook Drive. Andy planted all the shrubbery in the backyard. I ordered the shrubbery from someplace and they were just tiny little branches, you don't call them branches... little sprouts, when they came. I was back there to Overlook once. I stopped by to see... and the shrubbery was real big. It was just beautiful. It was a beautiful home. The kitchen was a balcony, there was a balcony, you know, with an iron rail between the kitchen and recreation room. The recreation room was one level, same as the garage. The kitchen and the living room were the second level. There were four bedrooms, a shower, upstairs on the third level. It was a beautiful home. That was a bittersweet time, though.
Andy sure did travel a lot at NASA. He was going to California all the time, one trip right after another. Mostly he went to California, maybe he made one or two trips to Florida, to Cape Canaveral, but most of the trips were to California. It was hard to live with him in those days. I started divorce proceedings when he was doing all that traveling to California, but when he came home, he said, "cancel it." So we canceled it.
I don't remember what the heck the name of the NASA base was there in Cleveland (Lewis Research Center) - we went there to some astronaut meetings and I remember that they talked about a blanket that was the size of a pack of cigarettes. I guess somebody in the army or NASA would use it. It would fold out to a regular sized blanket.
In Cleveland I worked in the nursing home. I was a supervisor for a short time. Old people. I worked there only about six weeks.
In 1966 we left Cleveland and moved back to Annchester. We went back with Andy, I guess. The movers moved us. Annchester had been rented out to two different families while we had been in South Dakota and Cleveland. One of the girls from the second renters had married Lee Woodry. Lee was one of the kids Linwood played a lot with when they were kids.
After we returned to Detroit in 1966 I started to do private duty nursing. I did that until 1983. Private duty is you had one patient to take care of. Anybody who had money would hire a nurse for a patient and the registry would call me. I was on the registry from 1966 to 1983. The registry would arrange the jobs for you.
The only well-known patient I had, I don't know if you would call him famous or not, was Max Fischer. He's one that donated a million dollars to the campaign fund, maybe it was $600,000, but I heard that it was about a million dollars that he donated to the campaign government... campaign fund for some election. His name was Max Fischer, a philanthropist. He was from Michigan. I took care of him about three nights before he went. His chauffeur picked him up the last night when I was there. I see him on TV every once in a while. He's still alive - Max Fischer. I took care of one of the members of the family that owned Velvet Peanut Butter, too.
The people that hired me would pay me directly by check. When I came off duty Myron used to take my checks to the bank, to the City National Bank down on 7 Mile. He was about 8 years old, I guess. I remember that about Myron. When I was paid by my patients, he would take the checks down to the bank for me.
The blacks... the colored people started to move into the neighborhood, one right after another. That was about 1972. The old neighbors moved away. The Woodrys moved to an apartment... sold their house. And Wilma, the Nevills across the street, moved out. The people behind us, he waited till he retired. He worked with the city, he was city treasurer. He moved out. The blacks that moved in were very poor. The neighborhood was going downhill. And all the trees along the street died. Annchester had been lined by real big elm trees. There were two out in front. They were planted when we came there in 1952 and were full-grown in the early '70's. But the elm disease struck the neighborhood and they died, every single one. They cut down the two in front of the house. Both were cut down at the same time as I remember. The place was so seedy.
I was living alone, I guess. Andy went to live by himself. He hadn't wanted to get a divorce when we were in Cleveland, but after about 15 years he got the brainy idea that he wanted to try it, get a divorce. But the divorce never went through. There was no divorce. It was never pleasant having Andy away. I was kind of hoping that he would return home. But instead he went to live in Bellville. I was looking forward for him to come back home. But he never did. He died of cancer in October 1982 in Ann Arbor at a home for the terminally ill.
I retired in 1983. I was glad.
In February of 1988, my mother died (photo of Eva Stchur Pawlak). She was in a nursing home on East... it's off Bald Mountain Road, I think they call it East Road, in the nursing home there. She went to the nursing home went she was about 86, I guess. She had started to be afraid of things - that's why John got a place for her in the nursing home. He went to see her every day. She was there about two years. Then she died from old age. She just went to sleep and died, John told me. I didn't go to my mother's funeral. No, I couldn't go.
I left Annchester for good in November 1988. By 1988 it had been all black a long time. The real estate man said he was shocked at how fast the neighborhood had changed to black. I was the last one to go in '88. Andy had done so much work on that house that I hated to leave the place, but you had to go, so...
I moved to Holly Hill in Farmington in 1988 - 26868 Holly Hill. Myron had built a house there with an apartment attached. The apartment was separate from the rest of the house. The house was surrounding by trees, a forest. I really loved living there. Lots of animals lived in the forest.
I enjoyed feeding the animals, raccoons, opossums, rabbits and... some ducks came at times, and I saw a skunk. They came just outside my window. They came for food. I put a lot of food out for the animals, dog food. I used to get up in the night to watch and see what came out of the woods, what kind of new animal appeared. They were the best fed animals around. Maybe they got so fat they had a hard time getting down into their nests. I missed them a lot after I moved. I missed them for four years after I left. I enjoyed them a lot.
After Myron moved again I lived a while at his new house at 1512 Conan Doyle in Naperville, Illinois. That was 1992. I didn't like living in Myron's house. I like an apartment. That's when I (2001 photo) came here to Rockton, in Illinois. D'Agnolo Apartments, 806 Kocher Street, apartment 109, not far from Linwood.
After Baba and Deedo died it was my Uncle Steve that took over the farm. That was the family that kept up speaking Russian the longest on Bald Mountain. My Uncle Steve, he had always spoken Russian in the house even after he married Anastasia Danalak. Their son, Larry, my cousin Larry, he never married and lived in that house with his mother, Nettie, after my Uncle Steve died. Larry and his mother spoke Russian in the home, too. They were the last ones. They were the last ones to use Russian in everyday life on Bald Mountain. They spoke Russian when they were alone in the house until Nettie died in 1996.
I was up practically all night last night filling in papers for an apartment in Ukrainian Village home in Warren, Michigan. There must have been about ten pages of every darn thing to fill in - it was such a nuisance! I had it mailed this morning. I'll be moving in there in a couple months, I guess. Filling in that thing really wore me out.
'Old age doesn't come alone,' that's something that Tato used to say. And it's true. Now I'm old and I'm tired, too, suffering from weakness like you won't believe. The smoking doesn't help either, that's true, too."
Mary Evelyn Pawlak
The biographical and historical material presented here was extracted from about 40 hours of interviews, primarily telephone interviews, made with Mary Pawlak Anderson during the years 1998 through 2002 by Mary's son, Roland. In addition, Mary also supplied many family records and documents. A great deal of complementary material was supplied by Mary's brother, John Pawlak, both in telephone interviews and personal interviews during a visit to Sweden in 1998. Mary's other brothers, Steve and Peter, also made many valuable contributions.
A special thanks must be given Anastasia Yaremko, the 2nd cousin of Mary's mother. Anastasia provided much of the material concerning Irishtown, as well as describing family relationships and details of Carpatho-Rusyn culture.
Other items of information have been provided by the following people: Maryann Dubowchik Bacsik, Justina Stepanovna Benio-Komar, Natalia Mihailovna Dutchnich, Ted Finch, Dimitri Gallik, Randy Garvert, Ted Goobic, John Goobic III, Efrosinia Hanchjevskaja, Justina Horuc, Maria Huresh, Elmer Jennings, Helen Klemash Karpiak, Sandy King, Terry Kluytmans, Nettie Kompinski, Dana Kopach, Peter Kosenko II, Peter Kosenko III, Vasili Ivanovich Krill, Mary Kosenko, Walter Maksimovich, John McLeod, Vladimyr Stepanovich Olenich, Eva Yaremko Penico, Anna Stepanovna Shostak, Faith Stchur, Stephanie Verdelli, Helen Kozich Wallace, Pete and Helen Homick Welgo, Anna Wensel, Helen Wisloski, Halja Worobec-Shilich and Anne Yaremko
The picture of the Octagon soap bar is used with permission of Jo Paoletti of the Department of American Studies, University of Maryland. Sandy King supplied the picture of Anna Kuchwara Stchur. Larry Larson photographed the King Midas sign and the picture is used with the permission of Pasty Central.