S: One Man's Life 1919- 2001
BC: We will see you later...
FC: One Man's Life | book 1 | by Aloysius J. Pavliak
1: We could not have done it without the help of many special people. Thanks, Mom. Also a big thank you goes to Aunt Rose who gave us photos, wrote letters and stories and answered many questions over the phone. (everything that she has contributed is in italics.) Aunt Pauline also sent photos, as did Cousin Vicki Hollis. My husband Jim helped me with computer skills that I was lacking, and proof read the entire manuscript. Thank you James. Rachel, our daughter did the majority of my share of the typing. She spent many hours at the computer trying to make out my handwriting and Granpap's this and that's etc., etc. She was also at my beck and call when I need help. You're a great daughter thank you. Michael, our son, began this endeavor by bringing a tape recorder to Granny and Granpap's house. He was told to put it away and eat some lunch with them. Let's just say Dad didn't embrace this project. But Michael helped him warm up to the idea. Thank you Michael for getting the ball rolling. Leah would like to thank Steve for understanding how important this book was to her. He contributed by taking the kids to the movies or the pool so she could have peace and quiet. Thank you Zola, Yana, Joe, and Rose for understanding that this project would soon end and they could THEN begin enjoying their summer together. | This book was lovingly (and painstakingly) put together by Aloysius' daughters, Anita & Leah as an 80th birthday present and as a tribute to our Dad's life.
2: It goes without saying, that we thank our Dad for sharing his stories with us. For they are really our stories as well. The stories we grew-up hearing and wanted to write down for our children and their children. Thanks Dad. This book, book #1, is roughly divided into six parts: 1. Family History 2. Early Childhood 3. Young Adult Years 4. Marriage 5. Children 6. Grandchildren As our Dad would say, "Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!" We hope that you do . Anita and Leah June 21,1999 revised by Anita and Rachel Nov. 2011 | Book #2 is Dad's WWII stories, pictures and his letters home to Mom.
3: Export June 21, 1919 Aloysius is Born I was born Aloysius Joseph Pavliak on the first day of summer, June 21st 1919, which also happens to be St. Aloysius Day. My Mum and Pap always called me Loysic. They were Slovakian. Everyone in my neighborhood, in Export Pennsylvania called me Loysic. In school everyone called me Loysic or Lou. We were all basically from the same Polish ethnic background. It wasn't until I graduated from Franklin Township High School that I knew my name was Aloysius. I had to have my birth certificate for my diploma, and that is how I found out my true name. They had to rewrite my diploma. The principle was upset, but how could I have told him earlier if I just found out myself! My parents said that my real name was Loysic and Aloysius was the American version. My father was August Pavliak and my mother was Mary Kadlubek- Pavliak. I was their forth child. August, their first son died during a terrible flu outbreak after WWI (which killed more people than WWI did) he was two. Charles, their second son, died at birth. Rose, my older sister, was waiting at for me at home. Others followed: Steve, Stella, Margaret and Frank. | Export
4: We lived at #5... | before we moved to #37 Red Blocks.
5: Our last house. It was a duplex | Our church, St. Mary's Catholic Church
6: Mary Kadlubek-Pavliak 1883-1969
7: August Pavliak May 1, 1889-July, 1971
8: Austria-Hungary & The Balkan States | In the autumn of 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy collapsed. The following successor states were formed (entirely or in part) on the territory of the former Austria-Hungary: - German Austria and First Austrian Republic - Hungarian Democratic Republic, Hungarian Soviet Republic, and Kingdom of Hungary - Czecho-Slovakia ("Czechoslovakia" from 1920 to 1938) - State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (joined with the Kingdom of Serbia on 1 December 1918 to form the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later Kingdom of Yugoslavia) - Second Polish Republic, West Ukrainian People's Republic - Austro-Hungarian lands were also ceded to the Kingdom of Romania and the Kingdom of Italy. Since the 1990's, Slovenia, Croatia, Boznia, and Herzegovina have declared independence from Yugoslavia. Serbia and Montenegro remained part of Yugoslavia. In 1993 Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into two separate countries, The Czech Republic and The Slovak Republic. | Ethnic map of Austria-Hungary, 1910 census
9: Mum | I have the birth certificates. My mother was born in Peilkynlik Austria-Hungary. She was born in 1883 and died in 1969. She was 85 or 86 when she died. Mum was 19 when she came to America. She came in 1903. Mum came to be with her sister in Boxcar Town. That's a coal-mining town about 2 to 4 miles from Export, PA. Her sister lived there, and Mum didn't like it because she said, " All it was was a bunch of drunken miners and the roads were nothing but Red Dog. Red Dog is the burnt out coal, they would take it out to the slate dump and it would burn because there was always a little bit remaining, it would be like slate that you can't burn and coal. And they had so much coal in Export that they would just toss it out . The steel mills did that too. The hill behind the Coal Company always burned because there were always fires since there was so much coal for burning. In fact, in1998 they were leveling it, I don't know if they are going to put a park there or if they are going to put in a development because there are acres of 'red dog' back there. We always called it a mountain although in fact, it was just a big hill. When my mother came to America my aunt and uncle were a young married couple. They just had two kids. They gave Mum the money to come to America because Mum made only 5 dollars a year and a new black dress in the old country. Mum did housework, and she took care of babies. Years later my uncle died with swollen legs, "Dropsy" they called it, and left My Aunt with five kids. Mum worked in Vienna and Budapest, beautiful cities. The architecture was beautiful in the late 1800's and early 1900's. So she was in NO WAY going to stay in Boxcar Town! (The coalminers actually lived in abandoned boxcars.) So that is why she left. She worked for the Mellon family first as a cook. Later she worked as a "Garden Girl" on the Fuller Estate. She loved flowers and gardens and could make more money doing that. | Mellon House, Export | Budapest, Hungary ca. 1900
10: Mum talked for hours about this job; how George Washington wanted it to be the capital of the United States, but they said it was too far away. Big shots from Europe, New York City, and Philadelphia couldn't make it there. We never listened to her... so after she had her stroke, lots of articles were featured in the Pittsburgh papers. There were stories about how famous Mr. Fuller was and his numerous friendships. Mr. Fuller was married to a woman who decided Perryopolis wasn't nice enough for her so she moved to New York City. They had one son who died in a hotel fire. Their daughter was married to a doctor in Philly, he died of an infection in his hands (they didn't wear gloves then) so his daughter came back home. Fuller owned lots of land; it had gas and oil, but Fuller wouldn't allow them to drill it (which they did later on). We went to a museum that they built after Fuller and his daughter died. No heirs. So she donated money for a school, library, museum, lights, books, etc. We know it was true because we visited the area. She was buried in a local cemetery; there were guards there 24 hours a day as she was buried with her jewels for a year. When mum got married, Fuller gave them a dinning room table and four chairs (they are still in the house in Export) he also gave them all kinds of beautiful glassware and dishes (all broken up now) and beautiful, heavy linen bedspreads (we still had pieces left, they wore like iron). Oh, they were also given a beautiful brass bead, real heavy (it was stolen years later from out of the garage). See, my parents were married in 1913 and the original house burnt down, they rebuilt. Mum had lots of pictures of the old homestead, but they fell into the fireplace. She wasn't impressed with Pleasant Valley (the outskirts of Export; it was the home of her sister Anna, her husband, and five children). Coal miners in the area, the town is gone now, Pennsylvania turnpike took it away. It wasn't much because the people walked to Export to go to church or to buy groceries. | Perryopolis PA, 1948 | Fuller Family Mausoleum
11: I have his birth certificate as well. My dad was born in Jablonkla, Austria-Hungary (maybe Jablonka) (jablko means apple in Slovak). Pap was 17 years old when he came to America. He came in 1903. Now Pap, he lived in Jablonkla, and his dad came to this country in the late 1800's and couldn't get any kind of work except for in the tannery. He just couldn't stand butchering all those animals and the tanning of hides make such a terrible smell, so he went back to Jablonkla. Mum always said Pap's family were on the richer side because they had land and didn't have to pay money to a landlord like her family did. My Mum's dad also came to Export and was killed in the coal mines. That's the reason my Mum said that her mother had so much trouble with raising six or seven kids. Mum brought over three or four of her brothers and sisters. Going back to Pap, it was his sister, one of the Bijaskis, that was first in Export. But they moved to Trafford which was a good move because the coal miners were always on strike in Export. Pap knew a number of families in Export and that is what got him into the coal mines. At first he worked in Trafford because they were building roads, brick roads, and in fact there are still some of those roads in Trafford, Then work got bad and he came to Export because he was able to get work in the coal mines. Pap had an accident in the coal mines on October 31, 1939. It is so clear in our minds because the day he had the accident was the day that my brother, Steve, enlisted in the Air Force. They stuck him in a room they had reserved for people that had consumption or TB. It was always real cold in these rooms, but he snored so bad that they put in out there. | Pap
12: They came to America separately, but they knew each other because they used to go to church together in Austria-Hungary. They would talk about going to church barefoot and how they used to carry their shoes around their necks. Then when they got in church they put on their shoes. They would save their shoe leather! My mum said, and Pap said too, that it was real cold, but they still did that. They came in 1903. They both came about the same time. This is funny, my mother was temperamental, you know. She would come to Export to visit with her people, her brother and the other relatives, her cousins. Mum met this man and she was going to get married. My mum wanted a dinner after the wedding, and he wouldn't listen. He said, "No, no way, that would cost too much money." So, the morning they were supposed to get married, she jumped out of a second story window and went down to a train station. Mum said, "Shame, shame, I have a brother in town and a sister, and it is a shame not to give them something to eat!" Mum and Pap got married in 1913 at St. Mary's church in Export (Lou and Helen also married there), but the wedding almost didn't happen. Mum and Pap left Boxcar Town and there was a snowstorm, which was rather unusual because it was the last of October. The wagon got stuck, so they had to call somebody from Export, a supervisor from the coal mine. They brought our a fresh team of horses and a wagon. When Mum and Pap finally got married, the reception lasted for three days. Mum always hollered about how much money they spent. | Marriage of Mary and August | St. Mary's Church , Export, PA
13: Mum grew the flowers and Pap built the trellis and carved the horse on it.
14: Family Portrait 1920 | August, Aloysius, Rose and Mary Pavliak | Little Loysic was squirming too much for the picture to be taken, so Pap took off his wedding ring and let him play with it. It worked! (Some one should have given Rose another flower so she might have smiled too.)
15: Rose | Aloysius | Steve | Stella | Margaret | Frank | Lou took this picture of Margaret with his first pin-hole camera.
16: August was the first born. He died when he was two,in August. Then Mum had Charles in December and he died. She was so upset. Every Sunday afternoon we would bring flowers to the cemetery and take care of the graves. I wasn't born until three years later. Then Lou wasn't born until almost three years after me. So I was Queen! I was spoiled. Mum took the train into downtown Pittsburgh and she would always get me nice dresses and hats. People told me later that in church I was always made May Queen because I was so pretty. | August Pavliak | Mrs. Rulyak, could speak several languages, was a certified midwife, (from the Illinois College in Chicago) and delivered over 500 babies in the Export area. Midwives were not allowed to deliver twins or breach births even though it was often the mid- wife who taught the doctor to deliver difficult births. She brought into the world all eight of the Pavliak children. She was also known as a witch and used spider webs, strange singing and candle wax as part of her doctoring.
17: The Midwife | I recall one day that Brother Lou threw a fit. I (Rose) was six and he was four years old. We were playing in our fenced-in backyard next to the school. "A wicker basket walked by! It was made of twisted branches." Lou was screaming! Mum came out and wondered what had happened? She grabbed him, trying to quiet him down. It happened to be a hot July day. He was hot, in fact he was running a fever, Mum told me as she grabbed a soaked, wet washcloth for his face. He whimpered but he was still uncomfortable. She laid him on a couch and told him to stop squirming. He wouldn't, so Pap went trotting up to see Mrs. Rulyak. She was the Midwife and knew a lot about a lot of different sicknesses. The only time you got a doctor was when you were dying- he wasn't too popular. | She asked Mum for some wax, which Mum used for canning berries and apples etc. She put it on the stove and melted it, and then put it on Lou's face! As it was cooling down, would you believe a picture of a wicker basket was imprinted on it! Oh, yes, she kept crossing herself and mumbling words that I couldn't understand. When I asked Mum what she was saying, Mum hollered, SHUT UP! SHUT UP! I was scared. I thought she was a WITCH! Honest. Underneath the basket was a pair of tiny feet. Well, as soon as the wax started to get real hard, Lou was better. Mrs. Rulyak said that Lou was so frightened that he developed a high fever. To make a long story longer...
18: What Really Happened... | A dwarf lived on the outskirts of Export, in Pleasant Valley. He couldn't get a job in the coal mines on account of his size. So to keep his body and soul together, he plaited all kinds of baskets. Baskets were used to carry clothes from the house to the clothes line and back. No one , as you know had clothes dryers. (In fact it was another 20 years or so before we had electricity. When we did get it, it was hung from from the ceiling with one light bulb on it and an on/off switch. We were so happy that we didn't have to put up with the stinking kerosene lamp that had to be lugged from room to room. We weren't allowed to touch it because our parents were afraid we would drop it and burn down the house. True enough! ) Anyway, after we got our clothes clean, by rubbing on a washboard, and rinsing, we hung our clothes on a line that was strung from our house to the outhouse (the line was a wire that Pap got from the coal mine that they couldn't use anymore.) The baskets that were used to carry laundry were huge; so the dwarf carried them on his back, all you could see if you looked real hard, were his feet peeking out. We had the wax picture for a long time, until time and heat dissolved it. | My mother's brother married Anna Rylyak's daughter, Mary. Mary's son, Vincent Kadlubek and I grew up together until the army days. | Vincent Kadlubek 1944 | Vincent and Me October 1997 Vincent now is widowed and lives in Latobe, PA. He's a master woodworker and makes Grandfather clocks.
19: Mum | It was the Depression, for quite a few years our our childhood. For our birthdays, Mum would always make sure that she had saved enough flour from baking bread to make us a cake. The cake would be about 2 inches high, you know, because she didn't have much to put in it. She always knew that we had our cake for our birthdays. She always saved egg whites and would beat them up , even without a little powdered sugar they would be foamy, so we always had icing on our birthday cakes. That was really nice, the way she made our day special. It has stayed with me, all of my life; having fun on your birthday was important. She did that for every child; she made sure that was our day. We didn't have too much work, she really fussed and we liked that!
20: Wigles Drug Store Old YMCA | Harry Wigles (left front) He was a great friend of mine. | Wigles is the place that I heard the radio for the first time. There were only two radios in Export. The rest were crystal sets, with earphones, usually homemade. ('KDKA' is a radio station licensed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Created by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation on November 2, 1920, it is one of the world's first modern radio stations a distinction that has also been challenged by other stations, although it has claimed to be the first in the world to be "commercially licensed".)
21: Lou Loved to Read | I picture Lou behind the old cook stove; sitting hunkered down, holding a book or magazine (usually a 10 cent western - strictly cowboys.) The books were all kinds, he begged from everyone he knew. Wigles, who owned the drug store, tore off covers from the magazines (no paperback books yet) and sent them back to the publisher so he would know that they weren't sold. Then he gave them to Lou to read. Some heavy stuff too! He had me read Freud before I was even a teen - sure didn't make sense to me - even now some parts are hard to digest. It's hard to imagine how he could see in that corner by the faint rays of light that came from the kerosene lamp that hung on the wall. In the daylight, there was school, then chores, so the only time to read was nighttime. That is unless Mum made us peel chicken feathers for our pillows. That always made us mad because we couldn't talk or laugh because the feathers would fly all over the place! | + | = ? | +
22: Mutt Wuslich | Mutt Wuslich was a great friend of mine. Mutt gave me the name, "Preacher Pavliak." Every night, The 'Elite of Export' would gather at Wigles Drug Store, the banker, the store owners, barbers, teachers, etc. and would sit and listen to Lowell Thomas and Amos and Andy. I would stand in the corner (eight - ten years old, bare footed, and in patched overalls) and they would ask me my opinion of the world. I always baited them, and they baited me, but they were great. We remained good friends for years and years, until they all passed away. | Mutt Wuslich | Mutt Wuslich Print and Paint Shop. He made signs for businesses in town, painted delivery truck signs, pictures on clothing, and cars for his friends. | Westmoreland Street from left to right: The Company Store, Millberg Boarding House, The First National Bank We used to sit on the stones in front of the bank on Friday nights listening to the five piece Salvation Army Band and sermon.
23: Once Pap made Lou paint the porch, the pillars, ceiling, floor, everything. Lou was mad because he had a date. It started raining. Yes, in a day or two, it all peeled off. So, Lou was mad because he had to repaint it and Pap was mad because he had to by more paint. Work was hard at home we had to hoe, clean, and scrub. We didn't think it was fun. We did a lot of work at church too but we had fun doing it. We painted the tin ceiling at the church. It's a wonder that we didn't fall off those shaky ladders. Then at night the boys took over as honey-dippers. We had no bathrooms, just outhouses. Yes, they did get full, so the boys would dip, dip, dip. We were quite happy when we dug out dirt in the cellar of the church because that meant we could finally get a furnace! McCullough the superintendent of the coal company supplied the church with FREE COAL. Yes, we were so happy. We'd freeze during the three hour Masses (one hour was the Latin Mass, one hour was the Polish sermon, and one hour was the English sermon! ) When Father Rendziak came home from Pittsburgh, he brought a young housekeeper with him named Tillie. So the alter boys, like Lou and Steve, had a ball. She was a lot of fun. The boys got into a lot of mischief, like sipping the wine! The Church always kept a couple of barrels in the cellar of the parsonage, and the housekeeper had a key! Tillie was good at feeding us (NO WINE) such goodies as borscht and fancy fishes (like kippers) and meats we didn't get a home. No, we never went hungry at home but we got tired of eating sauerkraut 12 months out of the year. We had barrels of it. We also had lots of potatoes and foods we canned. I felt bad for the city people, they were hungry, they had no gardens or farms. They ate out of garbage cans: yes, quite a few of them died. We are so lucky now. We have so much food and we do waste a lot. We even used to cook the feet off chickens. It doesn't appeal to me now, but yes you could get meat off those feet, believe it or not! Some would cook heads off fish and calves, but Mum didn't go that far. We ate rabbit. They taste like chicken. Mum used to make pets of the rabbits, when she feed them, and then she couldn't make herself eat them. She'd nibble on bread and dip it in her coffee. We liked to eat bread and rabbit! | Chores at Home and Chores at Church, Work, Work, Work. | sauerkraut | rabbit | kippers
24: Class of 1937
25: Export Jr. High School Basketball Team | I'm #10
26: High School | All through high school I made pen and ink drawings because ink was cheap and you could also buy cheep quill pens. I would sit by the light of a kerosene lamp at night and draw. During my senior year, our school had an art show. I took a whole batch of my drawings and submitted them. They displayed my drawing all the way down the wall. At that time there was a woman in | Murrysville (where the rich people lived). She saw my drawings and was very impressed. She said," I want to take you to New York to study Art after high school." I was excited, but I said, " You'll have to talk to my father." So she came to my house and said how good I was and how she would like to take me to New York. She would pay for my school, clothes, food, and anything else I needed. I could study at the university for four or five years and major in art. But Pap said ,"No" because he needed me to go to work to help support the family. It was during the Depression and Pap could only work about seven days a month. It was to Westinghouse or the steel mill, and if I couldn't get in there I would be sent to the mines. Who knows what would have happened if I would have studied in New York for four years?
27: Pen and ink drawings done in high school.
28: House by the Side of the Road | I did have a job after graduation, but not at Westinghouse, the steel mills, or the mines. I worked at The House by the Side of the Road. It was a bar. It was close to the high school. At the magnificent salary of $5.00 a week with room and board. I got up at 6:00 in the morning and worked until 11:00 or 12:00 at night. I kept $2.50 of the money for incidentals, and I gave my mum the other $2.50. I worked with Nick Kersherba. He and I were the only two boys there. During banquettes, my big job was washing dishes, There were no dish washing machines back then. We scrubbed everything in the kitchen, cleaned the banquette halls. We did the yard work and anything else that needed to be done. | They taught me how to bar tend. I used to mix drinks late at night when it got busy. The bar used to stay open late on Sunday nights. This was illegal but they paid off local cops. I knew all the sportsmen that came in. Baseball (the Pittsburgh Pirates), football, and boxing were all popular sports. | Nick Kersherba | The big shot racketeers came in late Sunday night too. One man who's nickname was 'Dutch', (I won't say what is last name was) a huge man, always brought his pet Chihuahua under his suit jacket. He would walk up to the bar and order a bottle of beer. He would then pour some into a cup. The dog would lap up the beer then go to sleep. Boy, he loved that dog. Of course his men had bulges under their jackets, and you could see the guns sticking out of their shirts, but he loved to stand at the bar and talk to me. We talked about everything. A good time was had in the bar late Sunday nights. I had Monday's off so I would hitch hike back home and help around the house that day.
29: House by the Side of the Road | 'The House by The Side of the Road' was a real fancy place. They served chicken and waffles, had tablecloths and real silverware, which was unknown of in our area at that time. At that time, Pennsylvania had the "Blue Law" (NO alcoholic beverages.) This was the kicker, a man in Export, Jim Ripple, was a baseball player for the New York Giants. They were winning a lot at that time. He would bring other famous players from the Giants and the Pirates to 'The House by the Side of the Road' like Carl Hubble and we would get to met them. They would be served meals upstairs and then be brought downstairs to the bar. They would drink coffee at the bar with whiskey in it. At the time it was wrong to see an athlete drinking liquor even at a club. The clubs were allowed to serve liquor but 'The House at the Side of the Road' wasn't a club so they weren't allowed to serve liquor but they did anyway. James Albert "Jimmy" Ripple (October 14, 1909 – July 16, 1959) was an American professional baseball player who played as an outfielder in Major League Baseball for seven seasons from 1936 to 1943. He played for the New York Giants (1936–1939), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1939–1940), the Cincinnati Reds (1940–1941), and the Philadelphia Athletics (1943). He had a .282 career batting average, with 28 home runs and 251 RBIs in 554 games played. He played in three World Series, two with the Giants (1936–1937), and one with the Reds in 1940, which won the championship. In addition to his Major league playing time, he had a long 12-season minor league baseball career. He played eight seasons for the Montreal Royals, parts of two for the Rochester Red Wings, and the same for the Toronto Maple Leafs|Toronto Maple Leafs, all of the International League. In 1956, he elected into the International League Hall of Fame. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
30: Lou and Ripple were great friends. | Lou painted the underground bar at 'The House at the Side of the Road'. Johnny Miller, the son of the owners, wanted Lou to paint a naked girl going down the stairway. But Lou said, "No that wouldn't be very good because a lot of women came down to the bar also to drink and go to dinner." They had a bar and a dining room down in the basement too. Lou didn't think much of the idea, but he did paint it because the owner's son wanted it. Well, the mother had a fit! She would hide her face when she was going to do the cooking. So Lou said, "Mrs. Miller, would it be alright if I put clothes on her?" She said, "Oh, would you!" All the men were mad because they used to like to go down there and look at her. When we moved to Manor, Lou painted all our walls and it was beautiful. | 1936 New York Giants
31: The Mining Accident | Steve had just got out of high school. The next day he said, "To hell with the mines, I'm going to join the army." So Russ, Rose and I took him out and we drank all night, and in the morning we put him on a troop train in Greensburg. Russ took me home and I went straight to bed. About an hour later, very early in the morning, my mum came into the room upset and crying. I said, "Don't worry about Steve, he's going to be fine in the Army." She said, "No it's Pap. The Priest is here. He said the roof to the mine had fallen and buried Pap and his motor. Pap was still inside. | I got up and hitched a ride to Delmont. Then to Greensburg. Everyone picked up hitch hikers back then. It was the depression and there were no buses or taxis to take people places. Pap was working the motor pulling coal cars. Pap had just let a load of about 150 men down into the mine. He was returning with full cars from the | work of the night shift when the roof of the mine fell on him. He was covered with slate and rock. The section that fell was up to two feet deep, eight feet wide and 18 feet long. It was about half a mile from the entrance of the mine. Pap was standing at the motor which probably saved his life. Whenever a miner was hurt, they blew a whistle and rang the church bells. This would have the doctor and priest come to the mine. Also, if it wasn't too late in the day, the wives of the miners . | Motors for pulling coal cars
32: would come to see if it was their husband. The other miners put the injured man on a car with a brake on so the car would run smoothly along the tracks. Everyone was expecting Pap to come out with the motor, but they couldn't get him out the entrance. They had to carry him along the tracks in the mines to McKulla, which was about 10 miles away. Then they had to take him to Greensburgh which was another hour away. When I got to the hospital, I saw Pap. He looked nothing like my Father. His body was covered with dirt, coal, and blood. They didn't even take off his mining uniform. They didn't expect him to live for very much longer. I said something to him. When he tried to talk back, blood gurgled out of his nose and came running out of his mouth. That's when I passed out. When Dr. Dixon came in he took one look at my Pap and started raising hell. He said," WHY THE HELL ARE HIS CLOTHES STILL ON HIM !!?!!! CLEAN UP THIS MAN!!!! GET HIM READY TO OPERATE!" While the doctor was operating on Pap the nurses told me there was nothing I could do, so I went back to the coal mines. In the mines the men drop like flies. Nobody gave a damn about safety in those days. You took care of yourself and that was it. There was a whole row of miners Pap had just brought out of the mines. They said, "Well, it was his turn. He had to take us out, and then somebody had to get him out." | The miners all lived in the same area. They lived in the Red Blocks, the White Blocks, and the #2 Blocks. They all lived in the company houses on the hillside. About all of them were bandaged up from something. Pap had broken all of his ribs on the left side of his chest. He also had a broken hip, ankle, and a fractured skull. Dr. Dixon put a metal plate in his head, and a metal pin in his hip. He stayed in the hospital for about a year. Dr. Dixon and Pap became good friends. For years after Pap was out of the hospital Dr. Dixon would stop by the house just to talk and visit.
33: Picking Coal | Lou and Steve did a lot of picking coal- in fact, shanties full. So we didn't have to buy it. They picked on tracks and on what we called state dumps. Mum used to go too but they were embarrassed because she used to go barefoot. | Steve | Lou
34: Working in the Coal Mines | I was 17 years old when Pap was hurt in the mines. An Italian friend (which is unusual because everyone stayed with their own ethnic group) and a neighbor of ours, Manettie, said, "You have two brothers and two sisters to feed and clothe. It's the Depression you know. What are you going to do? I had been working six days a week, for five dollars a week at a restaurant called, "The House by the Side of the Road." But Manettie said, "I'll take you in." So three days after Pap was hurt, I went in the same hole that collapsed on him. I had to crawl over the motor to get inside. They weren't pulling out coal yet. The funny thing is, that the ceiling was just inspected a week before it collapsed. They usually only inspected it about one time a year. They inspected by tapping it with a butt of a pick. If it rang out with a - gong sound, then it was fine. If it made a thud, it wasn't safe. Some inspection! | I was a digger, pick and shovel, drills and blast, I could put up posts, lay track, and bring down a load of slate. I would insert a hand-made cartridge consisting of a newspaper, a brown wrapping rolled around a small amount of blasting powder from some five gallon drums. After placing this explosive into the hole I would tamp and seal it in securely with damp clay. I would then drill into the center of it with a ten foot drill so it would make a channel for the fuse. After it was placed in the hole I lit it with a carbide lamp. After I lit the fuse I would run like hell for cover in the tunnel or chute, | Me with my lunch bucket going to work.
35: because it was only a matter of seconds before the hole would explode and we would be showered with dust and bits of coal. This was called, "shooting the coal" and I was good at it! There were no showers at the mines so we had to walk home in our work clothes. Our clothes would be wet, and we would be covered with coal dust. In the winter during my walk home my clothes would freeze and I would have to lay side-ways and go under the fences because I couldn't bend my knees to go over.
36: Working in the Steel Mills | On Saturday and Sunday, I still tended bar at 'The House by the Side of the Road'. One day one of the mob guys asked me what happened to my hands. You see, even wearing gloves, your hands would get all cut up. I told him I worked in the mines. He said, "What are you doing in the coal mines? Come out and I'll get you in the steel mills." I said, "Steel mills! You know that's good." So I hitch hiked over to the mills. I saw him and he stopped and said to someone, "Put this man to work!" I told him I could start in a couple of days. I had no place too stay and no car. I went looking for a place to rent and found one. The man I rented the place from was Ukrainian and could speak a little English. I told him that I would stay there during the week and hitch hike back home on the week-ends. So I started working in the steel mills. Boy, did they put me to work there. They put me in the pickling department. It's where they took flat sheet metal and turned it into corrugated metal. An overhead crane would bring these big four by twelve sheets of steel, a man would be on each side, then another crane would bring another sheet and you would have to stand them on end and put a pin on them. Then the crane would pick them up and put them in vats of acid. They would smoke and spit and your eyes and throat would burn. It was no picnic. | Carnegie Steel Mills Pittsburgh, PA
37: Working at Westinghouse | One night, when I was bar tending, a big wig from Westinghouse came in and asked me what I was doing? He liked me too. I said that I was working in the steel mill. He said, "What the heck are you doing that for? Do you want to work for Westinghouse in the machine shop?" I said," Everybody wants to work for Westinghouse, big money, this, and that." He said, "The war is coming, we're working five days a week. Tell you what. On Monday morning, don't even go back to the steel mill, I'll meet you on the street corner by the employees parking lot. I'll take you in and get you a good job." I stood on that corner and he came and got me. Well, you know, it was still the depression and there were lines of people looking for work. We walked all the way past them and into the shop. He took me to the machine shop and told the foreman, "Put this man to work right away. Have him start tomorrow." The foreman looked really shocked. The next morning I was working there. | Men looking for work all around the U.S.
38: Rose Pavliak Marries Russell Evans | We didn't have a wedding. Russ was driving freight at that time and he was driving it for a widow (his brother's wife) and he didn't want to take any time off because it was the depression and she needed the money for the kids. So we were trying to get married in a day or two. They had a law in Pennsylvania that you had to wait three days so we went to Ohio and somehow or the other (now, Russ was a good talker) he talked the man into giving him the papers saying that we had our blood tests and such and we did get married in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania. It is near the big city of Kennsington. Naturally, I'm Catholic and my parents are Catholic and they had a FIT! Russ was a "Caksi." That's a "cake eater", that's what we called all the ones in Export that were Americanized because they had cake to eat and some of us, we didn't even have bread to eat. He was a Republican and our family at that time were Democrats. THEY HAD A FIT! Six months later, we did the classes in the mean time we did get married in the Export Church, St. Mary's. Pap was our Best Man. Russ kept his religion and I kept mine. His family is Presbyterian but there was a Lutheran Church in Export, which was close to where Mum and Pap lived. I don't know what would have happened if we had children but I guess like everybody else, we would have compromised. At that time, it was horrible to get married to an 'outsider.' His family never said anything to me but they probably felt hurt too.
39: Russ & Rose's Wedding January 9,1940 | Russ and Rose's 50th Anniversary
40: Aloysius served his country during WWII. He entered active service on July 10,1942 and he had an honorable discharge on Dec. 15, 1945. He was in Intelligence NCO 631. He was a Marksman Rife and Bayonet Expert. He received the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with one bronze star, a Good Conduct Metal, a WWII Victory Metal, and an American Theater Metal. This will all be highlighted in Book two of One Man's Life. | The War Years
41: some photos from Book 2
42: Back from the war... My Car | One of the first things I thought about was my car. It was brand new, light green, 1940 Ford. Before I left, Pap and I had taken off the tires, and put it on blocks in the garage. We drained the oil and the radiator, and then locked the garage door. It was to wait for my return in that condition. But to my surprise, when I opened the garage door it was | ready to drive. Russ had saved me a lot of time and work by putting it back together. All I needed were my keys and I was off. I really appreciated that. I was ready to make the rounds. I was going to see all my old friends. I drove around for three days. I visited the druggist, | the store keeper who I worked for on Saturdays when I was a kid. Nick Kashurba (I was best man in his wedding), the barber, and Bud McHugh (He was the class president and I was the vice-president.) Bud used to work in the mines with Pap, but now he has his own bar. I also went to the Polish Club, and I saw Frank Matesac. He and I boxed our Junior and Senior years in high school. He became a professional boxer until he broke his right hand. Then he went to college and got a degree in geology. Later we heard he made millions finding a large uranium deposit. Later I went to Boxcar Town. Miners lived there. They used empty boxcars as homes. I saw big Joe. He was a huge man who worked in the mines. He never had a partner because no one could keep up with him. During the war he served in Germany and was cut down by a German machine gun. It shattered his legs. He had a hard time getting around after that, but he was glad to be alive. He would never again do the work of two men. I also visited the site where 'The House by the Side of the Road' used to stand. While I was away in Australia a terrible fire burned it to the ground. The owners, their son, the bartender, and two waitresses died. In its place , a new, modern building stood. It had no underground bar. I remember the loud music when I opened the door and walked in. The only familiar face was the man behind the bar. The man standing there used to be the cook. We solemnly shook hands and I offered to buy him a drink, but he said he had given up drinking (he used to be a heavy drinker).
43: The Bank | Another place I stopped was the bank. I had signed up to buy $25 of Liberty Bonds a month. The government took it directly out of my $32 a month Army pay, and put it in the bank. The longer you were in the army, and the more stamps you received, the more your pay went up. By the end of the war, I was getting $50 Liberty bonds. I was anxious to see how much money I had accumulated. It was a nice little nest egg. I was really glad I did it. Steve and Russ didn't buy bonds, so they were as poor as when the war started. | It was hard for a lot of veterans to find jobs since so many had come home so quickly. Congress passed legislation that helped. It was called the 52-20 Club. Unemployed veterans would get $20 a week for 52 weeks. Everyone was telling me to take the money and relax for a while, but I couldn't just sit around. I wanted to go to school. I visited the Art Institute of Pittsburgh to sign up for classes. I found out I couldn't get set up until August or September, so I figured why not try to get back in at Westinghouse. I could use the extra money when I was in school even though my schooling bill would be paid for through the GI bill. I drove to the plants, talked with the old bosses, saw a lot of my old friends, and went back to work the next day.
44: Steve and Pauline's Wedding 1946 | Steve and Pauline were married in 1946. I think Lou was married in 1948. I remember Pap was mad because Lou was the oldest, he was supposed to get married first! There was a beer shortage at the time of Steve's wedding. They had a party at the Polish Club and some of the guys would go up to the bar and get a couple of beers and put them under their pant legs. They couldn't drink them all at one time. You couldn't even buy beer at that time, not even from a distributor. All the taverns were short. All the women were wondering why the men weren't dancing or why they weren't going up to the buffet. It was because they had beer up their pant legs! | Frank and Clara's Wedding 1957
45: The Engagement | I had known Helen my whole life. Our parents new each other because they attended the same church back in the old country. We also went to the same school though Helen is two years my junior. After I graduated from high school, the war came and I went. When the war ended I came back to Export and Helen was living and working in Chicago. I was a bouncer at 'The Hole in the Wall," a bar that Rose and Russ owned. I knew Jujitsu and was always ready for a good fight. No matter how many guys there were or how big they were, I could knock 'em down and throw everyone of them out. One evening, Helen, her mother, and her sisters walked into the bar and sat at a table. Helen came over to where I was working and said, "Hi." We chatted a little while, but I was busy so I asked her out for the next evening. We went out for six days in a row. I had been busily dating three sisters. I had met them when I was the best man at Nick Krivachua's wedding. They were all bridesmaids and all three were very pretty. Their dad used to joke around and ask me, "what are you doing, trying to find the best one of my girls? Trying to figure out who is better by dating them all?" | Anyway, on Helen's last night in town we spread a blanket under a tree way out in front of her house. We looked at the stars and talked. We were talking and talking and I leaned over to Helen and told her I loved her. She said, "If you love me then you'll marry me." I thought about it for a moment. I was 28 years old. I wasn't getting any younger, so I said I would marry her. At about 7 am, we went in and her mom was pouring coffee in the kitchen and we told her were were going to get married. | I few minutes later, Helen's father came in with a huge horse whip, he had been out with the horses already that morning. He started yelling, "You had my daughter out all night?! I'll get you!" I could have probably knocked him down, but he was a strong man. He was a farmer and even though he was kind of short, he was a very tough guy. Helen's mom started yelling to stop Helen's dad from starting a fight, "It's okay they're getting married! It's alright they decided they are going to get married." Helen was already engaged to another man in Chicago. She had to break it off with him first.
46: The Day Before the Wedding | January 30, 1948 | I got married in 1948. There were so many problems that I don't know where to begin. Well, first of all, my best friend, Don Steele, was to be my best man. The day before the wedding we went to Wilkinsburgh and we picked up the tuxes. So he was fitted for the tux and then went home. He was supposed to come to our house the next morning and dress there. He didn't want to dress up in a tuxedo and then drive down to our place from Williamsburg. I went to the farm to see Helen. She kept telling me to go home because it was snowing. Helen lived in Delmont and I lived in Export which was four miles away. Yet, I kept talking and talking. Finally, I got into my car to go home. I was driving away from the house and made it about 50 feet before I drove into a ditch and got stuck in the snow. Well, Helen's dad, John, didn't know what to do. He didn't know if he should get the horses out or what. Helen's little brother, Eddie had an idea. He went inside and got ashed from the fireplace and put them under my tires. That worked, so I was on my way home.
47: The Day of the Wedding | January 31, 1948 | The next day was the wedding day. It had stopped snowing and the sun was shining. At 10 am the wedding mass was said at St. Mary's. It's a beautiful church with carved woodwork and stained glass windows. It has beautiful gold and white alters with angels on the wall against a blue background. There were also large murals on the wall depicting the Holy Family, The Resurrection, and the Ascension. Father Rendyiniak designed them and I was his first assistant. I painted them. I had also been an alter boy there every morning from the age of six until I was 17 years old. After the wedding mass, most of Helen's family went back to the farm and my family went back home. We were to return to the church at 4 pm, then Helen and I would exchange vows. At our house, I waited for my best man to show up and dress with us. He was driving down from Wilkinsburgh. He never showed up. We waited and waited and waited, but he never showed up! So, my brother, Frank, became the best man. Don seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Nobody ever heard from him again. Nobody could find him. Later, I went to where his wife used to live (he was married and divorced real quickly), no word. Even the police investigated. I would have asked his brother, but he died a while ago. His mother wasn't there either, so who knows??? | So off to church we went, my brother as best man, my family, everybody. At the appointed time, I went to the front of the church and knelt down, to wait for my bride, as was the custom. I was kneeling at the alter, waiting for the song, 'Here Comes the Bride," to start playing. I was waiting for Helen to walk down the aisle and kneel by my side. | Wanted Don Steele ! If you know his whereabouts contact the police
48: I was kneeling there for about 45 minutes (it felt like 3 hours) waiting. The organ player had begun 'Here Comes the Bride' three different times. The whole time I was kneeling. I heard her friends saying that if she got cold feet and called off the wedding that she would have to pay for their trips home. And believe me, after 45 minutes of waiting, even I started wondering if maybe she got cold feet. My brother Steve, and my brother-in-law, Elmer, said, "To hell with this! We're going to the Polish club to grab a beer." Then they remembered that there would be beer and liquor at the farmhouse, so they might as well go and get some for free. So they went to the farm and were utterly shocked to see Helen and her father there with her sisters, Kaye and Pearl, waiting to go to the wedding! As it turns out, Helen, her father, and sisters, were all left at the farm by mistake. With different people taking cars, people got confused and they left Helen and her family at the farm with no transportation. They had no transportation and no way to let anybody know where they were because there was no phone at the farm. Helen's dad didn't like Helen and her sisters to smoke, but he told them to, "Get their smokes and light 'em up." He hoped it would keep them calm until someone came or something happened. So when my brother and brother-in-law found them, they all piled into the old beat up Chevy pick-up truck and went straight to the wedding. Finally, Helen walked down the aisle. After we exchanged our vows, Helen went over to Mary's alter to put a small bouquet of flowers in front of it. It is Catholic tradition for a bride to place a small bouquet in front of Mary and then say a short prayer. When she did that, her veil caught on fire. Kaye, Helen's sister, put the fire out by smothering it and smashing it with her bouquet.
49: After the wedding was over, we went to 'The House By the Side of the Road.' It was a very nice restaurant. It was always open on Sundays, which was illegal, but they had made payments to the mafia for certain privileges until the place burnt down. But those are completely different stories. Later, we went back to the farm where we rolled up the rug in the parlor and danced to the player piano and Victrola. Finally, it was time for us to leave and drive to Pittsburgh where Helen had a small apartment. We were to spend the first night of our honeymoon there and then off to New York. | St. Mary's Church
50: Helen's Family | Lou's Family | Nell
51: Aloysius and Helen's Wedding 1948
52: The Honeymoon | For our honeymoon, we were going to go to New York City and Philadelphia because our plans were to later move permanently to New York. We planned to stop in Pittsburgh and stay at Helen's apartment for one night. Then we would take a train east. We made it to Pittsburgh. When we got to the apartment, Helen opened up her small suitcase of special things she was going to wear on our honeymoon. She was shocked to find all that was in it was a bottle of wine, a bottle of whiskey, and an alarm clock. It turned out that Russ has switched her things before we left. He was always a prankster. He would put a matchstick into a piece of gum, light it, then stick it to the underside of a metal chair while someone was sitting on it. In about 20 seconds there would be a mighty "yelp!' from the person in the chair with the "hot seat." In the morning we woke up and looked out the window. It had been snowing hard the day and night before. It had stopped snowing by then and the sun was shining very brightly. But there were no buses or street cars or much motion at all out on the streets. The cars were completely covered with snow. Nothing could move at all, not even the train. We couldn't make it up to Philadelphia or New York or even out of Pittsburgh. | February 1, 1948 | Pittsburgh | Panoramic View of Pittsburgh | Union Station P. R. R. Pittsburgh PA | Trolley car unable to move
53: We walked up the street and no stores were open. It was the hardest snow they had ever had. We finally walked by a hotel that was open and serving breakfast. We told them that we were on our honeymoon. They served us a free meal and brought out a bottle of champaign for us. All on the house because of our dilemma on our honeymoon. We walked all the way from East Liberty to downtown. The hotel was half way downtown. We also walked back. We saw the movie, "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre." A five star film with Humphrey Bogart. John Houston won an academy award for best director. | After I graduated from the Art Institute in Pittsburgh, we went on our late honeymoon. We packed up our whole car and went to Philadelphia, and then Baltimore to see Kaye and Johnny. We were supposed to go on to New York and find jobs because everyone said New York, Chicago, California, | or Florida had the best jobs in the art field. That's where the jobs would be for me. Helen had a brother, Stanley, and a sister, Nell, in Chicago and Helen knew the city. So why go to New York, a strange place, when we could stay with relatives while I find a job? So we moved to Chicago instead. | Liberty Ave. and Oliver Ave. from Rosenbaum Boulevard Pittsburgh PA
54: Sketch class at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh
56: Family Picnic | Pap, Me, and Steve | Helen and I were married in January, but at that time I was still in school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After I graduated in July we were going to live in Chicago. These photos were taken shortly before we moved. What a lovely day.
57: On lonely children... I'm sure there are a few near you - a little time, a little love... | Shame... Blame... Her? Him? Mothers? Father? You? Me? Society??? | I wish more parents could see some books...as I see them. | More stained glass... means less iron bars. | International pastime... one Worlds Series- I don't want to see. | On success...most of us know that... It's a long hike- for a place in the sun. | These were done as Portfolio Samples
58: Harry F. Port Company Picnic in Chicago | I'm ready to hit one out of the park... | Here we are again. | some associates... | Helen and I
59: Through the Years with Helen
60: Mum & Pap's 50th Anniversary Celebration 1963 | Front row: Mr. Bush, Leah, Pap, Anita, Mum and Frank Second row: Rose, Stella, Clara, Helen, Martin, Pauline, Jennifer, Russ, and Margaret ( I must be taking the picture.) | They celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary with a Mass at St. Mary's Church and a family dinner at home.
61: Our 50th Wedding Celebration 1998 | First row: Zola, Yana, Joe, Rose, Anna, Caroline, Grace, Andrew Second row: Michael, Rachel, James, Anita, Al, Helen, Martin, Luanne, Leah, and Steve | Stell Rose me Helen Eddie Phyllis | Original Cake Topper
62: PENN-FRANKLIN, DELMONT SALEM | On June 4, 1937 62 students graduated from Franklin High School. On June 6, 1987, 27 of these graduates with spouses and three faculty members attended their 50th reunion at Howard Johnson's in Monroeville. This was followed by a picnic Sunday afternoon at the home of Beulah Beacom Wills near Leechberg. Among those who traveled from California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, were class officers Louis Pavliak, Vice-President, Lois Hoey Schwader, Secretary, and Libby Gray Evens, Treasurer. The group greatly appreciated the attendance of the faculty members Paul J. Cush of Export, Mrs. Grace Pees of Leavel Green and Mrs. Margaret McAdams of Pittsburgh.
63: The Many Faces of Aloysius...etc., etc., etc. Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Friend, Artist, 'Preacher,' and Granpap.
65: When St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Fuquay-Varina needed a special Easter painting, the sisters called on artist-in-residence Al Pavliak. The 79 year old church member went to work immediately. He hung a queen sized bed sheet on the wall of on unused bedroom in his home and began creating. He tossed in a few Texas bluebonnets as a tribute to his children who live in the Lone Star State. And a little bit of the ocean for a grandson who loves the waves. When he was through he had a beautiful acrylic painting to place at the front of the church. Children of the church add butterflies along the sides of the painting. Pavliak, a self-described,"old coal miner from Pennsylvania," said his painting is a ,"gift to God." | This appeared in the Raleigh paper:
66: I'm standing in front of Frank's house | Helen in front of our house. | Lombard Illinois | Our yard was voted YARD OF THE MONTH out of 250 homes in our neighborhood. The flowers just get prettier every year. | 408 Wyndham Drive Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
67: 53 West Ethel Ave., Lombard, IL | I painted murals in the basement. | I painted faux stone in the living room. Each of the kids did one stone.
68: Martin August Feb. 2, 1951 married Luanne Feb.20, 1982 | Anita Ann March 2, 1955 married James Hollister Jan. 8, 1977 | Leah Marie May 19, 1958 married Steve Isadore June 11, 1983 | son- Andrew Austin Sept. 5, 1989 daughters- Grace Emily Caroline Rose Anna Beth March 20, 1991 | son- Michael James July 4, 1982 daughters- Rachel Elizabeth Dec. 31, 1983 Pamela Jane May April 30, 1969 Foster daughter | daughters- Zola Angelica Jan. 14, 1987 Yana Theresa Sept. 13, 1988 Rose Valentina Aug. 14, 1992 son- Joseph August April 9, 1990 | Our Children
71: Anita & James Hollister Jan. 8, 1977 | Marty & Luanne Pavliak Feb. 20, 1982 | Leah & SteveIsadore June 11, 1983
72: Rachel & Brian Halula August 19, 2006 | Yana & Derek Cravens August 13, 2011 | Zola Isadore and Michael McArthur May 23, 2009
73: Happy 80th Birthday Granpap!
79: " I'm going to get you if you don't watch out! " | The house in Sandy Springs
80: Lou, Steve, Frank | Rose, Lou, Pauline | Lou, Rose | Rose, Russ, Lou, Stella | In front of Anita & Jim's house in Glenridge.
81: The Family | Back row: Steve, Leah, Marty, Luanne, James, Anita 3rd row: Michael, Me ( Al ), Helen, Rachel 2nd row: Andrew, Grace, Caroline, Yana, Zola 1st row: Anna, Rose, Joe