Rewind, March 2012: Pennsylvania | Grandfather’s Wake

Considering I’ve lost so many memories with my previous journal going to shit, I’ve decided I’ll do some throwback updates of older photoshoots, book reviews, travels, etc. I actually had this one planned to post in my old journal before it went down.

This was back in March of 2012, I went back home to Pennsylvania to visit family while attending my grandfather’s funeral. This is my mother’s father. I wasn’t terribly close to my grandfather but I do remember the times I would visit, he’d help me set up little traps in his backyard to capture chipmunks. I’d feed them walnuts and then let them go afterward, just catching them was the challenge. Most of the time I spent there was with my cousins playing wiffle ball, catching lightening bugs, or generally getting up to no good. My grandmother would always be cooking some Hungarian dish or another; she was always cooking!

My grandfather worked the mines when he was younger and as a result contracted coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, better known as black lung which would eventually kill him. My grandmother came over to America during the war; her parents were killed, she fled, got on a boat and never saw the rest of her siblings again. It was around this time my grandfather met her. She never liked talking about her past, so it’s always been a mystery knowing exactly where she was from. She spoke eight languages and never lost her deep European accent. She always made me giggle when she said “little”, she’d always pronounce it “Lit-Lee”. She died from Merkle cell carcinoma, a very rare skin cancer associated with immunosuppression and UV exposure. She was beautiful, they both were.

Getting classy at the local EconoLodge. Oh yeah!

Scrapple at the Dutch Kitchen.

While I was up there, I visited my parents at their cabin in Benton. There was a farm near by who’s goats just had babies! I got out to take some pictures of them and the owner invited me into the barn and let me hold them! I was surprised at how light they were; it took everything in me to not cuddle them to death.

Village: Waller | Population: 48



4 thoughts on “Rewind, March 2012: Pennsylvania | Grandfather’s Wake

  1. My great grandmother was from Austria and my great grandfather was from the Czech Republic. But I don’t know much about them my Aunt is Mormon and they are really into the whole genealogy thing so the little bit I know of my father’s side of the family is because of my Aunt. My Grandmother Elizabeth told me stories about living during the time of “The Great Depression” and how her mother would make her ‘depression cake’ which wasn’t really tasty.

    I always hope to travel to Europe one day and visit all the lands of my ancestors. I was born in Panama to a Panamanian Mother and a North American father but everyone always tells me I look European and so often local Panamanians think I’m a foreigner. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your grandparents my grandfather Gilbert passed but my grandmother is still alive and living in Ohio though she is blind and quite elderly. Your grandmother seems to have lived a very difficult life I can see why she wouldn’t want to talk much about her past.

    Baby goats! Aww!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story! “Depression cake” sounds pretty interesting, and not surprisingly un-tasty with a sad name like that, hehe. I’m glad your Aunt was able to share what she could about your relatives.

      My parents recently paid a professional to follow both their family lines back as far as they could. I read through some of it when I was up in Pennsylavania a couple years ago. Interesting stuff.

      Panama seems like a pretty neat country!

      1. Depression cake to me sounds like a really hard type of cake with no flavor. XD

        There is not much to Panama besides going to the beach or visiting the Country side. It’s kind of like Florida but there are a lot more things to do in Florida.

  2. I loved this entry, Eden. Great photos. Your grandparents seemed like really nice people. Hungarians from Pennsylvania – were they Catholics? A lot of the European settlers to that area were rugged, smart, and inventive. And they were good cooks!

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