Saturday, November 17, 2012

50 + 50 = 100 (part 3)

My paternal grandparents had an arranged marriage--how many reading this can say their grandparents married for that reason? They were both fresh off the boat and the marriage tradition was carried from the old country.

They were married July 20, 1912 in the Byzantine Catholic Church in Clairton, Pennsylvania. They had no money for a wedding picture. Here is their earliest family photo, taken probably February 1917. My Grandpa is John Bubnash, a coal miner from Slovakia. Baba's name is Suzanna Csorney-Maczko. The 2 children on the left are their nieces. Uncle John is on Grandpa's lap and Aunt Mary is in front of Baba:

Forward 50 years. The entire family met at my Grandparents' home in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania, on July 20, 1962. I'm so pleased our extended family  made the effort to do this. We bonded and created memories for a lifetime.

[those in red are my Grandparents' children]

Back LtoR: Uncles Charlie, Paul, Bill, Ed, Mike, and my Dad (George)
4th row: Aunts Helen, Dorothy, Irene, my Mom (Jean), Cousin Susan, Aunt Kay
3rd row: Cousin Cathy, Aunt Mary, Baba, Grandpa, Uncle John, Cousins Janet and Shelly
Front row: Cousins Mary Beth, Barbara, my sister Nancy (blond), me, my sister Alice, my brother David, Cousins Eddie, Greg, Tommy, Patty  [Cousin Carol was not yet born and Cathy had not yet joined the family] 

Back: Paul, Ed, Helen, Mike, George; Front: Mary, Baba, Grandpa, John

Our family

You can't tell from the photos, but my Grandpa was crippled. He was in a horrible accident in the coal mine at Rowes Run, in 1951, and never walked on his own again. In fact, this celebration was nearly cancelled as he had a serious case of pneumonia and the doctor wasn't sure Grandpa would survive it. He did, and lived 4 more years. Baba lived 34 more years!

On July 31, 1962 we headed home, another four-and-a-half day trip in the car. The trip west did not stay with me. We were tired and worn out, anxious to get home. We made it without any mishap at all.

And there we have it:
a wedding in 1912
a 50th anniversary in 1962
a 50th anniversary of the 50th anniversary in 2012
and a 100th anniversary in 2012
50 +50 = 100!


  1. A 100th anniversary this year? Where are the pictures?

    I love old photos. It's nice to see how everyone dressed up. I enjoyed reading about your family, and the arranged marriage. I wonder how far back I'd have to go to find an arranged marriage in my family. Probably not too far though I know of no one.

    How did your grandmother come to be called Baba? I am familiar with this more for a father or grandfather. (I think my Syrian friend used this for his dad.)

    I'm so sorry about your grandfather's mining accident and how he was never able to walk again. But PTL he survived!

    I was in Vienna in late August and wanted to go into Slovakia since it was so close, but we didn't.

    I really enjoyed this series of posts and going cross country with your family. I still laugh when I think of your making holes in the truck with the cigarette lighter. :)

  2. We didn't do an in-person get together, just remembered it through technology. Baba is what Slovak/Ruthenian/Ukrainian/Russian grandmothers are called. And I have heard it in other cultures as a general term for elderly people, as you mentioned.

    My poor grandpa. He was in hospital for about a year, 7 months of it in a body cast (plaster in those days). He suffered terribly. So determined was he after recovering, that I can vaguely remember him setting down one of his canes, leaning on the other, then hoeing the garden with the other hand. He also spent time manning the counter at the service station where he could be seated.

    Thanks for your comment. Go to Slovakia next time you have a chance.

    1. Thanks for explaining. I just found this about Baba and see it's also used for "baby" in Afrikaans.

      I love how determined your grandfather was. I hate he suffered so!

      Yes, I hope we can visit Slovakia sometime. What area is your family from?