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Friday, July 17, 2015


Why do we love our heritage, is it our faith? The church building? Is it the sound of the church bells or the people we would see week after week and during our parochial school years day after day? I think we love our heritage because we were a tight knit community. A neighborhood filled with people with very similar backgrounds. People who came from Yugoslavia/Austria/Slovenia! The other half of the neighborhood Mexican people. Until the second grade I was under the assumption that God created BoJon's like myself and Mexican people. I did not know any other kinds of people existed.
In the second grade at this very school building our class met a boy named Warren Elbeck. He looked so different from the rest of us, while BoJon's were fair skinned and the Mexican kids were brown Warren was black. He was unique and we all wanted to gather round and look at him! That poor child, he must of thought he was in the land of the alien children who acted as though they had never seen a kid with a darker shade of skin! Many years later, while working at the University Hospital in Denver , a good friend of mine Sharon mentioned to me that she lived next door to warren in high school! Our world is a lot smaller than we think it is! Did I mention how kindhearted BoJon and Mexican people are?
This is a Portland Mine Co. Located in Victor, Colorado. In the late 1800's and early 1900's this gold mining company had the town of Victor booming. My mother spent some years living in Victor when she was a child. Her father Joseph Steblay and 17 year old brother Tony perished in February,1927 when the mine they were working in collapsed. Uncle Louie was 18, he had just come up to take a break. He heard their cries for help. He told me he never forgot the sound of their voices crying out and how helpless he felt that fateful day,
Uncle Louie is the tall boy on your left. Tony was one year younger than him. In the front row left to rights, Mary, Cecilia (mom) and Ann. Auntie Elsie and Auntie Jo were not born when this photo was taken, as well as their sister Rosie (1918) who passed away also. I have a copy of this photo and often wonder what they were thinking? They loved what they came from. The girls loved their daddy. They loved when he was home from work. They lined up to dance with him and cried to have a turn! They were strong willed, they were kind, they loved one another. They loved the fact that they were born into  a BoJon phamily.
Here is the sLOVEnian language. I am unsure what it says but the language is quite unique to me since I do not speak any other languages.  Without our heritage we will have nothing to pass on to our  

Zvest Apollonio was an artist and painter born of an Italian father and a Slovenia mother. He lived 1935-2009
Stanislava Brezovar was a Slovenia ballerina.
Vladimir Bartol was an author. His most famous novel "Alamut" written in 1938 has been translated into many languages and is the most popular Slovene literature around the world.
I would love to sit down with a true expert and dive into my phamily history. I have found little bits and pieces, like a puzzles neatly fitting together and although frustrated many time coming up empty handed I am excited when I find something wonderful:
Juliane shared this steamer trunk she has. It belonged to her mom, my auntie, my dad's baby sister Millie. She told Juliane it belonged to her grandfather and he traveled back and forth with it from his homeland in Yugoslavia/Austria to America. what an exciting piece of our history to have.
Oh the stories it would tell us if this trunk could talk. Filled with Juliane's own memories in the making, it is a priceless treasure to her . A piece of her puzzle she is putting together.

Some of the Kocman family. I can not fathom the hardships they endured. The suffering and loss of their children and other loved ones.
As I am researching our phamily ties I am finding that many BoJon phamilies included boarders. In the U.S. Census for various years I notice a pattern as the list will include, father, mother and children and then list a name, usually a gentleman that is not related to the phamily but boards with them. I know after the death of her husband and son my grandma Steblay took in boarders. People did what they had to do. Women left with children usually had no higher education and they had young children. So they made do with what they had. Inspiring and encouraging.
Remember Minka the Baker? She was a good friend of my mothers and this is the kind of cake she made for me. The Pueblo Star Journal and Chieftain newspaper wrote an article about her on Sunday April 27, 1958 . They wrote about  her talent as a baker. She handmade each and every flower she added to this cake.  She worked at night to create all these beautiful cakes and pastries. Mrs. Emil Zigich lived at 1240 Eilers Avenue in BoJon town.

Keep searching your family heritage. Unlock the door to new discoveries each day. Don't let this slip away. Don't ever forget those who suffered and persevered so you would have a better life today. Comeback tomorrow for more shares. I bid you :


Theresa said...

I should follow your lead and do some research:) LOVE that mine picture and the old school house! Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Denise said...

you are awesome.

Intense Guy said...

Do you have your family tree recorded anywhere? Ancestry? MyHeritage?

Also - you might find one or more of these resources helpful!