Carpatho-Rusyns are one of the major ethnic groups of Pennsylvania. From the time they settled the state’s small towns and cities in the late 1870s until the present time, Carpatho-Rusyns have left an indelible mark on the state, and their story should be told. This blog is about a project that will do just that. Read more

Friday, October 8, 2021

A Year of Return to “Normal”

You might also call this blog “A Quiet Place.”

It’s been almost a year of no posts, a year of hope and loss, isolation and longing, procrastination and frustration, a year of figuring out how life can return to a normal we can work with.

Certainly much has been happening on the “Carpatho-Rusyns of PA” front, but I haven’t found the time or, unfortunately, motivation to write about it. Fortunately I’ve managed to keep my Facebook page alive with items of interest and even post occasionally to my still-new(ish) Instagram page.

Here are some worthwhile things that happened or are coming up soon. I do hope to do longer posts about them when time and life allow.

  • Early in the year I was contacted by a gentleman who is a media personality of some renown, who was looking for assistance exploring and documenting his Carpatho-Rusyn heritage. He hired me to produce a written narrative about his Lemko Rusyn immigrant great-grandparents and their “life and times” in northeastern Pennsylvania. As a follow-on to that, in mid-September I led him on a heritage tour of sorts through the towns and Rusyn communities in northern Schuylkill County in which the family lived, worked, and worshipped.

  • On August 24, 2021, we lost a dear friend when Professor John Kelnock of Marion Heights, Northumberland County, departed this world. Without his inspiration and unflagging help that began years and years ago, I doubt I would have done any of the things written about in this blog. John will be the subject of a much-deserved tribute in an upcoming post. May his memory be eternal – vičnaja jemu pamjat’!

  • After a year and a half of essentially no field work, no site or archive visits, I did make a research trip of a few very productive days over the Labor Day weekend. The highlights centered around places like Conemaugh, Lyndora, Curtisville, McKees Rocks, and Central City, plus I was very happy to attend the (this year abbreviated) Pilgrimage in Honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Mount Saint Macrina in Uniontown after a year's hiatus due to...well, you know. A good bit of that trip is worth a post.