Archive for the ‘in memory of….’ Category

December 8th, 1980

If everybody demanded peace instead of another television………

……….then we’d have peace.

You may say that I’m a dreamer,

but I’m not the only one.

I hope someday you’ll join us,

and the world will live as one.


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Andrew & Josephine Zagorsky

Their Lorain love Story

By: Linda Jean Limes Ellis

Everyone loves a love story ! Please join me for a glimpse of how this one began a little more than a century ago in Lorain, Ohio, and spanned 41 years in the lives of my maternal grandparents.

As a young lad living in the 1880’s and 1890’s, Andrew Zagorsky roamed Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and France as an orphan. Born in an area that later became Czechoslovakia, he learned to speak several languages and along the way taught himself to play the button box. After Andrew matured into a young adult, he became a miner by trade to earn a living. In 1904, America beckoned him to it’s shores, and specifically, Lorain, Ohio, where his brother-in-law was already living. There he met and married a young illegitimate Polish immigrant girl who spoke only her native tongue. Together, they watched their family grow during one of the darkest decades in American history – a time forever defined by it’s name – “The Great Depression.”

Andrew Zagorsky’s driving desire was to renounce his allegiance to Franz Joseph I (later Charles – 1916-1918), Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary by becoming a naturalized American citizen. His mind must have swirled with such thoughts when he disembarked from the ship, S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse, after it docked in New York from sailing it’s final voyage of the year from Bremen, Germany.

It was almost the end of the year – December 14, 1904*. Andrew, with the sum of $18.00 in his pants pocket, he was ready for his next step. He boarded a westbound train and headed for his final stop, Lorain, Ohio, where he would spend the rest of his life.

American citizenship for Andrew Zagorsky would not come for 33 years, however. After all, he was still a young man just turning 24. Without a doubt, finding a suitable wife who cherished raising a family, and who faithfully practiced Roman Catholic teachings, came first for Andrew – but he would have to wait a bit longer. Another 3 years would pass before she would enter his life.

Early Twentieth Century progress brought the hard labor industries of steel making, ship building and railroad work to Lorain, Ohio and transformed the entire community into a manufacturing hub. Many Eastern European immigrants, among others, knew their skills would be needed by these employers making Lorain a popular destination. Andrew Zagorsky quickly gained employment there as a car repairman with the B & O Railroad Company. Later, he switched to the Lake Terminal Railroad at the National Tube Company which had bought the Lorain Steel Company in 1902. He welcomed the opportunity to learn his new trade, and learn it well he did. Andrew stayed with the Lake Terminal Railroad throughout the Great Depression and until his retirement.

Meanwhile, Josephine Szczepankiewicz’s life in America began on July 2, 1907 when she made her way alone through the masses of immigrants who had arrived that day at Ellis island. She had traveled on the vessel, S.S. Statendam, which had departed from Rotterdam ten days earlier for it’s long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Josephine’s entry appears on Line 5 of the ship’s manifest which list the following: Name – Jozefa Szczepankiewicz, Age – 18, Marital status – single, Occupation – servant, Last residence – Kasimiro, Russia**. Her ethnicity was “Russian Polish”. Barely readable, the writing states that she was coming to live in Lorain, Ohio with her uncle. His name was Anthony Szczepankiewicz who worked as a laborer in the car shop of the National Tube Company.

The Szczepankiewicz’s household of Anthony, his wife Victoria (nee Krokos) and their four small children had become noticeably more crowded after the arrival of his teenage niece. My Aunt Irene revealed to me that her mother’s uncle, Anthony, and her father, Andrew met through a connection with a co-worker at the National Tube Company. Did Anthony “play cupid” so Josephine would find a husband and thus move her out of his house ? I can not prove he did, but if true, he was highly successful in the role !

Young Josephine quickly won Andrew’s heart as he was said to be “quite smitten” with her after their first meeting. His marriage proposal to her came shortly afterward and Josephine accepted. The couple exchanged their wedding vows at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, a Polish parish, in Lorain on January 8, 1908, just six months after her arrival in America.

By today’s standards, this might be considered an “arranged marriage”, but for Andrew and Josephine the ensuing years proved theirs was a union meant to be.

Josephine’s mother was still living in Poland. The identity of her father was, and remains to this day, unknown. Since birth, she had taken her mother’s maiden name as her own surname.

When Josephine became Andrew’s wife her isolated world as an only child of a single mother changed forever. Their first child, Joseph, was born in October of 1908. Their second son, Frank, was born on March 4, 1910. Anthony Szczepankiewicz was the child’s godfather. Within a few years, Josephine’s mother, Antonina, left Poland to come help with raising the fast growing Zagorsky family. She died in 1918, however, at the age of 56.

Andrew Zagorsky filed his first Declaration of Intention for citizenship on March 17, 1919, however seven years passed and the record became invalid so he began the process again on January 3, 1935. Ultimately, Andrew took his Oath of Allegiance to become a naturalized American citizen on December 7, 1937. By then though, the Austro-Hungarian Empire no longer existed. Aunt Irene vividly remembers her father expressing to her how important that day was in his life. Ironically, December 7 is also her birthday.

Yes, Andrew Zagorsky’s life had come a long way in 30 years. He had good reason to feel pleased with his accomplishments, not the least of which was supporting a wife and eleven children. That became much more difficult, however, as the Great Depression of the 1930’s relentlessly dragged on. Lake Terminal railroad reduced Andrew’s work schedule to a three day work week, yet he felt thankful because many friends of his were unemployed.

Andrew did not drive or own an automobile, but that fact mattered little to the younger children who eagerly waited for him to step off the Lorain Street Railway streetcar after work on his payday. They knew their daddy was bringing them candy !

The older children began working as they entered their teens and early 20’s. Helen and Mary, the two oldest daughters, took jobs as dishwashers and cooks at the Park Restaurant and Antlers Hotel in Lorain. Joseph, the eldest son, began working as a drill press operator at the Thew Shovel Company. By the mid 1930’s, Irene gained employment at a West Virginia tobacco company and was joined by Virginia and Helen who found work at the Central Glass Factory in Wheeling. Whatever earnings the trio could spare were sent back home to help support the younger children still living with their parents. Unfortunately, this meant the girls had to move away from home and did not graduate from high School.

Josephine contributed to the family circle by sewing most of the children’s clothes including their underwear. She was the household’s shopper and known to “drive a hard bargain” with the neighborhood merchants, many of whom were Polish Jews. While browsing at a haberdashery to buy a better suit for one of the younger sons, Josephine might find the prices were more than she could afford. If so, she abruptly took the little boy by the hand and led him out of the store. Mother and son did walk far down the street when the sales clerk bolted out the doorway and pleaded, “Mrs. Zagorsky, please come back, let’s talk about the price !”. The shop owner knew there were more sons at her home, and he hoped she would return. Josephine cooked traditional Polish fare and made such dishes as dandelion soup that cost little money. She enjoyed crocheting and hardanger embroidering – when there was time.

Andrew and Josephine owned their modest three bedroom home at 2715 Apple Avenue in Lorain during the 1940’s when their sons Floyd, Stanley and Alex joined the U.S. Navy and Edward entered the U.S. Army. Theresa, their youngest daughter, served in the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). Like millions of American families in W W 2, the Zagorskys in Lorain fervently prayed  and patiently waited for their loved ones in uniform to return safely to them. All five did come back in good health after the war ended. Everyone was united, and the family photographs taken during this time prove how happy they were to be together again.

Andrew Zagorsky died at home on November 20, 1949, at the age of 68. His funeral was held at the family residence with religious services conducted at Holy Trinity Church in Lorain prior to his burial at Calvary Cemetery.

Josephine lived until June 7, 1960 with most of her children nearby in her final days. Andrew’s railroad pension check of $66.00 a month helped to provide for Josephine until her death. She never mastered speaking the English language but was said to have understood it quite well. Because the children attended parochial schools at both St. Stanislaus (Polish) and Holy Trinity (Slovak) churches in Lorain, they had no trouble communicating with her.

Today, all of the Zagorsky children are deceased except for my Aunt Irene who has so warmheartedly shared many of her special childhood memories with me. Without them, I could not come to understand and appreciate the sacrifices Andrew and Josephine made for each other and their children.

On June 10, 1960, Josephine was laid to rest by Andrew. In death, as in life, she was together with her husband, and it was the last time he would have to wait for her to begin a new journey with him.


* December 14, 1904 appears as the date of arrivalon the National Archives microfilm information. Andrew Zagorsky’s Declaration of Intention # 10258 dated January 3, 1935, list arrival date of December 14, 1904. However, the Ellis Island version of this ship’s manifest has “15” penciled in between December and 1904.

** Kasimiro most likely was Kazimierz Biskupi. On my mother’s baptismal record at St Stanislaus Church in Lorain, dated October 4, 1914, written in Latin: “Joseha Szczepankiewicz – e loco Kazmierza, ? Kalisz Russia”. Kazimierza Biskupi is about 50 to 60 km north of Kalisz.

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June 7, 1933 ~ November 11, 2008

News spread quickly this morning in the sporting world, of the passing of former Indians pitcher, Herb Score. Herb was “Rookie of the Year” in 1955 and set a  American League record for strikeouts with 245 K’s, while going 16 – 10 with a  2:45 ERA. Herb went on to go 55 – 46 W-L record with a 3:36 ERA in his career which some say was shortened when on May 7, 1957 against the New York Yankees, Herb was struck by a line drive off the bat of Gil McDougald. While Herb recovered from his injuries, he did not return to the mound for over a year, returning late in 1958, only to suffer another setback with a torn tendon in his arm that cost him the rest of the 58′ season. Score returned for the 1959 season, but could only muster a 9 -11 with a 3:71 ERA, before being traded to the Chicago White Sox, where he played parts of 3 seasons before retiring in 1962.

Although an oustanding pitcher for 8 years, I remember Herb Score as a broadcaster, first as an Indians television announcer from 1964 – 1967, then as the radio announcer for all Indians games from 1968 – 1997, calling his final game at Jacobs Field in game 7 of the 1997 World Series.

Herb Score…..Thank You, you made “growing-up” Fun

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Jan. 26 1925 – Sept. 26 2008

….when cool was cool

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Warren Zevon

Jan 24 – 1947  Sept 7 – 2003

An American Songwriter


Very powerful lyrics

Guess the title?

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