Can Someone Help Me to Find Bojon Town?????

I don’t believe that Bojon Town is just a place.  I think it’s more than that.  But I’m not ready to have that conversation now, because I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people are confused about exactly where Bojon Town is.  So, I’m going to try to give my thoughts on the location, and I’m going to open it up for discussion for everyone to give their definitions of the actual physical boundaries.

My boundaries are simple and inclusive.  I-25 on the west.  Northern Avenue on the south.  Santa Fe Drive on the north, and the part of Northern  Avenue that goes down to Santa Fe Drive on the east.  

OK, now in my definition, Bojon Town covers Box Elder.  It covers people living in Kurja Vas (i hope i got the spelling right) .  It goes down to where the Hund’s had the swimming pool.  It covers every house and business on Northern Avenue.  It goes down to School Street and out to Hill Place and Topeka.  It includes Agram, Russ, Egan, and a lot of other streets.  It even covers some houses on Santa Fe Drive.  It’s a pretty big area.

Now, there are a few people that have a vastly different view of where “Historic Bojon Town” is located.  There was a nice slideshow in an article about a movement to have Bojon Town declared a historic district.   The problem is that the pictures were of either:

a) the 1100 block of Eilers
b) Eilers Bar

If you didn’t know anything about Bojon Town and this article was your only exposure to the place, you’d think that Bojon Town was one block with a bar across the street.  I’m actually ok with including this block and this bar, but frankly, the 1100 block of Eilers is about as historic as…well…..me!  It was built in the mid to late 1950’s, about the time I was born, and at the time they were built there were houses in the neighborhood that were already 40 and 50 years old.  I mean, I like self-promotion as much as the next guy, but please don’t try to define my neighborhood as your block and business.  The rest of us may have a bit to say about it.  I think that people who remember Butkovich Clothiers, Medved’s 66 Service, Veteran’s Tavern, Anzick’s Restuarant, B&B Recreation, Okorn Jewelers, Gorsich’s Market and Anzlovar’s Shoe Repair might be a bit surprised to find that those places weren’t in Bojon Town.

That brings me to something that I also need help with.  The young lady who wrote this article used two people for their research.  One who grew up in the 1100 block of Eilers in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and one that didn’t move into the neighborhood until well into their adult life.  I mean, if you want to talk about the history of a historic neighborhood, why not ask people old enough to have actually lived it.  So, in talking with my parents yesterday, there seems to be a few people in the age group of 80+ that still remember a lot about the place.  I’m trying to make arrangements to talk to some of them for future stories.  So, if you know someone like this, please let me know!  I want to get their story.  And if you want post where you think Bojon Town actually is, please let us know!

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9 responses to this post.

  1. I loved this article! Oh man, I wish my folks were still alive and your grandparents, especially your grandma Medved and your grandma Barnett. They both were awesome ladies with so much information about the neighborhood. Growing up there in bojon town I agree with you completely on the boundaries. I found other facts that were incorrect in that little video. One thing, they spelled my dad’s last name wrong on the baseball picture! LOL! He would have politely corrected them. He was the most kind and honest and decent man I ever knew. He has been gone 29 years this year and I miss him like he passed away yesterday! They talked about the grove being devastated in the 1921 flood. It was, but my grandma Steblay’s house is stil standing and my sissy lives in it to this very day! Lots of bojons never left the grove or they continued to move there or they came after the flood but I sure know a lot of them that lived there until they passed away! My cousin Sharon Trontel still lives there. Non sLOVEnian people should not try to be an expert and I am sorry, but that article and video was composed by very few pure bloods like us! They don’t want me writing a letter to the Chamber of Commerce or whoever started that! My blood was boiling and I am not a normal hothead. I say it all the time, as a kid I thought God created bojons like myself and Mexican people. Our neighborhood consisted of those two ethnic groups so they had a lot of facts wrong. Get your folks on tape. Record them when you talk to them. What I would give to have more conversations with my folks. My daughter Noelle, who is the same age as your sister Julie’s oldest son, had a kids FIsher Price tape recorder. To tell you how awesome that little $10 recorder was in it’s heyday, she taped my folks one day and a few years ago my nephew Brian put it on a tape for her! we have a copy and hearing the voices of my sweet parents is so exciting for me. Noelle was a lil bratty and she taunted her cousin Holly. It was recorded the first Saturday in May because my sister was in the background saying “I just wanted to watch the Kentucky Derby in peace and quiet!” My dad was singing and my mom was trying to do her dishes! Gosh, when I hear it I see my phamily around the kitchen table or watching the Kentucky Derby all together. Good memories so capture them while you can! I grew up at 710 Topeka. My dad built that house in 1946, the year my older brother Ed was born. Joe Masser, an old bachelor live don the corner and then our house and the MIklich phamily had two houses and the(name escapes me) and then the Horvats. My friend Lynette ZInno still has her aunt Frances living there and Lynette is my second oldest friend. We crashed on our tricycles when we were 3. We are both 60 today! HaHaHaHa! Across the street was an open space and the dump was below us where a lot of Mexican people lived and raised chickens, etc. But the view of Pikes Peaks was amazing. Then the Mutz and Major phamilies and Mrs Plutt (Bobby Koshak’s grandma). Behind us was Hill Place where the Matthew Glavich phamily lived and the Virants and Bill Bustillos grandparents! I would go on but I might take all your comment space! HaHaHa! I hardly wait to see your next post. Now to get some photos from the good ole days. Hugs, Anne

    Reply

    • Anne, please take all of my comment space that you want! Your information is just what I want to hear. It fills in so many missing pieces. I can’t believe you actually had that recording! What I wouldn’t give to hear some of those voices again! I love hearing your memories, because they are so connected to mine. And there is always something I didn’t know, like Mrs. Plutt being Bobby Koshak’s grandma. I never made that connection, and I played with Bobby for years! As for the historic thing, i’ve spoken to a lot of people that are pretty upset about the whole situation. i think everyone could get together and come to some kind of agreement to get this awesome neighborhood recognized in a positive manner. I mean, we’re Bojons! We figure things out all the time!

      Reply

  2. Posted by Ken Medved on August 2, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I also really enjoyed reading your comments Mike. Annie you also hit the nail on the head. Actually Annie, you may not know this but our dad built the house that Bebba Glavich lived in. He had also built that house in 1946, the year I was born. It and many more of those houses were built using some lumber salvaged from railroad box cars. None of those houses were built by commercial builders but were built by the owners and a handful of men from the neighborhood who were very skilled. Beside the CF&I many of the Bojon’s worked at Walter’s brewery, National Broom factory, Alpha Beta packing plant, etc. They walked to work regardless of the weather. I remember when my dad worked at Walter’s we would hardly wait for him to come home because he would save a cookie or some treat from his lunch pail for us. I guess that wouldn’t buy much affection from your kids these days.
    As for the businesses in the neighborhood there were a few more that stand out to me that really added character to the neighborhood. Beside those mentioned some others that come to mind are Mr. Cernac’s blacksmith shop with an old manual bellows forge, Mrs. Puntar’s dress shop on Northern and Santa fe, Minka’s bakery on Northern and her husband George the mailman. Then there was Johnny Smith’s barber shop, Culig’s Grocery and how about Newton’s lumber yard. There was a man named Angelo who came around with a horse drawn wagon selling vegetables. We really looked forward to his visits because sometimes he would let us sit on his horse. My first job beside my dad’s gas station was at the Dixie Cream donut shop. I know I am overlooking some and I apologize to anyone whose families may have had a business there.
    We were also pretty well self contained when it came to education. Beside St. Mary’s school there was also Edison school where some of my siblings attended at times.
    Most of the boys will remember swimming at Hunt’s with its diving tower that always seemed to be about 50FT tall. It was probably ten. How about Virant’s pool, haha. Some of us loved to play at the clay hills with its narrow ledge trails (just above Kurja Vas) or the crab ponds down off the East end of Mesa.
    There is so much more to Bojon town than was or could be covered in a short program. I did enjoy the evening at the library but perhaps the best tribute that can be paid to our old neighborhood is by people like Mike and Annie doing just what they have done. Contribute their recollections about what wonderful people lived and still live in that great neighborhood. If you talk to Mike about the neighborhood or it’s people he may tell you that I taught him to cuss. Don’t believe him.
    KMedved

    Reply

    • Thanks Uncle Ken! I don’t know how that rumor got started about you teaching me to cuss. I always thought of it as you giving me an appreciation for the subtleties of the English language. I forgot all about Culig’s and the donut shop! I remembering buying candy at Culig’s when I was really little. I’m confused about Minka though. I always thought that Minka was married to Emil Zigich, George’s brother. I remember that Emil used to live on the end of Eilers where the bakery was, and I thought that George used to come into the gas station with his wife when I was a teenager. Emil was such a nice old guy, but he always seemed so sad. I still remember sitting on the board that Smitty used to put on the barber chair for little kids. You could always count on a consistent haircut there! He buzzed it down to the scalp, and if you didn’t move too much, he didn’t put too many nicks in your head. Man, I can still smell that place! I still look at Cernac’s old building when I go up and down the hill. Still standing, and it still looks just like it did when I was a kid. I’m glad you got a chance to read this. Give everyone a hug for me.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Ken Medved on August 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Mike, you may be right about Emil being Minka’s husband. I left the neighborhood in 1964 and have accumulated a few mental cob webs since then. I will ask your uncle Dan. He and your mom would know for sure.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Ken Medved on August 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Mike you are right about Emil and Minka. I have been taking cemetery pictures and they are both on a large stone at Roselawn. George was married to Alvira and she may still be a live. I didn’t know Emil, but I knew George from when he delivered the mail and he was such a nice man. Really miss some of those older folks. Auntie Kay
    P. S. I hope more people find out about this blog and post their memories.

    Reply

    • Thanks! That’s a cool idea with the cemetery pictures. Velma and I are going to start taking pictures of the neighborhood so we can include them here. George was really a nice guy! I watch mail carriers now, driving to each block and walking one block at a time, and I remember George walking from the old post office in Bessemer with that huge leather bag, and carrying the entire mail for the whole neighborhood. Emil was as nice as George. He used to come in to the station with an old station wagon and his dog. I never saw him with out that old hound.

      Reply

  5. I wish you would write more! I know lots going on always in our lives and your health issue can not be fun! Lots of prayer for you and yours too. Love you Anne

    Reply

    • Thanks for thinking about me, Anne! I love you too. I’m working on some stuff, but it’s been crazy and I’ve been lazy. It won’t be much longer.

      Reply

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