Day 11. I Love Bojons

I feel like a slacker after yesterday, so it’s time to get busy.

I belong to a support group for my medical condition, and some of the people there really struggle.  One of them made a post today, and because people there like to remain private, I wanted to just share a bit of it anonymously.  It sums things up for me, and probably everyone that suffers from the same condition.  I know a few of you readers have it, so you’ll appreciate this.  His name is Thomas, and I hope he doesn’t get too mad at me for using this.

“Our bodies can make us hermits and we strive to show  the world only the best of us, People will judge our condition on that one good day you have had all week, month or year when we go out and try to enjoy it as much as possible to keep our spirits up till the next escape. We often feel burdened to take that one day and do chores instead of experiencing life. We worry about doing as much on that day because we do not know when the next one comes or we fear it may never come. We have to fight depression, feelings of suicide, along with the pain, stress and fear of what might come. We worry when our back hurts, is it fusing will I no longer be able to bend, how will I do this or do that. No matter how tough we are, how positive we are, we all have those moments where fear runs rampant. It can leave us mentally exhausted, we end up focusing on survival. We learn to protect ourselves but in doing so we often end up wanting to protect others from ourselves. Its what makes dating so hard for me, that person who’s eyes, smile, or touch instantly makes my heart stop and race where a smile becomes almost uncontrollable. I instantly what to protect them and in doing so realize the best way to protect them is to never let them love me as much I would care to love. In the best of intentions we can end up doing the most harm, not only to ourselves but the people we love and desire to love.”

Does anyone remember a lady named Mrs. Puntar that used to do seamstress work?  I kind of remember a sign on a house in the 1200 block of South Santa  Fe that advertised alterations and stuff.  And as long as I’m on that block, wasn’t there a beauty shop down on the corner of Santa Fe and Northern?  Carol’s Curl Corner or something like that?  Right next to the carpet place?  Was it Nick’s Floor Coverings?

OK, I promised a Bojon Miniature Golf Course, and here’s the details.  In the brick building across the street from Medved’s 66, which housed a lot of different businesses from office machine repair to donut shop to dance studio, there was once an 18 hole indoor miniature golf course.  It was run by a guy named Harold, and his wife, who I think was Helen.  Nice folks.  They didn’t last long, maybe a year or so.  They had a foosball table and a pinball machine, and they sold candy and Pepsi and chips.  The golf course was really nice, too.  Not gaudy, with clowns and windmills and such, but just a simple, playable miniature golf course.  Those folks were pretty old back then, so I doubt if they’re around, but if you have any info on them, I’d appreciate it.

Bojons love music!  Accordion was the instrument of choice.  When I was a kid, my mom and dad signed me up for accordion lessons.  They rented this big old squeezebox, and I hated it.  The first time I played it, it was so heavy I had to kind of sit it on my lap.  When I squeezed the billows back together, I pinched a certain part of my body that I never want to pinch again.  That was my career as an accordionist, up in flames.  No ‘Lady of Spain’ for me.  But in the right hands, like Johnny Pauchek, that instrument could be a band in itself!

Here are some tips that I learned as a kid in Bojon Town.  Never, and I mean never, soap the windows of a convent full of nuns on Halloween.  You end up washing a lot of windows.  If you are lighting ant piles on fire with a match and a coffee can full of gas, don’t try to put out the fire by putting the can over the ant pile.  Gas fumes are very flammable.  If you’re 20 feet up in a tree, the fastest way down is to fall out.  Not the least painful, but the fastest.  If you were with the right friend, you could walk into at least 8 houses in Bojon Town and get fed by an Aunt, Cousin, Grandma, or friend.  Right Mike Deverich?  We’d leave school, stop at Auntie Elsie’s for milk and cookies, go to my Grandma Bear’s for a Pepsi and some candy, over to my house for whatever my mom had, down to Grandma Steffie’s house for some goodies, over to the Pool Hall, back to Eiler’s Bar, and by then it was time for supper.

Until tomorrrow.


11 responses to this post.

  1. Gosh you are jogging my memory for sure! I also remember the gentleman on Santa Fe that was a deaf mute and he had a shoe repair shop. Do you recall the Hathaway’s? They had an in house T.V. repair business. I think you are right that hair salon was Carol’s Curl Corner! Gosh, the memories are so vivid. As I think of things I will add them.
    That was a nice post you shared. You know there is a button on Face Book that says “everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle you know nothing about, always be kind.” I like to remember it especially when I see hatefulness around me. Lately a few clothing companies have come under fire assaulting “fat” people as they like to cruelly call them. I know I am getting off on a different track here but it really upsets me. Unless you know that someone sits around getting bigger and bigger by shoveling food in their face 24/7 for no apparent reason I say be kinder! I think people need to back off! With that note I will say when my own girls were young I would tell them this: ” 1 Samuel 16:7New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for [a]God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

    You know I was thinking a lot about your mom and it made me smile when I remembered when she passed away.I learned something about her. She had been a fly fisherman and I thought she was so cool and I always loved her that sweet cousin of mine, but I never knew that about her! She was way cool, and I am not a fisherman at all.!! I think it made me smile because my mom’s cousin Margaret who was the “Judge” in Victor, CO. was also a fly fisherman and had such a passion for it! Funny, but I sure love these heroes of mine . I know one thing about sLOVEnian women: they are usually very strong willed and all of them have experienced a lot of pain and suffering in their lives and they were survivors and raised beautiful and wonderful and smart children!

    I am thinking of more and more things from our childhood. Keep writing and inspiring me to jog that brain awake from our wonderful childhood and keep bringing all those wonderful memories here to share.

    Have a good evening, take care of yourself and keep writing! Hugs and Love Cousin! xo Anne


    • It is funny, how memories come back. I was sitting there thinking about Mrs. Puntar, and I could the sign on the beauty shop and the floor covering place in my mind. And one memory that comes back leads to another one, and another one. I think I wrote about the shoemaker a bit. He as an Anzlovar, I think his name was Bill. The called him ‘Dummy’ because he was deaf/mute. I hated that. I thought it was cruel, but those were different times. I remember that my mom or dad would send me there with shoes to be fixed, and I just hated it. I have to admit, I was a bit scared of him, even though he never was anything but nice. I also remember looking at all of the cool equipment like the sewing machines and shoe buffers and stuff. Every time I turn from Northern Avenue onto Santa Fe, I get the full view of that old building, and I still think of him.


  2. Posted by Mike Deverich on June 11, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I think the seamstress was Tessie but I know my mom would know so I will ask her tomorrow. I seem to remember she would sew Prom and most bridesmaid dresses for everybody. Yes you could get so kind of sustenance at every friends house, their Grandmas and aunts as well as cousins. We were all related somehow so it would have been impossible to starve.


  3. Posted by Kay on June 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I love Bojons too!! The store diagonal from Medveds 66 I think was Butkovichs Mercantile. Audrey was an avid fisher woman. She was president of the Bass Club and I remember them going to fishing competitions all over the country. Your mom was always “all in” with what ever she was involved with. Do you have a favorite Bojon dish?? Mine is Grandma Kocman’s chicken noodle soup. What ever chicken quit laying ended up in the soup on Sunday. The noodles were homemade and really cut thin and homemade bread to go with it. Keep writing!!


    • I remember Grandma Kocman telling me not to play with the chickens, because they’d be dinner on Sunday! One time a skunk got in Grandpa’s chicken coop and my dad went over with his bow and arrow and climbed on the roof of the old kitchen and shot it. Grandpa was so happy because the skunk was eating the eggs. Man, that neighborhood was so much fun! My favorite Bojon food is a piece of klobasi on a slice of potica. The complete flavor package!


  4. You know I always thought that Mr. Anzlovar was scary as a kid but I also thought how cruel that people would call him Dumb since he was an excellent shoe repairman. I still think that way today! My maternal grandmother was blind so I have never thought the Helen Keller jokes were a bit funny. Furthermore Helen Keller was a brilliant mind and had a kind heart.I have been working on ancestry and I am not great at it but excited because I found my great grandmother Videtich’s father, mother and some brothers I did not know she had. I knew she had an older and younger sister. Anybody have any other info please share.Now I see a link saying Great Great Grandpa Mathias Sodja was the son of Catherina Fur.So five generations so far! But I want to say I had other info on great grandfather Sodja saying he was Martin too like Agnes’s husband Martin Videtich. Gosh, I wish I was wealthy to pay someone to go back all the way . Sigh! A gal I worked with once did her ancestry and found her father’s family all the way back to Vasco da Gamo who lived in the 1460s and died in 1524. My dad was always wary of it because Hitler was an Austrian and people often mistake him for a German! Not true. My dad always said we would certainly not want to find out he was in our family tree. Yikes! Anyway if anyone reading your blog Mike knows any other info please, please, please, share it. I am always glad to share whatever I have. I do have a paper copy of a wedding photo of Grandma Kocman and Grandpa Kocman. I also have a paper copy of their wedding anniversary photo and I think I posted their kids photo with them on FB before. Whatever is the story behind these ancestors at least if Martin and Mathias were brothers they would have the same mother. I was thinking of the places you shared and I can see all of them in my mind too. Your aunt commented on my house photo at Face Book and Learned your grandpa Bear built them a house on Hill Place, behind Topeka where I grew up also in 1946. That was the year my older brother Ed was born. I learn something new each day in one way or another. I figure if Martin and Mathias were brothers at least they probably had the same mother back in those days. We will have to talk about Bollinger’s in Bessemer sometime too. I thinka lot of bojons gave Mr. Bollinger lots of money for candy and magazines back in the day. LOL! Keep writing, love the stories. Hugs xo


    • Posted by Kay on June 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      I have been working on my genealogy as well and I have some information on Grandpa Kocman but he and his brother were orphaned very young and I do not have the name of their mother not even her first name. On his brother John’s death certificate their fathers first name is Antone that is all. You have more on the Videtich’s then me. I wonder if anyone else knows more? My email address is If you send me an email I will send you copies of documents I have. I am going to Slovenia the end of August and I hope to have enough information to visit places my family is from.


  5. Posted by Kay on June 11, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Audrey told me that Martin Videtich’s last name was really Fur but he used someone else’s papers to get into this country?? So it sounds like what you found fits with that.


  6. Posted by Mike Deverich on June 12, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Correction about the name of the seamstress, it was Tillie Stadinsky and she lived in a brick house near the top of the hill. Mrs. Puntar owned a store that sold small household items near the end of the 1200 block of Sante Fe. Yes Butkovich Mercantile was the 2 story brick building diagonal to Medved’s. Mr. Butkovich Sr. did the Slovenian hour on Sunday mornings on KCSJ, he also kept a dog in the store. My mom caught me drinking from the dogs water dish, hey I was thirsty. Mike your writings bring up so many memories and new information about our family that I will be eternally in your debt.


    • Damn, you need to start writing. Do I need to get Sister Rosaria to motivate you? Any votes for Mr. Deverich? I’ve been in on a few stories with him, and I know that there are some that I wasn’t in on that must be epic!


  7. My my goodness! Tillie Stadinsky was the aunt of John Nemick who was a year ahead of me in school. Tillie sewed like a dream. My mom told me she lived in California and sewed for the stars until her mother got sick and she came back to Pueblo and never left. She could look at something and recreate it. Oh my goodness, Thanks Mike Deverich for jogging my mind. Take care everyone!


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