Day 30. The End…………..of this Chapter. .

It’s been a long 30 days.  A few screwups, a few setbacks, a lot of good conversation, and we still haven’t scratched the surface of what it means to grow up in Bojon Town.  It’s been a long month, but it sure hasn’t been a chore!  I’ve enjoyed every minute of the writing, the remembering, and the reading of the comments.  Tomorrow, I’ll go back and read the posts and comments.  I know I have typos that I need to clean up, because I did a lot of them in a hurry, and that’s not how I usually do it.  After that, I’m doing research and more writing about what I find.  Thanks to everyone that has made this as much fun as it has been!  The response has been awesome.  I get some pretty detailed stats from the website, and one day last week, the site had over 100 hits.  When I started this, I never imagined 100 hits in total, let alone in one day.  I even have followers in foreign countries!

I really try to stay away from negative stuff.  I learned early on that some offhand comment could really offend someone, so I try to keep it positive.  But I had a conversation the other day and it brought back some not so good memories.  So, breaking with my tradition, I’m going to share it, without naming names.  I had a wonderful bunch of friends.  Kids my age, kids younger than me, and older people as well.  I tried to get along with everyone.  But one guy went out of his way to make that impossible for me and him.  He was about 7 or 8 years older, and about 7 times my size.  I have no idea why he hated me, but it was probably because someone I knew did something to him 10 years ago or something.  Maybe he was just a bully and he didn’t like the way I looked.  But from the time I was about 7 or 8, until I went to college, he never missed a chance to punch me, kick me, shove me, steal my bike, or any of a dozen other fun things.  I think it was a game for him some times, because I’d try to avoid him and he’d just pop in front of me.  I never told anyone, because you didn’t want to have anyone else know.  I haven’t seen this bully for 30 years, but I’ll bet if I ran into him somewhere, he’d punch me.  But I’m a good person.  I have nothing but good wishes for him.  I wish he’d get hit really good by a safe that fell out of a plane.

I have no musical talent, with one exception.  My musical instrument of choice was radio, record player, and 8 Track Player, and I could play each one of them very well.  We had the best repairman of those devices right in our neighborhood.  His name was Gail Hathaway, and he could fix any TV or sound playing device known to man.  He had a shop on the west side of the 1200 block of S. Santa Fe, and a house in the back.  He was a tall, skinny red headed guy that was always nice to me.  I think he recognized that I was curious about radios and stuff.  He showed me some stuff that really helped me out, like how to adjust tracking on a cassette or an 8 Track player.  And this was back in the day when your TV stopped working, you popped off the back of it, took out all the tubes, and took them to get tested.  If you found a bad tube, you’d buy a replacement, put them all back in, and your TV would work.  TVs were a bit simpler than they were now.  They only had to get 3 channels.  That was all we had.  Mr. Hathaway had a few boys, and one of them, Billy, was a bit odd.  He was about 6’4″ tall and weighed about 23 pounds.  He was fascinated by animals.  He always had a baby bird or a rabbit or something live in a box.  I saw him stick his arm in a hole in the ground about a foot past his elbow and pull out a 4 foot long red racer snake.  One time he lost his baby rabbit in the house and looked for it under the bed with a candle for light.  He found the rabbit.  He was so happy he forgot the candle.  The house wasn’t a total loss.

Here’s a good TV story.  Anyone remember the carnival that they used to have in the church basement at St. Mary’s?  When we were kids, we called it the bazaar.  Once a  year, they’d have games for kids, hamburgers, Pepsi and candy, and all sorts of good stuff.  They would always raffle off something pretty nice.  The kids sold raffle tickets for weeks before.  They were 10 cents a ticket, and the tickets were on cardboard cards with 11 tickets per card.  If the kid sold 10 of the tickets, he could either put his name on the 11th ticket or sell it and keep the dime.  I sold a bunch of them one year, and the grand prize was a 13″ color TV.  This was probably about 1964 or 65, so color TV was still pretty new, and on top of it, a 13″ TV that I could have in my room would make my life complete.  Luck smiled on me, and I won the TV!  I was ecstatic.  I was the envy of my friends, and my sisters hated me.  Life was good.  For about 2 weeks.  I’m upstairs after school, watching cartoons.  In color.  Star Trek?  Color.  Downstairs, my family is watching the old 20 inch black and white with the special remote control.  Whichever kid was closest.  Well, that big old piece of crap takes a crap and stops working.  So, Chuck pulls the tubes out, I walk down to Hathaway’s, and the tubes are all good.  So we put them back and we take the TV to Mr. Hathaway and he pronounces it dead of natural causes.  Well, times were tight and a new TV wasn’t in the budget.  So, my new TV took a place of honor on top of that broken TV.  Not in my room.  In the living room.  Now, you’d think that since it was my TV, I’d have some say in what we watched.  Yeah.  And you’d be wrong.  I never got that TV back.  The next year when we sold the tickets, I kept the frigging dimes.  I figured if I won, someone would just end up taking it when they needed it.  The minute I got the dime, it went right to candy and Pepsi.

June is now officially over for this experiment.  I’m honored that you took the time to read it.


7 responses to this post.

  1. Good memories Mike and of course, a few tough ones too. I will share a bad memory about Debbie Lepik soon.I like to be positive too but I think the grove got a bad rap and my first post will include my sentiments as nicely as I can write them.I think it should be deemed a historical site for all the homes that survived the flood of 1921 including my grandmothers. Someone who attends those Bojon Town meetings said there is a lot of info and I hope sometime you can attend and perhaps take MIke Deverich with you. we will always be proud of where we came from. I remember Billy Hathaway, he was a different fellow. I do not remember any other kids but I knew their dad fixed T.V.’s! I like to be positive too but sometime you have to share your heart or wear it on your sleeve. Something like that! I do remember all those basement bazaars! Gosh, what fun and how many sacrifices our folks made to make it all happen. People pulled together and made it all work. I hope you visit my blog because I am going to post it as soon as I leave here.Come visit me here: when you can and pass it on. I will write daily as much as I can. I have 22 days of material started so I may just get it all done for the sake of bojontown! Love to you my cousin. This has been fun and I hope you continue soon. Hugs, Anne xo


  2. Posted by Jeanette litherland on June 30, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    I have enjoyed this past month so much reading your posts. The comments were fun reading too. I know you will need a little break, but looking forward to your next post. Love you!


  3. I have enjoyed Bojon Awareness Month so much. You are a great writer and I hope you never stop writing about our beloved Bojon town. I have enjoyed all the memories that have been shared and l looked forward to all the comments as much as the daily post. As I have mentioned, I have been working on the Kocman family genealogy. While today I found a huge piece of a puzzle. I think I mentioned previously that I talked to your mother Audrey last August when I was in Pueblo. She told me two things that I never knew. First, she told me that Grandpa Kocman had a brother John. I never knew Grandpa had a brother. He died in 1930 and he and his wife never had children so no one really talked about him. When I got John Kocman’s death certificate I learned that their father’s name was Antone which is not on Grandpa’s death certificate and neither one has a first or maiden name for their mother. The mother’s name on both death certificates is listed as “unknown.” But, maybe having the father’s name will lead me to her name. The other thing your mother told me was that Videtich was not the family name but rather our great grandfathers surname was Fir. He entered this country using the papers of Martin Videtich and that is the name they used once they got here. One of the only documents that I had for Martin and Agnes Videtich is a 1910 Census from Leadville CO. Grandma Kocman was already married so she was not listed but Martin age 52, Agnes age 42, Joe age 16 and Anna age 7. All except Anna who was born in CO were born in Austria/Slovenia. Martin immigrated in1898 and Agnes and Joe in 1900. Today I found the ship’s manifest for the SS Lahn that sailed from Bremen, Germany and landed in NY on October 4, 1900. Listed are Agnes Fir age 40, Marya Fir age 10 and Joze Fir age 4. They are traveling to Pueblo CO and they are meeting their husband and father. So there we have it documented. Great grandfather Fir left Slovenia in 1898 and used Martin Videtich’s papers to enter this country. Martin Videtich was 10 years older than Fir and that explains the difference in age on the 1910 Census and what is listed as the birthdate on his tombstone. The wife and children left Slovenia in 1900 and entered the US as Fir and when they got to CO they all became Videtich. Had I not gone to visit your mother I would have never heard about the Videtich vs Fir surname and I would never have found them in Slovenia. I wonder why Great Grandpa (Fir) Videtich had to use another man’s papers?? Probably because of some difficulty with debts or the law?? My mother told a story about her Grandpa Videtich being “psychic.” She said Grandma Videtich would hide money from Grandpa and Grandpa would tie a scarf around his eyes and he would be able to see where the money was hidden?? If any of the Kocmans out there can add to any of these stories I look forward to hearing from them.


  4. Posted by Mike Deverich on July 1, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Mike all I can say is thank you. I know writing is hard work ( probably the reason I hate doing it ) and you have given much of yourself to us. That’s it, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Take a break but come back soon, as I have looked forward to each post and it was the first thing I read every morning.


  5. Posted by Mike Deverich on July 1, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Forgot to say I love you cousin.


    • I love you too! You were such a big part of my childhood that you’re the closest thing I ever had to a brother when I was growing up. Thanks for always being there.


  6. Posted by Mike Deverich on July 3, 2015 at 5:20 am

    Mike , I reread all the Bojon Awareness Month posts and feel guilty about not commenting more, good old catholic guilt. I don’t use any social media but after reading all your stuff and the comments I need to start. How do I find you on Facebook and whet is your email address? Send me an email @ Thanks for being such a great friend that after not seeing one another for such a long time we could pick up like we were neighbors for the last 40 years.


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