by Christine Bartell (2001)

Where were you born?

Sherwood, WI

Where were your parents from?

Croatia, Yugoslavia

Why did your parents come to America?

For a better life than the old country, Yugoslavia.  My Dad was 17 when he came over and my Mom was 19.

Did you speak any other languages?

We knew Croatian.

What kind of jobs did your parents hold?

My mother was a housewife, she sewed till 4 o’clock in the morning, and my Dad worked on the railroad.

What type of traditions did you have growing up?

Lots of prayer, very strict Catholics, we had foods from Croatia, work, Christmas and Easter.

Did you eat any traditional meals?

Sauerkraut, macaroni with eggs and cheese, soups, black coffee cake, cornmeal for breakfast.

Are there any particular memories you have of growing up?

I was brought up with a lot of prayer and religion. Going to school in a one-room schoolhouse.  Walking two miles to school, climbing trees, going out to the pasture to get cows, and working on the fame.

What was it like having so many brothers and sisters?

Wonderful! We all got along so well, and still do.  we would make up games and listen to the stories my Uncle and Dad had about the old country.

Dad has talked about a schoolhouse lots of times, is there any significance behind that?

My brother bought it.  It was where we attended school, our family always held the reunions at it.