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My grandmother got herself a writeup in the Erie Times!

My Grandmother and Me

Liz Allen: Cold imagery stirs up warm memories

Written  by Liz Allen,  The Erie Times www.goerie.com

. . .   . . .    . . .

. . .  life was luxurious compared with that of Depression-era kids like Dorothy Scholze. She called me after we ran an Associated Press photo that said the Pittsburgh Mills Mall is in Tarentum. Dorothy, 81, says it’s in Harwick, built on her great-grandfather’s farm.

Many of the region’s Eastern European immigrants were coal miners, and some met awful fates. Dorothy was 13 when her maternal grandfather, John Hanovsky, 63, died in a slate slide. An uncle, trapped in a mine as he laid a brick wall, “came out and was white as a ghost. He never went back again,” she says.

Her parents, William and Hattie Busan, chose a different path. A painter and a decorator, her dad bought a two-room house in the country. In high school, she taught swimming and lifeguarded at the YMCA, which sponsored summer camp in Emlenton, organized field trips to Pittsburgh and encouraged teens to attend college.

Dorothy planned to take the train from Tarentum to the University of Pittsburgh; her dad planned to expand their tiny house. Then her parents were seriously hurt when a truck rammed their car. After the accident, “My plans changed,” she says. She pauses, then adds: “Everything changed for the better.”

She met Richard Scholze at a Y dance. Married in 1950, they built a home in Lawrence Park Township near her parents, her brother and friends from the Pittsburgh area. She and Richard raised three sons and a daughter.

She recalls the struggles of the Depression, but counts her blessings every day. She remembers her mom, who fished for trout and liked to hunt. “That’s her bear there,” she says, pointing to a mount on the wall. Their long-ago move to Erie remains an “adventure.” She still loves the water and swims at the Y.

Recently widowed, Dorothy sorely misses Richard. But every evening, she drifts off to sleep amid a shower of snowflakes that her dad stenciled on her bedroom wall, using patterns she made as a child. She’s wrapped in the warmth of happy memories.

LIZ ALLEN writes about ordinary people each week. You can reach her at 870-1735 or at liz.allen@timesnews.com.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110130/OPINION18/301309815/-1/RSS02

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