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Old 06-11-2012, 08:23 PM
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Kamakiri Kamakiri is offline
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The story of my great grandmother's kitchen stove.....

This may take me a few days to post the entire adventure, and when I do, I'll link it in to AudioKarma as well. Bear with me as I tell a story of a wonderful family adventure that began somewhere around 1914.

It occurred to me the other day that it's now been 10 years since I originally registered the audiokarma.org URL, and this story is very reminiscent of ones that I used to post quite often back years ago.....if you're familiar, you'll recognize my style. If you're not, grab a coffee and spend a few minutes with me here

It was three months ago, and I decided to take a last minute road trip with my fiance to the town of Shamokin PA, where my entire extended family hailed from, the town where my parents met and were married. They ended up moving to Buffalo NY, where I currently live, in 1957, when my father came up to work in the then-prospering steel mill industry.

I hadn't visited the town since the mid 1990s, my grandmother had passed in 1991, and my grandfather long before I was born, and since all of the Poliniak relations had left for other cities, there was little left in the town for me or my parents, but their childhood memories, and my own memories of spending every Easter in the small coal-mining burb.

But, let's bring you to the trip to the town. Our first stop in the town was the house where my father was born, right on Route 61 that cuts through the only part of town NOT on a hill. It was purchased by my great grandparents around 1894, and when they became ill, my grandmother and grandfather moved in and cared for them until their passing in the 1940s. My father and his brothers and sister lived there as well, of course, so there was plenty of activity in that old house. It was sold in 1991 after my grandmother's passing.



As we went up towards the house, I saw a sign that said "oxygen in use", and thought, well, my guess is that it's an older person in the home, and I took a chance and knocked on the door.

Oddly enough, the very kind old feller that greeted me at the door reminded me a great deal of my dad, appearance wise, and he treated me to a VERY detailed story of how someone rounded a corner and hit the side of the house and died, back in 2000 or so.

But after 20 minutes, he said to me, "I think there is something of your grandmother's that's still in the basement, would you like to come in?"

I was just in shock.....getting to go inside the house where I spent every Easter with all my relations, that I haven't been in in 21 years? Oh, absolutely I'd LOVE to come inside!
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:23 PM
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I went through the same old wooden door, and came into the house. The same paint colors on the walls, the same birch paneling in the living room, the same carpeting on the stairs, the same radiators, the same everything. Wow. And, in the dining room, was the same floor/door leading into the basement. Caught up in an amazing reverie and expecting to see my grandmother in the kitchen frying up pierogies in lard and asking me to go into the basement for some bottles of soda, I went down into the basement.

Now in the basement as soon as you make a left from the narrow stairwell, is a sink, sideboard, and medicine cabinet....the shower long since gone. My grandfather and great-grandfather were coal miners, having worked on the coal breakers since they were little. The bathroom in the basement was designed so that they could clean up without tracking soot through the entire house, and my grandmother had "runways" of plastic carpet runner that went from the back kitchen door through the basement. It was all as I remember it.

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Old 06-11-2012, 08:24 PM
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In the back room of the basement, stood an old Rival kitchen stove. I was simply in shock to see that it was still there. My great-grandmother purchased it new around 1914 or so, and my grandfather and dad moved it into the basement when the are got propane tanks for homes in 1952, shortly before my Dad went in the army. My grandfather fractured his hand in two places when the stove tumbled down a couple stairs, his hand was crushed....and spent days in the hospital. My grandmother used to keep Postum coffee jars of silver dollars and bicentennial quarters inside, and she'd give us grandkids one now and again.

When my grandmother passed in 1991, and the house was sold, my father had to pay the realtor to move the stove out and scrap it......there was no way that my dad or uncles wanted to try, because they had the memory of my grandfather's crushed hand under the weight of a 400 lb stove. And there it was, after sixty years, right in front of me......




More to come, stay tuned
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:44 PM
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I stood in the basement looking at the one item that had been in my family the longest, around 98 years (aside from the house itself). I wanted so deperately to bring the stove home, but knew that with just my Scion xB and my fiance, that would never happen. I then decided that I had to have a part of this stove with me, as a memento of something special and very unexpected that happened to me that day. I took the oven door off, and carried it up the stairs with me and asked the man if I could buy it. He would have given it to me, but I offered him $40 for the door, which he was more than happy with. Heck, I thought he was going to dance! And I felt just the same .

After multiple other stops in town, I stopped at the resting place of all of the Poliniak clan dating back to 1876. In many areas of the country, we're scattered here and there, but in that small town, we were at one time very prosperous and great in number.

After coming back home and sharing the story of my trip both on facebook, and with my parents, I spent weeks trying to figure out what to use this well-preserved stove door for. Displaying it as is seemed......odd, because there was absolutely no way to make it look like anything other than what it was. I pondered it for weeks, and I prayed on it as well. It was then that I decided that the rightful place for this piece was to join the rest of the stove, with me in Buffalo NY. But how was I going to try to DO something like this?

The rest of this story.....will be about how it all happened
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamakiri View Post
The rest of this story.....will be about how it all happened
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:12 PM
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Can't wait...
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:38 AM
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A house in a family for nearly 100 years is impressive, especially now.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:13 PM
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Told you guys Tim's a Master Craftsman when it comes to Story-Weaving...
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:20 PM
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Wow, interesting story so far. Gotta say that basement sure looks spooky....

It is admirable to preserve family heirlooms especially when you have to go out of your way to do so.
Oldest thing in the family, that I'm aware of, is a circa 1917-18 GE brass blade fan that used to be in the family cabin until my aunt retired it to the attic for new ones....I also rescued my grandfather's (he built the cabin that the other fan came from) 46 GE shop fan before the place was torn down, and set it up at my new basement service bench just after moving in a few weeks back.....the story of the place I rescued grandpa's 46 GE from is almost as long as the stove saga so far.

I look foreword to reading more soon.
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Last edited by Electronic M; 06-12-2012 at 08:10 PM. Reason: typeo
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:38 PM
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Does this story end with you inviting all the VK members to your house for Breakfast cooked on Grandmas stove?
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2012, 05:48 PM
petehall347 petehall347 is offline
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that's a lovely old stove it needs to be put back in use .
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2012, 11:56 AM
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Kamakiri Kamakiri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric H View Post
Does this story end with you inviting all the VK members to your house for Breakfast cooked on Grandmas stove?
Sure, you bring the coal to fire it up

Well, it's not at THAT stage, and probably won't be for some time. I'll write the next chapter this evening
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:01 PM
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Reece Reece is offline
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When the old man let you in to the living room and you looked around and saw the same paint, carpet, etc., I have to admit I felt what you felt and teared up at going back in time. Awaiting the next chapter.

BTW wondering if you have hernia insurance.....
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