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Re: [Slovak-World] Slovak Wash Day

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  • Bernardine Weigand
    Joe, this sounds exactly like the clothes washing stories my Baba told me. I remember her telling me it was a social event. She also related that the men
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 1, 2003
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      Joe, this sounds exactly like the clothes washing stories my Baba told me. I remember her telling me it was a "social" event. She also related that the men would also help, especially in the winter. Now my Mom passes on those stories.

      She said the river was behind their property. So when we visited, indeed I saw the river. I believe it is the Ortov.

      Bernardine
      ----------------------------------------------------------
      Armata, Joseph R. (JArmata) wrote:
      >
      > In old Slovakia, wash day was a big chore too. Women would do it
      > every month or two in good weather, less frequently in the winter.
      > They'd often try to coordinate a community washday so they could meet
      > at the river and visit while finishing their laundry.
      >
      > Water was set to boil, wood ash added in to produce the lye, then the
      > clothes put in. You had to be careful with some things - women's hemp
      > slips that had decorative woven camisoles attached were only dipped in
      > up to the camisole, as the colors in the camisole might run. Other
      > clothes had to be disassembled - lace might have to be removed, or a
      > fancy inset panel in an apron taken out before laundering and sewn
      > back in later.
      >
      > After washing, the clothes were taken down to the river and rinsed and
      > pounded with wooden paddles against rocks. You could do this with
      > homespun linen or hemp which are very strong, but when commercial
      > fabrics began to be used it was abandoned. Any garments that had
      > full-length pleats then had to be reset by hand, which could be a huge
      > chore for the fine fingernail-pleats.
      >
      > Best clothes that were highly decorated were carefully guarded from
      > getting dirty, since laundering could make the colors in the
      > embroidery run (early embroidery threads were often not color-fast).
      > You'd wear them to church on Sunday and take them off as soon as you
      > got home, changing into second-best clothes. The best clothes could
      > last a year or two before needing to be laundered. If the colors did
      > run when laundered, they'd become second-best.
      >
      > Joe
      >
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > Slovak-World-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
    • Tom Flynn
      ... I think the only difference in this for my relatives has to do with the town they live in, which had a hot spring the town was named for (Zemplinska
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 1, 2003
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        On Wed, 1 Oct 2003, Bernardine Weigand wrote:

        > Joe, this sounds exactly like the clothes washing stories my Baba told me. I remember her telling me it was a "social" event. She also related that the men would also help, especially in the winter. Now my Mom passes on those stories.
        >
        > She said the river was behind their property. So when we visited, indeed I saw the river. I believe it is the Ortov.
        >
        > Bernardine
        > ----------------------------------------------------------

        I think the only difference in this for my relatives has to do with the
        town they live in, which had a hot spring the town was named for
        (Zemplinska Teplica). At least in the old days, people used to take their
        laundry down to the hot springs for washing. I think most of them have
        washing machines (but still hang their laundry out to dry, due to high
        cost of energy, I think few have close dryers, but their washers wring out
        more of the water than a typical top-loading machine). It looked like the
        hot springs are still being used by Gypsies to wash.

        ---------
        Tom Flynn
        I speak only for myself
      • David
        Hmmm! The men helped. Are these men of Slovak extraction? This sounds like a story that I heard from two older women who visited the No.9 Mine in Lansford. I
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 2, 2003
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          Hmmm! The men helped. Are these men of Slovak extraction? This sounds like
          a story that I heard from two older women who visited the No.9 Mine in
          Lansford. I tell everyone that the LC&N Coal Co. never used canaries in the
          mines to detect gases. Well, she told me I was wrong. Sure they used
          canaries in some of the independent mines, bituminous mines and also mines
          in England, but with complete authority, LC&N never used canaries. They
          used in the early days, a Davys Safety Lamp. We now use a Koller Safety
          Lamp. The safety lamp can detect black damp, methane and a lack of oxygen.
          We use them to this day. These women said their grand pappy said that they
          used them in the mine. I said, "probably he was telling these young girls
          stories about the mines, like how many cars of coal they mined that day,
          about putting in timbers etc. Well, little girls could care less, but when
          he brought up the story about using canaries in the mines, they were all
          ears. The more attentive the young girls got the more he poured in on. Then
          the sad part. These women had these wonderful stories stored in their
          hearts for all these years and big mouth me had to say their grandfather
          was fibbing. But I would imagine, when these women got out of the mine they
          probably said, " What the hell does he know?"
          Miner Dave who loves to tell this story.

          At 01:18 PM 10/1/2003 -0400, you wrote:
          >Joe, this sounds exactly like the clothes washing stories my Baba told
          >me. I remember her telling me it was a "social" event. She also related
          >that the men would also help, especially in the winter. Now my Mom
          >passes on those stories.
          >
          >She said the river was behind their property. So when we visited, indeed
          >I saw the river. I believe it is the Ortov.
          >
          >Bernardine
          >----------------------------------------------------------
          >Armata, Joseph R. (JArmata) wrote:
          > >
          > > In old Slovakia, wash day was a big chore too. Women would do it
          > > every month or two in good weather, less frequently in the winter.
          > > They'd often try to coordinate a community washday so they could meet
          > > at the river and visit while finishing their laundry.
          > >
          > > Water was set to boil, wood ash added in to produce the lye, then the
          > > clothes put in. You had to be careful with some things - women's hemp
          > > slips that had decorative woven camisoles attached were only dipped in
          > > up to the camisole, as the colors in the camisole might run. Other
          > > clothes had to be disassembled - lace might have to be removed, or a
          > > fancy inset panel in an apron taken out before laundering and sewn
          > > back in later.
          > >
          > > After washing, the clothes were taken down to the river and rinsed and
          > > pounded with wooden paddles against rocks. You could do this with
          > > homespun linen or hemp which are very strong, but when commercial
          > > fabrics began to be used it was abandoned. Any garments that had
          > > full-length pleats then had to be reset by hand, which could be a huge
          > > chore for the fine fingernail-pleats.
          > >
          > > Best clothes that were highly decorated were carefully guarded from
          > > getting dirty, since laundering could make the colors in the
          > > embroidery run (early embroidery threads were often not color-fast).
          > > You'd wear them to church on Sunday and take them off as soon as you
          > > got home, changing into second-best clothes. The best clothes could
          > > last a year or two before needing to be laundered. If the colors did
          > > run when laundered, they'd become second-best.
          > >
          > > Joe
          > >
          > >
          > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > > Slovak-World-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          >Slovak-World-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • slocrobear
          Folklorni Subor SARISAN from Presov has a wonderful women s suite based on this typical wash scene. It s starts out with the trickling water of the stream and
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 2, 2003
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            Folklorni Subor SARISAN from Presov has a wonderful women's suite based on this typical wash scene. It's starts out with the trickling water of the stream and soon branches out into the beautiful full voices of the women as they go about washing their clothes. Soon the sound of the wash paddles starts the rythym of the karicka and ends with the women calling back and forth to each other, Hanca, este ribeme? Este perinu....

            It's one of the most beautiful suite of songs I've ever heard and one of my favs. I ask Rudy and Sue Ondreco to play it every year on my Baba's birthday and the anniversary of her death. I can see my Baba with all her girlfriends dancing away on the bridge over the stream in Rozkovany....

            marko


            --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Armata, Joseph R. (JArmata)" <jarmata@g...> wrote:
            > In old Slovakia, wash day was a big chore too. Women would do it
            > every month or two in good weather, less frequently in the winter.
            > They'd often try to coordinate a community washday so they could meet
            > at the river and visit while finishing their laundry.
            >
            > Water was set to boil, wood ash added in to produce the lye, then the
            > clothes put in. You had to be careful with some things - women's hemp
            > slips that had decorative woven camisoles attached were only dipped in
            > up to the camisole, as the colors in the camisole might run. Other
            > clothes had to be disassembled - lace might have to be removed, or a
            > fancy inset panel in an apron taken out before laundering and sewn
            > back in later.
            >
            > After washing, the clothes were taken down to the river and rinsed and
            > pounded with wooden paddles against rocks. You could do this with
            > homespun linen or hemp which are very strong, but when commercial
            > fabrics began to be used it was abandoned. Any garments that had
            > full-length pleats then had to be reset by hand, which could be a huge
            > chore for the fine fingernail-pleats.
            >
            > Best clothes that were highly decorated were carefully guarded from
            > getting dirty, since laundering could make the colors in the
            > embroidery run (early embroidery threads were often not color-fast).
            > You'd wear them to church on Sunday and take them off as soon as you
            > got home, changing into second-best clothes. The best clothes could
            > last a year or two before needing to be laundered. If the colors did
            > run when laundered, they'd become second-best.
            >
            > Joe
          • WHew536674@cs.com
            In a message dated 10/2/2003 5:08:13 PM Central Standard Time, ... Lovely description. I don t suppose this can be had on tape or CD? Joyce [Non-text portions
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 3, 2003
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              In a message dated 10/2/2003 5:08:13 PM Central Standard Time,
              CAHEK@... writes:
              > It's starts out with the trickling water of the stream and soon branches
              > out into the beautiful full voices of the women as they go about washing their
              > clothes.


              Lovely description. I don't suppose this can be had on tape or CD?

              Joyce


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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