Let me get one thing straight. I am an authentic Duquesne Hunky. I use the term “hunky” in the most endearing and loving way possible. I am a hunky, my entire family were hunkies, I grew up in a world of hunkies and my kids are hunkies….well, at least in part!
According to Wikipedia:
- The use of the term Hunky as a disparaging reference to a person, especially a laborer, from East-Central Europe, is falling into disuse.
- The “Hunkies” are a composite Polish, Hungarian (Magyar), Rusyn, Slovak ethnic group which primarily inhabits western Pennsylvania and Upstate New York (Binghamton) and speaks English. The immigrants came en masse prior the turn of the century (starting around 1880) searching opportunity and religious freedom. The Hunkies image was a departure from Hungarian prestige that peaked around Lajos Kossuth‘s visit in 1851-1852, aka Triumphal Tour.
- The term Hunky or “bohunk” can be applied to various Slavic and Hungarian immigrants who moved to America from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many of these immigrants fled religious persecution and loss of personal freedoms in their native land. Deriving from a rich culture, the people are entrenched in music, food and family. Hard work and traditions of family are considered important. Traditional food of the hunky culture include: fried cabbage, halušky / galuska, stuffed cabbage or ‘pigs in a blanket’ (halubki/gołąbki), kalacs and pierogi.
Hunkies settled in highly industrial areas: they worked in steel mills in western Pennsylvania; .more……..
Now, with all of that said, I have my own very concise and direct definition. Hunkies are love, family, food, warmth, compassion, fun, tradition and religion. That’s how I remember my childhood in Duquesne.
I plan on using this blog as an ongoing documentation of my memories of life in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, “the great years.” I am referring to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, before the decline and eventual closing of U.S.Steel’s Duquesne Works facility in 1984. There is no set path that I plan to take. Who knows, perhaps I’ll jump decades from one posting to the next. When the mood strikes, I’ll go there.
I hope that you will enjoy reading my ramblings and occasional very mild diatribes. Childe in when you disagree with something, but most importantly, let me know if something I have mentioned stirs up similar memories. I intend for this blog to be as loving, family oriented, warm, compassionate, and fun as the hunky life I remember.
Welcome or as we said in Duquesne…… Dobrodošli!!!