This post has nothing to do with Duquesne this time. Well, at least not directly. It has more to do with the spirit of the people of Duquesne and the mindset of the hunkys that lived there. It is my feeble attempt to help you understand The Hunky Love Story.
Humans are a very “visual” bunch. We react immediately and keenly to images that we see; a reaction of horror to images of the World Trade Towers collapsing, of sadness when seeing a picture of a fallen soldier, of hope when looking at photos of our children in their college caps and gowns, and of love when we see those same children’s portraits neatly hanging on our family room walls.
I was checking out Facebook this morning and noticed that my cousin Ruth had posted some photos. Of course, being an inquisitive (a.k.a. nosey) person, I immediately checked them out. I came across a photo that to me exemplifies the very essence of the Hunky Heart. The photo is of two of my second cousins (Kim and Jenny), who are the daughters of two of my first cousins (Jeff and Chris) holding our newest family member, Logan, who is my third cousin. I can see a shared joy in both Kim and Jenny’s eyes and heart. It’s that shared joy, the shared emotions, that is the core of the Hunky Heart.
In my case, and I suspect in the case of most of the good Catholic hunky families of Duquesne, I was part of a very large extended family. Between my mother’s Croatian side of the family and my father’s Slovak side, there were 16 aunts, 17 uncles and 34 first cousins back in the 1950’s. By the end of the 70’s, my family had escalated to over 140 people once you added in spouses of first cousins and the resulting second cousins.
Despite the increasing number of family members, and in spite of a family that is now separated by greater distances due to career moves, we all remain very close, if not physically, then in each other’s heart. Whenever able, we’ll travel the distances to celebrate changes that occur in our families; engagements, bridal showers, weddings, milestone birthdays, baby showers, christenings, first communions, graduations, reunions and any other happy occasion to get together to drink some I.C. (aka Iron City Beer) and eat some stuffed cabbage, kielbasa and perogies!
My mother died in 1963 when I was 12 years old. Since that time, all except 3 of my aunts and 1 uncle remain. Sadly, our family also came together to support each other and say “zbohom” or “zbogom” to those that shaped all of our lives collectively. I realize now that the old phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” was exemplified in our family. Although the exact origin of that phrase seems to be lost in time, it MUST have been a hunky that first uttered it! As with any event that touched all of our lives, these sad occasions would always end with the all of us enjoying a repast to remember and revitalize each other’s spirit. I call it a “Hunky Weep and Eat!” (In case you were wondering…. Yes, there was always stuffed cabbage, kielbasa and perogies!)
So this short post is just to thank all of those who have helped to make this Duquesne Hunky the person I am today. And by the way, Mr. Logan Shields, welcome to our world. We ALL love you and YOUR village people await!