Frank and Anna Volovsek  

My father's parents immigrated to America from Slovenia in the early 1910's.   Although they both came from Gornji Grad, they didn't know one another until they met in Milwaukee and it was there that they married.  During those early years of marriage, they rented several different area farms and their family grew rapidly.  A new chapter began in their life when they bought a farm of their own near Willard, Wisconsin.

Grandpa Frank died when I was quite young, so I have very few memories of him.  I do recall he was a fine wood craftsman who could construct anything--from his Willard home, barn and outbuildings, to furniture, birdhouses, and wooden cutout figures.  To this day, the smell of fresh-cut lumber always reminds me of him.

Grandma Anna's limited grasp of English, masked her basic personality, but when she would get together with her lady friends (including Mrs. Gregorich and Mrs. Bukovec), they would converse in Slovenian and she would become quite animated and expressive!  I didn't always know what they were talking about, but I loved seeing them have fun together.




In later years, my grandparents left their big farm house and moved into the village of Willard.  In a very short time, Grandma's avid love for flowers and gardening caused their three room, one bath, retirement home to be surrounded with beds of colorful flowers.  Each spring, a large garden was planted on the lot between them and the Gregorich's.  With the caring hands of my grandparents, it grew into a buffet of vegetables. 


Grandma's hands were especially busy throughout her years.  When she wasn't gardening, she was skillfully wrapping yarn on her hook to crochet afghans in a bouquet of colors.


It seemed the  wood stove in the kitchen was always burning.  That crackling fire not only warmed my cold hands on winter days, but provided an ever ready supply of hot water.  Grandma and I'd go outside together and pick up twigs--not only to clean up the yard, but to feed that little stove. 


I spent a lot of after school hours and many a Saturday with Grandma when my parents were working.  She taught me to shake dice for Bunco, deal cards for 500 Rummy, and the strategy for many board games.  Another game we played was, "What would you like for lunch?"  Grandma always knew what I'd answer, but would ask anyway, then chuckle when I'd fulfill her prediction and choose, "Zganzi with applesauce!"  That chuckle along with the sparkle in her eye always made me feel very special.


Submitted 2006


by Shari Hahn (granddaughter)



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