Sunday afternoon was the official dedication of the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs- A Holocaust Sculpture at the Community Day School at the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Forward Ave. The sculpture is a maze in the shape of the Star of David, created with glass blocks which are filled with six million pop tabs which took almost five years to collect , each tab representing a human life lost in the Holocaust. Many people contributed time, money and effort to the creation of the sculpture and the beautiful surrounding park. Walking into the maze, one is struck by the magnitude of the horror of genocide, the number of victims is hard to fathom but the pop tabs in the glass blocks are a reminder of the millions killed.
The resident artist, Elena Hiatt Houlihan has been with this project since 2002. Pop tabs were being collected since 1996 and Mr. Walter the History Teacher at Community Day School had aquariums filled with them when Elena arrived to help the student teams design the sculpture. Their original artist statement was read by her at the dedication ceremony today.
Elena had been a resident artist at Greenfield Elementary when I was the art teacher there and I remember her talking about the ongoing work of this sculpture and then funding and other circumstances delayed the completion.
It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon and there were speeches and prayers and an 8th grader played the violin. A chill wind and shadows gave one a shudder and reminded those present of the significance of the memorial sculpture. Never Forget.
I went up earlier in the day to photograph the memorial sculpture before all the people arrived.
Receiving a standing ovation, Mr. Walter comes to the podium to speakArtist in Residence Elena Hiatt Houlihan and Social Studies Teacher Mr. Bill Walter who started the collection of the pop tabs when he was teaching the Holocaust to middle school students at Community Day School.
Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Keeping Tabs Memorial Sculpture Dedication, this time including Elena Hiatt Houlihan’s name
She is going to be sorely missed. Wednesday and Thursday the family gathered in at Aunt Linda’s and Uncle Frank’s house. One neighbor next door brought over nut horns and apricot and cherry cookies, and the neighbor on the other side brought a Jell-o salad. There was ham and bean soup and a tray of baked stuffed shells, haluski, a chicken, hoagies from the Triangle Bar and lots of salad and fruit. There was laughter and tears and stories and sifting through the pictures of growing up. A round of hugs and kisses and fresh tears at every greeting and farewell. The family drove in from Ohio this afternoon. Doing schoolwork at the kitchen table, the little ones watching a dinosaur movie in the family room. Aunt Linda making everyone welcome with food and drink and hospitality.
A wonderful woman Allison at the Waterfront COSTCO printed an 8×10 memorial portrait just before closing time.
Friday the family will gather together at the Memorial Service.
Family and friends will be received from 10- 11:30 a.m. on Friday at the THOMAS L. NIED FUNERAL HOME, INC., 7441 Washington St., Swissvale. A Blessing Service will be held at the funeral home on Friday morning at 11 a.m.
Send condolences at post-gazette.com/gb
Theresa, the sister of my daughter-in-law Erika’s mother, Marlene.
Theresa had a great sense of humor and a beautiful spirit. She adored her granddaughter. And one thing about Theresa, she spoke her mind!
Didn’t mind if you didn’t agree with her point of view. She’d present strong arguments for her stance.
Love and sympathy to all who loved her – dear daughters Shannon and Jaclyn and to her dear granddaughter Parker Rose.
And to her sweet sisters Linda, Marlene and Georgeann. Rest in Peace, Theresa.
Ready to go to the wedding. Mother of the Bride Theresa
The Four Sisters Picture L to R Georgeann, Linda, Marlene and Theresa
at Jaclyn and Mike’s wedding
I love this photograph. Don’t know who took it. Left to Right- Theresa, The Four Sisters’Mother Marion, Linda the Bride, Marlene and Georgeann
Growing Up- Mother Marion with Linda in the middle and Theresa on the left and Marlene on the right
I took this one at Erika and Mark’s home
With Granddaughter Parker Rose at her baptism.
Today’s post is in loving memory of my friend’s mother, Olga Melynchek Muraska. Born 11-29-1921 – Died 6-27-2011. She was always so good to my children and me. And her homemade pierogies were the best! I took some photos of classic photos her daughter Marianne compiled for the memory collage when she was putting them together at her house the other night. I asked if I could make a tribute to her mother’s memory on the blog and she said that was fine. I took the more recent one at a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast a few years ago. You can see her downtown and as a bride. She had a smile for everyone and was working well into her eighties. An amazing hard working woman who loved wholeheartedly.
Today my friend J(of Pittsburgh, not Omaha) and I went to the Tin Front Cafe for lunch. We heard about the St. Joseph the Worker statue having been removed from the nearby church. Judith Tener told us where to find him in a parking lot and so after lunch we wound around one- way streets and asked a few people for directions but eventually we climbed up hills and back and found this beautiful statue waiting for us. He was striking. There were the huge stone barrels pouring molten steel out onto the world. Flames carved in stone. See detail below on image three.
A big crane erected this statue (which was blessed in Italy by Pope VI) on St. Michael the Archangel Church in 1966 in Homestead. Many Slovaks helped build this church.
When the church closed, the diocese took the statue down in 2010.
People missed looking at St. Joseph high above the buildings, overlooking Homestead and the Monongahela River.
A memorial to the hard workers of the mills in this town. He was loaded on a flatbed and taken to St Anne’s now 3 combined parishes to form St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish. Read the names of the people etched in bricks- Vehec, Tarasevich, Godleski, Milchalk, Straka, Pavlik, Sklencar, Sayko to name a few.
The statue was designed by sculptor Frank Vittor (b. 1888 in Italy) who also made the Honus Wagner Statue now at PNC Park. His story on the link if you click on his name tells how he came to work with Stanford White and then a week later White was murdered…but that is not the main idea of today’s post and I am getting off track. It was just incredibly interesting. Vittor taught at Cooper Union in NYC and also at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University)
Here are two views of the giant St Joseph the Worker statue. And a detail shot, too.
There are plans in the works to get him relocated in a place of honor but will keep you posted when this happens.
There is an historical marker honoring sculptor Frank Vittor by the Columbus Statue in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh
I Dug Up the Iris
in Dorothy’s garden
to plant in the soaked
soil of mine, memorial
to her each spring
when they’ll open
and flourishes, purple
or blue with speckled
throats. They’ll rise
out of rhizomes
sprawling at soil’s
surface like the joints
of my old hands
anchoring the tall
stalks and frilly petals.
in the brief breath
of cool I dug shallow
trenches for this legacy,
this pantry of pollens
the bees prospect,
insects with lives
beyond what the mere
Liane Ellison Norman, a Madwoman in the Attic, has published two books of poetry, The Duration of Grief and Keep (www.smokeandmirrorspress.com). She has published poems in 5AM, Kestrel, North American Review, Grasslimb, Rune, Voices from the Attic anthologies and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Her poem “What There’d Been” won the Wisteria Prize in 2006 from Paper Journey Press.
One year ago today(4/4), three Zone 5 police officers, Eric Kelly, Paul Sciullo and Stephen Mayhle, were killed in the line of duty. Many city residents put blue light bulbs on the their front porches to honor these men. I noticed a few more blue lights tonight. It’s after midnight and I just drove back from Ohio. What a nice time I had with my family. I was struck by the poignancy of the lighted blue star memorial and the 3 flags my Highland Park neighbors put in front of their home. These thoughtful neighbors did not forget. I thought how their families miss them, not just this anniversary but every day.