Conversation between Lydia Hass Knadle
and Joy Hass Stefan
August, 1993 - Session 2
Transcription by Joy Hass Stefan
Editing and proofreading by Mary Lynn Axtman
Joy: One of the things I wanted to ask you... When
Michelle [Joy's daughter] called you for her research paper...
She called you and Emma [Lydia's sister] just happened to be visiting
at the time and you both got on the phone with her. She got quite
a bit of nice information. You told her something about the trip
over on the ship. I want to know what else you might remember
about that. I know you were pretty little, so you didn't have
a good grip on a time frame then.
Lydia: It was just too long ago.
Joy: Had you ever seen a ship before you got on
Lydia: I don't think so, because where we lived
there wasn't an
ocean or any place where ships would be.
Joy: I assume that Nikolaev was like a village.
Did it have a
river running by it or was it near a lake?
Lydia: There was a lake or water of some kind. It
must have been a little lake.
Joy: Well it had to have a water source because
they didn't have
electric pumps and stuff.
Joy: Do you remember if you had a pump inside the
Lydia: I can't remember one. Ours was out in the
Joy: And you just carried buckets of water in?
Lydia: Uh hum.
Joy: You told me you remembered the great big fireplace
straw or hay that you burned?
Lydia: It was straw.
Joy: You said your mom did not cook in that fireplace;
was there a woodburning stove, or did they burn coal, do you remember?
It seems like if they had used coal you would remember the coal
Lydia: I can't remember anything like that.
Joy: You do know that she cooked on a stove separate
from the fire place?
Joy: Was it big and black?
Lydia: It was black, I can remember that.
Joy: Well, did she make bread and stuff? Mother
said that every
morning her mom would make the bread. It was just a daily
chore because you didn't go to the grocery store and buy
Lydia: I think that's what happened because I can
loaves of bread that she brought in.
Joy: Do you remember any other kind of foods? I
only know of two
recipes that came down through your mom... one is for cabbage
rolls, and the other is for cottage cheese dumplings. Do you remember
any other kinds of meals or foods that you had? Did you have a
vegetable garden where
you grew your food, or was there a market?
Lydia: I think we grew what we had because there
was no market that I can remember where you could buy anything.
Joy: Well, since your dad was a school teacher,
I thought that
maybe that was his income and because he was teaching school he
wasn't out in the field raising crops.
Lydia: Gosh, I don't know how they did it that early,
but after we grew up we did the outside work in the garden and
Joy: That would have been after you came over here
though, that you were big enough to do that.
Joy: I know there was a creek or a ditch that you
and Emma talked about on the way to school, do you remember?
Lydia: Yes, there was kind of a creek. I remember
the ducks; the geese used to be herded there and turned into the
creek for drinks.
Joy: Well, did the road parallel the creek? There
that you and Emma talked about where you remembered... I don't
know if you waded in the creek on the way to school or what...
it was something about that creek you did that I guess you weren't
supposed to do...like any kid, if you tell them not to do something,...
Lydia: We did it. Well, I don't know just what it
would have been unless we did wade in it. I remember the creek
and then we had the geese and the stuff along the edge, the grass.
Joy: Did you ever take bread crumbs to feed the
Lydia: I think we did. We used to play with those
animals that were on the water.
Joy: Do you remember if you had any pets? Did you
have cats around, or dogs?
Lydia: Oh I'm sure we always had cats. But I can't
remember a dog. Early; later we a dog.
Joy: Do you remember having kittens that you played
Lydia: Oh, yes.