Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poison Ivy...not the movie!

So, I'm a nice guy, right. I don't mind helping folks out...a little yard work here, some hauls to the dump, clean out a flooded basement there, tear up some carpet (in a non-dancing way) etc.
Well etc just bit us in the ass. Actually in the arms and legs, and instead of etc it's actually poison ivy! YAY!!!!!
Besides reading about and trying every herbal remedy for the damned itch, we've had a very busy week. Our $60 mac died, so getting online has been impossible until we set up our big 'puter. Also emily and i hung out with my dad, his very cool and seemingly normal wife Lorraine, and my half-brother Patrick, who used to be 12 but is more like 28 now. We all went over to Jersey for a Lelko family reunion (which is more normal than you might imagine) and saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in twenty years. They all called me Boomer and remembered that instead of swallowing meat I would just store it in my cheeks for later removal. What a weird thing to be remembered for, and man, was I a freak or what?! I even hated meat as a kid, so at least I'm consistent.
Our new apartment in Catasauqua (Catty if you're in the scene) is a hilarious clusterf@%k, but it's cool 'cos it's right across the river from my grandparents' place and the landlords are SUPER laid back. Like, couldn't care less what we do to the place. And do we did. We just finished totally ripping out the old shower thang and, since we're so handy, we put in a new one. At least now I might actually get clean in the shower (the old one looked like it might give a guy the plague). Tomorrow we move in with the cats!
Check these pics and stay tuned for more exciting adventures!


The view from our Bedroom looking in the general direction of Grammy's
Honey Bunny in the grandparents basement (our temporary headquarters)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ironton Rail-trail walk

Two of the things that made this area a happening spot for immigrants at the turn of the last century were the iron and cement industries, both of which were huge from the 1870's until relatively recently (and some small remnants are still doing there thing), and the towns around here owe their very existence to these businesses. Both industries were served by a series of train-tracks (and trains) that wound around the surrounding area but have been abandoned for scores of years. Now these tracks have been made into a many-miles long walking/biking path that is kept up by volunteers (although I believe the original deal-e-o was put together by the 'governments' of the Whitehall area, so at some point someone was forced to pay for it which is lame, but the gov. is always lame by definition) and the other night Emily and I walked a good 4 miles of it from Hokey (the name people call Hokendauqua) up to Coplay, where the first cement kilns in the US were built and still stand, as you will see in the upcoming photos. Also, you can watch the cats torture a cicada and see some old buildings at the Allentown fairgrounds.
Oh of the best things around here are the lightening bugs (fireflys) that blink on every night at dusk, and the crickets and cicadas chirping and buzzing away. Somehow none of those sights or sounds seem to have made it over the mountains to Portland, and I damn that town for that very reason.
Anyway, check out the pics...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

old photos up the ying-yang

Nothin new to report really. Emily made her first batch of halushgies, or however you spell it, with a little help from grammy the other day. We've been trying unsuccessfully to keep the grandparents from using the stupid microwave, but, unless we act like jerks, there's no way we're gonna change their ways. Whenever we can we just re-heat what they want on the stove, but the balancing act is trying not to treat them like children or like they can't do anything for themselves (they seem to be able to do most everything, just kinda slow-like), yet still be helpful when and where we can. Whatevs...
Last night Emily made me some perogies with saurkraut, and that ruled. And now for some old-tyme photos............. this one made Emily a little crazy for his cuteness Grampop at his first communion (or maybe confirmation)

Grampop, Grammy, Gina, Tish, Marty and Jack on that unholy day when my parents were married!

Whoa there, Gram! Gettin' a little saucy there...

Yes! Laying around without a shirt but WITH your slacks. Awesome.

The whole family (with my mom still looking exactly like me) in Atlantic city in the early 60's.

Grampop's dad lookin' super cool in NYC

Grammy with her parents Baba and Dzidz on her graduation. Baba cut her finger in the meat grinder that morning...

My great-grandfather (far right) and his cronies at the Windish Lodge circa 1920

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Think I'll continue with the old photos since we've been finding a ton of them, and nothing else too exciting is going on...a little yardwork and some nice evening walks is about it. I think this week we'll do a little tour around the Lehigh Valley and post what we see and learn. This fella here is my Grampop, before he was sent off to war

Can anyone blame me for not wanting to be a father? I mean, this guy looks kinda scary and very awkward.

Here are my grandparents and aunt Gina at some unknown occasion, perhaps a wedding, and it looks like grammy is having a great time (Gina, not so much)
These are my Dad's parents,
Mike and Helen Lelko, and they were pretty funny. She was always cooking and he was always grumpy (I always liked his angle), but they were both great to me and sadly they now reside in that great Lelko-land in the sky.

yup, that's Marty in the Army. How or why I'll never know (unless I ask him) . I love how beat up this photo is; I wonder if that's their car behind them...

Mom and her favorite kid, Lurtzuma

Thursday, August 5, 2010

And we're living here in Allentown...

This guy is my Granfather's Dad
sometime in the 1920's

...Well, Hokendauqua actually, but Billy Joel bi-passed our town in his song. Whatevs.
We've been here for a couple days now and are just trying to settle in to some kind of routine that makes sense. After our last day of traveling (where Honey Bunny and the cats all died after I drove Clyde off a mountain, and I buried them in the pet cemetery so that they'd come back to me, including the truck) and unpacking Clyde we found an internet connection at the book store down the road a bit.
Grammy thought I was insane when I asked her where I could find an internet cafe and looked at me like I just farted at the Pope, but other than that things are going swimmingly. It's been hot and muggy (ya know, summer style), so we've been camping in the cool basement. The cats still seem to think we might pack them back into the truck at any time and drive twenty-million more miles and have been steering clear of us.
The best part has been driving Emily around and showing her how weird this old place is. She likes it a lot, and if we ever find jobs I think we'll be perfectly content here. We also looked through some old family photos, some of which you are about to see. More blog later, photos now!

This here is my ma, lookin' like a girl version of me. Creepy!

My Grammy and Grampop when they were datin'!

These two made me, can you tell? BTW, sandals Marty? Really?

Marty, Tish and Lurtzuma, two of which are my folks.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Today= Laugh a Minute!!

For the love of all things holy...Maybe I should start with the good things that happened today, because we don't want this blog to turn into a whine-fest now, do we? So, uh, let's see here. Well, we are only four hours from Grammy and Grampop's house, so there's that. Uh, only one of us is limping with wicked cuts to their ankle. We had almost one whole meal, so that was vaguely sustainable.
Ya know, I never knew I couldn't see at night while driving; the mountains of Pennsylvania are a hell of a time to learn this, especially when the Reinvestment and recovery act is trying to kill everybody by closing all but one lane of every road in PA.
Also, when your car breaks down in the middle of Ohio, NOT a good idea to slam your cat's tail in the door (see limping ankle above).
Tomorrow we arrive in Hokendauqua, so the original reason for this blog will have ended (fingers crossed please), but I have a feeling LELKO BLOG will continue on, if only to occasionally give my cranky brain a place to huck its mental loogie. Here's a grip more photos.