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George Karol


Becky Karol

Junior High Division


Is your grandpa a very special man to you? Well, mine isin the way that he is so kindhearted to his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

My grandpa was born on April 7, 1898, to Sam and DumcaKarol. He was born in Caribou Township. My grandpa was a very lucky guyfor he always had sisters and brothers to play with. His sisters were Lenaand Mary. His brothers were Sam, John, and his other brother was killedin the Roseau River while swimming.

As a young boy, Grandpa lived by a woods. Being as curiousas Grandpa was, he loved to explore the woods. Swimming and boating in theRoseau River were always the way to cool off in summer. In the winter, theice was just hard enough to skate on. If the weather was too cold to goswimming, boating, or skating, Grandpa would always carve.

My grandpa's schooling was very little. Grandpa missedmore days than he went. At the age of 13, Grandpa quit school to try tofind a job to help support the family. Grandpa obtained a job working ona threshing crew all over Kittson County and parts of North Dakota.

Since Grandpa is all Ukrainian, some of the tradition hasbeen passed on from generation to generation. Few children today can describeany of the customs connected with their ancestors.

Christmas for the Ukrainians is always on January 7. ChristmasEve dinner usually consists of 12 things. My grandpa celebrates Christmason December 25, mainly because there is not a Greek Orthodox Church nearhim and other churches and schools celebrate it on the 25th and center vacationsaround it.

A typical Ukrainian Christmas supper will consist of wheat.Wheat right from the field, cleaned and boiled. The longer the wheat isboiled the better it tastes. When it is ready to serve, it is sweetenedwith sugar. Purogees is also one of the twelve things. Purogees are madeout of a tough dough. After the dough is hard enough, potatoes are addedto it. Then it is boiled. You can also have sauerkraut or prunes in it.Cabbage rolls always had rice in the middle of a cabbage leaf. Baked beanswere to be eaten for the (words missing) (Words missing,,) always had abit of meat in them. Hard bread was either hard rolls or flat bread. Thebread could never be eaten with butter because butter had milk. It couldbe eaten with sugar. As a Ukrainian custom, you could not have anythingthat had milk in it. Fish was the only meat you were allowed to eat. Fishwas either eaten smoked or plain. Coffee was for the grown-ups to drink.Coffee, water, or juice could be drunk either by young or old people. Pruneswere always the dessert. Prunes were usually mixed with raisins. Mushroomswere the twelfth thing.

Another holiday was Easter. Grandpa can still rememberhow pretty the Easter eggs were. Even though those eggs were not to be eaten,they were still beautiful and could be kept for a long time without becomingspoiled. Every Easter egg meant something. They usually spent Easter inchurch.

Grandpa met a girl named Mary Sufruik, a Canadian citizen,and also a full blooded Ukrainian. On February 14, 1928, they were married.They moved to Caribou and lived there for about three years. For a living,Grandpa farmed. He raised many cows, horses, and chickens for many years.After a little while, Grandpa's cattle contracted Bangs Disease. This diseasewas very harmful. It could be contracted through the milk. Grandpa had toget rid of his cattle before he got the disease. He then bought more cows.His first barn burned down because of a kid playing with matches. He builtthis barn over and continued raising cattle, horses, and chickens. He laterbought 80 acres of land to grow wheat and corn.

Religion was always a part of Grandpa's life. Grandpa wentto a Greek Orthodox Church. His first two children were baptized in thischurch. Soon after the children were baptized the church closed. He laterjoined the First Lutheran Church and he brought all his children up underthe Lutheran Faith. He also belonged to a church group. When this churchclosed, Grandpa still didn't give up. He transferred himself to the SionLutheran Church of Lancaster. My Grandpa retired from farming in 1963 buthe still loved to raise chickens.

Grandpa is very proud of his 37 grandchildren and his 3great grandchildren. For a living, Grandpa loves to collect wood for thestove. He also loves to collect eggs and visit his relatives. Grandpa'sflower garden is always beautiful in the summer. You never see less than5 hummingbirds in the garden. He still loves to raise a few oats and helphis relatives farm.

My Grandpa is very special in other ways too, but it wouldtake hours to tell how special he is to me. Is your grandpa as special toyou as he is to me?


Interview, George Karol, January 17, 1975


Interview, George Karol, January 17, 1975