Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: Sauliukas and Osvaldas, ABT 1975

My Lithuanian third cousin Osvaldas Guokas sent me another couple pictures that he said I could post in this blog. Here is what he had to say about them:

Cousins Sauliukas and Osvaldas, ABT 1975

"This is only one of a few photos with Saulius Tamulionis,  my cousin....The photo was done near Čelkiai, I think near the Tamuliuonis house, on the grange near Čelkiai.

Saulius is the son of Adelė Burkauskaitė Tamulionienė (who is the daughter of Marytė Guokaitė Burkauskienė).  Saulius Tamulionis died young, at 18 years old.  We know he was a very friendly and very smart boy.

I think that it is early spring 1975, the time of my first steps.  Stanislovas Tamulionis (the brother of Saulius) who did this photo shoot, loves all electronics and techniques, he purchased a camera, took the shots, and he did all the photochemical process himself.

Saulius is very nice Lithuanian man's name and comes from the Lithuanian word Saulė - the Sun in English. It's like son of the Sun.  And nobody called him Saulius, only the nickname Sauliukas (it is more shiny, more lovely).

They lived in the old big wooden Tamulionis family house near the road from Plaučiškiai to Žvirbloniai.  The Communists in Soviet times let Stanislovas Tamulionis and Adelė Burkauskaitė Tamulionė stay in this house, because it was not in the fields, but near the road.

Google map and satellite images locating the Lithuanian towns mentioned in this post

Two kilometers from this house to Žvirbloniai is the Galaliai grange where there is one family house. In this house lived Justinas Guokas and Alfonsa Remeikaitė Guokienė. But they had not owned it from the beginning. The Communists destroyed Justinas' house, that he constructed himself. And they forced them to move from their own house to the Galaliai grange.  I don't know who was the owner of this house before Justinas moved in, I just know that the Galaliai grange house was not Guokas property from the beginning.

At the time I was born in 1974, my father Vytautas Guokas and my mother Genovaitė Jurgaitytė Guokienė lived with Alfonsa Guokiene in this house in Galaliai in the neighborhood with the Tamulionis family. We lived in this house from the time of my parents' marriage and moved to the town of Pakruojis one year after my birth. So I spent a lot of time with my Tamulionis cousins in the first year of my life.

From my childhood I remember an old well in the Tamulionis house yard. It was old style, wooden, with old big hard wooden construction like in the photo below.

And I remember a big, brown, strong horse in the yard :) I dropped down from this horse together with my brother when I was about 7 years old and my brother Arūnas was about 3 years old." 

Senas šulinys [Old well] / VN (Virgis of Pakruojis, Lithuania) / CC BY 2.0

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Those Places Thursday: Smilgiai Belfry Story

May 2016 photo by Osvaldas Guokas, used with permission

My third cousin Osvaldas Guokas in Lithuania sent the picture (above) and story (below) about the belfry of St. George Catholic Church in Smilgiai, Lithuania:

The Smilgiai Church belfry was constructed at the end of the 19th century.
I believe that Kazimieras Guokas [my great-grandfather] possibly saw this building.
As I wrote in the past, it was the time of Russian occupation.  Russians banned Lithuanian writing, books, and schools; and it was forbidden to construct any new Catholic buildings.
It was impossible to construct the belfry in Smilgiai legally.
But there was a brave priest in Smilgiai.
At first, he told the citizens that he wanted to construct a well near the church. So they started digging the ground and laying a brick foundation. In the [nearby] village of Valiliškiai, he ordered all wooden frames from pine logs.

When all the preparatory jobs were done, the priest called all men from Smilgiai and Parish villages to come help. And they constructed the belfry during one night!

But after some time, a Russian administration controller came from Panevezys.  It was dangerous.
The priest told the local men, that they must throw earth and dirt on the wooden construction before the visit of the controller.  It looked like an old building after this treatment.

When the controller came to Smilgiai, the priest invited him for a rich dinner with alcohol drinks and roasted geese.

The controller did not recognize that the belfry was a new building, and everything ended very well.

In the future, this building was a very important place for the resistance. Priests hid here books in Lithuanian and other forbidden press [materials].

One very important historical person from Smilgiai was Mr. Antanas Bataitis from Valiliškiai. He illegally delivered Lithuanian books from Karaliaučius (Königsberg in German and Kaliningrad in Russian;  today, this city is still under Russian occupation).
The city Karaliaučius was under German Prussian control in those times. Lithuanians printed the books in this city.
Mr. Antanas Bataitis hid illegal books in the belfry and the priest financed this activity.
We have an unique word Knygnešys, in Lithuanian.  It means a person who delivers books illegally.  It is a very respectable epithet for a person in Lithuania.

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Mother's Day!

My mother, Geraldine Margaret Guokas Pape, at a baby shower given by her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law in Chicago, Illinois, before I was born in 1957.

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.