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George and Josephine Zanon
Contributed by Karen Mitchell Interviewed by Rosalyn McCain George Manuel Zanon, born 2-11-1912 Parents - Fortunato Zanon and Eugenia Iob Paternal Grandparents - Luigi Zanon and Rose Zanon Maternal grandparents - Antoni Iob and Celestina Iob Ethnic group - Italian Family origin - Cumevo, Italy Date of family arrival in county - Father naturalized Nov 2, 1904 in Trinidad District Court
Josephine Maria Pisarczyk Zanon, born 3-9-1912 in Walsenburg, behind saloon Parents - Albert Pisarczyk and Annie Crump Pisarczyk Blotnick Grandfather - John Potralski. Name changed to John Crump when they came ito America from Poland. Born in Krako, Poland Ethnic group: Polish Family origin- Poland Location of first family settlement - Martin Lake( See Joe Crump's datasheet) Kinship ties - Uncle Joe Crump; Daughter Georgette Fringer, Pueblo; Daughter Sandra Wilkins; Son, Ronald Zanon in California
305 East 5th, Walsenburg, Colorado November 19, 1979
George: My family came in 1923 from a coal camp called Cass. It
was a small camp between Hastings and Delagua.
Josephine: My mother was from Pueblo. Her family had the Crump
Ranch. They came from Rye to Martin Lake. Then they moved three
miles east of town in a brick house where Corsentino's later bought.
Uncle Martin was named after Martin Lake. My grandmother had 20
children. Ten of them lived. There are four of them living now.
She had two girls, and the rest boys.
Josephine: I was born on 7th Street where the Zudars house is
now. My dad had a saloon, and I was born in the back of the saloon.
That is the block where the playground is. It was a rock and adobe
house. It had a marble fireplace and carved woodwork. Jeanette
Thach tried to save it, but it was torn down. I grew up in that
house. After I married, Joe Psarsick sold it to the city. My
mother, Annie Psarsick Blotnick had it. She was married twice.
My mother got shot through her dress trying to save someone
during the strike. One of the Lenzini brothers, Sandy's brother,
was killed during the strike. Carlo Bak's father was killed, and
Carlo became the man of the family.
George: My mom and dad lived at Ludlow. They left Ludlow
for Trinidad because my mother was pregnant with me. I was born in
February, 1913. In 1904, my dad came to Hastings as a mule driver.
He left six months before the big Hastings explosion. He came
from Cunevo, Italy. That is in northern Italy near the Brenner
Pass. He sent for my mother after he got here. They were married
here. He had not mined in Italy. He was from a farm family. He
moved to Trinidad. He bought a saloon in Trinidad where the
Riverside Drug Store is now. He ran it until Prohibition started.
He had one year to sell all the liquor he had in stock. In the
meantime he had become a carpenter. He became the camp carpenter
at Hastings. He kept the homes of the miners in repair. Then he
moved back to Trinidad, and then opened the Cass Mine in 1920
or 1921. Then he moved to Walsenburg in 1923 and opened a bake
shop. His sister's husband ran the bakery at Ludlow. He had his
bakery where the Walsenburg Utility is now. The building caught
fire after six months. Then he went back to carpentry.
During Prohibition there was bootlegging everywhere, allover
the county, down south and everywhere. Aguilar was a big bootlegging
town. There was a $500 fine, so it wasn't worth it.
I went into the printshop in 1928. When I worked at the news-
paper, I delivered papers by tractor when we had deep snow. 33
years ago, our son Ronnie was in the hospital, and there was snow
to your hips. Six years ago there was 30 inches at Christmas.
We used to get more snow than we seem to now.
My parents didn't talk too much about the strike. My wife's
mother was crossing the street on the 800 Block of 7th street.
She was helping a man out of a saloon, and got shot through the
skirt. That was the same incident when Carlo Bak's father got shot.
My dad was diversified. He could do what needed to be done. I
worked my way up from janitor to owner. Both my wife and I grad-
uated from high school in 1930. There were 45 in my wife's (Josephine's)
class in the high school, and 26 in my (George's) class at St.
Victor Mazzone was a real storyteller. He was the brother
of Herman and Isabel Mazzone. He used to come by everyday during
Prohibition and spin yarns.
In 1918 when the Armistice was signed, all the miners at
Hastings went crazy. They shot off dynamite and everything.
My wife's family had a ranch at the Walls where Armano Cassai
has now. It belonged to the Baione Family once. Then the Bailey's.
That was when she was a little girl.
My dad went down to Rome as a chimney sweep during the winter-
time when there wasn't much to do on the farm.
Josephine: My parents were Polish. My grandfather used to
seine fish out of Martin Lake. He also seined those two lakes
east of town for catfish, suckers and bass for the Negroes. He
would sell them to the Negroes. We also sold eggs, butter, cheese,
and milk. My grandmother would peddle it in the spring wagon.
She had cottage cheese and chickens, also. They raised everything.
I loved to go stay with my grandparents, especially Grandma.
She was 5' 2" and she was as broad as she was tall. My mother took
There used to be 20,000 people in the county. You couldn't
walk up and down Main Street on Saturday night. Everyone came in
for groceries, and a nip, and a dance. The ZMP Lodge, the Polish
lodge had dances.
George: I started at the newspaper office as a paper mailer and
janitor in November 1928. I graduated from high school in May 1930.
Then I started to work steady the Monday after the Friday I grad-
uated. In 1929 I was a stero typer. The paper was called the
Independent. In 1930 it was the World Independnet...Keith Chick
was the boss or manager. The office was where Dr. Vialpando's
office is. Then I was the linotype machine operator for years.
Then I learned the whole trade. I was the back shop man. John
Denisi had the paper in 1952. I bought into the paper then with
Mr. Skewes from Mississippi. In 1964 I sold the paper, and I kept
the commerical printing end of it.
I was practicing basketball, and the coach asked me if I wanted
a job. I was an usher and janitor at the Rialto Theatre on Main
Street up by Biondi's Sporting Goods Store, two doors down the block.
There used to be three theatres in town: The Strand Theatre where
City Hall used to be before we came here. Then there was one past
the Firestone Store. Paul Krier ran the Star Theatre where the
theatre is now. Then the Valencia came in. The talkies came in
in 1933. The Rainbow Man was the first talkie here. Then the Fox
came in, and it's been here ever since. It was really exciting
to go to the first talking picture.
I used to hold down two or three jobs. The newspaper changes
over the years have not been too radical until the last 10 years.
We used to use hot type, hot metal to make up forms. Now it is
all offset. It went from semiweekly to daily in 1938. We got
a new big press then. That was the biggest change. The last
10 years has gone to offset. You just paste up and offset it.
There is not as much manpower needed to publish. I sold the
business in 1975 to Mr. Does. I worked 12 years by myself. I
was in the back too much. Does sold to McGraws. McGraws sold
to Kessingers. We were still running hot type when we sold.
There were earlier changes in the machinery, but it was still the
same principle. Now type can be set electronically by computers.
I have my mother's birth certificate from Cumevo. My parents
were married March 4, 1905. My father was naturalized in Trinidad
District Court November 1904. Jesse C. Northcutt was the Judge.
I have those papers also.
My son Ronald lives in Bueno Park, California and is an
auto mechanic for Sears. My daughter Georgette Fringer lives in
Pueblo and is a surgical nurse at Parkview. My daughter Sandra
Wilkins is a secretary for the Assistant District Attorney here
in Walsenburg .
In the 1880's the newspaper was called the Huerfano Cactus.
In the 1890's, it was the World. CU came and got all our old
files while I was still running the business. Jeannette Thach
was involved in getting the papers to CU for microfilming.
People helped each other more and thought of each other
more in the old days. There was more cooperation.