A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

How Serbian Immigrants Made an Ohio Town the ‘Fried Chicken Capital of the World’

From Vojvodina, with lard.
by Luke Fater, January 30, 2020

You can only try pahovana piletina in two places. One is Vojvodina, Serbia, where the unique style of fried chicken was born. The other is Ohio, where “Barberton-style fried chicken,” as it’s known there, became one small town’s claim to fame. What started as a comforting meal for an immigrant family came to define a community, turning a humble Ohio town into the “Fried Chicken Capital of the World.”

Smiljka and Manojlo Topalsky weren’t the only Eastern Europeans to leave home for a burgeoning Ohio farm-town called Barberton in the early 1900s. Their grandson, Milos Papich, points out that one of the oldest Serbian social clubs in the country is there, an hour south of Akron. The emigrated family owned a successful 300-acre dairy farm for decades.

During the Great Depression, though, the Topalskys lost everything but the farmhouse. Luckily, Smiljka could still cook.

On July 4th, 1933, the Topalskys opened an eatery out of that farmhouse. They called it Belgrade Gardens, and sold soups, chillis, and sandwiches to their struggling neighbors. “But it wasn’t enough to raise a family,” Papich says over the phone. One day, the story goes, Smiljka was in the back cooking a classic Serbian chicken dish for her family that she’d learned from her mother. After it caught the nose of one outspoken bank-teller, says Papich, he demanded they sell it to their regulars—a mishmash of recently immigrated Eastern Europeans who longed for a taste of home.

Once they had a taste, they couldn’t get enough. The chicken became an overnight hit among town denizens, and love of Smiljka’s fried chicken wove itself into the fabric of the community. “It kind of fell into their lap,” says Papich. “My grandparents never would have dreamed that the food they grew up with would be so well-received.”

Within seven years of putting Serbian fried chicken on their farmhouse menu, the Topalskys were able to buy back 65 acres of land from the bank, says Papich, current owner of 87-year-old Belgrade Gardens. The restaurant stayed with the family as much as pahovana piletina stays with Barberton. And to the purists in this still chicken-smitten town, Smiljka’s original dish is all but scripture.

SA

 

People Directory

Vaso Ćuković

Najveći bokeljski dobrotvor svih vremena

Vaso Ćuković je rođen u Risnu, 09. jula 1858. g. od oca Lazara i majke Stane, u uglednoj trgovačkoj porodici, sa osmoro djece. Volio je školu, kao mlad pomagao ocu u trgovinu, i izučio zanat u Risnu, ali, nemirrnog duha, već sa 12 godina je otputovao kod tetka u Trst, koji je takođe bio trgovac U Trstu je završio višu trgovačku školu i odlično savladao grčki i italijanski jezik. Sa 16 godina se zaposlio u, tada poznatoj, grčkoj firmi "Hydias" kao činovnik. 1877. godine je, na nagovor jednog pomorskog kapetana iz Risna, kojeg je sreo u Trstu, otplovio za daleku Ameriku. Prvo u Njujork, pa San Francisko gdje je imao namjeru da se bavi trgovinom. U početku je to išlo veoma teško. Radeći svakojake poslove, učeći jezik , put ga je odveo u Nevadu, grad Reno, gdje mu je živio rođak, koji ga je pomogao sa 100 USD, što mu je bilo dovoljno, da započne samostalo, malu trgovinu. Ni tu nije uspio. U gradu Virginia Sity je radio kao prevodilac. U Virginiji, Neveda, je pokušao da radi sa rudnicima, bezuspješno, a radio je poslove čistača u jednoj bilijarnici, gdje se i upoznao sa kockarskim igrama.  Lutalačka težnja ga odvodi na kratko na Aljasku, a konačno, 1895. g. stiže je u Denver, Colorado. Tu kupuje zemlju, nastavlja trgovinu, otvara tada poznate kockarnice i za kratko vrijeme stiče veći kapital. Zahvaljujući svojim sposobnostima i inteligenciji Vaso Ćuković postaje u to vrijeme jedan od najuglednijih i najuticajnijih ličnosti grada Denvera.  Žrtvujući svoja materijalna sredstva učestvuje u izgradnji i uljepšavanju grada, pomaže razne humane akcije i učestvuje u javnom i političkom životu.

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Publishing

The Hagia Sophia

The Mystical Light of the Great Church and its Architectural Dress

by Charalambos P. Stathakis

Dear reader, as you run like the rest of us along the dizzy main road, stop, stay aside for a while. Let the others be dizzy, and take the secret underground trail, which will lead you through the dewdrops of the leaves, the crystal smile of the sun, the city’s underground galler- ies, your knowledge, and your feelings, to the doorstep of the Hagia Sophia. Because all dew- drops, all sunrays, and all beauty lead there. That is what you will be told by my friend, the author, whom I am fond of and whom I send you to, Charalambos Stathakis: the doctor, the warm and humane researcher, the scientist devoted to his work and his patients, who has given a series of scientific papers, who, nevertheless, retains a nest of beauty untouched in his heart, which makes him outstanding—even though he is not a specialist in architecture, nor a historian, nor a theologian, nor a Byzantinist—it makes him stand out in all these together and in entirety.

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