One of our great joys as Genealogy Sisters was to go to a Wasik reunion in McDonald, Washington County, PA. My sister had written to one of the Wasiks in 2000 about our shared family heritage, and he said come on down to that year’s reunion. So, with my brother-in-law in charge of the eight hour drive, we collected our photographs and headed out with some trepidation. After the warmest welcome you can imagine we were so glad we did. We joined the hundreds of friends and family gathered at the family farm ho-down to celebrate the Wasik clan.
Here’s one of the photographs we brought along. It was dated November 14, 1937, and the only person we were sure of was Zofia Szczerba Mirota – she’s the petite lady with her hair up in a bun, third from the right. We thought the man – second from the left – was related to her. Soon after arriving at the reunion, one of the Wasik ladies came up to be introduced to us. She turned out to be the pretty young lady next to Zofia in this picture – Sophie Wasik Kotouch!
Sophie Wasik Kotouch explained that in this picture she was standing next to her brother, Adam Wasik, and that they were both John & Katie’s children. Also standing were Jennie & Stanley Wasik, and then Katie Wasik next to Zofia. The impish young children in the front were Stanley and Jennie Wasik’s children. Katie’s husband, Jan “John” Wasik had died in 1934, and John & Stanley Wasik had been Zofia’s half-brothers. This photo could have been taken in nearby Cherry Valley.
The adults in this photograph all look so stern and sad, but why is unclear. Sophie had been named after her aunt Zofia, and remembered her with great love as a fun and sweet auntie. Sophie also said she had made the dress with the lace that she was wearing the day this picture was taken. With the help of others in the Wasik family, they quickly explained what they remembered about our heritage and identified other photographs for us.
Bottom line, if you’re unsure about going to a family reunion go to the next one you are invited to, if at all possible! And take your photographs.