A story of a tiny immigrant community in the first permanent American settlement west of the Mississippi.

With Djordje Čitović (and Trudy Van Dusen Čitović).

Listen

Subscribe

Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsPodcast AddictPocketCastsOvercastCastroCastBoxPodchaserDeezerListen NotesiHeartRadioTuneIn

Support the Podcast

Become a monthly patron on Patreon:

Become a Patron!

Make a one-time contribution via PayPal/credit card:

Episode Transcript

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

[JINGLE]

PETER KORCHNAK: This is Remembering Yugoslavia, the show exploring the memory of a country that no longer exists. I’m your guide Peter Korchnak.

[AMBIENT SOUNDS]

I live in Astoria, Oregon. Population 10,000 or so, the town is located in the state’s northwest corner, at the southern shore of the mouth of the Columbia River. Founded in 1811, it is the oldest municipality in the state of Oregon and the first permanent American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Astoria is named after the New York entrepreneur John Jacob Astor who sought to establish a fur trade empire on the West Coast. The town became an important port later in the century, facilitating river access to the interior. Then, in the late 19th century, Astoria became a major fishing and canning industry center. It is at this juncture that our story begins.

Before we get started, let’s welcome a couple of new companions on this journey. Thank you Nena and Irena for your contributions, via Patreon and Paypal respectively. I appreciate you and welcome aboard.

[AMBIENT SOUNDS]

Astoria is built on a peninsula wedged between the Columbia River and Youngs Bay and River, straddling a ridge with the downtown built below the northern slope. Some of the numbered, north-south streets get quite steep and some of them have staircases connecting the named east-west streets. I’m walking up 15th Street, where a concrete staircase, with tiny, so-called pigeon steps, connects Irving to Jerome Streets. The top of the staircase sits in a corner of 15th and Jerome, on a busy route to one of the town’s main attractions, the Astoria Column.

I’m standing in front of a historical marker here with white letters on a black board topped with a golden logo of the city. I’m facing north where beyond the marker extends a sweeping view of downtown Astoria and the Columbia River, dotted with several cargo ships anchored here while they wait for loading slots at upriver ports of Longview or Portland.

Astoria Yugoslavs Historical Marker

“SHIVELY-MCCLURE NATIONAL REGISTER HISTORIC DISTRICT” goes the title of the marker.

“Here you look out over Astoria’s first neighborhood. Platted in 1846 by prominent pioneers, John McClure and John Shively, this district was home to our most influential citizens: elected officials, leading businessmen, cannery magnates, ship captains, logging barons. The district was also home to Astoria’s working class–Chinese, Yugoslavian, and Scandinavian immigrants who worked in canneries lining the riverfront. That diversity is reflected in the district’s architectural styles. After a 1922 downtown fire many larger homes were converted to apartments, a trend that peaked in WWII. Shively-McClure was also home to the first post office west of the Rockies, three blocks below this marker.”

Imagine my surprise when I first read this marker, just before moving to Astoria in the fall of 2019. “Yugoslavian immigrants”? I just had to look into it. The result of my research was published as an article in the local paper, The Astorian, last July, under the title, “From the Adriatic to the Pacific.”

The first part of this episode is a longer, early version of the published piece, with some further additions for clarity.

(The Lost) Yugoslavs of Astoria, Oregon: The History

The stories of this tiny community, the quote unquote “Yugoslav immigrants,” emerge from local newspaper articles and recollections by descendants printed in Clatsop County Historical Society publications.

As Astoria’s fishing and canning industries boomed in the decades around the turn of the 20th century, area businesses employed a growing number of immigrant workers. Among them were subjects of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the coastal areas of the Adriatic Sea, particularly the island of Vis, other parts of Dalmatia, and the Bay of Kotor. As fishermen, they established a foothold in a number of fishing and canning villages along the Columbia, including the now defunct Clifton, off Highway 30, to the east of Astoria, and Brookfield, Washington, across the river. Some were very successful: in 1904, gillnetter Peter Dorcich launched a decades-long record of a single-day catch, netting 4,495 pounds, basically two tons, of Chinook salmon.

Most of these immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire were ethnic Croats who listed Austria as their country of origin on official documents. Yugoslavia emerged from the Empire’s ashes after WWI and consequently in the 1920 and later census records and immigration applications some of these immigrants listed “Yugoslavia” as their country of origin, even though that country had not existed when they were born or when they emigrated. For Americans, calling these immigrants “Yugoslavian” later was a convenient, if inaccurate shorthand, one that stuck over the years.

The Austrian / Croatian / Yugoslav immigrants settled mostly around Scow Bay, between 16th and 23rd Streets (Scow Bay was later backfilled, the neighborhood was largely destroyed in the 1922 fire, and nowadays there’s a hospital there).

A 1903 archival photo shows an American football team of 13 youths, local champions, including Chris Andrich, Tony Jurich, John Vragnizan, George and Spud Dragolich, and the team mascot, Tim Andrich, sitting on the ground with the ball.

Before 1880, there were only two or three Croats in Astoria, including Nick Devich who owned a restaurant. The City Directory of 1890 lists 14 Croats. Antonich, Banich, Becerich, Dragolich, Gurich, Lubrich, Pavlovich, Pedrovich, Stiglich, Tonetich, Zarich…

In 1900, the Clatsop County Voter Registration list shows 31 individuals in Astoria and 17 more in the rest of the county who were from Austria and who could be assumed, by their last name, to be Croats.

They were fishermen, cooks, laborers, waiters, restaurateurs, and there’s also a butcher named Anton Ilich. In 1914, Austria-born voters comprised 3 percent of all foreign-borns in Astoria, about the same as the Danish and the English.

Exclusively Catholic, Croats commuted to downtown Astoria for religious services. While most indeed plied the fishing trade, some settled in town to change occupations or start businesses.

Dominic Pincetich, who came to Clifton from Vis in 1899 as a 14-year-old, quit fishing after a few seasons to become a salesman. His wife, Mary, was the daughter of John Dragolich, a Kotor native and Astoria fisherman from 1879 until 1905, in which year he moved to run a restaurant in Aberdeen, Washington, about 2 hours north of Astoria, where three generations later, in 1987, a descendant of local immigrant Croats, Krist Novoselic, or Novoselić, co-founded a little band called Nirvana.

In the 1890s, Cosmo Franciscovich operated a saloon and billiard hall, “a first-class orderly house,” on Third Street, the Maison Doree restaurant and chop house on Second Street, and later the Comfort Saloon.

Another hospitality man, Martin Franciscovich, came to Astoria in 1891. After fishing for five years, he ran a wholesale liquor business and a number of restaurants and saloons in Astoria and Seaside, with Frank Pavletich.

At the dawn of the Prohibition, Franciscovich wrote an open letter to his fellow Astorians, thanking them for a quarter century of patronage. “Let us then not despair of the future, because it was never brighter than the present,” he wrote.

Despair the Franciscovichs did not. In 1925, they built a new home for their My House Saloon at the northeast corner of 15th Street and Marine Drive; they sold the building in the 1970s. The building, designed by John E. Wicks, still proudly bears the family name, etched into stone above the entrance. A bike shop for many years, it now houses a music store.

Yugoslav of Astoria - Franciscovich Building

One of Franciscovich’s sons, Martin, Jr., drowned in Scow May in 1904. Another, Frank M., was a WWI veteran, attorney, and member of the Elks Lodge. In 1931, he became Oregon State Senator; running for his fourth term, at the age of 45, he died after a botched operation.

The Louis Franetovich family operated the Liberty Grill restaurant in the 1930s; the building they erected at 1030 Franklin Avenue, the Francis Apartments, was once considered “the most elite apartment house in Astoria.”

Yugoslavs of Astoria - Francis Apartments

The Andrich family moved to 18th Street from Sutter Creek, California in 1890, becoming the 15th Croatian family in Astoria proper. The son, Joe, later operated a grocery, as did Antone Marincovich and Larry Gelalich who in 1920 took over an old business at the corner of 15th and Commercial Streets.

Joe Andrich was a good friend of Peter G. Cosovich, who was, quote “known to everyone for his friendly greetings.” Cosovich’s father, Larry, had been rescued as a 14-year-old from the ship Great Republic when it wrecked at Sand Island, in the middle of the Columbia at the mouth, in April 1879. Peter Cosovich was a long-time owner of Astoria Stationery Company, four-time president of the Chamber of Commerce, and a leader in a number of local organizations.

As a mayoral candidate, Cosovich was an early booster for tourism as an industry that would help Astoria, quote, “get on our own feet.” He advocated for developing tourist attractions, like turning the Flavel House into a museum, because, quote, “no other city on the Pacific coast has so much history to sell to tourists.” He won the mayoral election by a wide margin and served two terms, from 1951 to 1958. His family home, also designed by Wicks in 1933, still stands at the northwest corner of West Lexington and Pacific Streets.

Also in the 1950s, Pete Vukovich co-owned, with Italian immigrant George Celsi, a Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge dealership on the ground floor of the building they erected at the southeastern corner of 14th Street and Marine Drive. The upper floors housed offices and penthouse apartments.

One of the tenants was Liisa Penner, Clatsop County Historical Society’s archivist. “I loved the family, they were wonderful people,” she told me. Vukovich sported a heavy accent even after decades of living in the U.S. Penner was so close with the family, she named her daughter Laura Marie, after Pete’s wife, Laura née Plansich, and niece Maria who, Penner says, “taught me how to knit” and who claimed that, when she lived in Germany as a schoolgirl prior to moving to the US, she shook the hand of one Adolf Hitler. The one phrase Penner still remembers in Vukovich’s mother tongue is, “dobra žena” (good woman).

A few Croats made crime headlines. That “caterer of unlimited experience,” Cosmo Franciscovich, was arrested in 1895 for selling liquor without a license. In 1903, Louey Strebelich got an $8 fine for public drunkeness.

Fisherman Andrew Marincovich was particularly notorious: in 1905, he was arrested for fighting; in 1909, he got a finger bitten off in a barroom brawl; in 1915 he was charged with assault for cursing a woman, in 1917 for illegal fishing and resisting arrest, and in 1919 for illegal possession of liquor.

In 1910, J. Matkovich, Joe Boganich, and Geo Radovich were arrested for pickpocketing but released “for want of proof.” On a single day in September 1911, Police Officer Bakotich arrested Mike Kneznevich for larceny and Chris Covich, for disorderly conduct.

Over time, the area Croats and their descendants died out, moved away, or assimilated. The Catholic St. Nicholas Lodge dissolved already in the late 1930s due to a lack of members.

A handful of locals carried surnames ending in -ich into the latter part of the 20th century and beyond. Take the Marincovichs. Astoria High School Homecoming Queen in 1983 was Cindy, and Tisha was queen of Junior Prom the following year. Also in 1984, Gary escaped certain death when his gillnet boat caught on fire and burned down. And in 1987, Jack, originally from Clifton, was named to the Maritime Museum’s board of trustees.

The Last Yugoslavs of Astoria

Today, two Astorians have an -ić name in its original form and they both continue in the business tradition.

Djordje Čitović co-owns, with his wife Trudy Van Dusen Čitović, Fire Station Yoga, a studio, and Rosebriar Mansion, a vacation and event rental.

Djordje Citovic

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: I’m 43 years old. I’m originally born and raised from Cleveland, Ohio. My parents are from the former Yugoslavia, Serbia, and they immigrated probably over 50 years ago.

PETER KORCHNAK: It all started in World War II. A prisoner of war throughout, Čitović’s grandfather re-settled in the US, keeping in touch with one of his five children back in Yugoslavia. He invited the son that would become Djordje’s father to join him in Cleveland, which Djordje’s future father did in around 1960, quickly finding a job at a factory while thinking his stay would be but temporary.

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: He gets his very first check and his jaw dropped. And so like, that’s his story, like, you know, the rest is history, because he never went back. And so he definitely lived the American dream. He ended up starting his own insurance agency and travel agency. So he was very successful. And he was a great provider for the kids. I’m the youngest. I have two older sisters. We all grew up in Cleveland.

PETER KORCHNAK: I’m curious how Čitović identifies vis-a-vis his ancestral homeland.

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: As a kid in school, I’d say, I’m Yugoslavian. I never said, particularly like Serbian, per se. I mean, I guess there would be in some contexts that you’d say, I’m from Serbia and Croatia.

My dad worked with a lot of people, not only from the former Yugoslavia, but basically Eastern European countries. And even during the war, he was actually always kind of telling the kids like, when anyone asked just say you’re Yugoslavian, we’re not here to be like, Oh, we’re Serbian, and, you know, blah, blah, blah.

PETER KORCHNAK: One of Djordje’s uncles came to the U.S. later and the remaining three of his father’s siblings stayed behind and continued living in Yugoslavia slash Serbia. And there’s a half-aunt in the U.S. as well, from the grandfather’s second marriage.

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: So my father, you know, he had kind of established himself in the Cleveland Serbian community, kind of getting integrated. And so he actually met my mom’s uncle. And so, you know, he was just like, you’re a man of marrying age, I got a really niece back home, you know, she’s 21, I think at the time or something like that. And so they actually had some correspondence via snail mail. And my mom at 21 packed her bags and she left, came to the US. And I think she just thought she was coming to visit, and basically like two months later, they were married.

PETER KORCHNAK: It was at churches that Serbian or Croatian identity in the diaspora was perpetuated. Serbs went to Orthodox temples, Croats to Roman Catholic ones, meeting and bonding with their respective ethnic kin there.

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: Growing up, I guess, I knew that Serbs and Croatians kind of at times didn’t like each other, they had a rift. Being around the adults, as a little kid, like you just like picking up the chatter basically, but not so much like being taught.

At least our generations are kind of further detached from those memories…

PETER KORCHNAK: Did you visit Yugoslavia as a child before it fell apart?

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: Yes, so I definitely would go pretty often in the summertime. One of the stories that I always tell is that I went to Serbia for like, the entire summer right before my first year of kindergarten, let’s see, that’d be like, ‘83. Yeah. And so ‘83, ‘84, something like that. And when I got back, I my English I, it was, it was awful. Like, I couldn’t really remember. And so like my first few days of school, I was like, having trouble like communicating because I was everything I wanted to say was like in Serbian, but then, you know, within whatever a very short period of time, it kind of came back. As a kid, you’re just like absorbing things, your brain is like rewiring quickly.

I think I would probably go every other year, every third year, up until the basically until the civil wars started, until the 90s.

PETER KORCHNAK: So how did you experience those visits? What do you remember–from the kindergarten visit you remember that you forgot to speak English, but what about the subsequent ones?

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: A lot of it is just like memories. I have kumovi, which is like godparents, in Belgrade and they lived in these, like, very classic, like, communist era high rises, like concrete. It was awesome, because there was all these kids that lived in these highrises and, you know, my parents would just like, let me go, and just outside running around all day. And then the other experiences like literally just being in the village and that stark difference of just modern amenities, even like having a flushing toilet or, you know, running water or telephone.

PETER KORCHNAK: So in the 90s, you know, the wars happen, you’re here in the US, in Cleveland. So how do you– how are you experiencing that? How’s your family experiencing that?

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: It was challenging, actually, on two fronts. One, obviously having family that lives there.

It affected my parents, I think they were generally just upset about what was going on. They’re not very political people. I mean, they will kind of amongst friends talk some politics, but they’re not very political, especially with the kids. So it was challenging on that front, just kind of seeing their former country kind of going through this process.

But then also, it hurt my father financially, because one of his other businesses was a travel agent. And so when that happened, I think there was even a recession in the early 90s. So coupled with that, I just remember, we were in a phase where money was very, very tight. That memory of the war going on, and kind of financially going through hard times are linked together to some degree.

Yeah, just so the 90s just was definitely for the family kind of a darker period, just like a cloud, I guess overhead, pretty much so… But generally, you know, I hate to say, but, you know, for me, I’m in my teens, and you know, life is is normal or whatever, I’m still doing my thing.

Most of the communication that I’m getting is like from one person to my parents and then finally very filtered down to me.

PETER KORCHNAK: So when do you visit again for the first time after the 90s? This century, this millennium?

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: 2008, I think, yeah, yeah.

Just to backtrack I went back in 97. Okay. 97. So and so my kum was getting married. So I was there for the wedding.

So I went again in 2019 with my father. And it was the first time I actually got to travel with him, which was amazing. He went for a month, I ended up tagging along for about two weeks with him. And it was just a great opportunity for him to kind of just take me down memory lane, show me all the different places you know, where he lived in Belgrade, and just, you know what, I did this and share the stories from back in the day. So it was it was actually a really great experience on it. And we just got in and right before the pandemic.

PETER KORCHNAK: And have you been there since?

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: No, no. And so I hope to go, my sisters would like to go. You know, it’s just tough. I really want to be able to go at one point and travel around because every time I’ve gone it’s really just to like gone to where my family lives and to their like locales. I have not been to anywhere else in former Yugoslavia. I haven’t been to Croatia or anywhere, and even like Montenegro. There’s like all these different places that I’d love to experience. So at some point, I’d love to take, you know, the family and everything and kind of explore a little bit more in that area.

PETER KORCHNAK: How are your language skills?

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: Mine are okay, I can get it. I’m pretty good. She’s boss over there.

PETER KORCHNAK: Here I should mention Djordje’s wife Trudy was sitting in on the interview.

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: Ona razume sve.

PETER KORCHNAK: Razume sve, okay, that’s–

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: It’s a bit of an embarrassment. Because I learned Serbian just by just being around it. And she’s kind of into languages. So when we first started dating, she’d always ask me, how would you say this? And would you conjugate it like this? And I’m like, I don’t know.

But anyways, she actually very impressively learned Serbian. But she also in that process, learn Cyrillic. And I do not know, Cyrillic so that’s the big–

PETER KORCHNAK: –blasphemy!–

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: –amongst my family. And when I go back, they like everyone teases me and stuff like that.

PETER KORCHNAK: How did you learn the language?

TRUDY VAN DUSEN ČITOVIĆ: I had studied languages in college. And so it was something I was really interested in. And actually, when I met George and saw– he was showing me how to spell his name and everything. Like I was so intrigued because I loved languages even then. Yeah, exactly. So I just started sort of picking things up from him and then I got a Teach Yourself Serbian, like book and CD. And so I got as far as I could with that, but at some point, you have to start like asking questions. And we were living in Chicago at the time, and there was a Serbian woman who had been a Serbian teacher in Serbia. And she offered Serbian classes and everyone who joined was a significant other of someone from Serbia. We were all like engaged to Serbian guys, I think pretty much, or married to.

We moved but I kept doing it on I think it was Skype at the time, in like 2009, 2010 for a couple more years. So my Serbian was at one point, when we got married– and I knew very little in 2008 when we went, but by the time 2011 rolled around, I was much more fluent. And we kind of now use it as sort of our like language that the kids don’t know and stuff, but I don’t have a ton of opportunities to speak it but it’s funny because my Spanish for example, when I when I’m missing a word in Spanish than out comes, like a Serbian word. The other day, I was speaking to a guy who works for us who’s Spanish, and I was you know, speaking Spanish and then I just said odlično in the middle of it and he kind of looked at me, I was like, oh, sorry, that’s a different language.

And it’s one of these things like people find out and, you know, even if I butcher it, just even the fact that I’m giving it a shot, people seem to really appreciate it, so.

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: I mean, basically, yeah, Trudy, you know, is a star basically amongst the Serbian community in Cleveland, like everyone is just like talks about Trudy basically. My one brother in law, he’s also, you know, American or whatever and he always like teases, you’re making us all look bad. And so there’s a handful of other people there, non-Serbs that have married and they’re like, yeah, Trudy like, we love you, but you always make us look bad.

And even when we went to Serbia, you know, she claims like she didn’t know very much but like everyone was just like floored.

PETER KORCHNAK: Djordje went to college at Princeton, where he dedicated his thesis to comparing Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia in terms of how the strength of each central government impacted the level of violence in the country’s breakup.

He and Trudy met in the Bay Area where they both moved independently for work. They lived in New York, Chicago, and Cleveland, working in real estate, and eventually moved to Portland, Oregon in 2009; Djordje managed rental properties and Trudy worked for Van Dusen Beverages, her family’s business in Astoria. They moved to Astoria in 2017. They have two children.

PETER KORCHNAK: So when you were a child or teen, whatever, your parents instilled in you, you know, tell people that you’re Yugoslav, you knew this history, you knew this, all this stuff? That’s what you consider yourself as, right? When people ask you now, how do you say that? I do say different things with your parents or with–

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: As far as like, who am? Well, you know, I’ll be honest with you, and this is very personal, like, I mean, I definitely I say I’m Serbian now, I don’t necessarily say I’m Yugoslavian per se only because I think that the now like if you say Yugoslavian people are like, what is that?

PETER KORCHNAK: Back then it meant something, right?

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: It meant something, you know what I mean? And you know, still people know what that is, but I’m just saying, so it makes sense just to say that. But you know, I will say that, for some reason growing up, and this may be unique to my experience, but like, there was always kind of a lot of nationalism mentality, like as an identifier, you know, like, first and foremost, I am a Serb. Just from a personal standpoint, it is a very big part of who I am. When I do identify, I say I’m Serbian, basically.

Going through grade school, basically, my name was spelled like on the forms, everything was G-E-O-R-G-E. Everyone asked, What’s your name? George Citovic. And actually, you know, it’s funny, because there was another girl from the Serbian community, she was like, I think a year or two younger, but her mom had approached my father and saying, like, your son’s not a proud Serb, he’s telling everyone that his name is George Citovic and it’s Čitović. But for me, it was just more of like, just the hassle of trying to explain how do you get Čitović of C-I-T-O-V-I-C.

So then when I actually went to college and filling out the official forms, used my you know, my official name, and then it kind of just stuck once I got to college as far as the spelling is concerned. But prior to that, I always had it in the English spelling of George.

And then it wasn’t until Trudy and I actually got married that she insisted that we tell everyone it’s Čitović instead of Citovic. So I have also evolved through the years in terms of like, my name and how I pronounce it.

PETER KORCHNAK: Why did you insist and why do you think she insisted?

TRUDY VAN DUSEN ČITOVIĆ: I insisted, because I actually have a friend, well, he’s the former city manager and actually now again, the interim city manager here in Astoria, Paul Benoit. His last name is B-E-N-O-I-T, and he grew up as Benoit–and he didn’t like it. So he decided to change it to Benoit. And now everyone knows him as Paul Benoit and his kids are Benoit and everyone knows them as Benoit. And so that was what hit me. I was like, you can choose to now say it however you want. And you might as well say Čitović, and me being so excited about languages and, you know, the right way to say it, so I probably am more adamant about it than he is. And growing up my maiden name is Van Dusen. And it’s Van space Dusen and we made such a big deal about that, like we showed up somewhere and they didn’t have the space–

PETER KORCHNAK: The Dutch way?

TRUDY VAN DUSEN ČITOVIĆ: Yeah, it was very important to us. So you know, the spelling and pronunciation was important to me. So I just encouraged him to do that. And our kids even now, I don’t think they would recognize Citovic as being their last name because they know that it’s Čitović.

PETER KORCHNAK: And they know the interpunction and everything…?

TRUDY VAN DUSEN ČITOVIĆ: Alena knows, and every time I write their name in their clothes or on their lunchbox or anything, I make sure to put the accents on there so that they, over the course of time, it just sinks in and they know…

PETER KORCHNAK: That’s quite an ordeal to go through as a child to have to do that, not only do that but also explain how it’s differently pronounced.

DJORDJE ČITOVIĆ: Trudy’s brother…. They were always very good about like coming up with pneumonic devices. So it’s eating Cheetos at the beach. And it works, man. Because I used to tell people like cheat like you cheat on a test, but I never liked using the actual word, you know what I mean? But then he said, eating Cheetos at the beach.

TRUDY VAN DUSEN ČITOVIĆ: Čitović, they get it right away.

PETER KORCHNAK: That’s fantastic.

Astoria boasts what I believe to be the westernmost Bosnian, if not even Balkan, restaurant in the continental U.S. Owner of the Drina Daisy, Fordinka Kanlić, is a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the Sarajevo area. Hearing about the original “Yugoslavian immigrants,” the Croat fishermen of Clifton came to mind first. They’re long gone, she says. She believes she is the only Astoria resident born in Yugoslavia.

[BACKGROUND MUSIC – “Rainmaker” by Petar Alargić]

PETER KORCHNAK: Next on Remembering Yugoslavia:

AMIL DELIC: One of the biggest surprises to me is the growth of hockey in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That one to me, it really caught me off guard.

PETER KORCHNAK: With football and basketball so prominent and popular among Yugoslav sports, it’s easy to miss some of the minority pastimes. Like ice hockey. On the next episode of Remembering Yugoslavia, a Bosnian podcast producer, a Maine coach, and a Slovak superfan skate into a rink.

Tune in wherever you listen to podcasts and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out.

[OUTRO MUSIC – “Jugoslavijo / Od Vardara pa do Triglava” by Horn Orchestra]

PETER KORCHNAK: That’s all for this special episode of Remembering Yugoslavia, thank you for listening. Find additional information and the transcript of this episode at RememberingYugoslavia.com/Podcast.

If you like the show, donate to keep it running. Visit RememberingYugoslavia.com/Donate and make a contribution today.

Outro music courtesy of Robert Petrić. Additional music by Petar Alargić licensed under Creative Commons. Special thanks to Lissa Brewer and The Astorian newspaper.

I am Peter Korchňak.

Bye!