Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Interview on Radio Slovenia International (on February 25th)

Homemade Potica

Last week, I made a short, unexpected trip back to Slovenia. By telephone.

It happened right here in California, at a B & B in Half Moon Bay, where my husband and I had gone for an overnight getaway. After breakfast the next morning, I did a phone interview with the American-born host of a public radio show in Slovenia.

Michael Manske does a weekly show called "Slovenian Roots" on Radio Slovenia International (Radio Si.) In this series, he interviews descendants of Slovenians from around the world.  He found me through my own Slovenian Roots Quest blog and invited me to share my experiences with his listeners.

The live broadcast of this short interview will be tomorrow morning, Wednesday 25 February, at 11:18 CET. (That's 2 AM Pacific time!) If you care to tune in, the Radio Slovenia International website offers live-streaming audio that is simple to access. By next week, my interview should be included in the show's podcast archives, here.

My grandparents, Mary Adamic and Louis Kozlevcar (Cleveland, ca. 1920)

"What did you talk about?" someone asked me. Well, I haven't yet heard the interview, so I am working from memory. But here are my impressions:

Michael is a very skilled interviewer. We covered a lot of ground in a very short time. I spoke mostly about my family history and how close I came to losing my Slovenian heritage, because my mother and her siblings wanted to forget a difficult past. I talked about my belated discovery of the Slovenian Hall in San Francisco--and Mia Rode's wonderful language classes. Michael asked if anything surprised me during my trip to Slovenia this past summer. He inquired about the secret to good potica. We managed to talk about almost everything, except for my fascination with the controversial writer Louis Adamic, who is said to be my grandmother's cousin.

Hvala lepa, Michael! I am honored to be on public radio in Slovenia.

Update: The podcast is now up!  Go here for the direct link. The nine-minute interview included even more than I remembered, including the pivotal role of the Cajun accordion in bringing me back to my own roots.

My mother, with her mother and siblings (Cleveland, late 1920s)

A little more about Michael Manske:  He is married to a Slovenian woman and has lived in Slovenia since 2001. He is well known for his long-running (and very funny) "How to Become a Slovene" series, which can be heard on the Radio Slovenia website and on YouTube.


  1. I've just come upon your blog - through Hoosier Daddy's Blog. My great grandfather was Anton Strukel(j) and I am curious if your great grandmother and my great grandfather are related. Anton's father was Franz Strukelj. Anton arrived in the this country in 1909. I am related to Frank Strukel (from the Hoosier Daddy Blog) he is/was my 1st cousin twice removed. Would love to learn how we are related.

  2. Hi Robin,
    Thanks for writing! I'd love to know if we are related, too! I got very caught up in reading Hoosier Daddy's blog yesterday, because of the Strukelj connection that apparently turned out to be untrue, at least in his case. I hoped my comment might catch the eye of someone from the family :-) I don't know if my great-grandmother is somehow related to Frank Strukel. What I do know is that Frank's father Janez (or John in the US) was *not* the same person as my great-grandmother's brother Janez, because my GGM arrived in 1899 and her brother was already living there. But they certainly could have had a more distant connection. We should compare family trees. I do have a couple of long posts about my GGM elsewhere. Just search for two posts called "Searching for Jozefa" (I think that is what they are called!)

  3. Correction: The post is called "Immigration Dreams, Part I." You can see a list of genealogy-related posts by looking under the Family History header at the top. Feel free to e-mail me directly at bkilpatrick(at)mac(dot)com. I'd love to see if we can find the connection, Robin!