On Sunday, May 16th the cultural center was visited by a tour group from Warren, Ohio. Our visitors were from St. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church. Their original intention was to attend an ordination ceremony in Munhall. The quick thinking president of the Youngstown-Warren-Sharon Chapter, Jim Basista, realized this was a golden opportunity to introduce the parishioners to Rusyn culture.
He cleverly diverted the bus to our center, where we conveniently had nut and pumpkin rolls waiting. Perhaps because they were hungry after their long ride, they agreed to hear a spirited, albeit, short lecture on the virtues of being Rusyn. Even though most were of other ethnicities, many patronized our gift shop so at least a tiny corner of their houses would become Rusyn.
One of the ladies told us her family was from Naples. We hopefully explained that with that famous mountain overlooking their town, it was geologically part of Ruthenia. And what did she think inspired Respighi to compose The Pines of Rome? She may not have bought it, but she did not deny it, either. Another convert!
(Posted by: Maryann Sivak, firstname.lastname@example.org)