Michelle Ann Kratts

Archive for the ‘Antique Shoppe’ Category

When a Recipe Tells a Love Story

In Antique Shoppe, Niagara in Love, Recipes, The Armenians of Niagara Falls on December 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

ration book and recipeIt’s funny how some things fall into your lap and tell a love story.

A few years ago I purchased an old ration book holder from a little antique shop in Lewiston. It was particularly interesting because it had belonged to some local people that my grandmother actually knew–the chiropractor, Dr. Emilio Settimi and his family. But even more fascinating was the secret that was tucked away inside the tattered cover. Carefully typed and folded inside, stained with cookie encrusted hands, was a recipe for “Date and Nut Cookies” and a love story.  Beside the heading was a name in parenthesis: Angela Kevorkian. I’m not sure if this recipe was typed by Angela Kevorkian or how it ended up inside the Settimi’s ration book holder. Regardless, the story of Angela Kevorkian was too sweet to put to sleep.

Kevorkian recipe

It began on May 19, 1912, with a man about to go over Niagara Falls.

As in so many other stories (that Niagarans know so well) a man (named Henry J. Lutz–a candymaker) happened to fall into the Niagara River. As he was being rapidly carried toward the American Falls, a young Armenian laborer (who could not swim) could not help but come to the aid of the drowning man. Without hesitation, Iram Kevorkian, waded out 22 feet into the river at a point which was only 150 feet from the brink of doom. As Lutz drifted past, he caught him with a pikepole. Kevorkian slid two or three times on the slimy rocks in which his feet clung to for dear life. He called for help and suddenly other men joined in to help Mr. Kevorkian save Mr. Lutz from certain death. In the end, both men survived and Kevorkian was awarded the Carnegie Silver medal for heroism.

Strangely, in just about the same spot, two years later, Kevorkian witnessed another individual in peril on June 4, 1914.  He was responsible for rescuing this man, as well. For this act of heroism, he was awarded the Geoge E. McNeill medal.

When asked about his heroic deeds, Kevorkian replied:

Those were the most beautiful experiences in my lifetime. They call it courage. Well, something about courage is that you act quickly without knowing you have it…

And as every hero must have his admirers….Iram Kevorkian’s act of kindness found its way across an ocean and into the coffee parlor of a popular cafe in Vienna where a group of ladies sat discussing a news article.

Now there’s a fine young man to meet…they said to one another.

One of those ladies, Angela Jurasek, came to America shortly after this.   Tragedy came upon her, too, but this time by fire.  She broke her ankle while escaping a terrible conflagration that ravaged her second floor apartment in Flushing, New York, and found herself recovering in a hospital.  It was then that fate began to work out her little scheme.  For Iram Kevorkian had left Niagara Falls for a short time to take a job in that same hospital in Flushing.

And there she was.  His co-workers had raved about the beautiful woman with the broken ankle one too many times.  He convinced a friend to switch duties with him so that he might meet this lovely lady and soon he was carrying dinner trays to Miss Jurasek on a daily basis.  She became his wife one month later.

Of course, it was inevitable that the couple would honeymoon in Niagara Falls.   And it was then, at the brink of Niagara’s thundering beauty, that Mrs. Kevorkian decided that this is where she wanted to make their home.  They lived here for quite some time and operated the Vienna Tailor and Dressmaking Shop at 446 Third Street.

And they lived happily ever after in Niagara Falls, New York, eating wonderful Date and Nut Cookies.

Old postcard Lewiston Mountain

In Antique Shoppe on September 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Old postcard Lewiston Mountain