Twin Cities Slovenians
Oct 15, 2011
Venetian Inn

Welcome: Liz Miller supplied  the background music for opening the meeting this morning., The KSKJ Singers, of which she was a member along with her father were a lovely backdrop to the meet and greet coffee time before we started. President Zakelj called the meeting to order at 9:45.

Attending:  There were 29 people in attendance. There were no new members at this time and no member updates.

Music:    Again there were no birthdays this month. Yvonne McComber suggested we create a list that includes all members birthdays.  The group had plenty of time to learn a new song provided by Mary Ann Palmer.  In keeping with the November Wine theme, we learned the words to ‘Bratci Veseli Vsi”, Brothers All Be Happy.  After several starts, the group sang all 6 refrains, accompanied on the accordion by Rich Samec. 

Report from September 27 Board Meeting:  Jamie Monson reviewed the meeting.  Brief report of the meeting and the discussions regarding fund raising, update on language class, future meetings, bylaws publication, storage update.  The next board meeting will be Wednesday, November 30th at Culver, St. Anthony.

Treasurer’s Report:  Mary Ann Setnicker reported a balance of $1623.82  The breakout is as follows:
 
1441.82    Balance Oct 2011      
417    DEPOSIT      
222    MEMBERSHIP DUES      
175    LANGUAGE CLASS      
-632    LITTLE VENETIAN INN/LANGUAGE CLASS/PRINTING      
1623.82    Balance Nov 19, 2011     
   
Fundraising: Jean Rolstad has fantastic wine bags that can be customized.  At this time, she has only sold 4 bags.  As a fundraiser, $5.00 of the cost goes towards the group.

Website Report:  Mary Alice Schwanke was not available for report.

Membership Report: Karl Grahek reported that TCS has71 renewed members, 6 new and 3 honorary, for a total of 80 members.  November is the final stage of the membership drive.

Ambassador Kirn:  The article regarding the visit was forwarded to the Slovenian American Times by John Zakelj and should be published in the next couple of weeks.

Slovenian Class:  John Zakelj gave an update of the study group progress so far.  The classs is improving and the “sound” is becoming more authentic.  Ksenjia visited the group and engaged everyone in a political discussion of current events.  Tina Blahtnik, also showed up one night and taught a lesson before her return trip back to Slovenia.

Future Meetings:  Jamie Monson gave an update for future meetings. 

Dec  17    Strudel Presentation – Liz Miller
Jan 22    Anniversary Party – Little Venetian Inn
Feb 11     Dr. Seth Hawkins – Julian Sleeper House
Feb 18    Former Congressman James Oberstar
Mar 17    Chuck Podominick Genealogy
Apr 21    Festival of Nations Prep
May 19    Chuck Debevic Music Presentation

Presentations: 

Father Baraga –

Yul Yost gave an informative history lesson on Father Baraga and his heritage on the shores of Lake Superior.  Yul has an incredible amount of knowledge and is very well read on his subject.  He brought along many of the books he’s used for research along with letters and postcards of Father Baraga. Yul went into the reasons why Father Baraga came here, and the controversy of whether it was for building a church or an epidemic and the translation of the Bible into Ojibway.  Most recently, in May 2011 the monument was recently restored and moved 10ft to public land along with a new walkway to this famous spot. Yul showed some fantastic photos.  Previously the monument was on private land owned by the church and not very well marked.   John recalled his family making a yearly pilgrimage in August to visit the memorial and Jan Hahn’s parents visited on their honeymoon.  All members agreed it would be good to have an entire presentation devoted to Father Baraga and family histories, as this was only a brief foray into such an interesting life.

Maribor Old Vine Festival-

Norm Setnicker and Sue Rademacher presented a slide show of their most recent family trips to Slovenia and how they met up in Maribor during the Old Vine Festival. 

The Old Vine Festival celebrates Stara Trta – The oldest vine in the world. It is approx 400 years old and has survived even a plague.  The type of grape is known as Modra Kavcina or Zametna Crnina and is a red. 

Sue started the presentation by going over the history of Slovenia dating back to Roman times. In 1209, Maribor was an important center of trade known as Marborg.  By 1300 the wine trade had begun.  Norm then presented slides of the festival.  He shared slides of his host family and the great story of how they originally met.  Other festival event slides included; a wine barrel (many in tunnels under the city),a bocce tourney, a city band, the famous bees and a goulash cook off.  The Festival starts in September and last 2 weeks with each day focusing on a particular event. On the day of the wine tasting – tasters can “rent” a glass and go to many booths for a tasting.  Part of the ceremony includes the Master of the Old Vine authenticating the contents during a ceremonial tasting.  There is a cutting of the grapevine on the last day of the festival, highlighting the importance of pruning.  These cuttings have been sent to all parts of the world, including the Vatican and foreign dignitaries around the globe.  The most recent cutting went to the Castle in Bled.  These cuttings help perpetuate the descendants of the old vine while strengthening the city of Maribor’s links with the world.

The presentation ended with playing of the traditional vine song: Zsravica Stari Trti.

Festival of Nations:  Sue Rademacher is looking for ideas for this year’s 80th anniversary festival, Ethnic Celebrations and Events.   The Festival of Nations is stressing the focus of the event to be on culture not a county.  There is a meeting at the Rademacher’s on Dec 14 for those who would like to help out with this years event. Mike and Sue will be attending a formal registration meeting on Dec 4th.

Raffle/Give Away:  Yvonne McComber supplied several gifts to hand out as gifts to members.  Using tickets supplied at beginning of meeting, 5 lucky winners walked away with some great treasures.

Closing:  John Zakelj closed the meeting at 11:45 and the group enjoyed time for checking out books, sharing and good conversation before leaving.  This meeting turned out to be a great history lesson for us all.  We delved a bit deeper into the lives of people and events of Slovenian Heritage and walked away all a bit wiser.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jamie Monson