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The mysterious past of Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol's father's draft card

The draft card of Andy Warhol's father, Andrew Warhola from "Andy Warhol’s Ancestry: Facts, Myths, and Mysteries."

January 11, 2019: The Carpatho-Rusyn scholar and Associate Professor Emerita of the University of Maryland, Elaine Rusinko, has done a considerable amount of research into Warhol's geneology and has written a new essay, "Andy Warhol’s Ancestry: Facts, Myths, and Mysteries," which clears up a significant amount of information about his roots, while also pointing out the problems inherent with researching them. As she points out in her essay:

For Warhola genealogy, most relevant documents can be found in the record books of the church of St. Michael the Archangel in Miková. Until 1895 the Kingdom of Hungary mandated the church to maintain official birth, death, and marriage registers. These were subsequently transferred to regional state archives, where they became the basis for legal civil records... For Miková, only records from the last quarter of the 19th century are easily available, and while these registers are extremely valuable, searching them is not easy. Most are not indexed, many are incomplete, and are illegible... A further difficulty for western researchers of Carpatho-Rusyn parish books is their linguistic and orthographic complexity. As a result of the convoluted history of the Warholas’ homeland, official records were kept by parish priests in Church Slavonic, Latin, Hungarian, Russian, or Rusyn, depending on political and ecclesiastical circumstances. Consequently, as the original Cyrillic orthography was transliterated in various alphabets, there are numerous spellings for any Carpatho-Rusyn name.

As someone with a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature from Brown University, Professor Rusinko is well-suited to the task of dealing with the variations inherent in the different languages. The result is a fascinating essay with previously unknown information about Warhol's past. She begins her essay with Bob Colacello's claim that "one of Julia’s grandmothers was Jewish," and continues with a riveting examination of Andy Warhol's mysterious roots. The essay is here.

Harold Stevenson

January 5, 2019: Tawsha Brinkley-Davenport, who has been writing a book on Harold Stevenson, would like to hear from anyone who knew him or has stories about him. The book will be called Echo of Of Idabel-Conversations with Harold Stevenson Jr. and there is a new website for it at www.haroldstevensonjr.com.

Eulogy for Patrick Fleming

by his nephew, Declan Buckley

Warhol stars Patrick Fleming and Ed Hood

Patrick Fleming (left), Ed Hood (second from right), Andy Paley (far right) Photo: Steve Nelson ©2004/SNPIX.com

January 3, 2019: The nephew of the Warhol star Patrick Fleming gave the following eulogy at Patrick's funeral on December 31, 2018. Condolences can be left on his Boston Globe legacy page here.

Good Morning

It is an honor to eulogize Patrick James Fleming of Barryroe, County Cork and long-time resident of Cambridge Massachusetts.

He was Pat to his family, Patrick to his friends and The Irish Harvard Square Warlock Icon to more than a few.

To me he was always Uncle Pat.

One of the most heartwarming things about the past few days has been that I’ve learned more about my Uncle Pat than I have in my whole life. He was an enigma, he was an original, and he was dearly, dearly loved.

There has been such an outpouring of love from people over the past couple days I would like to share a few memories from his family and his good friends.

All his family fondly remember how he’d call on the phone, late at night, and sing, and play his guitar…sometimes for a very long time.

If you weren’t home. He’d leave musical messages. They were also very very long.

At Holiday parties, he’d sit at the kids table and sing rock and roll songs that would have his Nieces and Nephews including me, in tears of laughter. He’d then casually call his Rock Star friend and put him on the phone with us. 

To his friend and roommate Michael Weddle He was THE HOST of the party. On Putnam Ave they’d light the candles, put out some white tablecloths, cook up some spaghetti, break out the wine, and sit around playing music till the sun came up. He hosted this for his friends for years. Every single Thursday. The host!

His friend of 50 years Helene Saad said and I quote “Patrick had such great insight, perhaps from his Irish roots… and was always truthful in a jovial way. He was truly a star.”

Patrick’s long-time friend Peter Fosdick who will always be considered by our family as Patrick’s Guardian Angel simply called Patrick “a Poet….”

Patrick’s close friend from the 70’s, Andy Pale, wrote to me after Patrick died to say,  “I loved Patrick very much… Somewhere I have a collection of some of his remarkable sayings titled “Patrick-isms.”

Among the gems are “fire distinguisher” and “wrist less watch” there are many, many more! Most of all I have great memories of a truly wonderful guy who was the most loyal friend in the world.”

One of my own cherished memories is Christmas night a few years back – There was a raging snowstorm.  Pat and I decided to head to the Middle East bar in Cambridge, we sat at the bar and drank beer and talked for hours, he made me laugh, and he told me wonderful stories ... a few other people milled around the bar and of course Pat knew them all…

When it came time to leave Pat hugged me and said “I love you buddy, Merry Christmas ” … and then he gave me some joints...

Followed by “Don’t tell your mother…”

I said “Pat – let me drive you home” it was really snowing hard literally a blizzard, and Pat said “No, No..I’ll be alright...’ and then I watched Pat walk off alone, into this raging storm… in dress shoes…in the opposite direction of where he lived!

I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to get to know who Pat was. 

That night was Pat.

He was loyal and loving, he was generous, he was funny, he was private, and he was fiercely independent…

That is who he was and that is how I’ll remember him...

We love you Brother Pat
We love you Uncle Pat
and we love you, our great friend Patrick

I love you too Buddy

———

Happy New Year

January 1, 2019: Happy New Year! More to come.

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