There are not very many Bugoshes in the United States. If you are one, you may have been nicknamed “Boog” at some point. Your last name has probably been pronounced Bug-osh (my family says it with a long u). You may have been asked if you have an Osh Kosh B’gosh connection (we do not!) You probably are part Slovak since most of us hail from a small village in what is now Slovakia. You may have a coal-mining heritage.
I think of my Grandpa Bugosh every time I look at my son, who shares his name and his red hair (albeit a slightly different shade). My grandpa impressed my grandma on the football fields before she met him and then won her heart with his good listening. He is thoughtful, kind and caring and remains calm and patient despite going through some terrible times – medical challenges and medical errors leading to almost 30 years with limited mobility. When coronavirus permits, he continues to play games, enjoy socializing and watch the golf players behind their condo make a hash of things.
My grandma Arlene and I share our birthday month, our initials, our love for reading and writing, a fondness for leopard print, and much more. She is sensitive yet strong and has made tough but good choices, whether that meant riding the streetcars to work downtown, breaking off an engagement she realized was wrong, or moving South far from family and nearer to bugs to be with her military husband. She had a beautiful life with school district jobs she enjoyed, two loving sons, and a marriage that has lasted 68 years so far through ups and downs. I have many fond memories of dress shopping, solo visits to their old home in Ohio, watching Phantom of the Opera, and making up stories together. I am so glad they made the tough choice many years ago to leave a lifetime of memories in Ohio to move to Colorado because it means I can see them much more frequently. However much like her I find myself raising my family in a verdant Midwestern city with long winters and beautiful summers.
I am very thankful to be a “Bugosh” and kept it as my middle name after my marriage. I am so blessed to have parents and grandparents that invested in me. I would love to hear below about your awesome grandparents below!