My Nana, Amelia Marie Golc, was born in 1922 to Joseph and Amalia Golc, immigrants from Slovenia. She spent her childhood in a largely Slovenian neighborhood in Indianapolis where they had chickens and a cow which grazed in empty lots through the neighborhood. She was brilliantly strong and self-described as feisty - smoking cigarettes with the boys. When asked how she was doing she had a habit of responding with “as mean as ever”. In 1944, she married my Papa, Robert Pershing Green, just before he set off to be a navigator in a B-29 in the Pacific Theater of WWII. Nana didn’t pass on her language or many traditions, though my father remembers her reading a Slovenian paper at breakfast, but she did pass on her famous potica – a traditional Slovenian nutbread. She baked a loaf for each of her six children's families at every holiday from Thanksgiving to the Forth of July. It was a symbol of love, of hard work, of dedication, and of strength. The dough was sweet and rolled as thin as paper before spread with nuts and rolled, twirled, and wrangled into a caste iron pan. Nana passed away this winter just a few months before her 94th birthday. In the last few years, my father and I began to work from her handwritten recipe and learned how to bake potica. It has been a rewarding task, though emotional, and conquering the beautiful layers of sweetness is a worthy work of love.

Year: 2016

– Melissa Houston

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