'The Faces & Voices of Connellsville' being immortalized
Michael Sahaida's project, “The Faces & Voices of Connellsville,” is under way at the Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville.
Sahaida, a professional photographer, who specializes in commercial still life, portraiture, editorial and book illustrations, has begun videotaping residents and their accounts of growing up in the city.
His work has been featured in magazines, newspapers, catalogs and books and he has a passion for preserving the rich history of Connellsville.
“I've always been interested in this area because my in-laws grew up here,” Sahaida said. “I've heard many interesting stories. Then, when I read about Connellsville's history, I marveled at its importance during the industrialization of America, the wealth and the significance of this area.”
Sahaida said when he thought about the project, he knew there was extensive documentation about the mining industry and coal and coke. “But I wondered about the recollections of those who were doing the everyday tasks, the women who were going to the store, packing the lunches and so on. There were those who got up every day, went to work, came home and got up the next day to do it all over again, and there were those who had a different kind of attachment to the town on a day-to-day basis.
“Then there was the Canteen,” he continued, “with the many volunteers and their commitment to those who traveled through Connellsville during World War II. There are those who fondly remember the '50s, '60s and '70s when downtown was busy and vibrant. I want to capture the personal stories and memories of those who remember or have been told about those important times,” Sahaida said.
Sahaida's wife is Ann Corrado Sahaida. Her mother's name was Marjorie Craig Corrado. Marjorie's mother was Luella Sparks Craig. Ann's father's name was Albert Vincent Corrado, M.D. His mother's maiden name was Gandolfi. Both of Ann's parents are deceased.
The project is an artistic/historic approach to the residents of Connellsville and their memories of life in the city, he said. The final project will be exhibited at the library in September, consisting of the video interviews and portraits. It will be kept there for all to see.
“I think it will be a wonderful exhibit for the community. So far we have interviewed and photographed five people and the stories and images are fantastic,” Sahaida said.
Karen Macko recently sat for a portrait with Sahaida. She recalled Saturdays at Connellsville movie theaters, packing a lunch and spending the day. Macko also suggested that Sahaida talk to Sylvia Paladino DeMarco, who recalls working in many downtown retail establishments over the years.
More photography and video interviews will take place Feb. 11-13 at the library. Those who would like to make an appointment to be included in this project may contact Sahaida at 412-855-6574 or firstname.lastname@example.org or CFL Director Casey Sirochman at 724-628-1380 or email@example.com. There is no charge. Participants are asked to bring photographs and memorabilia to include on their video.
Sahaida's work has been featured in The New Yorker, Glamour, Self, Bazaar, New York Magazine and House Beautiful. He has photographed musicians, athletes, dancers, artists and actors. An exhibit of his work was featured at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers Gallery in 2004.
Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Salvation Army kettle campaign begins Friday in Connellsville area
- HObo Model Railroad Club display back in Connellsville
- CASD’s Mustache Club lends hand
- Fayette twins injured as newborns expected to be adopted by foster mother
- McCarthy: Family of Incarcerated to meet in Connellsville
- Fayette Chamber plans awards dinner
- Positive behavior stressed to Connellsville elementary students
- Lost bear hunter from Westmoreland County located
- Organizations benefit from grants
- Black Friday could be a wet one in Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant areas
- RAPTOR program explained in Connellsville