SOLAHA producing partner Jack Baric goes in front of the camera to tell the story of how his dad escaped communist Yugoslavia by boat to Italy and after living in Italian refugee camps for four years, coming to San Pedro, CA.

May 28, 2020
Stories of L.A. Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (SOLAHA)

Vol. II, No. 10 SOLAHA producing partner first generation American Jack Baric goes in front of the camera to tell the story of how his father escaped communist Yugoslavia at age 15 via boat to Italy, and four years living in Italian refugee camps chose to emigrate to the USA over Australia.

Filmmaker, and SOLAHA director, co-producer Jack Baric tells the story of how his father, Leonard Baric escaped communist Yugoslavia when he was only 15 years old. Imagine what courage that took and if a youth of today would have the stamina and ability to navigate such an odyssey? He and his friends took a small boat across the Adriatic and landed in Italy, where Baric, Sr. spent four years in refugee camps before emigrating to the United States of America arriving in San Pedro where he had relatives and has lived there ever since.

Thanks to Jack SOLAHA chose this story because it coincides with Croatian independence, which many Croatians celebrate on May 30th, including the local Croatian American Club of San Pedro. May 30, 1990 was the date of the first free elections in Croatia. In addition to celebrating democracy, the Croatian community sees those elections as the first important step toward Croatia seceding from the former Yugoslavia because the vast majority of Croatians voted for representatives that advocated for an independent Croatia. This is especially poignant for Croatian-American immigrants who earned their personal independence by escaping communism and coming to the USA. They now saw their families back home being given the opportunity to enter into a democratic system and enjoy the similar freedom to what is prominent in the USA.

The SOLAHA stories continue to enlighten and entertain as we preserve history for future generations.
As previously stated we are grateful for the on-going support of Los Angeles County (LAC) Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 4 authorizing grant funding.

We are honored and excited to continue our mission to preserve local history and encourage you to make your own effort for your families and community; and please forward this e-bulletin to others and remember that the website link below has Vol. I and Vol. II will be added weekly. We again commend and thank our generous website sponsors and please support their various businesses: Renaissance Group (Erik Eisenberg), Clean San Pedro (Steve Kleinjan), George Van Buren & Associates (accounting services), Jim Hussey (State Farm Insurance), ILWU Local 94, and Los Angeles City Council member Joe Buscaino, District 15; and Port Town websites for the excellent design and management.