Sunday, June 15, 2008

This handsome young man is my Dad. He was a quite the army guy, back when the army was considered a very noble profession. In those days if you were not in the army you were most certainly a misfit. Anyway. He was a Lancer in the Polish Army. He fought in the Second World War. Was a POW at Majdanek, along with my uncle Dominic. (Talk about two peas in a pod.) They both escaped from Majdanek and went to Siberia together with my mother. After two long years in Siberia, General Sikorski reassembled the polish troops. They ventured to rejoin the battle, traveling through many a country in the process. I know he was in Bethlehem at Christmas and often talked admiringly about Israel, the Dead Sea and more. He was part of the Polish Unit that conquered Monte Casino, and that battle was often a topic of discussion with his brother. At some point after the war he wound up in England, and then he my mother and my uncle set out to Canada. After a year or two in the mines, out in British Columbia, they set out to Hamilton. He was an employee of the Steel Company of Canada, as it was then called. (now it's been sold out to the U.S.) He loved music. For years he drove around young musicians to practice and performances even though my brother had quit the band. When we were in elementary school, he would often, after coming home from night shift, drive us to St. Helen's School and stop at the variety store and buy us lemon tarts for our lunches. He picked up old ladies to come to fittings for whom my mother was sewing, his best friend was Stan Sobczynski, and he maintained a good relationship with his brother Domenic until he died. This July will be 30 years that my father has passed away. Since my siblings and I have been catering to our Mother for that long a period we have gained a new respect for my dad. One of his favorite songs was "The Night Chicago Died" he made me play the tape when he drove me back to my dorm room at Sheridan College. So Happy Fathers Day, TATA

I can't help thinking of the fathers of television we grew up with. You know "Father Knows Best, " MY Three Sons, and The Donna Reed Show, Leave it to Beaver. There were quite a few. Do you suppose these were meant to be lessons on parenting, subliminal eh! So a tribute to all the Dads who were paying attention.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello IrenkaWhat a wonderful way to remember our dad on Father's Day.  I do remember the tarts and just to elaborate on this, it was before he had a car that this ritual started.  In those days paycheques were not heard of, the men at Stelco received their pay in cash.  Money was very tight and each penny was accounted for, but we, the Nowak children never lacked in good food, good shoes from Henry's or any school supplies.  Pay day was every second Friday and we knew that something special would be brought home. After working a night shift and often a double, he would stop off at Grist's and pick up lemon or butter tarts for our lunch.  That was our treat.  Although our mother baked cookies and cakes, we loved those tarts (two in a pack for 15 cents)!  Yes we realize now that he danced to many beats; as a father, a husband, a driver to many (once he got a car) and his Polish organizations.  Our father did not get to see the fruits of his labour - children who have exceled in their life, his wonderful grandchildren and his great granddaughter.  But I am sure he is watching from above and being very proud.  So on this Father's Day, I too, reminise our good times - we did have fun on our home made teeter tatter, our Polish Christmas and Easter traditions (which we carry on with) and we do remember the sacrifices our parents made to create the people we are today.  Thank you Irene for sharing some of the history of our father.Alusia

National Pet Day...

This is our pet cat, he lived with us for 18 years, adopted from a shelter, best cat ever. RIP Keahan