Last night I attended Polish Happy Hour at St. Stan's in Buffalo. As usual it was gun seeing old friends, but this time I got to meet disco polo star, Junior US, who fired up the crowd and really got people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. I also enjoyed the various performance by Harmony Polish Folk Ensemble. I hadn't seen them in a while, so it was really nice. Whenever I attend this kinds of events, I usually leave a little early, mostly because I have a long drive back to Rochester and once I get back home I still have to work on putting my video(s) together.
Junior US/Polish Happy Hour/Harmony Polish Folk Ensemble
I just returned from the Adirondack Mountains for a fun climb up a not-so-high mountain. I had climbed that mountain two or three times with family or students in the early 1980's and thought I might check it out one last time. It was fun.
As I said, Azure Mountain is not one of the high peaks, but it's high enough. Big bang for your buck!
I remember once looking down from the summit and seeing an Air Force jet fly just about the trees below. Imagine having your feet planted on the ground and getting to look down at a plane! Maybe it's no big deal, but I thought it was pretty cool. By the way, Air Force training and sonic booms are commonplace in the area.
On another occasion, I sat and watched falcons put on a pretty good air show of their own from the top of Azure Mountain. And another time, I was up there with my family when the kids were little. (I think I remember carrying my son up to the top in a backpack. Just when I spotted a huge stand of raspberry bushes at edge of the clearing near the fire tower, I told the kids we should pick some berries as a reward for the long hike up. (It's not an easy climb for little kids.) As we approached the bushes, we felt the ground rumble as a bear hidden in those bushes got frightened and fortunately ran off. Yikes!!!
If you decide to go, be sure to wear good shoes and plenty of bug spray. Be careful. Don't go too close to the edge. Have fun.
View from Azure Mountain
June 8, 2018 - Memorial Service at Gravesite of WWl Fallen Soldier Walter W. Ratinski
The service was at the gravesite of WALTER RATINSKI, the first marine and first Polish American from Rochester, New York killed in WWl. Unfortunately I was unable to attend due to surgery. Video footage provided by Steve Flor:
First Marine and First Polish American from Rochester NY Killed in Great War
93 Jackson Street, Rochester, N. Y. Walter William Ratinski was born in Rochester, N. Y., June 7, 1888, son of Anthony and Josephine Ratinski. Before the World War he was employed by Joy, Clark and Nier.
Entered the service at Rochester, N. Y., December 15, 1917, at the age of 29 years, as a Private, in the United States Marine Corps. He was trained at Parris Island, South Carolina, and Quantico, Virgina.
Embarked overseas, March 13, 1918. Assigned to 45th Company, 5th Regiment, March 23, 1918. Engaged in action at Toulon Sector; Aisne Defensive; ChateauThierry Sector. Killed in action at Chateau-Thierry, June 6, 1918. First buried in France; later his body was brought back to America on the U.S.S. Cantigny, February 16, 1922, and reburied in Holy Sepulchre Ceme tery, Rochester, N. Y., February 27, 1922, Soldiers and Sailors Plot, Grave 12. p360 Monroe County Service Record.
Stephen Flor: Walter Ratinski and Rochester Veterans of WWl
Stephen Flor, vice president of the Rochester Polonia Civic Center and national chairman of the Polish American Congress WWl Centennial, discusses sacrifices of WW l vets. The interview was conducted by WHAM Channel 13 in Rochester, NY at the memorial service for Walter Ratinski, a Polish American who gave his life for our liberty.
June 12, 2018 - Za Ebru falą / Polish Waltz
I thought I would play this sweet Polish tune on banjo but there were two problems:
1. I don't one a banjo
2, I don't know how to play the banjo.
Ever since I was a teenager I intended to someday learn to play the banjo, just never got around to it. So I ordered one a couple of weeks ago hoping to learn by playing this simple tune. Unfortunately, it still has not arrived. Once I get a melody in my head, I have to play it or my head will explode. So I set up the keyboard and this is the result. I'll let you know when the banjo arrives.
If you would like to get the lyrics or to hear John Gora perform Za Ebru falą, CLICK HERE.
June 21, 2018 - Fabbrica Concertine
I just found out that Stagi is changing its brand name to Fabbrica Concertine. You may know that I have been a huge fan of Stagi concertinas and maintain a large inventory of their instruments in my online store, FolkWorldMusicStore.com. I suppose the change in the product name actually reflects a change in ownership. Hopefully the superior quality of their instruments will not be affected.