Joe Rej sent me a link early this morning informing me that one of my videos is getting a lot of attention in Poland. The link is to the Polish website Najwyższy Czas (Nczas)
HIT INTERNETU! Senator Anna Maria Anders pląsa jak nastolatka do disco polo z amerykańską Polonią [VIDEO]
Senator Anna Maria Anders dances to the song "Hej, sokoły" with American Polonia / photo. YouTube / MrPoloniaMusic (collage)
A recording appeared on Twitter, where the song "Hey, Sokoły" whereby Senator Anna Maria Anders joyfully gets down with American Polonia. Within half a day, the movie was watched by almost 25 thousand. people. The snippet comes from a recording that was posted on MrPoloniaMusic's YouTube channel. To visit the article and to read viewers' comments:
Sunday, June 2, 2019: Buffalo Riverworks Polka Fest and Zipline Adventure
So I tried to kill two birds with one stone today: PolkaFest and ziplining. Unfortunately I left my GoPro camera at home thinking the lines you have to hang on to with both hands would just get in the way. I thought my little Canon pocket camera would work better. It didn't. Without knowing it, I shut off the camera in mid-flight at least twice, so the video is not as thrilling as I had hoped. Still pretty good. Have a look:
The annual Capital District Polish Festival is held on the grounds of Blessed Virgin Mary of Czestochowa Church conveniently located at 250 Old Maxwell Rd., Latham, NY, just off I-87.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019: PolishFest in Latham, NY
I am planning to attend this year's festival in Latham (north of Albany, New York:
Monday, June 17, 2019: Adirondack Mountain Adventure
We have had a wet and cool spring this year leaving me hungry to get outdoors and do a little hiking in New York State's Adirondacks. I took two hike today: Bald Mountain and Blue Mountain. Check out my videos:
BALD MOUNTAIN - I remember climbing this easy mountain with my family thirty years ago. If you go, be sure to wear good hiking shoes of boots. Nice views and the fire tower is fun.
Total distance: 2 miles
Highest point: 2.350 Feet
Vertical gain: 353 feet
Approximate hiking time: 2 hours
Bald Mountain is also known as Rondaxe Mountain
BLUE MOUNTAIN - Years ago some friends warned me about climbing Blue Mountain. It's a lot of work (rocks, mud, bugs) and the view is zilch; but back then the fire tower was not open. It's a challenging climb, but the view from the tower is 360 degrees. I could practically see Russia from up there!
It took me 1:15 to get to the top and 1:45 to get back down. Only slipped and landed on my butt once. Met some interesting people along the way. Had a great talk with Shawn Ondak, a photographer who has done lots of professional work in the region. Friendly people up on the mountain. Don't wear flip-flops if you go.
Total distance: 4 miles
Highest point: 3,750 feet
Vertical gain: 1,537 feet
Approximate hiking time: 3-4 hours
Adirondack Mountain Landscape
Friday, June 21, 2019: Polish Happy Hour Buffalo at Woodlawn Beach on Lake Erie
Lots happening this summer. More PHH photos will be posted soon...
Sunday, June 30, 2019: John Gora & Gorale: My Polish Roots & Beyond
Driving is boring. Like everyone else, I try to amuse myself by listening to the radio or to CDs. I generally like listening to NPR and French-language programming on 8:60 AM (Radio Canada). I also enjoy listening to John Gora’s “Butterfly” CD and any of Ludowa Nuta’s CDs. (I have the complete LN collection, but I think they are working on a new one… Come to think of it, they are ALWAYS working on a new one!) Sometimes Pimsleur’s Polish language lessons also help me pass the time.
Upon leaving my house yesterday to drive to a party in Buffalo – a one hour and fifteen-minute journey, I noticed my new John Gora CD was already in my mailbox. It arrived faster than anticipated (thank you, John) and I was very happy about that. It’s always nice to have something entertaining to listen to en route to Buffalo, a trip I have made hundreds of times I bet.
I am writing this to tell you that I LOVE John Gora’s news CD. As always, the singing and instrumentation are fantastic and the songs--some in Polish and others in Polish--are all great choices. I especially loved John's very touching tribute to his parents, Tata i Mamusia", and I liked his versions of "Hey, Hey góralu", and "Siwy koń" with its comical ending. (We now know why the old grey mare ain't what she used to be!) "Travelin' Man" blew my mind, but they are all great.
I'd say John has another great hit CD on his hands. To get yours, go here: www.johngora.com.
My Polish Roots & Beyond
Saturday, July 13, 2019: TRUMP
I am not impressed by DJT's upcoming visit to Poland on September 1-- the 80th anniversary of Germany's invasion of Poland and the beginning of WWll. Is Trump also meeting with Putin on September 17, the day Russia attacked Poland from the east? No, probably not… He’ll just talk to Vladimir over the phone… Or maybe use Jared Kushner’s Russia-back-channel instead. Oh no wait, they got caught trying to set up secret communications with the Kremlin! Remember how outraged the Republicans were when they found out about it? Oops, no sorry… They were OK with that. Someone will write a nice speech for him and he will be graciously received and greatly revered. Might even name a fort after him. Oremus.
Monday, July 15, 2019: Polonia: Republican vs. Democatic Parties
My grandfather, Jacob Johnson, was a Democrat. Arriving in America with his family in 1857, he eventually became a political activist who strongly believed that Polish Americans needed to make their voices heard politically in order to claim their rightful place as full-fledged Americans. While still a teacher at St. Stanislaus School, my grandfather co-founded Buffalo, New York's Polish Democratic Club (Klub Polsko-Demokratyczny) together with K. Binkowski and J. Gosielewski, and was a huge supporter of fellow Democrat, Mayor Grover Cleveland. In 1891, one year after surrendering his teaching responsibilities to the Felician Sisters, he ran for the office of alderman (and won) one year after his friend and colleague, Jacob Rozan, was elected supervisor. Both were among the first Buffalo Poles to have the honor of serving in local government. We Johnsons were Democrats back then, but that all changed after World War ll.
Republicans Anthony Adamski and Thomas E. Dewey
"Roosevelt sold out Poland to the Russians at Yalta!", my dad repeatedly reminded me throughout my youth. I sensed this was the primary reason my family abandoned support for the Democratic Party and became stalwart Republicans. Most of my grammar school classmates' parents, I remember, were Democrats. They loved Kennedy, but my parents voted for... gulp...Nixon -- but that was later. (Actually 78% of Polonia voted for Kennedy in 1960.)
I am writing this because I am trying to understand why any American of Polish descent would ever vote for a Democrat after FDR's egregious betrayal of Poland. I really am just trying to understand.
After Yalta, everyone in my family turned Republican, even on my mom's side. That's my Uncle Tony shaking hands with the man who ran against FDR in 1944 and also against Truman in 1948. You of course recall Thomas E. Dewey lost both bids for the presidency. I was only a few days old when Truman defeated Dewey, but I was already a Republican at birth. I sure as hell am not one now! No way!
As reluctant as they were to "die for Danzig" in 1939, the western Allies proved even more reluctant to honor their commitments to Poland in 1945. It was Winston Churchill who forced Mikołajczyk to accept a new government dominated by pro-Soviet delegates on the threat of withdrawing British support for the London government. It was Franklin Roosevelt who played down misgivings about Soviet intentions and determined to placate Stalin. - p.102
YALTA: News of Yalta sent shock waves through Polonia. Rozmarek was devastated. "Having trusted President Roosevelt on the basis of his pledge to preserve Polish independence." ... "Rozmarek and his associates were literally taken aback by the virtual casting off of the legal Polish government. The February 1945 Yalta accords occasioned a a chorus of protests not only from Polish circles in London, but also from the emotional voice of the Polish-American Congress." Belatedly, the congress vigorously protested the new "partition" of Poland, sending a lengthy memorandum of concern to both the president and congressional leaders. While some of the latter responded, support was mostly limited to those who represented districts with a high proportion of Polish Americans who were no doubt worried about the political consequences if they appeared unconcerned. Most responsive were Republicans who at last sensed a political issue that might be turn to their advantage. Yet aside from the potential for partisan domestic politics, it was already too late to save Poland. - p.103
The Election of 1948: In 1944 Polish Americans had supported the Democrats en masse, but by 1948 there was a great deal of disillusion because of the many betrayals of the Roosevelt year.Nevertheless, the government's support for the Polish relief efforts, the admittance of Polish displaced persons, increasing anti-communist rhetoric, and the herculean efforts of Cieplinski persuaded most Polish Americans to remain loyal to Truman. With their support he was able to win a narrow victory over Dewey, despite most predictions of a Republican victory. - p.108
Historian James S. Pula wrote about these events in his book
"Polish Americans: An Ethnic Community". (1995)
I concede that the points highlighted above in red were perfectly valid reasons to support Truman.
... Following Dewey's defeat, however, "the Republicans reassessed the policy of deemphasizing foreign affairs and determined to concentrate more specifically and vocally on Yalta and other foreign affairs issues in the future." In the wake of the 1948 elections. Republicans began a concerted effort to develop foreign policy issues, particularly those of importance to Eastern Europeans, for use in future domestic political struggles. Republican politicians and would-be candidates took advantage of every opportunity, responding to statements of democratic incumbents, issuing policy opinions in the media, and appearing as speakers at Polish American celebrations, where they strongly condemned the Yalta agreements and the general conduct of foreign policy by the Democratic administration. This new political initiative reached a peak when, on March 28, 1950. Republican Robert Hale introduced into the House of Representatives a resolution calling for "the repudiation of Yalta." Henceforth, calls for the liberation of the "captive nations" became a source of great eloquence for Republican politicians. - p.108-109
I suspect neither party cared about Poland. They just wanted our vote. Personally, I do not trust any president who claims to have great admiration for Poland or whatever. All he/she cares about is your vote and his ego.
Monday, July 22, 2019: Cheektowaga Polish Arts Festival and Parade
Click on the image below to view videos and photos of this year's Polish Arts Festival in Cheektowaga, New York. Always a great time!
Saturday, August 3, 2019: Salubrious Weather in Western New York. Time to do stuff!
Two videos to share with you... The first has to do with kayaking at the Buffalo waterfront. I want to share with you how great it is to be out there kayaking on Lake Erie and the Buffalo River. Unfortunately, the best part never got recorded because the camera’s battery went dead. I liked how sparkly the water looked paddling toward the sun on the way back, but that never made it into the video. Oh well. trust me, it is a great time! Try it sometime if you haven't already.
I should do this again at sunset. That would be cool. Buffalo has the best sunsets... and pizza... and wings... and much more.
The second video features a walk-through at the Polish Arts Festival in Rochester, New York. This event was held August 2 and 3, 2019. I only attended the dinner your on Friday night. Such a wonderful evening for a festival! Salt City Band provided the music and the food was great as usual.
Saturday, August 10, 2019: Michigan Cousins
Today for the first time I met my Uncle Stanley's grandson's family from Michigan. My uncle passed away ten months before I was born, so obviously I had never met him. He is buried at St. Stanislaus Cemetery with my mom and dad, grandparents Jacob and Ewa, and my Ciocia Ursula. I was so happy to meet them and show them the sights. I love these guys; even if we were not related, I would love having them as friends. Next stop (after seeing The Falls), Dunkirk... Lots to see there too.
Sunday, August 25, 2019: Merci mes amis! Merci Québec!
Here is a souvenir video of this summer's gathering of friends in St-Pie, QC. La Journée des arts and the people of Quebec are very dear to me: the people there are so warm, friendly, wonderful and they always make me feel right at home. Once again, special thanks to Pierre Dubuc and Ghyslaine Legault for our solid friendship (since 1991) and for putting up with me yet another year. Ghyslaine, I especially loved your little box game this year; Pierre, maybe look into getting that door fixed. Lol.⚡️... Roseline Dugas, you are amazing and so welcoming. Thank you so much for everything. Ghyslaline and Roseline, call me if you ever want to go blueberry picking again -- it would be worth the drive. Rose Anne Richer, thank you mille fois for climbing Mont-Saint-Hilaire with me and showing me around. T'as beaucoup d'esprit!
But I am just scratching the surface. Thank you everyone for being so hospitable.
And don't forget to view Roger Pellerin's video too. You can find it here:
It's only the weather that gets a little cold in the winter. Not its people. Câlins, mes amis... ❤️
WOWnderful video... once again ! Much thanks my dear friend 😘... this link will be kept preciously as well as Roger’s video too. You two are helping us NEVER to forget these great moments as we get older 🤪😍🥂🍾🎶☀️... merci merci!
And you are MOST WELCOME for all the nice things you mentioned above... and you are more than welcome to visit whenever you want... cheers my friend 😘☀️🎶🦋