Wednesday, September 13, 2017

9-13-17



Back in June 2016, I started a new "series" of posts... if you will... 
 And so on Wednesdays; I've been posting an old photograph to inspire your creativity.
Write a poem!   
 Plot out a short story.
 Have inspiration for a piece of art or composition.... let your artistic soul shine.
--and occasionally I write my own sordid story or poem. 
 (you can click on the photos in this post to make it larger to see).

~~~

"Babcia" Strykowski was everyone's grandmother.
(Babcia is Polish for the word grandmother).
Of course, her real name was Felka; which means "lucky".... and she felt lucky every day of her life.
Born in 1912, she grew up on a small farm in Poland with her large extended family.
She had just gotten work as a secretary when WWII broke out in her home country... and fearing the worst, her family started making plans for their escape. Visas were obtained, goodbyes were made, and things were packed when the worst arrived. Her parents were detained... her brother forced onto a train to who knows where... and Felka and her sister Elwiza were taken to a camp. Elwiza would later pass from consumption... dying in her sleep next to her sister.
Felka, became "useful" in the camp medical building... and soon was able to escape with a sympathetic soldier.
Once they got to Germany, however... he too disappeared one night. Felka was on her own.
She made it by walking to France... mostly at night....
using the stars as guides on her travels.
From France, she hid on board a steamship, and made it to New York... where she melted into the crowds at the docks. It would be years before she would tell anyone her stories... and by then she was a mother of 5, and a grandmother of 16. She and her husband Telek had a small farm in upstate New York. He too, had survived the war and come to live in America from Poland. Now he was a blacksmith, a farmer, and cantor at the nearest Synagogue in Albany.
The photo above, shows her happily feeding her flock of chickens and turkey... yes indeed, she was lucky.