Stefan Slojewski

January 23, 2003

Post #1602 – 20030123

Dear Daniel

I’m Stefan born in Poland and living in Sydney Australia.

Listening recent “All Things Considered” on NPR (it is re-played on Sydney ABC programme with one day delay) I was under impression that you have a strong connection with Poland. Your parents must have had cultivated very strong polish home traditions in US after emigration. Especially when you said that you remember Schaw soup (“like a seaweed”) and Borsch soup with a sour cream. I am also an emigrant from Poland in Australia and I can understand how strong those child memories are. Sometimes I thing that the taste of things are stronger then visual images of these experiences, which can blur with time. The harshness of those days and impact they left will never leave our memories. Only when you grow older then you realise how hard your parents struggled to provide for your education and every day needs.

Please continue your great job to prepare your young readers to meet more & more difficult world of the adults.

Daniel if you could write back to me about your memories in regards of your polish parent’s home traditions as I work on project how polish emigrants assimilated in a new environment. I will appreciate it greatly.

Looking forward to your response

Yours faithfully

Stefan Slojewski

Daniel replies:

Stefan, my father left Poland in 1922. I was born in 1941. By this time, he thought less about his hard life there, (and in the US when he first came), and more about strolling and cycling in various parks in Warsaw, and especially things he ate there. Towards the end of his life he made several trips back to assist a niece who had survived the war. He took me along once. He found a shoemaker there, who made what he considered the only proper kind of shoe, and he also brought back huge boxes of a lemon pastry just like he remembered from childhood. There's just a little of this in my book Uncle Boris in the Yukon, and more bits in Hoboken Fish & Chicago Whistle.