I can’t forget the sorrow of my lodge brothers when the doors closed to our beloved home. We had to pay a bill for a new roof, then the ice machine in the bar went on us. When the jukebox broke, we couldn’t play “Poland Shall Not Perish While We Live to Love Her.” Neighbors around 1901 Broadway won’t hear the anthem come again through the windows of the Tad. Kosciuszko Lodge and Polish Club, founded 1928.
March, march, Dabrowski
From Italia’s fair shores,
Back to join the nation,
Back to Poland’s broad plains.
With all of us tired and sick, we couldn’t drive or walk no more to meetings or to the Polish Club bar for a shot and a beer. I am one of the young members. Wojciechowski is fifty-four, seven years younger than me. Lisak is younger. For the rest of them in the Club, they complain, and rightfully. They say, “Starosc nieradosc, Old age is no good.” They stay at home behind locked doors. No new members, no new dues to pay the light and heat bill.
At the bitter end, Miernickis made up half of the Polish Club. If you had eighteen lodge members present for a meeting, nine were from their family. Now, with the...