Archive for the ‘Travel Memoirs’ Category

Remembering My Aunt: Elizabeth “Betty” Brodacki (nee Both), 13 May 1927–23 May 2016

I must have been two or three years old when Aunt Betty first appeared in my life—because I cannot remember a time when she wasn’t. I know it must have been before October 7, 1950, when Uncle Hank’s father, Grandpa Brodacki, died nearly two years before Uncle Hank and Aunt Betty were married. Betty’s future [...]

The Mysteries of Krakow

A procession of some two hundred robed scholars ascends the steps inside the Collegium Novum in Krakow; six hundred years of this pomp has acted itself out in these hallowed halls of the Jagiellonian University. It’s all very exclusive. I remember sitting in the ancient room to which they are all heading when I was [...]

Drinking in the Baltic

It’s the brightest, sunniest day of the Polish summer. The walnut tree outside my window is shimmering and gently moving in the breeze. I can smell the Baltic Sea as I pack a little bag and head for it, a mere hour and a half away. Even the train is lovely today at the turn [...]

Elżbieta’s Story

Rain is dripping from the trees in the Jewish cemetery in Łódż. The Poznański mausoleum is magnificent, like a small Greek temple. It gives one a sense of the enormous wealth that Jewish industrialists like Izrael Poznański amassed during the nineteenth century in this city of factories, where the trains roll in to Fabryczna Street, [...]

A Godfather in Wyszków

It’s odd to be sitting in the marble lobby of the extravagantly beautiful and wildly overpriced Bristol Hotel in Warsaw at the turn of the millennium, getting ready to leave Poland, clearing up loose ends, fretting over all that remains undone as I head home to America. One of those loose ends is to clear [...]