Thursday, November 30, 2006

One of the Eastside Detroit Polonia Trinity...

St. Josaphat is one of the Holy Trinity of Polish Roman Catholic Churches that graces E. Canfield Ave., formerly Fremont Ave., in the heart of the Eastside Detroit Polonia. This late Victorian Romanesque style of church also includes some gothic and Baroque details and features. But, the astounding thing is that this church was built by immigrant Polish peasants that lived on a steady diet of coarse black bread, blood-sausages, potatoes, cabbage and kindred vegetables. The only desire these humble peasants had was to own their own church, in which the pastor could address them in their own tongue, in which they could sing songs of their homeland, and in their own way take comfort from their Holy faith. These peasants accepted any difficulty and endured any sacrifice when the gratification of their heartfelt desire was met in their Mother Tongue.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Another beauty from the west side Polonia...

Here's another beauty from the west side Polonia called Holy Redeemer Polish Roman Catholic Church on Junction St.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Polish Palaces to Heaven...

St. Ladislaus is another of our Hamtramck Polish Palaces to Heaven. My cousin Patsy graduated from there back in the late 1950's. She's one of "the ones" that make us proud.

The Public School Education of the east side Polonia...

The father of the very successful Public School System in Hamtramck that educated the majority of the Polish children in that community was Dr. Maurice R. Keyworth. He is/was a very revered person in the history of the Polish Community in Hamtramck. If you look closely at the yellowed page at the left you can see it says, "Copyright, 1927, by M.R. Keyworth."
Keyworth Stadium on Gallagher St., my childhood street, was named in his honor and has been the venue of some very famous gatherings like the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s visit of 1936.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ivanhoe Cafe Polish Yacht Club...

The Ivanhoe Cafe Polish Yacht Club has the best fish in town and is a Polish institution on the east side of Detroit.

The Ivanhoe Cafe was founded in 1909 by Stanislaus Grendzinski who had eight children, one who was named Agnes. Agnes married Stanley Sienkiewicz in 1927 and ran the bar for 60 years. Big John Sobczak took over the helm in 1987 and is now owned by his wife, Lucille and is managed by their daughter, Patti Galen. Still in the original building on Jos Campau and Frederick The building bears the Grendzinski name. In what remains of the old Poletown neighborhood, this small working class bar with great food prepared with all fresh ingredients, modest prices and excellent service is a Detroit institution that has defied the odds.

You'll always find fresh flowers on the tables and a wonderful old time neighborhood atmosphere. Some photos of recognizable people hang on the walls of the Ivanhoe include Sonny Eliot the weatherman, Phyliss Diller, Dick Purtan, Ray Lane, Xavier Hollander and others. Have they been there? Maybe!

The Polish Yacht Club, which is part of the Ivanhoe's heritage, was founded in 1961. "Big John" Sobczak who passed away in 1994, was the force behind the Polish Yacht Club, which was formed to provide some of the "regulars" with a reason to attend monthly meetings at the bar. You don't need a boat to be a member, though. At one time during its existence members once asked the Detroit City Council to dig a canal from the Detroit River to the Ivanhoe so they could have dockage space near the bar.

The tongue in cheek group is "dedicated to clear sailing for good deeds" and conducts fund raisers for local charities.

Want to be a Cybermember of the world famous Polish Yacht Club? Click on the Cybermember link.

I was a Detroit Times Newspaper Boy in the mid-1950’s and once I won a contest. The prize was a dinner at a place called Singing Sam’s Pizzeria on 8 Mile Rd. and a movie at one of the great Detroit movie palaces to see the movie Ivanhoe with Robert Young and Elizabeth Taylor. It made a big impression on me and helped shape the course of my life.

The Ivanhoe Cafe was a hit with me because of the Ivanhoe name and the great fish but the fact that it is a Polish institution on the east side of Detroit has cemented my affection for the place.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

On a clear day...

On a clear day if you try real hard you can see through your "heart’s eye" all the way from that 200+ foot spire on St. Florian Polish Roman Catholic Church in Hamtramck, Michigan, USA to the spire on Our Lady of Fatima Polish Roman Catholic Church in Wloclawek, Poland. Dobry!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

St. Florian Polish Roman Catholic Church

This magnificent complex resides in the former Polish enclave of Hamtramck.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Our Lady...

The Our Lady from and in Our Lady Help of Christians Polish Roman Catholic Church at 12635 McDougal, Detroit 12, Michigan, USA will be moving to Her new home at Our Lady of Fatima Polish Roman Catholic Church at Plocka 167, Wloclawek 87-800, Poland. Would that you will create the memories for the parishioners in Your new home that you provided to the parishioners in Your last home. God Bless and Good Luck to You Our Lady Help of Christians.