Planes and Polkas

Okay. Okay. It seems like I’ve abandoned this blog. Perhaps it’s safe to say I have, but give me a chance to explain. The blame lies squarely on two things: the Flying Aces Club and Instagram. Instagram makes it so easy to “insta”ntly update friends, family and followers on what’s happening. So call me lazy, that’s usually my “go to” place for posting what I’m up to.

Two years ago I was up to a whole lot of different things: woodworking, woodcarving, automata, musical machines and such. Ever since I started building rubber powered balsa wood and tissue paper airplanes – I’ve been obsessed. Building planes has been my focus. I suppose I should be posting photos and videos of my planes on this blog, but again Instagram makes it so darn easy.

Alongside the planes I’ve been immersing myself in a nostalgic cocoon cranking my earbuds full of accordion shredders Frankie Yankovic and Jimmy Sturr, sometimes taking it down a notch with aviation enthusiast John Denver. Never of fan of kicking back with a book – I’ve been devouring Jean Shepherd books like candy. His short stories are easy to read, fun and a delightful time machine to a different time in history.

Polkas? Give me a break! Yeah, that was my sentiment as a child growing up in a very Polish influenced area of Northeastern Pennsylvania. I suppose I understand the genre as an adult – again, it’s fun, silly and cheerful. I say the same regarding the old fashioned nostalgic hobby of balsa and tissue airplanes.

For the better part of a century people have been enjoying the mystery of “Who Stole The Kishka?”. To summarize, the butcher turned his back and the fat, round and firmly packed kishka, hanging on the rack, disappeared. Someone called the cops to report this nefarious heist! After a moment of panic Yusef found the kishka, brought it back and returned it to the rack. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Both planes and polkas bring people together to celebrate, reminisce and have fun. What I didn’t understand as a “know-it-all” kid was the HARD WORK, passion and devotion behind the celebration. Planes, polkas, and pierogies don’t make themselves. Contests and concerts are the culmination of culture, tradition, and passion passed through generations of families and devoted enthusiasts.