She talks more and more in her journal about attending the Falcons group at the bowling alley. Babu doesn’t remember much about it although I’ll keep asking because on different days you never know. In my research I found the Polish Falcons of America and I know this is right. Babu is very proud of her Polish heritage.
From their website:
For nearly 125 years, the Polish Falcons of America has provided for the physical, social and financial welfare of its Members. Countless families from all walks of life have benefited from their Membership in our Polish fraternal benefit society and physical fitness organization.
So my husband was right. It did have something to do with exercise but also of a celebration of their culture. They also seem to have a protecting their own mentality. I am the type of person who views myself more as a citizen of the world then belonging to any one specific culture but I understand. Many Polish immigrants came here with no money and no one to help them but their own families who maybe weren’t much better off. I understand the need for this type of support. I do wish groups like this would share their culture more, maybe with other groups like theirs but of different cultures. Like this picture. I’d like to know what their wearing, to learn the dance that maybe they are doing in this picture. Is this in celebration of a certain holiday? My whole husband’s family is Polish and I don’t even know. I wish cultural groups weren’t so insular, but I live in a different day and time. There may be very good reasons why it is so.
Babu’s group always met at the bowling alley so I wonder if that was their idea of staying active and fit? I found a great online museum of photographs extending farther back than my grandmother but most of their information in from Pittsburg where the Falcons began. I want to hit up the Chicopee library and town hall. I’ll need more time in my life then I currently have now. I also can’t wait to dive into Babu’s photographs, but I think a lot of them may have been taken by her children. Which is fair. This is a great project to explore more once I’m on break. Got a few more days of craziness before that happens.