Emily Kwolek is Babu’s actual name.  Well, that’s her maiden name and it hasn’t been that for about seventy five years.  Kwolek is her father’s name.  I always refer to him as Dziadziu.  When my husband and his sisters were young, their great grandparents were still around.  Her parents were already called the Polish words for grandmother and grandfather already.  That is why Babu ended up Babu and not Babcia.

It’s strange for me to hear Dziadziu’s name as Joseph.  Or Joe.  But that was who he was.  Part of who he was because he was also Dad and Dziadziu.  I found this, and it is from later one, but it gives you a real good idea of who he is.

It was sweet of them to honor him, even though they spelled his name wrong!


He loved going into the woods and he loved mushrooms the most.  A carving of them rests of his head stone.  This wasn’t something he began before retirement.  Babu talks about it in her 1930s journals.  I was heart warmed when I ready that an “interest” of and in Babu, Andy, went out to pick mushrooms with Dziadziu.

Andy Picking Mushrooms with Dziadziu

Babu talks nothing but love, wistful, mournful love when she talk about her parents.  Here are some images of this very dapper fellow:

b and d

dad? 2
Babu and her parents! 

dad 4

Man!  I though pictures from the 30s were amazing but even more so pictures from the 20s!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. scribbledome says:

    My grandparents on my mother’s side are both children of Polish immigrants, and we call them Babcia and Dziadzia too! That little connection made this post really cool to me. Thank you as always for sharing such personal bits of history with your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for coming back and reading so many posts. I really appreciate it and I’m so happy you connected!


  3. Aren’t these little extras wonderful! My mother always talked about her parents who died young with “wistful mournful love”. What a beautifully descriptive phrase for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vanessence says:

    What an amazing article! Mr Joe was definitely an herbalist by today’s standards.

    The other gentleman – just think about the era when it was okay to list in the paper that you were going to be away from your home for months at a time and didn’t worry about robbery. No one in their right mind would do that today!


    1. I know, but who reads the paper these days? Haha!


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