Szot Park is something I’ve always taken for granted. It’s been here since I moved to Chicopee. I can see it from my back porch. But it wasn’t always there. In a Masslive.com article this information is shared:
Szot Park opened with dedication ceremonies on Oct. 14, 1939. The dedication included the unveiling of a lighted fountain which still stands as a memorial to those who served from Chicopee in World War I.
In his book, “Images of America – Chicopee in the 1940s,” historian Stephen R. Jendrysik wrote of the dedication:
“The damp, cloudy day fit the times, especially for Chicopee’s Polish-Americans, whose homeland had fallen to Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin in the closing days of September … Events of the day honored heroes of the last war, while the speeches confirmed the looming specter of another war.”
I nodded as I read this. Because I know it’s true. I remember reading as Babu wrote: “poor Poland.” in her journal. I also read these passage in October, 1939:
Tuesday, October 17th, 1939
Woke up with a head ache this morning. So I took an aspirin, which helped later on. Jakey gets me warmed up every morning before we start for work. When Jakey called to take up to the meeting, he informed us he got that extra job and extra pay. (About 3.00 a week.) A good step in the right direction. We went to the new Szot Park to watch the lighting of the fountain.
I wondered at first why this was written on October 17th, not the 14th, but maybe, for whatever reason, they didn’t attended the formal ceremony but instead watched it simply being turned on.
And then there is this cuteness!
Saturday, October 21st, 1939
Tonight Peaches and I went to the movies alone. Saw “Eternally Yours” and “Torpedoed.” After we came out of the theatre it was pouring, so he ran down to get the car. We made a bet about the fountain being on at he park. I was to kiss him by myself ten times if he won and if I did, he would teach me to drive. I won.
I guess it really was something to see.
Sunday, October 22nd, 1939
Zosh, Nat and I sat in church together and talked practically all of the time. My cousins from Holyoke came down and we listened in on how bad their son-in-law is. Nat, Stretch, Zosh, Ed, and Jakey came and we all drove to the State in Hartford to hear and see Phil Spitalny and his all girl orchestra. On the way home we stopped at an Old English Inn and ate and danced. Jakey and I came home and watched the fountain glow till midnight.
What a Halloween night!
He actually wrote the article written about in this post: All the Best Intentions
Tuesday, October 31st, 1939
It stilled rained today so we couldn’t have a hotdog roast on Halloween Night. Zosh and Eddie came up and Jakey borrowed some money so we could go to see “Four Feathers” and a cowboy. After watching the fountain, getting something to eat, we brought our friends home and went to our favorite place. Jakey says we ought to have a stall rented.
A stall rented? Oh my!