On Canovals' Blog you will encounter Croatian and other music that I like, along with the Psalms, some Croatian Bajka, and fairytales from other lands. I also write about other topics that intrigue me and I hope will interest you too. Dobrodosli! Welcome! Enjoy! Uživati!
... are just fun!! This is one of those things. I'm not going to tell you where this was recorded. There are privacy matters involved, some of them mine. I will tell you this. I used to buy flowers from her mom for my mom. So there. This was recorded by her daughter. Oh yes, and she and her husband are among the friends CJ and I share in common. And this is fun.
How many times do you ride down the road with the music on and bounce to the music? Hee hee, next time you do that just make sure one of the kids don't have a camera :)
Funny, its a day like today when you can see how many of us there are down here at the end of the world. The Amerikanski are all somewhere eating turkey and whatever. Its a holiday and we are either in our usual holes in the ground working or somewhere else working. I decided I wanted something warm to eat. There's only one place open on the holiday around here. Guess where? Jup! Coffee, cheese danish, and a samitch of cheese and bacon of turkey. Don't even ask what language in which I ordered. :) Starbucks came though just fine today. (Hmmm, samitch - that's teksikanski for sandwich on engleski).
The call from the daughter I mentioned last blog? Turned out to be a mass text message to the whole family so she didn't have to mess with any of us. She was too busy to answer the phone when I called her back. Sigh. But she did better than the others, none of the rest of them called or texted. Funny how that bothers me less and less these days.
I remember the first Bozic after Carole died. That soon will have been six Bozic past. The service at the church concluded. I locked up the building and realized that I was alone. Easter was the same. All the holidays were the same. Even when I made sure that I had showered before I came to church it was the same. The children didn't call then either. For years, other people who came into my life made excuses not to be around me on holidays too. It got to the point that when people put on their supercilious smiles and wished me "Merry Christmas" that I snarled "bah! humbug!" somewhere deep inside of me where no one could see.
I went away and cooked my own Christmas eve and Veliki Petak fish and kupus according to the season and the Grinch did what he did in private for himself by himself. I did not realize at the time how many of my brothers and sisters were around me. By brothers and sisters, I do not mean my parent's children. When Jesus brothers and sisters (ok, I suppose they were half-brothers etc.) came accusing Him of being insane, Jesus motioned his hand around the room and said "these are my brothers and my sisters." As it turns out, I have rather a lot of really nice brothers and sisters whom my parents never knew. And me, the Grinch, I am not alone any more and so today on Amerikanski Dan Hvala I am thankful indeed.
First of all, CJ's dogs are "babysitting" me this afternoon as the sun slips out of sight. One is right under my desk. I can hear him when he scratches. Another talks to me if I take too long clicking another song to play.
Still another has been laying quietly near my feet for a good while. We listened to "Second Waltz - Dmitri Shostokovic" for a while and when we finished that playlist we moved on down the line. Right now we are listening to "Breze" performed by Irena Vrčkovic. Next up is Vrčkovic with Pidži singing Tam dol na ravnem polju. Pidži enjoys a bit of fame in the central Teksas area because they've heard him on the radio and some lucky folk have seen him in person.
You really didn't think that Pidži took Teksikanski music back to Slovenija did you? If you thought that, the joke is on you. You've read already here where I've discussed the origins of Tejano music, yes? You've read how that influenced the rest of the music of the region and you read about the "Commanches" in Blanco County, yes? Jup. You got it, the whole blooming Texas music scene is dominated by music with Slavic origins, hi hi :) If you happen to be an "Anglo" Texan reading this,,, go to YouTube and watch Irena and Pidži and the band work out "Tam dol na ravnem polju."
If you have your "languages" ear turned on, no "po noci" in the song most assuredly does not mean the same as "panoche" on španski jezik. The slovenijan expression means "by night" more or less, and the spanoljski means, ummmpf something a bit more crude, yet the root meaning is still something "by night." Hmmmmm so who is going to pop up and give me a reasonable explanation how this non-hispanic heterographic homophone arrived into Mexican Spanish? Ummmm. Gotcha didn't I?
Ok, one of the doggies has just put in her request for Vesna Maria, so we're going to listen to her for a while now.
Today was Vesna Maria's birthday. Sretan rođendan Vesna Maria! We all need to remember the date so she really knows how many friends she has out here next year. Hi hi, I see at least two pages of birthday congratulations on her page over on FaceBook. She is a wonderful performer with a wonderful voice. CJ and I both love to watch her and listen to her voice.
Someday when I think the time is right I am going to ask a certain question and if the answer is right, and if I've won the lottery by that time, I wouldn't mind a bit if Momir and Vesna Maria flew over and sang something like "Tri palme na otoku srece" at a special occaision after that. That would just about make the celebration extra fino. Sigh. If I win the lottery. Anyway, me and the doggies have them on YouTube and we can dream.
Somewhere in one of Patria's songs they say that "a man without dreams is like the heavens without stars." I believe that and so as long as my sky has stars in it I refuse to not dream. Another song I would like Vesna Maria and Momir to do on that day is "Ljubav." Momir knows why. It has something to do with the video sash958 made with Vesna Maria and Momir doing this song. Momir, what do you think? Should I say why this song is so important to me? Or should that just be one of those things that goes to the grave with me?
Another random trip into linguistics. Mariachi. A truely Mexican word. Please explain its Spanish construction for me if you can. You can not, can you? I didn't think so. Mariacke. Slavic. Polish. And no this did not arrive with Napoleon. As I've shown you elsewhere, we Slavs have been arriving in North America in a steady stream since the 1500s. Just 'cause we didn't raise a flag and build an empire doesn't mean we weren't here. We were. We are. Marian musicians in certain cathedrals. Trumpets sound the hours in Krakova and in Warsaw. Hmmmmm. Originally these were church musicians not from the indiginous culture, in Mexico banished from the church into the streets and to this day allowed to perform religious works only at the Shrine of Guadalupe, or perhaps Christmas Eve in certain show cathedrals or in the streets. The priests have taught the mariachi they cannot to play in church. Do you wonder at the anti-clerical feelings in the North of Mexico? Religion was banned from church. Ufffff !!!!! What a concept ...
There was once a wedding at which I had certian duties. The bride's father is a mariachi. He had written a song especially for his daughter's wedding but he was sure his group could not sing in church. Hi hi hi hi hi, that's exactly where that sung was first heard. In Church. I insisted, and they played the man's song for his daughter inside the church in front of the altar. Viva la revolucion!!!! Bog i Hrvati!!! Dios y la gente!!! God and the people! Oh dear, I am a bit radical I'm afraid.
Oh my, here we are, me and the doggies, listening to Vesna Maria sing "Alaj mi je veceras po voji" along with Djerdan - now this is a recording that thrills my heart.
Now here is CJ, and she really thrills my heart.
do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,
Davno, davno. Daleko, daleko. So long ago and so far away that I could not get back there if my life depended upon returning. Davno, I wanted with all my heart to play either the trumpet or the french horn. As it turned out, in our school, one first learned to play the trumpet and then the world of other brass instruments opened before him.
My dear parents sacrificed for my dreams. They rented a trumpet, or rather a coronet, for me to begin my quest. Practice practice practice the Band Master told us over and over. My poor father had to put up with me attempting to practice that fool thing day and night. Even on Saturday, on the thirty mile trek to the "farm," there I was with the mouth piece doing as the Band Master had said. "Pffffft." "Pffffttt." "Pfttttt."
About two weeks into the project, an upper classman, who was assisting the beginners, discovered that the only note I could make was "pffffffffft." It was a perfect "pffffffft," right on the tone - "C," but no matter how hard I tried, or what valves I pressed, "pffffft" was the only sound that came forth.
This was an emergency. My dreams were slashed, bashed, and crushed. The lead Band Master, Allan Ray Moers, was called in to discuss this with me. He asked me to whistle for him. I whistled through my teeth. "No," he said, "whistle through your lips." I could not do that. I explained to him that I whistled through my teeth because I couldn't whistle through my lips.
Allan Ray Moers sat there in silence for just a moment. Then he explained to me that, though rarely, some people are born without a certain pair of muscles in the center of the upper lip. A trip to the doctor might confirm that, but he said, "usually when those muscles are lacking, we have a natural born clarinetist."
"Oh no!" I thought, "the clarinet was a girls instrument, I cannot be seen with a clarinet!" It was as though Allan Ray Moers was able to read my mind. He said "I need some guys in the clarinet section. You have stronger lungs and stronger lips than the girls so you will do the band a lot of good."
School was out for the day and about that very moment I saw Henry walk past the window of the Band Master's office where we were talking. Henry went to dance class every day. For a long time I had thought that there might be something a little wrong with Henry, until I realized that he was the only boy in a dance class full of girls. Henry had just been ahead of the rest of us boys. Girls!!! And he could be with them and touch them and it was all approved and all ok!!!
A lot went through my mind in a split second. The clarinet section would be almost all girls! Girls and me! Ummm hmmmm. We swapped my rental coronet for a rental clarinet on the spot. I think Mr Moers was a little surprised how fast the idea that I should play clarinet took root in my brain and flourished.
It was today in 1958 that mama and tata gave me my Sve Nikola day present early because they didn't want to wait another day or even another hour. I was used to getting clothes for Dan Sve Nikola, but this package was hard.
I unwrapped it. It was a small black case. Inside was an ebony clarinet with silver keys. It was made in France. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life.
I loved her like some men love a woman perhaps. I lubricated her corks and I tenderly warmed her insides with my hot breath. I stroked her keys with all the gentleness of a lover. And she responded. Oh did she respond! Together we made music to wrench your heart.
As time went on, Mr Moers recommended to my father that I have special lessons. The clarinetist from the Houston Symphony Orchestra would come to our town once a week and these lessons would be affordable. On the night of the first lesson, the Clarinetist's reed broke and he didn't have another. There were half a dozen in the class so he asked if one of us would loan him a reed. He said that he usually used a number five, but he would be happy with whatever one of us could supply him. I used number fives so I handed him one of my spares. He was surprised but delighted.
He asked me how I came to have a good quality number five reed. I explained to him that Mr Navratil at Navratil's music shop ordered these for me special. They came from French Equatorial Africa and they were individually hand cut to my specifications. They cost a little more to begin with, but with some care, these reeds actually lasted a lot longer and were cheaper in the long run.
As he mounted this reed on his clarinet, he noticed that it was already polished. He complimented me on that and began a discourse on how the very best polishing material came from a certain plant found only somewhere in darkest Africa. He told about how it was expensive and difficult to obtain at any price. About that time he asked me how I managed to polish my reed so perfectly.
I told my father all about this discussion on our way home that evening. Saturday arrived. Father and I loaded up the pick up truck and away we went towards the farm. As we came to one of the swamp lands near the farm, Father asked if I saw what I needed to see. "Da, da!" He came with me into the sometimes waist deep water. We waded out to a place where the water was only a few centimeters deep. There it was, a sea of these special plants (and not in Africa someplace). Father watched me as I carefully cut each stalk just where the solid core became hollow. This would allow the plant to quickly regenerate. Why that was so important I do not know, but it seemed good stewardship of the resource so that is what I did.
We dried the tubular plant stems and cut them just right for polishing clarinet reeds. I bundled them in little bundles with rubber bands and stacked them neatly in a cigar box. When I presented them to my teacher I thought his eyes would pop out of his head. "Do you know what this little box is worth? he exclaimed? I shook my head. "This is worth more than the price of a house!" he said. He said he couldn't pay me for them. I said he didn't need to pay me, they were a gift to him.
Somehow after that, the lessons were free even when I was the only student in the class. A time or two he allowed me to accompany him to Jones Hall in Houston where the orchestra played. They let me sit in with them a few times. It was so very grand.
Once, a part of the Orchestra had a separate engagement. My teacher had to be in New York that week so they invited me to join them. It was a grand ball of some sort for the notables in the community. There I was in the best I had to wear - a $16 black wash and wear suit from JC Penny's department store. There all the people were in their wonderful finery. The men were in longer black coats than I had seen before - too long for dress jackets and too short to be overcoats for bad weather. The women were decked out in a glorious array of color.
This and that notable had a few words to say and then it was our turn. As we began to play I glanced at the ball room floor. The impression I've carried away for a life time is that of many flowers swirling and turning and fluttering in a breeze. The sight was beautiful indeed.
I've never been on the dance floor in quite such a circumstance. I don't know that that it disturbs me that I never was a notable worthy of being invited to such an affair. Heh, another observation that night was that all the rich and fine powerful people danced to the tune we were playing. The conductor's baton went up, we played, and they danced. At the moment we were silent, the swirling and turning and fluttering came to an end.
Flowers swirling and turning and fluttering in the breeze. Whatever one might think of all that, it was most certainly a beautiful and thrilling sight. The notables put on quite a show for us in the orchestra. I've never forgotten it but I had long ago despaired of ever representing that view in any sort of art - whether poetry, painting, sculpture, or in a video.
Our friend, Kotasierota1 has captured the scene beautifully and accurately this week with her "SECOND WALTZ - Dmitri Shostakovich." As you can see, her video resurrected memories long tucked away in a private corner somewhere.
I invite you to watch this video. If you haven't seen it, you should. If you've seen it before, its worth watching and hearing again.
I must go now, one of my daughters seems to be ringing the phone, probably to convey the old man her "Happy Thanksgiving" wishes from daleko daleko.
Kotasierota's video is here: (sorry, I can't figure out the html to make it show the video right here but just click the link and it opens out into its own page).
... which I sent to alyaisa on YouTube regarding one of her productions the other day:
"this is particularly wonderful work ... it was a good way for me to start today ... I like very much how you handled the subject matter.
Poetry, especially love poetry, even sad love poetry is by its nature sensual ...
and you showed this- and you showed this without falling into what I call the "American disease" (where they put so much bare skin in my face that it becomes utterly boring). Instead of that, your work is sensitive and clear so that I can be drawn to the images illustrating the words "I will never breathe your love again."
The way you put the words on the screen, even though I can't read all of them, focused my mind on the words of the song and the power of this song is in the words. Even though the subject of the poem is not a feature of my life I can feel the emotions of the song.
Your imagination and artistry have produced a particularly powerful video. I commend you for this. I have a small blog where I discuss music - mostly music relating to the Balkan and Carpathian experience but if you will allow me, I would like to feature this video one day very soon. May I please?"
alysia is not Slavic, but she well understands how to handle the subject matter I discussed in my previous blog. There are some Slavic video makers doing a wonderful job too. Some of their videos just may be featured here in the coming days or weeks. I think people of good sense must congratulate our decent video makers.
While I am not experiencing the poem in alysia's work, the way she has presented the material allows me some access to its content.
do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,
In the front of Starbucks on 802 in Brownsville is the "Patio." Inside Starbucks is smoke free so the smokers all go out front, so do all the people who want to feel the warmth of the sun. Starbucks recently put out new tables and chairs to replace the wobbly ones that were there. They put new umbrellas out there too, although, from what I see, people rarely use those. The "outside" crowd mostly crave the free fellowship, the sunshine, tabacco smoke, and the fresh fumes from the vehicles on the roadway.
Outside people somehow feel free to greet one another and there are ad hoc groups which meet irregularly during the week. Lots of politics and deep philosophy gets discussed on the Patio. Lots of business is transacted out there too. The rich kids from Matamoros congregate out there too where their guardians can keep an eye on them.
During the "Huadajahant?" episode of recent note, I noticed the Patio was empty. When that horrid moment passed, people began once again to haunt their favorite tables. Yesterday, as I drove around the building to get to the drive through where the squawk box is, there was one fairly young female sitting at a table all by herself.
I must explain that there are some advantages in being an old man, especially there are advantages in being an old man who has his very own lady. Such an old man can observe what is displayed before him, take note of it, ponder its meaning and quite go on his own way. I am an old fellow and I have CJ and that is especially nice.
Ok now, here is what I observed. Just the facts. The young lady was sitting there in a short skirt. So short in fact that you could see, ummm, everything, as you passed by a few feet away in the driveway.
I suppose of course that we should merely assume that she was simply basking in the 27C morning sunlight. We could assume that, and if she were at home in her own backyard I wouldn't be seeing it and that would be that. Fine. But she wasn't home in her own backyard, she was in a heavily trafficked public place and there was no way to avoid seeing what she was displaying.
Actually I believe that either consciously or subconsciously she was hoping to attract the attention of some young fellow. That makes me sad for the fellow she finally does attract. That makes me sad for her, and as a matter of fact, I am insulted.
I filmed the flowers on some cacti eary this morning. Their petals and other parts were turned up to the sky and the bees were buzzing and carrying on around them. That's what plants are supposed to do.
They bloom, they display their blooms, the bees come and the job is done and that's that. Plants really don't have much else to do. You've never heard of a plant writting an opera or building a building or doing anything else much other than just being a plant and attracting the bees. Other than making honey, bees have very little use other than carrying out their role in the cycle of the plant's life. As far as I can tell, plants and bees have very little spiritual or intellectual life.
The message the young lady was sending out yesterday morning was that a male's value is similar to that of a bee. She attracts him, he does his part after which he really should just fly away and die perhaps.
Now do you see why I am insulted? I am not a plant. I am not a bug. I am more. I want consort with a female who is more than just a flower to be pollenated. Not that that part of life is not to be enjoyed as well, no, its God given and its there, but for human beings that's simply not the main course.
There's more. Implied in the young lady's message is that the pollinator must be young. Therefore an old pollinator is of no value. He should just die. Also implied in her message is that older women past the age of pollination are of no value and they should also just go away and die. In another generation those of age and maturity were valued for the experience and the wisdom they had accumulated but seemingly no more.
That's quite a message in that young young lady's attire. As you can see I resent her message.
This brings us to the topic I want us to consider this morning. Grab another cup of coffee, come back and sit down and hear me out.
Nearly every day I see our Slavic women sitting on the Patio in skirts so short that I see, ummm, everything, or nearly everything and they are sitting in highly trafficked places where I cannot help but see their nakedness. I see them and I am not impressed. I am not titillated. I am not attracted. To the contrary, I am insulted. I am angry. I am hurt.
Where do I see you naked? In your videos on YouTube where you cut romance to shreds, where you vanquish romance to the trash can and where you replace love with the base activity of polination. I do not wish to polinate you. I do not wish to see you polinating even vicariously through the illustrations you find somewhere on Google. The kind of relationships you are holding out as "ideal" to our youth are shallow. What you are showing in your video has no more depth than a bee fluttering around a flower. Thirty seconds of watching a bee and a flower together is boring, so is what you are showing me when all you can show me is skin skin skin.
Please in the YouTube videos you place on public display let me see beauty and joy. Let me see the full range of emotions we Slavs so love to share. You are stuck on a one note song when there is whole melody to listen to. We Slavs have the best music in the world. Let's let the world hear the depth and reach of our music and our souls. We are not just breeding stock. Let's take pride in ourselves and show the world what we really are!
But first, put your pants on and button up your blouse. For the love of God don't insult me any more. I am a Slav. I am more than a flower or a bee. A lot more, thank you.
Don't mistake me, you can show me flowers and bees, but just keep your skin covered please.
do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,
So you can get the feeling in your ears about how this word sounds, pronounce it out-loud where no one can hear you kao na hrvati jezik. Hmmmmmm. What means "Huadajahant?" What jezik is this?
Now look here, I have been answering comments and fan letters in about fifteen different languages almost everyday and yesterday there were two more languages popped up. That's not to say that I speak or write any of them very well. I don't even speak good on standard hrvati and even after nearly obtaining a major on English jezik from university, proper engleski eludes me sometimes but you can see I write on teksikanski jako dobro. But what means "Huadajahant?" ????
That is exactly how I was greeted by the drive-up squawk box at Starbucks on ulica 802 u Brownsville two mornings ago.
For those of you who may not know what is a Starbucks, je kafena, only they really do serve coffee and tea. Starbucks is maybe similar to Tim Horton's in Canada, another kafena. Perhaps the difference between the two is that where Tim Horton's caters heavily to blue collar tastes, Starbucks caters more to the Yuppie type crowd with upscale desserts and such. In fact, Starbucks is the epitome of the non-greedy, socially responsible corporation all the "Occupy" people are screaming for these days and they were socially responsible already long before it became politically correct to be so. Their prices reflect how costly it is to be socially responsible too. No one goes to Starbucks for the cheap prices. You go for the smiles and the camaraderie.
A glance at the license plates on the vehicles around the Brownsville Starbuck's shows it is a favorite excursion for the more well to do from Matamoros. You can always tell when a drug dealer's children are over for the morning because daddy sends along a couple of armed guards who discretely keep a sharp eye on them. I always feel safer when they are around because these guys simply will not allow any trouble around the young folks they are sent to watch over.
Anyway, as I drove up to the squawk box, a female voice said: "Huadajahant?"
"Huadajahant?" responds the female voice (this time snarly and impatient).
Quickly I checked my zipper and made sure my shirt was buttoned up all the way. My teeth were in and my hair was combed. I had even showered earlier that morning. What ever had I done to offend the creature on the other end of this conversation?
"Huadjahant?" This time her voice rose with that angry woman sound that so terrifies the heart of any man.
"Please, what is bold this morning?" I asked plaintively.
"Mmpf," she responded.
"Dobro, dobro, a vente with five sugar and lots of half and half, molim." I say, hoping for the best.
"Rmpf!" she said.
"please also a classic sausage with egg on engleski muffin," I added.
"Nga," she responded impatiently.
Nga? Oh oh, what means this word?? I googled "nga" on my phone. No luck. Oh oh.
"Nga," she repeated flatly. "Nga day."
"Perhaps please a cheese danish?" I was desperate now.
"Nga! Drajup!" she said curtly.
"Molim?" I asked, now almost in tears.
"Drajup now!!" she squawked emphatically.
Not knowing what else to do, I drove up to the window. A young woman almost threw my coffee at me. She was not wearing a name badge in view. After I handed my credit card to her I was suddenly sure that a gang of bandits had taken over my beloved Starbucks and I would never see that card again. Real Starbucks employees always wear name badges proudly and publicly in open view. "I might be lucky to escape with my life," I thought. Not a single drug lord guard in sight!!! Oh heavens where are they when you need them? Can you imagine how relieved I was when she slammed my credit card into my hand in just a few moments? Whew!!! As I drove away, I noticed the patio in front of the store was empty. Hmmmm, scary, really scary.
So yesterday morning I went back just to see how things were. I drove up to the squawk box.
A pleasant voice greeted me: "Good morning, my name is Alex, how may I serve you?"
In seconds she set me up with my coffee, my sandwich, and my danish!!!! When I arrived at the window Alex had a badge which said "Alex" on it too. I tipped her a dollar.
I went back today. "Good morning, my name is Alex ..."
I asked which coffee was the bold for today. "Ohhh, dobro jutro gospodin David!! Italia is bold all week!" She didn't say my name "Day vid" either, but "Da veed" with the accent on the first syllable like my mother named me too and not with the accent on the second syllable like the Meksikanski say it!!! She even remembered what I had ordered the day before so in seconds I was at the window where she handed me a bag with my sandwich and my danish. A minute later came the coffee. Alex smiled when I tipped her a dollar again today.
"Huadajahant?" But never mind that, my old Starbucks is back and all is well in the world, thanks God.
do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,
Today when the typical older Amerikanski hears the word "rocket" the image that comes to his mind is about Niel Armstrong on the moon. His parents thought about "Buck Rogers" in the fictionalized stories about things that were yet to come in that time. In the 1960's in America there was a lot of talk about Werner Von Braun from Hitler's V2 rocket program who was now assisting the Americans in their "race for space."
Again, what comes to the mind of Amerikanski is words to his national hymn. O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
At the words "The rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air" there is moisture in the eyes of many patriotic Americans. In school the American is taught about how the Chinese supposedly invented rockets. There used to be a mention that Marco Polo brought this technology to the West, but of course there is no mention that Marco Polo was Croatian. Sigh.
There might be some mention about how the British attempted to use rockets in the 18th century. Of course their rockets were ineffective weren't they? The Americans won against them - right? So the school books skip ahead to the rockets of the invincible American military of the present time. There's little mention of William Congreve whose work was behind "the rockets' red glare" in the hymn.
The American never hears about Kazimierz Siemienowicz. I suppose its because his name is too long and too difficult to spell. I will be the first to admit that Казімір Семяновіч is much easier to spell in Belarusian than in Polish. The man literally wrote the book on rocketry in 1650. His "Artis Magnae Artilleriae pars prima" stood as the basic artillery manual for the next two hundred years.
Siemienowicz provided the standard designs for creating rockets, fireballs, and other pyrotechnic devices. It discussed for the first time the idea of applying a reactive technique to artillery. It contains a large chapter on caliber, construction, production and properties of rockets including multistage rockets, batteries of rockets, and rockets with delta wing stabilizers.
What on earth does Siemienowicz have to do with American Veteran's Day, Canadian Day of Remembrance, oh and by the way, Polish Independence Day on 11 November. Why would a Croat, especially a Texas Croat care about any of this?
The year was 1673. The game was on! The grad was Khotyn. Poland versus Ottomans. The odds are on an Ottoman victory. The Turks had won the year before. The Ottomans were invincible. They brought 120 of the most technologically advanced cannons to the battle at Khotyn. Jan Sobieski brought Siemienowicz and his rockets. The Ottoman's lost. Sobieski and Siemienowicz beat them again the next year at Vienna and the Ottoman's were forever excluded from Slovakia and Hungary. Croatia began to arise again. Poland began to recover from the Khmelnytsky disaster and the harsh period of the Swedish disaster during which Poland lost about one third of her population. The red glare of Siemienowicz rockets vaulted the Lion of Lechistan (as the Turks called Jan Sobieski) to the throne of Poland.
For a time Poland's fortunes were much much better. There were major advances toward democracy and Polish officers assisted the Americans in their struggle against monarchy. In that time Poland promulgated one of the world's first written constitutions, a document Potemkin derisively dismissed as "a contagion of democracy." The autocrats of Europe couldn't stand such a contagion. Armies marched and Poland began another long night of foreign domination.
According to many historians Poland ceased to exist then until 1918. Are they correct? I submit to you that these historians are incorrect. Poland existed, but where?
"Oh sure," you say, "Poland existed in the hearts and minds of the Polish people scattered around everywhere and in the hearts and minds of the Polish people under foreign rule." Yup. True enough. But there is more to the story than just that.
Let's start with Felix Wardzinski. One man. A soldier. A Polish soldier. A soldier in an army defeated by the Prussians and defeated by the Russians. A soldier in an army totally crushed. A soldier on the run for his life, Felix Wardzinski crossed the border into Galicia which at that time was controlled by the Hapsburg empire.
If the Hapsburg government had been faced with just one Felix Wardzinski that would have been the end of the story. Felix would have found a job and he would have settled down in his new homeland. That was not the case however, there were a lot of Felix Wardzinskis who crossed into Galicia.
Examine this scenario with me. Let's step inside the brain of the Austrian Crown for a moment. All these Felix Wardzinskis form up their units again inside Austrian territory and continue to strike at the foreign armies occupying their homeland. The Prussians use this as an excuse to strike at Galicia, or the Russians come to stop the raids into the territory they occupy. Either way, the Austro-Hungarian empire loses. The Hapsburg family has just lost Mexico in the Mexican revolution of 1825. Further loses to the family are ~ shudder ~ unthinkable.
The Austrians could just shoot these men and be done with it. That would set the Polish population in Galicia on edge. Galicia, Slovakia, Bohemia, Moravia, Czechy and - God forbid - Croatia might rise up. In short, the Austrian Crown might be left with only Austria. All that disaster over Felix Wardzinski, a defeated soldier, who may have had no idea he could be that important to the rise and fall of nations.
There is a way out for the Triple Crown. (What? You thought the "Triple Crown" was a horse race in Kentucky? Ha! Austria - Hungaria - Croatia, that's the Triple Crown.) There's a simple way out. "Felix, brate moj, where you want to go buddy?" The Triple Crown offered to furnish transportation to any place in the world these men might want to go as long as it was away from any where they could cause trouble to the Empire. "By the way, brate, there is a little thing going on in Teksas. A professional soldier might be appreciated there just now."
Problem solved!! The potential source of grief to the Austrian Crown is on his way to give grief to the Mexicans. Serves them right for breaking away from Hapsburg hegemony! Ha! A brilliant stroke!
Felix was on a boat from Austria to New York in a heartbeat. Ok ok, in as many heartbeats as it took to get Felix from Galicia to the nearest Austrian seaport. So now you are looking at a map and you are asking me where Austria had a seaport. Sigh. That's the same question my son-in-law asked me once. Slovenija, Istria, and Dalmacija were under the Triple Crown dear friend so Austria had a lot of access to the sea.
From New York, Felix found his way to New Orleans where he and a lot of other Felixes were met by a recruiter for the Teksas army which was being formed.
There were already Polski in Teksas. Napoleon had attempted to establish a French colony about where Liberty, Texas is now. The textbooks tell you that the French failed and that they withdrew. Yeah. That's true. The French officials withdrew. The colonists remained.
Simon Wiess was among those colonists. Simon was Polish. Simon was Jewish. Simon hooked up with my father's family and their little business about the Trinity River about which they were a long time discarding. I've already told part of that story elsewhere. Simon was a merchant, a trader. This Polish Jew knew all the roads, all the oxcart trails all the paths and all the waterways of any kind in eastern Texas. Like a true viking he knew how to use them too.
The sort of person who think Jews are all supposed sitting in their counting houses counting out their money are going to have trouble with this story. That kind of person will have difficulty with the picture of a Polish Jew in a coonskin hat, a hunting knife in his belt and a rifle on his shoulder sweaty from walking through the breeze-less forests in the weltering 100+ degree East Texas spring/summer/fall. This, however, is the true picture of Simon Wiess, a frontiersman and pioneer in Texas. We will come back to his role in the matter at hand in a few moments.
19th century Bosnia
19th century Texas
After the battle of the Alamo, the Teksikanski fought the Mexican centrist army at Goliad. Does the flag used by one regiment of the Refugio volunteers remind you of a familiar "Bosnian" ensign? It should. The Texas Hrvati were quietly out in force. They were not alone. Michael Dembinski, Michael Debicki, Francis Petrussewicz, Adolph Petrussewicz, John Kornicky, Joseph Schrusnecki and a lot of others fresh from Poland were right beside them.
Again they lost. Santa Ana gave Colonel Jose Nicolas de la Portilla orders to execute the prisoners. Today there is a monument to Colonel Fannin on that location. The Mexicans attempted to cover up the matter by burning the bodies and burning the records, so its not an easy task to find who all these heros were.
General Sam Houston continued to recruit and train an army to fight Santa Ana. They withdrew toward eastern Texas with Santa Ana in pursuit. Santa Ana's supply lines grew longer and longer and his troops suffered more and more. The soldiers under Sam Houston fared much better. At every river crossing they were met with fresh food, clothing, equipment, and other supplies brought by Simon Wiess.
There came a day when Santa Ana's troops were essentially cut off. They were resting, resting as much as a hungry army being devoured by hordes of mosquitoes can rest. Frederick Lemsky brought his flute to the front with him. Felix Wardzinski was there too in the Teksas army. The Teksikans struck up the tune "Come to the Bower" and began to "drill" right in front of their opposition. The Meksikans were entertained by the Teksikans in their rough clothing as they slouched into formation. No one payed any attention to the cannon which were being brought forward behind the ragged appearing group.
When they were at nearly point blank range, the Teksas army suddenly revealed how well trained and how professional they were. Instantly they stepped aside from the cannon. They formed a straight line with their rifles to their shoulders.
The cannon fired.
The rifles fired.
The shout went up "Zapamiętaj Goliad!" as the Polish army with bayonets fixed streamed across the Mexican position and drove them into the swamp where the alligators had a feast that day. That day the proud Polish army was vindicated as it vanquished tyranny. All the seething anger at Santa Ana for the murder of their brothers at Goliad flashed and flamed with a furious ferocity. All the pent-up anger they had for the Prussian Kaiser and for the Russian Czar burned fiercely for eighteen intense minutes during which the entire Mexican army was utterly destroyed. Felix Wardzinski has the satisfaction of being present when Santa Ana was captured.
Oh dear! Oh dear!! Now I've done it! I was supposed to say all on english "The shout went up 'Remember Goliad" as the Texas army with bayonets fixed .... Oh dear! What have I done? Well now, I told you Poland didn't cease to exist and I asked you "but where?" Here it was, a piece of Poland existed right here in plain view in Texas. Jeszcze Polska nie umarła!
What happened to the Polish soldiers who survived the war? Some of them melted quietly into the Slavic corners of Texas and went about the business of living. Some of them had other adventures. Last Sunday I had breakfast with the great-grandson of one of them. My friend's surname sounds Hispanic. What of it? He is proud of his ancestor who came from so far away bring liberty to this land.
What happened to Simon Wiess? One of his descendants married into a branch of my mother's family. Am I Jewish? Nope. Am I Polish? Nope. Am I proud of my shirt-sleeve relative who was both? Yup. Perhaps more of this story will be another adventure for another time.
In the video I made for this year, I used "Texas Our Texas," the traditional and now legal National Hymn of Texas along with the Polish National Hymn. The school books for the young people in Texas make no mention of these heroes from Poland who came at just the right time. I thought they should be honored. From their blood the flowers of freedom sprang.
The words to "Texas, Our Texas," written by William J. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wrightare:
Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State!
Texas, Our Texas! so wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev'ry test
O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.
Texas, O Texas! your freeborn single star,
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far,
Emblem of Freedom! it set our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.
Texas, dear Texas! from tyrant grip now free,
Shines forth in splendor, your star of destiny!
Mother of heroes, we come your children true,
Proclaiming our allegiance, our faith, our love for you.
ref: God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong, That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
The Polish National Hymn: Mazurek Dąbrowskiego - Dąbrowski's Mazurka, also called Pieśń Legionów Polskich we Włoszech Song of the Polish Legions in Italy or Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła Poland has not yet perished :
Jeszcze Polska nie umarła,
Kiedy my żyjemy
Co nam obca moc wydarła,
Marsz, marsz, Dąbrowski Do Polski z ziemi włoskiej Za twoim przewodem Złączym się z narodem
Jak Czarniecki do Poznania
Wracał się przez morze
Dla ojczyzny ratowaniaPo szwedzkim rozbiorze.
Przejdziem Wisłę, przejdziem Wartę
Dał nam przykład Bonaparte
Jak zwyciężac mamy
Niemiec, Moskal nie osiędzie,
Gdy jąwszy pałasza,
Hasłem wszystkich zgoda będzie
I ojczyzna nasza
Już tam ojciec do swej BasiMówi zapłakany
Słuchaj jeno, pono nasi
Biją w tarabany
Na to wszystkich jedne głosy
Dosyć tej niewoli
Mamy racławickie kosy
Kościuszkę Bóg pozwoli.
on english this is: Poland has not yet died,
So long as we still live.
What the alien power has seized from us,
We shall recapture with a sabre. March, march, Dąbrowski,
To Poland from the Italian land.
Under your command
We shall rejoin the nation.
Like Czarniecki to Poznań
Returned across the sea
To save his homeland
After the Swedish occupation. March, march...
We'll cross the Vistula and the Warta,
We shall be Polish.
Bonaparte has given us the example
Of how we should prevail. March, march...
The German nor the Muscovite will settle
When, with a backsword in hand,
"Concord" will be everybody's watchword
And so will be our fatherland. March, march...
A father, in tears,
Says to his Basia
Listen, our boys are said
To be beating the tarabans.
All exclaim in unison,
"Enough of this slavery!"
We've got the scythes of Racławice,
God will give us Kościuszko.
Texas is not the only North American nation who should give thanks to God for Poland. The Americans also should give thanks to God for Kościuszko who so greatly assisted in their revolution.
hrabrivojnici izkrvi slobodecvijet
do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,
I can not speak about what is taught in other regions of the world. I can speak about what the Roman Catholic Church teaches in this region of the world - the region on either side of the Rio Bravo.
"Sex," they say, "is a vile but necessary evil." Its a sin for a wife to cohabit with her husband and vice-versa. Evil. Wrong. Vile. Ugly. This is what is taught here by the "princes" of the church.
What is taught is that one who remains entirely celibate throughout his or her life is then therefore "holier" than someone who does not remain so. A priest or a nun therefore is thought to be somehow more holy than regular people. Families used to be taught that if they gave a daughter to be a nun this sacrifice gained them some years off their punishment in purgatory. Similarly if a son entered the priesthood the parents gained relief from the punishment for their sins. All this business also somehow feeds the nationalist Guadalupana cult.
Sex has one valid purpose, the Roman Church teaches. Procreation. Sustaining or increasing the population. That's it. Nothing more.
According to them, its a sin to enjoy sex. Never mind that Holy Writ has else to say on this topic, the people aren't supposed to be reading what God has to say. The people are supposed to be doing what they are told.
According to this scheme, a woman's value consists only in being a repository for sperm and in raising children. In this scheme, a woman has no worth beyond being a hole into which the man injects protoplasm.
The woman is forbidden by the teaching of the church to be s putnik with her man. She is forbidden to enjoy her time with him. When the family has a sufficiency of children, hopefully the man will be killed in war or perhaps a rattlesnake will bite him and he will be blissfully absented from the life of the home. Of course a proper man should have accumulated a great deal of wealth before he dutifully dies. If this seems to you that all this would lead to a grasping greedy and violent society - look at the facts, it has.
Should the man survive war, rattlesnakes, and barroom brawls, and should he wish companionship, he will not seek this from his wife. His wife, you see is a good woman who does not enjoy his presence for any reason at all, much less ... So. The man seeks companionship from a woman is not quite so restrained by the tradition she has been taught at church and by even her own mother or grandmother. In short, he takes a mistress.
Sometimes the wife is so very proud of the quality of the mistress with whom her husband is consorting. Somehow this is seen to reflect favorably upon the wife's status in the community.
This how many in the upper classes or would be upper classes have conducted themselves for generations. For the men, loving one's wife is just not au current. There is little a man can do about any of this because perversely this scheme is enforced by the women. A woman who wishes to break from this mold has often been ostracized by the society in which she lives.
That's the upper classes.
Juan and Juana are a different story, thanks be to God. First of all, Juan and Juana are poor and so the church hasn't cultivated them nearly as heavily. The church does not want their daughter to be a nun because parents who send a daughter to be a nun are supposed to support her in the convent. Juan and Juana cannot do this. The church does not want Juan and Juana to send a son to be a priest - if they do, who will pay for his seminary? Not Juan and Juana, they barely have enough to eat in their own household so there is no way they can support a seminarian and no way they can fatten up the monks who teach him.
Juana did not have her husband chosen for her by her parents. She met Juan by the well or in the fields or somewhere in the normal course of life as they were scratching out a living. Juana actually likes Juan. Juan actually likes Juana. Neither Juan nor Juana would ever consider a mistress in the mix of their family. They have each other. They enjoy each other's companionship, each other's bodies and every thing there is about one another and they nurture and care for one another the best they can. They might even hold hands together sometimes in the evening.
Our Juan and our Juana are s putnik. Certainly biology dictates that Juana will bear the children, but she is more, much much more, than a repository for Juan's sperm. They are companions, mutually supportive in nearly all things. They enjoy each other in every way there might be to enjoy one another. They are s putnik. They don't know this word and they certainly can not to spell it on cirilica but they know what it means.
Juana thinks the "upper class" woman and her code of behavior for women is stifling and simply un-natural, even perhaps un- Godly The "upper class" woman thinks Juana is an animal.
Adelita was one of our Juanas. For her men had a greater value than as simply a source of sperm so that she could carry out her purpose as a brood sow for the community. War was not a way to kill off men once they had served their procreative purpose. She saw that men had more value than being a source of sperm.
Adelita did not see herself as a brood sow for the community either. She saw herself as a human being worthy of and deserving of s putnik with a man if she chose.
Adelita saw that the women of the upper classes were attempting to suppress her God given rights. The rights of s putnik. The right for two people a man and a woman to be mutually supportive and nurturing finally outweighed politics and economics. This is why the power of the Roman Church was severely restricted by the Revolution. Now you understand why it is illegal until this day for any priest or any pastor to wear a clerical collar in public in Mexico.
Adelita took up the banner and led the charge. Porfirio sailed away to Europe before the battles began. The word is that his heart too was with Adelita. The perverse and un-natural evil autocrats fell. And yes, Marijan would have followed her into battle by land or by sea. And he did. And they won. And that's the story.
спутник. A hundred years have passed and we have forgotten this word. Until we know again what means спутник, the wrath of Almighty God is upon us.
Here is the text of "Adelita" as sung by Jorge Negrete on spanish jezik: Si Adelita se fuera con otro
la seguria por tierra y por mar
Si por mar en un buque de guerra
Si por tierra en un tren militar.
toca el clarín de campaña la guerra
sale el valiente guerrero a pelear
correrán los arroyos de sangre
que gobierne un tirano jamás.
Y si acaso yo muera en campaña
y mi cadaver en la tierra va a quedar
Adelita por Dios te lo ruego
que tus ojos no vayan a llorar
Ya no llores querida Adelita
Ya no llores querida mujer
No te muestres ingrata conmigo
ya no me hagas tanto padecer.
Ya me despido querida Adelita
ya me alejo con inmenso placer
Tu retrato lo llevo en el pecho
Como escudo q me haga triunfar
Soy soldado y la patria me llama
a los campos que vaya a pelear
Adelita Adelita del alma
no me vayas por Dios a olvidar
Por la noche andando en el campo
oigo el clarín que toca a reunión
Y repito en el fondo de mi alma
Adelita es mi único querer
Ya me despido querida Adelita
De ti un recuerdo quisiera llevar
Tu retrato lo llevo en el pecho
Como escudo q me haga triunfar
On english this says approximately: If Adelita would leave with other
he would follow her by land and by sea
if by sea in a ship of war
if by land in train military
sounds the clarin of campaign of war
out comes the valiant warrior to fight
running streams of blood
that govern a tyrant always
and in case I die in the campaign
and in the land will be lain
Adelita by God I pray
that your eyes will not cry
Now no cry dear Adelita
Now no cry dear woman
no you look ungrateful on me
Now I don't make much suffering
Now I say goodbye dear Adelita
and I go with immense pleasure
your portrait is in my chest
as my triumphal shield
I am a soldier and the country calls me
to the fields that go to fight
Adelita Adelita of the soul
Not me you by God to forget
In the night walking in the fields
I hear the bugle that calls the reunion
and again in the depth of my soul
Adelita is my only wish
Would I follow Adelita by land and by sea? Before I leave this life, I wish once again to kneel at her tomb and lay a few flowers. Here at last is a song commemorating Adelita, a decent and valiant woman worthy of honor and glory as long as the sun rises on this earth.
The year - 1910. War! Meksiko! Women! One Woman! - Adelita!
do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,
If you haven't read the foregoing article, its better if you go read it first and come back here. If its been a few hours hours or days since you read it, please go back and review it before you continue. If you were distracted by the "technological" matters or even the religious matters, please go back and read it again. Its about a word - a single word: Sputnik. What that word signifies. Without understanding that one word and its ramifications there is very little use in continuing with the present article.
Adelita was a real person. My father's second cousin six times removed (whatever on earth that means) knew her and spoke of her. Marijan was his name.
There are some people around who wish to say that Adelita is just some folk fable. Not so. Adelita was a living breathing soul. She was born on the fifth of February, Saint Adele's day which is in the Spanish calendar of saints though it is outside the Croatian calendar. Had she been Hrvat, her imedan would have called for her to be named Agata or Dobrila or Jagoda. Whatever her ancestry, Adelita was simply Adelita, a Mexican woman born in the north. What year Adelita was born remains beyond my knowledge probably forever.
Marijan spoke well of Adelita. He rode with her. He rode into battle with her and he himself said that, like the sargento in the common version of the song about Adelita, he would have ridden into the bowels of hell beside her.
No, Marijan was not Mexican. Marijan bore my surname and was a citizen of the United States. Must I remind you however that the ancestors of some of us came to these regions long before there was a United States, long before there was a Mexican Republic too. Its our land. Its a big land with lots of room so we have no problem with all these other people who have moved in beside us as long as they don't get too pushy.
Lots of Mexican folks in the North of Mexico feel pretty much the same way. Its further from the southernmost part of Mexico to the most northern part of Mexico than it is from Poland to Bulgaria. The folk in the north are satisfied to be Mexicans as long as the folk from way down south don't come around to tell them what to do all the time. Besides, the folk down south talk funny too, they tend to be more urban (Mexico City is one big big place) and their life experiences are very different from the people in the north. Can you see the picture I'm trying to draw?
The Porfirio Díaz regime had a lot of good ideas. They weren't all bad at all. In some ways, if you like "liberal" notions, like the Emperor's ideas, the Porfiriato thoughts were a lot more liberal than the regimes which followed. But there was some big mistakes. Number one mistake was the central government in the south telling the folk way up north how to be and how to live.
Number two mistake was giving land to the peasants. Huh? How can that be a bad idea? "Land and liberty" became the slogan in the uprising that began in 1910. Ok, the right hand passed out land to the people. The left hand took a lot of it back to build railroads. The idea was that the railroads would bring industry and jobs and prosperity to the people. It was a good idea. The railroads accomplished that, no doubt, but lets look at Juan and Juana who spent a season plowing and planting virtually by hand and then before they can harvest the first crop some high and mighty someone from down south comes and says to them that they don't live on their farm anymore because a railroad is coming through.
"Where will we go?" Juan asks the high and mighty someone.
"That's your problem," answers the high and mighty someone.
"How will we eat?" Juana asks.
"You will be very prosperous when industry comes and you have jobs." answers the high and mighty someone.
"What will we eat tomorrow?" Juana asks.
The high and mighty someone doesn't answer. He just tells them to pack their stuff and get out of the way. There is a party of pistoleros with señor high and mighty, so Juan and Juana have no no choice but to leave.
Juana's mother lives with Juan and Juana. Juana's mother is very old and feeble. She dies on the trek across the winter desert to the next town. Juan becomes ill from the worry and frustration of trying against all odds to care for his family.
Now ask yourself the question - how do Juan and Juana feel about this central government who was killing them so they could become prosperous? But that's not the half of it.
Oh yes, there's the little matter of the Russian communists using Mexico to learn how to do the revolution thing. Marijan spoke of being trapped in the cross fire between the "reds" and the "whites" several times. His solution was apparently to kill every one and ride away safely himself. Must have worked too. He lived to be a very old man.
Finally though, the revolution of 1910 was not about economics or politics, nor was it about "land and liberty." There was an even more serious issue - an issue so close to Juan and Juana's hearts that they had no choice but to rise up in arms. More about this next time ...
to be continued
do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,