Henry Grows Healthy in the high Tatra Mountains.

So after they kicked me out of the hospital, I went to the YMCA where I met  old friends, and one was the president  of the Polish tourist office. 
He says, “Henui, you need fresh air because of your lungs.  We have a tourist home in the high Tatra mountain. 

Do you know the Goralen, the folks living around there, are stealing the beds, the blankets.  We need somebody there.   
So right away I say “I’ll  go, I’m the man.”  They delivered me there to the far south of Poland to the high Tatra Mountains.  There was a whole pass in the mountain about 3,000 – 6,000 feet high.  The mountains run along the border of Czechoslovakia, Romania and Poland. That’s where we were skiing and everything else.
My job was to watch this lodge (stróżowka).  It was on a high, flat area.  The house had about 14 rooms.  It was long, built from wood in a primitive way.  But the tourists, such as mountain climbers, liked to stay there.  In the winter there were no visitors – it was very difficult to ski that high. But in the summer people climbed up high. 
They delivered me by the horse.  I had my skis, I had to take everything: food, a liter of vodka, sugar, cranberries and potatoes and lots of grain. And it was very nice there. I was there for the winter of ’46.  And ten kilometers up the mountain was another friend,Andre Górka.  And there we are – the only two people on the south border of Poland near the pass. 
In the evening Polish guys on skis went past; they were running away from the Russians.  They were headed to Romania, then to Italy to meet up with the Polish army. I see plenty of guys;  they drank my vodka right away. They ate everything that I have, I have nothing left.  I was a pretty accommodating host. (Laughing)  So I had to go on the skis, about  5 miles, 6 miles to Zakopane town to buy the sugar and vodka, and whatever else I needed.
Every day I skied ten kilometers, when there was snow like up to the windows.  Then I’d meet up with a few friends near the Morskie Oko.  Morskie Oko, is a lake very high in the mountains.  It is very deep, and blue like hell. They call it the “Eye of the Sea” lake. – Henry Zguda
Photos of Morskie Oko downloaded from Wikipedia and Polish tourist web site.


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