This and That - Thanks for Your Readership

When I first started interviewing Henry twelve years ago Poland was still rebuilding after the fall of communism. The pocket travel guide I bought for Krakow was a first edition, Krakow still a ‘hidden’ travel gem. Roman Polanski’s The Pianist came out in theaters in 2002, after I met Henry. I still remember asking Henry if he had seen The Pianist. He

didn’t understand me. Then I said ‘you know, Władysław Szpilman.  The piano player.’

Oh, Szpilman? Sure, sure, everybody know Szpilman.”

I remember thinking he hadn’t seen The Pianist, he knew the pianist.

I wrote last fall that Krakow, Henry’s home town, had submitted a co-bid with Slovakia to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. This week the issue went to a citizens’ vote; 70% of Krakow voters said no. Thus Krakow has withdrawn its Olympic bid. This bid itself says a lot about how far the country has come as a bigger participant on the world stage.

  • Martin Scorsese has organized and curated a series of classic Polish films; screenings are scheduled in 30 cities throughout the US through November 2014. 
  • The Polish ambassador to Iran has helped launch a Polish film festival in Tehran.  
  • Poland has nominated its foreign minister to take over as the European Union’s foreign policy post.

And much, much more. I’m not sure if Henry would be surprised at the attention Poland is getting, or simply say that it’s about time. Through Henry I’ve come to have deep respect for the country and her people’s will to survive in the face of almost insurmountable odds.

My true goal for this story is a book. By writing everyday I am not only building content, I am keeping a daily commitment to tell a story that for whatever crazy reason, I’ve been entrusted with. Poland is the background and context, I am the storyteller, and it’s Henry’s life story. I have achieved a first step – I am no longer the only person alive who knows the extent of content I have.

Thank you for sharing this, my daily writing journey towards completion.