Today, I travelled from California to New York.
The title of this post “Z Kalifornii do Nowego Jorku” is a bit of a play on the title of a lecture “Z Nowego Jorku do Kalifornii” that Henryk Sienkiewicz gave in Lviv in 1879. Sienkiewicz is one of my favorite Polish authors and is probably the best known Polish author in America. He wrote the novel Quo Vadis (Where Are You Going) which was the basis for the 1951 film of the same name starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, and Peter Ustinov.
My favorite Sienkiewicz work, however is Ogniem i Mieczem (With Fire and Sword) which, in 1999 was made into the most expensive film ever produced in Poland. The 2001 Polish production of Quo Vadis, however, has since snatched that honor from Ogniem i Mieszem.
So, what does all this have to do with my trip from California to New York? Not much really. However, my stay in New York is brief – only a few hours. Soon, I’ll be on a plane to Warsaw to spend a week with my cousin Christa, conducting research in the archives. And therein lies the Polish connection.
I also have plans to get together with a few of my cousins who live in Poland, cousins with whom I’ve corresponded but never before met in person. Like most of my trips, I’m not quite ready for this journey to Warsaw. I couldn’t find some of the papers I wanted to bring and my ability at the Polish language, while admittedly never very good, is rather rusty.
But that’s all OK. The weather in Warsaw is predicted to be spectacular this week. I just hope I can drag myself away from the archives long enough to enjoy some of it!
Copyright © 2009 by Stephen J. Danko