1959 LETTER FROM JABLONKA
Augustine (Gusty) Ulmanek to brother John Ulmanek in Gallitzin, PA
You are writing, Uncle, that you could
help the two girls find work in America. They would very willingly go to
America. Last year one young woman from another village – from
Zubrzyca – went to America with her two children. She had her
mother there, and this mother helped her to America. It is very
difficult to get to America if you do not have family there, but when you
do have family -- it is possible. So, Uncle, please write us if you
really have such intention, so that we may send them. They are
young, healthy, taught to work, and so they will work. And if not
both, then maybe at least one of them [could go].
And you are writing that, since we have
a radio, it must mean that we have electricity at home. Indeed, we
have had electricity for four years already here in Jabłonka, though
not everybody has it available at home because it is expensive to have it
installed. But once you have the installation, the bills are not so
high. So, to be frank, 2/3 of Jabłonki village is wired for
electricity, and ¼ is not. Electricity is very convenient –
people have purchased a lot of electric engines so that they do not have
to do everything manually. Those engines speed up our work and help
out a lot.
You are writing that you have such
radios with a glass screen at home. They also have them here in
Poland, and they are called the same – TV sets. Here, in Jabłonka,
there are five of those but not everyone can afford such a TV set.
Because such TV sets cost 18,000 zlotys only those with deep pockets can
afford them. Besides, the reception is not very good here because it
is quite many kilometers from Warsaw (the reception is best up to 300
kilometers from Warsaw and we are further away).
Uncle, if you were to come to Jabłonka
these days, you would for sure not recognize it. Jabłonka has
been re-built; it has new roads with asphalt surfaces. It has been
two years now since they built a road through Jabłonki, a main road
running from Slowaks directly to Cracow.
You are writing, Uncle, that you have
been working hard and that you have nothing. If so, I think that if
you were married and had children it would be much better for you now, in
your elderly years, because you would at least have some joy. It is
difficult and sad to live alone in the world, but nothing can be done.
Everywhere human being has to do as he/she wishes, if he/she wants to live
in this world (sic.). It just seems that you are not so much
overburdened there with everything as we are here. Because those who
have [money] get even more, while those who have nothing except for 10
fingers to work with do not ever get much. And those who are alone,
who do not have a wife or children – they do not have to strive for
anything, they may take care of themselves only. But we cannot all
live like that. Those who have [money] need to work and give to the
state, and those who do not have need to take from the state because,
otherwise, what would they eat?
These are really hard times but people
do not care about anything. They offend God and God has to punish
them, in the end with war. Because, in spite of everything, people
do not repent but continue to sin. They get married young, do not
care about anything and get separated after two-three months. They
need a divorce because they just do not like each other anymore.
Really, it is horrible to watch what is going on in Poland and how people
leave their faith. They do not need God anymore. And there are
those who would say that God does not exist, those who were good Catholics
a few years ago and who now do not go to church but prefer going to pubs
to drink. Imagine that in Warsaw only, in the year 1958, there were
20,000 divorces. One just cannot describe the rest of Poland.
The communists are responsible for it. God knows what is going to
happen. Recently, they have sent us draft cards. If they need
boys to go to war they are going to announce it on the radio, calling to
duty all men under 50.
This is where I would like to end.
Enough writing for today -- I do not have any more paper left. Next
time I will write more.
We send you all our cordial greetings.
Agnieszka wrote us for the Holidays and Marta has sent us a card, for
which we want to heartily thank them. We will write them.
Stay with God.
Brother Gusty (written by Marysia)
We wish you Happy Easter Holidays.
Please write back.
|People Mentioned in the letter:|
|Source: Mary Bayliss Talley & Christopher Novak|