Ray Golarz paints a revealing pathway into the lives of a Depression era immigrant community. He takes the reader aboard a journey via the very early American game of football. Once aboard, the reader is introduced to a team of young semi-pro Polish football players, along with their friends, families, ethnic customs, and religious ways, then drawn into a community struggling to survive the Depression's challenges and maintain their unique identity in this newly-adopted country.
This account has it all: football games filled with action, emotion, strategizing, and gritty determination. And like those who actually came to see the games, you will find it delightfully easy to walk along with family and friends, coming from all over their neighborhood, to stand or take a seat on a make-shift bench. Join in the singing of the National Anthem, agonize over plays gone wrong, and walk with them over to Wusic's gas station to gather and celebrate after game victories.
Ah, but stick around. There's more. Before, during and between games and seasons, you can come to team meetings, share a Christmas Eve ethnic meal, and attend a Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. If you can wake up at two o'clock in the morning, you will be taken on a night trip to collect coal along the railroad tracks. Then in early morning, go off to Wusic's for coffee and a log in the pot-bellied stove.
And you can get a close look at the Depression on a national level as you join Lefty who goes on the bum hitting the rails, driven by curiosity and want for food at home. Meet World War I vets on their way to Washington for promised bonuses, walk to Niagara Falls, and take a cot in a New York City mission.