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How long have I been obsessed with Poland?

22 Mar 2011
Photo of a couple
My great-grandparents

Despite being at least the 3rd generation born in America, all of my ancestors are Polish. One of my great-grandparents were born in Poland, as well as most of my great-great-grandparents.

When we were growing up, everyone in the family told us we were Polish and that we should be very proud. Particularly, my father's father used to stress this fact. When we would say, "I'm hungry," he'd respond with, "No, you're Polish." ;-)

My grandfather's influence has always stuck with me and I have been obsessed with Poland for as long as I can remember.

Recently, when he was cleaning out his attic, my grandfather found a paper I had written for school in 1993 when I was only 9 years old. Until he gave me this, I didn't know that I'd been obsessed with Poland for that long!

Read more to read the actual paper!

School paper

Apparently, I had a school assignment to interview my grandfather and write a paper. I don't know what I was supposed to interview him about, but we talked about Poland.


handwritten paper handwritten paper

Click to see a bigger image!


I interviewed my grandpa. He is a very determined man. When he wants something he won't stop until he gets it. He is also very intelligent because he has been around so long.

My grandpa's family left Poland because there were no jobs. When they got to America, they went to St. Louis. When his mom was 3 years old they decided to go to Milwaukee by train. After his mom eleven more children were born. This means their family consisted of 9 girls and 3 boys.

My grandpa's family continued to practice some of their customs after they came to America. However, the only ones grandpa can remember are Easter and Christmas. His family also continued practicing their religion. Their religion was Catholic and still is. Some of my relatives are very devout Catholics. My grandpa remembers his family celebrating Polish holidays but he can't remember what they are anymore.

The father of my grandpa took care of horses that pulled carriages for a rich man. His family was poor but it wasn't hard because everyone was poor. I know I said they came to America but that was the main reason. The other reason was they couldn't find enough food.

The father of my grandpa came to America in a coal-powered steamship. It took approximately a month to get to America. They took just a little food and money. They left a little less than 100% of their belongings behind.

Food is a very good thing to have in Poland. Normally, Polish people would eat cabbage soup. Cabbage soup is the most popular food in Poland. On a special occasion or holiday, Polish people eat chicken soup. In Poland, you can grow everything you can grow in Wisconsin. Foods that are good for planting in Poland are apple and pear trees.

I love my grandpa very much. He can make some boring things fun, such as watching football on T.V.


Some of my favorite quotes include:

  • "He is also very intelligent because he has been around so long."
  • "His family was poor but it wasn't hard because everyone was poor."
  • "Food is a very good thing to have in Poland."
Anonymous's picture

It's great that your family kept cultivating Polish customs after moving to USA.
BTW, that chicken soup is called rosół. In most Polish houses it is served every Sunday for the first course. Have you ever eaten it? Some people believe that it is a good hangover remedy;)

Posted by: Wojciech (not verified) | Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 15:46
David Snopek's picture

Yes, but not recently! The first time I was in Poland I tried it but all the subsequent times I have been a vegetarian and I don't eat chicken soup or rosół anymore. :-)


Posted by: David Snopek | Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 17:54
Anonymous's picture

Rosół is very important soup for Poles. I have a tip for people which will going to drink with us "wódka";)

If you know that you are going to polish party, remember to drink ~1 hour earlier a cup of hot rosół or barszcz (borscht). This may help you avoid stomach problems ;)


Rosół jest bardzo ważna zupą dla nas - polaków. Mam wskazówkę dla osób, które będą z nami pić wódkę ;)

Jeżeli wiesz, że będziesz szedł na polską impreze, pamiętaj by wypić jakąś godzinę wcześniej kubek gorącego rosołu lub barszczu. To może Ci pomóc uniknąć problemów żąłądkowych ;)

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 05:19
Anonymous's picture

yes, I remember that you are vegetarian, and you are don't drink an alcohol, but you always can share this tip with friends ;)

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 05:22
Anonymous's picture

After I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever
a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment.
There has to be a way you can remove me from that service?

Thank you!

Posted by: Leo (not verified) | Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 22:39
David Snopek's picture


I can't find any notifications for any thread on my blog for your email address. Please send me a message at:

And we can try and figure out what the problem is. Maybe a different email address or something? Anyway, we'll figure it out. :-)


Posted by: David Snopek | Monday, November 12, 2012 - 08:17
Anonymous's picture

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to say that I've really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I'll be subscribing on your feed and I
hope you write again soon!

Posted by: chaudiere saunier duval (not verified) | Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 15:16
Anonymous's picture

Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
Im really impressed by your blog.
Hi there, You've performed an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I'm
confident they'll be benefited from this website.

Posted by: Rafaela (not verified) | Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 05:54
Anonymous's picture

It's in fact very complex in this full of activity life to listen news on TV, thus I only use the web for that purpose, and obtain the hottest news.

Posted by: Milagros (not verified) | Monday, February 18, 2013 - 22:23
Anonymous's picture

Przypadkiem trafiłam na ten blog. Gratuluję! Wiem, jak trudno nauczyć się tak dobrze polskiego.

Anonymous's picture

[...] the language of your ancestors! That's why I started learning Polish. (I've talked about it in Polish [...]

Anonymous's picture

Jeej w wieku 9 lat miał pan ładniejsze pismo niż ja teraz :P

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Friday, July 8, 2011 - 19:40
David Snopek's picture

Nie wiem, czy to widać w skanach ale bardzo dużo "wymazałem" (nie wiem jak to powiedzieć po polsku, po angielsku "erased"?) i znowu napisałem. Na pewno było z powodu, że rodzice lub nauczyciel mi powiedzieli, że napisałem nie wyraźnie. ;-)

Pozdrawiam serdecznie,

Posted by: David Snopek | Friday, July 8, 2011 - 19:47
Anonymous's picture

erased to usunąłem, ale wymazałem też jest poprawnie.

Wielki szacunek dla Pana za to, jak (tak naprawdę) szybko i dobrze nauczył się języka polskiego. Szkoda, że ja tak bardzo nie przykładam się do angielskiego.

Pozdrawiam :)

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Saturday, July 9, 2011 - 04:39
Anonymous's picture

Autor użył słowa "wymazałem" zgodnie z jego podstawowym znaczeniem.

erase - wymazywać
remove - usuwać, zdejmować
delete - kasować
clean - czyścić

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 09:38
Anonymous's picture

"Na pewno było z powodu"

Powinno być:
Na pewno było to spowodowane tym, że....
Na pewno było to z tego powodu, że...


Posted by: P.o.l.a (not verified) | Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 18:39
David Snopek's picture

Dziękuję bardzo za poprawki. :-) Pozdrawiam, David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 09:46
Anonymous's picture

...lub najprościej na pewno dlatego ,ze ;-)))
dzisiaj ,za kilka godzin mam spotkanie wirtualne z Davidem;-))Wspaniała niespodzianka - nagroda za subskrypcje bloga...Nie spodziewałam sie tego-bo byam chyba 300 w kolejce chetnych;-)) POzdrawiam Was wszystkich tutaj- ten blog to wspaniała lekcja zywego języka- bardzo dobry pomysł;-)))

Posted by: Boshka (not verified) | Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 04:16
David Snopek's picture

Dziękuję za poradę, Boshka! Było bardzo miło z Tobą rozmawiać dzisiaj. :-) Pozdrawiam serdecznie, David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 11:18
Anonymous's picture

[...] - who has no Polish heritage - is still thinking about Poland! It appears we've managed to spread our love of Poland to [...]

Anonymous's picture

Your experience is a good example of how hard it is to regain your native language if your parents didn't help you learn it. Good luck and you are an inspiration for all Slavs!

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 00:40
David Snopek's picture

Well... In my case I'm not sure it's "regaining my native language." My parents don't speak Polish, not even my grandparents speak Polish. But they're all very happy that I do! :-)

I feel very close to Poland but the truth is that my family has been disconnected from the fatherland for a very, very long time.

In any case, thanks!

Best regards,

Posted by: David Snopek | Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 05:47
Anonymous's picture

David, do you knew any other people who have a polish root and live in Milwaukee? I ask you because when I am reading your article I remind my mum story about my great grandfather. He also emigrate to USA and I am not sure but I remember the city name was like chocolate candy bar Milky Way. I think the city was Milwaukee 

Posted by: Szpak (not verified) | Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 04:14
David Snopek's picture

There are TONS of people with Polish roots in Milwaukee! According to the Wikipedia, 9.6% of the population (about 57,000 people) is of Polish descent:

It's possible that your great grandfather emigrated here! You should ask your mom about the name of the city.

Best regards,

Posted by: David Snopek | Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 06:11
Anonymous's picture

Drogi Davidzie,

z przyjemnością czytam Twój blog! Nie będę pisać po angielsku, bo na pewno chętniej poćwiczysz polski ;)
Od zawsze lubię się uczyć języków (skończyłam japonistykę), choć jako dziecko nie cierpiałam się uczyć niemieckiego. Kiedy chodziłam do szkoły, wydawał mi się taki trudny i w ogóle nieinteresujący! Na pewno sporo było w tym mojego nastawienia, a także tego, że w podstawówce mocno lękałam się pani od niemieckiego ;) Teraz oczywiście żałuję, że nie przykładałam się tak, jak mogłam oraz że zarzuciłam tę naukę. Co się jednak okazuje: los rzucił mnie do Szwajcarii, do niemieckojęzycznego kantonu, a ja jednak coś pamiętam! Zaskakująco dużo. Co więcej, tym razem zamierzam podejść do nauki zupełnie inaczej i to, że mieszkam teraz w Szwajcarii widzę jako świetną okazję do porządnej nauki języka. I jeszcze jedno: być może zauważyłeś, że mam niemieckie nazwisko. Otóż mój prapradziadek był Niemcem, mistrzem szklarskim, który osiedlił się w Polsce w dziewiętnastym wieku. Tak więc podobnie jak Ty - sięgam do korzeni :)

Pozdrawiam serdecznie i życzę dalszych sukcesów!

Posted by: Magdalena Wolff (not verified) | Friday, June 21, 2013 - 11:51
Anonymous's picture

So many people read your fantastic blog. Maybe somebody will be interested: just to practice. Hope you don't mind. Greetings from Poland :) Anna

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Monday, July 13, 2015 - 10:32