On Saturday, August 14, 2010, Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz celebrated his 55th birthday in style with a Polish birthday party at his home in Bryan, Texas. Several hundred people braved the late summer Texas heat to eat, drink, dance and embrace their Polish heritage. The evening began with a house blessing by Msgr. John Malinowski followed by a blessing of the meal in Polish and English by Jim Mazurkiewicz. As is typical of these types of events, there was more food then the crowd could possibly eat. Guests brought a variety of homemade Polish dishes including kielbasa, pierogi, czarnina, kapusniak, rosol, bigos, golabki along with plenty of deserts and lots of cold piwo.
As has been a tradition since our Polish ancestors came to Texas, music was the highlight of this party. The Polski Urodziny party was host to a total of 15 musicians, including several father-son combinations. It’s always fun to watch these proud fathers with their sons at their sides playing along with them. The music was provided by Bradley Jaye Williams, Rob Jewett, Tim Walsh, Brian Marshall (Marszalek) and his sons Michal and Jakub, Jimmy Mazurkiewicz and his son James, Brian Wisnoski and his young son Luke playing the benben, Sonny Janczak, Frank Motley, Charlie Brossman, Mark Hopcus and Cory McCauley. While the focus was on old time Polish music, their was also some Cajun music and even a duet with Tim Walsh on the bagpipe and Brian Marshall on the fiddle. DJ Chris Piorkowski from Our Lady Of Czestochowa parish in Houston sang and led everyone in a spirited rendition of Sto Lat, the Polish birthday song.
One of the musical highlights of the evening was when Brian Marshall and his sons played several tunes that Brian had learned from well known Bremond fiddler Steve Okonski as Steve’s wife Josephine looked on.
You really have to admire Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz and his family along with Brian Marshall and all of the other musicians for their dedication to preserving the heritage of our Polish forefathers. It was great to see the younger generations participating and really enjoying this celebration of our culture.