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Richard Marczewski Sr. – Creativity Combustion Interview #2

Creativity Combustion Interview #2

Summary Of Conversation With My Dad – Episode #2 Interview

In this episode, we interview my dad, Richard Marczewski Sr. I ask him about moving from Poland to America, things he did as a kid, and end with how his recorded polish comedy skit from the ’80s happened.

Notable Sections From The Conversation

The Millbury Street Polish Comedy Recording '80s era'
Rich Jr.
So there's a stand up comedy that was recorded, I'm guessing, in the eighties, you know, the one that everyone listens to.
Rich Sr.
Yeah, yeah.
Rich Jr.
Do you remember how that that night came about?
Rich Sr.
It was during the day we were. We did the Millbury Street shuffle, we had a few drinks and then there was what they call it.
Rich Jr.
Karaoke.
Rich Sr.
Karaoke. So I grabbed the microphone from the guy and I started doing standup comedy and I guess Berger recorded it. So that was funny.
Rich Jr.
Was he deejaying?
Rich Sr.
We don't know. Whatever, you guys. I just grabbed the microphone.
Rich Jr.
Because it's obviously was recorded on the tape, right?
Rich Sr.
Berger did it on his phone, a cell phone.
Rich Jr.
They didn't have.
Rich Sr.
So tape maybe I don't.
Rich Jr.
A tape recorder.
Rich Sr.
I think the deejay recorded it and he gave it to Berger.
Rich Jr.
What bar?
Rich Sr.
Three G's. Me, Tweety and Berger were there.
Rich Jr.
Who else was there?
Rich Sr.
Just two.
Rich Jr.
Bonnie?
Rich Sr.
No, she wasn't there. I just did the comedy about that.
Rich Jr.
Did you have that scripted ahead of time?
Rich Sr.
No, it just came out of my mind. You heard it? Yeah. It's really funny, right? Yeah.
Do you remember the day that you left to come here and like the trip to the boat?

Rich Sr.
I don't remember it, but I know we left in the middle of the night. We have to go and get down. We drove to Gdansk, and then we took the MS Batory, which was the boat. And we landed in Canada. And then when we landed in Canada, a priest picked us up and drove us all the way to Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was like a ten hour drive.
MS Batory
Rich Jr.
Do you remember what you do for fun in Poland? You said play outside. Yeah. Did you play like a soccer ball or.
Rich Sr.
No, we just. We were outside. We used to steal potatoes off the guy ,from his wagon. We used to go back, steal the potatoes, and then cook them up. And I remember that because that! We used to climb the fence and cook the potatoes.

Full Conversation With My Dad – Creativity Combustion Interview #2

Rich Jr.
Okay. What do you remember of life before moving to America? Well.

Rich Sr.
When I was in Poland, I was eight years old when I came over. The most thing I remember is waiting for my mother. Every morning. She’d have to leave like five research in the morning to go get food for the day, and I’d have to sit in a window. And I couldn’t go outside until she come home. So she’d come home about eight or nine.

Rich Sr.
And that way I could go outside and play.

Rich Jr.
This is when you were a kid?

Rich Sr.
Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Eight years old. So I came to this country when I was eight.

Rich Jr.
So this is in Poland? What? What place? In Poland?

Rich Sr.
Rather. In Poland. It’s like 100 kilometers southwest of Russia.

Rich Jr.
Do you remember the street that you grew up there?

Rich Sr.
No, I don’t. I forgot it.

Rich Jr.
Do you? Were you near water?

Rich Sr.
No. There was a park and back. It was a big building that we lived in, apartment building. And in back there was a park. That’s all I remember.

Rich Jr.
So it was a real. It was a city or city. Do you remember what floor you lived on?

Rich Sr.
First floor.

Rich Jr.
First floor. How many bedrooms.

Rich Sr.
Mhm. Well we had two bedrooms and we had a room for a big piano for my dad. That was where he made his music.

Rich Jr.
So did he work close to home?

Rich Sr.
Yes, He could walk right down. It’s like same here from here, sitting pretty off. That’s right.

Rich Jr.
What do you remember? Like, would he go to work in the morning or in the evening?

Rich Sr.
Morning. I think. I don’t remember that much.

Rich Jr.
Did he ever take you to where he worked?

Rich Sr.
I don’t remember.

Rich Jr.
So what, do you play music at home? A lot. Or did he play.

Rich Sr.
On a piano? He. He’d play his. He write his compositions on a piano at home.

Rich Jr.
What? He yell at you guys to be quiet or.

Rich Sr.
I don’t remember. None at all. No, I don’t think so.

Rich Jr.
But she would cook all Yeah.

Rich Sr.
She did all the meals and she didn’t work. She took care of food, shopping.

Rich Jr.
Did you ever go food shopping or. No, You’d wait at home.

Rich Sr.
And I’d have to wait at home because she’d have to wait in line. She’d have to go to her bakery to get Fred. Then she’d have to go to a meat store and wait.

Rich Jr.
So.

Rich Jr.
Did you have a babysitter? Who was.

Rich Sr.
You? No.

Rich Jr.
Okay, so you have. You’re the youngest in your who had the two? Your brother and your sister?

Rich Sr.
My sister? Nine years older than me. And my brother’s ten.

Rich Jr.
So were they home a lot with you or.

Rich Sr.
I don’t even remember. I think they were at school.

Rich Jr.
Okay. So do you remember the day that you left to come here and like the trip to the boat?

Rich Sr.
I don’t remember it, but I know we left in the middle of the night. We have to go and get down. We drove to Gdansk, and then we took the spare from battery, which was the boat. And we. We landed in Canada. And then when we landed in Canada, a priest picked us up and drove us all the way to Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Rich Sr.
It was like a ten hour drive.

Rich Jr.
So what would you do? Do you remember what you do for fun in Poland? You said play outside. Yeah. Did you play like a soccer ball or.

Rich Sr.
No, we just. We were outside. We used to steal potatoes off the guy. That and a wagon. We used to go back, steal the potatoes, and then cook them up. And I remember that because that was a big pack in front tool. We used to climb the fence and cook the potatoes back over the kids.

Rich Jr.
You feel like it took a long time. Once you got on the boat to come to land in Canada. Yeah, forever.

Rich Sr.
To a week.

Rich Jr.
Two weeks did. So did you all sleep in the same quarters? Yeah.

Rich Sr.
The room was just a bigger fish. Okay. You know, we had two bunk beds.

Rich Jr.
Did were anyone getting sick from the sea sickness?

Rich Sr.
They were all sick except me. I’m the only one. That one room now did.

Rich Jr.
Was food provided by the ship, or did you bring your own food?

Rich Sr.
And the boat? Come on.

Rich Jr.
Well, how did you eat? You know, that’s two weeks.

Rich Sr.
You go to a dining hall. Dining hall? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Just like a regular ship. Yeah.

Rich Jr.
Well, I’ve never been on a ship, so. Oh, yeah.

Rich Sr.
US cook our food. Y’all bring your own food out here.

Rich Jr.
Well, I didn’t know if, like, maybe one day you kind of, like, had some apples and, like, a breakfast, like, easy. You know, now we.

Rich Sr.
It’s just like a regular ship.

Rich Jr.
And so you landed in Canada. Do you? How did you get to the US border?

Rich Sr.
A priest picked us up from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and drove us.

Rich Jr.
So you drove from Canada to the.

Rich Sr.
Great grandfather’s, right? And then in the middle of the night, he dropped the shot in front of this house. The fridge. Go to your house. We looked at each other and started crying. We couldn’t speak a word of English, and he just dropped the shot. We didn’t know nobody in the area.

Rich Jr.
But you went into the house. That was your apartment?

Rich Sr.
That was our house. Well, it was rectified by the church because my father would be organic there. So they gave us the house and that was part of the deal.

Rich Jr.
But when you woke up, do you remember waking up the next day? No, I don’t remember nothing. Yeah, okay. That’s probably the question.

Rich Sr.
We used to go food shop and that was the big thing. Every Saturday, the whole family walked in. I think I gave my kid and she all the food there. That was a big deal. It was like a picnic.

Rich Jr.
So once you got settled in in Scranton, do you remember kind of what it was like living there and you’d like do you remember your neighbors or what you would do for fun? Yeah.

Rich Sr.
I used to go over this at this lady’s house and watch TV in the afternoon. I just walk in that house. I didn’t even know when I got home because we didn’t have a TV. I wanted to watch The Flintstones. Everybody. And every day I’d go there. So, matter of fact, that’s the people that called you.

Rich Jr.
Yeah. On Facebook.

Rich Sr.
Yeah. What’s funny, Bonnie, I sweetheart in.

Rich Jr.
Were you a citizen then or did you have.

Rich Sr.
No, we became citizen and everything. And I think all of us.

Rich Jr.
As a family and.

Rich Sr.
A family, we all we all took citizenship.

Rich Jr.
Was the course hard or was it pretty easy?

Rich Sr.
You know what I had to take? I had to say I had to write. I go to community college. That was it.

Rich Jr.
Oh, so you were older when you became.

Rich Sr.
Yeah, I was like 79. My first year in college.

Rich Jr.
And where’d you go to high school?

Rich Sr.
St Mary. Worcester.

Rich Jr.
What grade did you start attending? Fifth grade.

Rich Sr.
I did the fifth and sixth grade. And one year and No, no. When I was in Scranton, I did this because I came when I was eight. So I took I did the second and third year and one year and third and fourth one year. And then when I came to Worcester, I stayed in a fifth grade.

Rich Jr.
Did you do any after school activities?

Rich Sr.
I played soccer, and matter of fact, when I was in high school, I, I was the custodian at St Mary’s Life Cleaning School.

Rich Jr.
In Georgia, was working.

Rich Sr.
Driver was the organist, and my mother worked in a rectory cooking.

Rich Jr.
So did you did you go to church every Sunday, Every.

Rich Sr.
Sunday.

Rich Jr.
In Scranton as well as in Worcester?

Rich Sr.
Scranton, I remember. But yeah, I’m sure after school.

Rich Jr.
Would you go to the church to like, was Juju working at the church?

Rich Sr.
No. And Matthew did his master’s early in the morning.

Rich Jr.
Would he practice at the church now or would he practice at home piano?

Rich Sr.
Well, he had a piano at home, so we played at home.

Rich Jr.
But in Scranton. Did he play?

Rich Sr.
Don’t you know we didn’t have a piano just after church. You play the organ.

Rich Jr.
You. I’m trying to ask questions about how you so that you know. Yeah. Oh, Did you ever attend the symphony in Warsaw or.

Rich Sr.
Yes, I was in the front row. I don’t remember it too well. My father had a conductor and it’s in Worcester. My sister, she she talked about and my father played one night and he played the piano, some of his favorite. So they had like a night for my father.

Rich Jr.
So it’s great. And growing up in Poland, did you remember going to see your father from Dark?

Rich Sr.
I would traveling church.

Rich Jr.
But you did go see him perform You once.

Rich Sr.
Once. Okay. That I remember that.

Rich Jr.
And when you were living here in Worcester, did you ever go to a performance, as did he perform.

Rich Sr.
Just Watch at St Mary’s? They had a night for my father, you know, with he played music, kind of piano in front of the people.

Rich Jr.
Did a lot of people go.

Rich Sr.
Yeah, it was packed, You know, the auditorium with St Mary’s upstairs. That’s where I was.

Rich Jr.
So do you remember the day, the Worcester Telegram? Because that took your photo with the Worcester Turtle?

Rich Sr.
I don’t remember it, but I remember they come by, took my name, but they never put my name in it because they must have lost it. They asked me to sit on top of the table. Oh, I forgot that somewhere.

Rich Jr.
So you were, what, 16? Yeah. At that point were you speak English? English?

Rich Sr.
What? I learned English took me three or four months to learn English when I was a K c my parents couldn’t speak that well, but I did.

Rich Jr.
Do you remember the day you got a TV?

Rich Sr.
No.

Rich Jr.
Would you say you got a TV in Worcester or Scranton?

Rich Sr.
Oh, no. We had one in Scranton. When we moved. We moved to another apartment and we borrowed one.

Rich Jr.
Did you ever have one in Poland?

Rich Sr.
Yes, we had a Poland was. They had three what they call the channel three channels on only. And we still had Bonanza and Genre.

Rich Jr.
And it was in black and white. Yeah. Was there a TV show that the family would watch when you lived in the US together?

Rich Sr.
Yeah, we used to watch like I, Ed Sullivan shows like that at night.

Rich Jr.
They would let you stay up late.

Rich Sr.
Yeah, I guess.

Rich Jr.
That you were probably all the.

Rich Sr.
Way here at.

Rich Jr.
Eight when you were older, though.

Rich Sr.
I watched all of them. I was like, what?

Rich Jr.
Ten, 12? What was the best hangout spots in Worcester when you were a kid?

Rich Sr.
Well, we lived next to Crown Park. I could hang around from Park all the time.

Rich Jr.
Is there anything else you want to tell Miles talked about?

Rich Sr.
Well, it was a close family, but you know what? It was tough to come here because we didn’t know nobody. And we cried a lot. But we got through it. I learned English too fast, so I had to help out a lot. And then I went to school and I met friends and.

Rich Jr.
Did Uncle George were not allowed to move. Did they move away once they became adults?

Rich Sr.
Okay. When we moved, we lived there, scrapped three of and when we moved to Worcester, my brother was already going to college and a Penn State, so he stayed there. He never moved over to my sister and I moved to Western with the family and then move away. But she never stayed here. She went to college in Boston and then when she got married, she moved.

Rich Sr.
Well, I’ve been looking at the show for the governor, carrying the shotgun. So we travel all around the world. So she went with them.

Rich Jr.
So how did she get her diplomatic passport?

Rich Sr.
My father was knew a lot of people in Poland. I was a big shot. So it was all taken care of.

Rich Jr.
And then she got to travel with on Love because her husband, he was a diplomat, too. And she lived in Africa, Switzerland.

Rich Sr.
Mexico, Mexico. And when when my dad passed away, that’s when she she went to travel. My sister, of course, her husband was a diplomat, so she. Yeah, And then she moved back here. She worked at Holy Cross for 15 years.

Rich Jr.
Did she have a job before Holy Cross? Ah, no, she started.

Rich Sr.
Yeah. She worked at the rectory all the time.

Rich Jr.
In the rectory?

Rich Sr.
Yeah.

Rich Jr.
Okay. Do you remember any one that was helpful at the church like that? You were. They were friends with the family.

Rich Sr.
The priests. They were all nice, you know, Father, flower, child, you know, took care of it. And there was a Polish priest. Matter of fact, Kiko, he taught Polish at St Mary’s, so. Oh, the priest were nice. They took care of us. They loved my dad, you know.

Rich Jr.
How did you end up teaching Polish to Polish kids when sick?

Rich Sr.
Oh, when I was a custodian, a classic elementary school. There was a big turnover. A lot of Polish people came here and they couldn’t speak English from the first of service. Right. So the principal asked me to help them out and they said she gave me a job 3 hours a day before, you know, in the morning. And I teach like I have 18 kids that I taught in a six, six year period of time.

Rich Sr.
So I thought it all well, you know, I enjoyed teaching them English, you know.

Rich Jr.
So there’s a stand up comedy that was recorded, I’m guessing, in the eighties, you know, the one that can eat all they love.

Rich Sr.
Yeah, yeah.

Rich Jr.
Yeah, yeah. Do you remember how that that night came about?

Rich Sr.
It was during the day we were. We did the street shuffle, we had a few drinks and then there was what they call it.

Rich Jr.
Karaoke.

Rich Sr.
Karaoke. So I grabbed the microphone from the guy and I started doing standup comedy and I guess Berger recorded it. So that was funny.

Rich Jr.
Was he deejaying or did the you know.

Rich Sr.
We don’t know. Whatever, you guys. I just grabbed the microphone.

Rich Jr.
Because it’s obviously was recorded on the tape, right?

Rich Sr.
Berger did it on his phone, a cell phone.

Rich Jr.
They didn’t have.

Rich Sr.
So tape maybe I don’t.

Rich Jr.
A tape recorder.

Rich Sr.
I think the deejay recorded it and he gave it to Berger.

Rich Jr.
Shot like that deep. And this was during the day? Yeah. Do what? Bar?

Rich Sr.
Three G’s. Me, Tweety and Berger were there.

Rich Jr.
So. No, no.

Rich Sr.
Just two.

Rich Jr.
Or three. His wife, Bonnie?

Rich Sr.
No, she was their first act. I just did the comedy about that.

Rich Jr.
Did you have that scripted ahead of time?

Rich Sr.
No, it just came out of my mind. You heard it? Yeah. It’s really funny, right? Yeah.

Rich Jr.
Well, it seems like. Do you remember what year that was?

Rich Sr.
No.

Rich Jr.
No.

Rich Sr.
The long time.

Rich Jr.
I think that’s it.

Rich Sr.
Yeah. Okay. Thank you.

Rich Jr.
Thank you. Goodbye. Say something polished.

“Polish Goodbye”

About the Author

Rich Marks the Spot “The Creativity Scientist”

My name is Richard Marczewski Jr. I have a passion for entertaining and creativity. I never shy away from being experimental and love to share mostly everything I end up creating (even the bad stuff). I’m the host of Creativity Combustion and it’s nice to meet you.

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