The flow of time changes the way we remember our relatives. Our own life experiences help us develop a better understanding of adults and elderly people, but somewhere deep inside we recall these pictures of the old world when we were children. And it seems as if it all happened „just yesterday”.
My first recollections of my Grandpa bring me back to his studio, which was a magical and unique place where we spent our time together.
I always loved drawing and when I was four or five, and when my parents left me with Grandpa, he would give me huge yellow envelopes in which he was sent his National Geographic. This is how my first plastic works came into being. At the same time, I absorbed the whole atmosphere created by the still huge figures and figurines, which I was allowed to play with from time to time.
When I grew up, I often visited Grandpa. We enjoyed our own way of spending time together. – He would show me albums with prints presenting famous paintings. When I started my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, I met all these paintings again, as if old friends of mine. Yet this time I associated them with the names of most outstanding painters.
We also listened to the records in Grandpa’s musical collection. I especially liked Tchaikovsky’s „1812 Overture”. Grandpa taught me to spot the tunes from „La Marseillaise” and the cannon blasts. The singer we both loved the best was Amelita Galli-Curci in her wonderful opera repertoire. We also played checkers and war, which must have been far more attractive to me than to my opponent.
Grandpa’s birthdays and name days were an occasion for more festive visits. Together with my brother, we prepared occasional cards with poems and pictures. The gift that never changed were his favourite flo http://www.muzeumlaszczka.pl/wers – hyacinths.
Grandpa visited our flat on the second floor during Christmas and Easter. You could feel this special atmosphere of all those preparations for that occasion. Dressed in a black jacket and white shirt with a dickey, with his distinction rosette pinned in a flap and with his beautiful white beard, he would come in and sit in the head of the table. I could not stop looking at him! On the Christmas Eve, he would praise our huge Christmas tree and the ornaments, which we hung together with my brother, even though every year the tree looked virtually the same. He also had his favourite dishes. No Christmas Eve supper could do without Grandpa’s pike, since he did not favour the traditional Polish carp. When he passed away, our Christmases lost a lot of their celebratory atmosphere.
He sometimes told me about his parents, about the village mill run by his father and about a rail wagon full of peas that my Grand grandfather brought from Russia to feed the whole village during one extremely difficult post-winter period. Grandpa stayed in touch with my sister (her married name was Konecka) who lived in Warsaw, and with my younger brother, who died young from Spanish influenza. Grandpa’s nephew Jerzy Laszczka moved out of his completely destroyed Warsaw flat and came to live with us after the war.
I have photographs of my Grand grandparents, which must have been taken on my Grandpa’s request in a photographic workshop in Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki. Grandpa kept his sentiment about his native region until the end of his life.
I will always remember when, in the midst of the hardest times of the post-war period, he bought me beautiful white shoes. It was when my mother was very worried how she was going to find white shoes for my First Communion.
Grandpa was loved and respected by his children. And later on, when I grew up, I often heard artists talk about him with great appreciation. My own academic professors often used to remember him with sentiment as their academic teacher.
For us, his grandchildren, he will forever be a model and an example of a decent life.