My new name is Janina Kruk. Day 3.

The Bed & Breakfast in Brzezno is also a small meat factory. For breakfast we had fresh ham and bacon, croquettes with cabbage and mushrooms, tomato and cucumber salad.

Kielbasa in the small meat factory in Brzezno.
Kielbasa in the small meat factory in Brzezno.

Then we were off to Ostroleka for Halina, wife of Tadeusz. Halina was daughter-in-law of Marianna Kruk who wrote letters on behalf of her. Halina during her 20s would write letters for Marianna, who was illiterate.

See an extract of one of the letters from 1958.

Letter from Poland from 1958
Letter from Poland from 1958

[Transcription of the letter:

For the memory for our beloved family we send you picture from our wedding – Tadeusz and Halina. We don’t look good on it because there was a strong wind.
Tadeusz is 25 and Halina, meaning myself, is 21. My maiden name is Sobotka

Wąsewo 16 December 1958]

Halina was so excited as were we to meet for the first time. We had a copy of the letter (see an extract above) which brought great joy to her. She was amazed that after 55 years the letter that she wrote she was reading again. An unbelievable moment.

We talked about her life, her career, her job, her family, her husband Tadeusz who passed away from cancer.
Halina only recently retired, one year ago, because of health problems. She was able to remember the Walczak’s family but the Kruks family history was never discussed. She remembered clearly writing letters for Marianna which were sent to the brother Jan in the USA.

We enjoyed pastries, ham sandwiches, tea and coffee. Then Halina asked if we would like some home made raspberry liquor. It was made of raspberries, sugar and spirit (100 proof).

?Wow? the raspberries liquor was marvelous! Even though Zenon says it was strong, it seemed to me not very strong and smooth and easy to drink. Someone like me who rarely drinks, I could drink the whole bottle. Halina gave us a bottle to go to enjoy during our travel.

We returned to Kolonia-Brzezno to search for living relatives of Kruks. We met two oldest Kruk men in the area and verified that neither of them is related to me. The first Kruk gentlemen we met even though not related had similar facial characteristic to my father Edward.

It is late, more than half the bottle of raspberry juice is gone. Do jutra.

Do jutra!
Do jutra!

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