My Magrini and Me


SOL March Challenge 2015 Day 30

When I posted that I played the accordion, I had a few comments asking me to go deeper into that musical part of my life.  So, here goes.

I really don’t remember how it all came about.  why the accordion?  When did I start lessons?  I do know that it was at a relatively young age.  My brother has a picture of me as an elementary student holding my child sized accordion.

I do remember through most of elementary school (I went to a Catholic school so it was grades 1 through 8) I took lessons.  We lived in a village (much too small to even be called a town) and I rode the bus to and from school.

Once a week, instead of riding the bus home from school my accordion teacher would be waiting at the school at dismissal time.  I would get in the car with him and he would drive me home and give me my lesson.  Yes, he came to the house.

This continued until he retired.  I then found a new teacher in Frackville, a town about 4 miles away from where we lived.  He conducted lessons from his home so I would go there once a week.  Mr. Kost played in a polka band (this is the coal region and a highly Polish, Slovak mix of people) so it was neat taking lessons from him.

Around this time, my older brother began taking clarinet and saxophone lessons.  We had one friend who played the drums and another who played the trumpet.  It was natural that we would join forces and form a polka band of our own.   We didn’t really hire out or anything like that, but we did get together and play every Saturday evening.

You see, my father owned a bar.  There was a side room that contained tables and chairs.  This is where we would play.  Probably get into trouble today if we did something like this but back then it didn’t matter.

We enjoyed playing and, truth be told, it wasn’t all that bad for my father’s business.  People would dance as we played.  My brother sang. It was a fun evening.  We played all the standard types of music coal area bands played—polkas—waltezs—obereks—czardas (Hungarian dance)

This went on for several years until college forced us to disband.

I really haven’t thought much about our band until I wrote the post last week.  It really was an enjoyable time of my life.


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12 responses to “My Magrini and Me

  1. What interesting lives we discover in the slices! At least you had a place to play every week for public enjoyment. I’m sure there were regulars who came to hear you.

  2. I have always wanted to learn to play the concertina. I saw it in a movie once, probably something with pirates, and it looked like fun. Growing up there was a TV show on Saturdays, “Polka Time with Walter Ostanek”. He was a local guy who actually won a grammy for the best lola album. I don;t think they hand those out any more, but maybe they should. That music is a lot better than rap!

  3. I love hearing more of the story, and yes, your probably couldn’t have done it today in a bar, but what a wonderful time for you all to practice your performing skills along with the music too. Time to rewind and play again?

  4. Lisa

    That’s a great story! My how times have changed. Now kids are too busy to devote time to a band.

  5. Love this story, and the way the memories came back to you.

  6. Judy C.

    Great slice – it’s wonderful to hear more about your talents. Do you still pick up the accordion and play for Kathy?

  7. Hidden talents…and even hidden from yourself until you revisited it and it emerged in your writing. Can you still play? Does it come back pretty quickly?

  8. Jaana

    I love reading how one story connects us with another. Who know, maybe there is a Saturday evening musical waiting to happen at your house.

  9. My daughter loved playing the accordion in music therapy. It has a neat sound (if you know how to play it well!).

  10. Thank you for telling the rest of the story. It is a great story and one worthy of being returned to memory and sharing. Delightful!

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