Jeeps and Kielbasa

When my brother and I were in grade school, our parents would pick us up and take us along when they voted. The polling place was the National Guard Armory. The Guardsmen would line up their tanks and their jeeps inside the building for the kids to play on while our parents voted. On the walls were patriotic paintings of American soldiers from the colonial times to the present (1970’s). After my parents voted we would buy some food from the nice ladies from our local youth sports club, the Dana Athletic and Recreational Association. They were lined up at the back of the building as you exited so couldn’t leave without getting something. My parents would always get Mrs. O’Brien’s “Sweet and Sour Kielbasa” which more than a few people thought was the best thing anyone had ever done with sausage.

My grandmothers never missed an election. My maternal grandmother Frances became a citizen in 1942 and voted in every election until her death in 1986. My paternal grandmother Anne voted in every election from 1936, when she turned 21 until 2014 when she was 99 years old. Every time I vote I think of them.

Mark Jendrysik

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