The Haunting of Dunkirk Lighthouse

The Haunting of Dunkirk Lighthouse

The Smithsonian's souvenir postcard of the Dunkirk Lighthouse When my maternal ancestors left Poland around the turn-of-the-century, they all made their way to the Fourth Ward of Dunkirk, New York. The city has a rich history: it was home to Brooks Locomotive Works during the latter half of the nineteenth century; provided steel for John [...]

Johnny Hamernik’s Café

Johnny Hamernik’s Café

It was known as "Dunkirk's Bright Spot;" Johnny Hamernik's Café at 182 East Second Street in Dunkirk, New York featured dining, dancing and the occasional boxing match on Friday nights. The kitchen served fish fry, shrimp cocktails, roast beef sandwiches and hamburgers, and there was a rotating parade of local performers, everyone from The Tempo [...]

Conversations with Gramps

Conversations with Gramps

I spent the past week in Buffalo, New York visiting my aunt and cousins and grandparents; we stopped by the Broadway Market for makowiec and placek, spent an afternoon wandering around Forest Lawn Cemetery and went wine tasting in the Finger Lakes. My favorite part of the trip, though, was going through old family photos [...]