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Newsletter for August-December 2008

   Ahojte (hello) TARG members! Here is your TARG e-newsletter for August-December, 2008.
   It's time to get back to doing these newsletters regularly! Hopefully life will allow me to do a better job of it in the new year. Sorry about the lag. Had computer problems that put me out of business in September, but I got that fixed and we didn't lose the TARG website info, thankfully. I hope in spite of the gloomy outlook of many observers, that the new year will turn out alright for everyone here and in the "old country".
   For those of you contemplating a trip to Poland and Slovakia, check out Helene Cincebeaux's tour schedule for 2009 on our TRIPS page.
 - Paul Bingham, TARG Founder  

YOUR LETTERS___________
---Hi Paul, I am trying to locate relatives that may be in the Nowy Targ area. My great grandfather and grandfather on my father's side were born in Nowy Targ. My last name is Marek. Can you provide me with any references contacts to help in my research? I will be travelling to Poland in June. Thanks for your help. - Ken
***Hello Ken, Because of privacy laws online and printed contact information for people living in Poland is getting harder to come by. But looking in a phonebook I brought back from the region in 1998, I do see three listings for Mareks in Now Targ. Some of their addresses are almost certainly still valid. I find listings for Marek, Josef mgr, Marek, Piotr, and Marek, Stanislaw mgr inz. I can send you addresses of each. I hope this helps you on your upcoming trip. Please let us know how it went when you return!- Paul
---Hello Paul, Thanks for the info Paul. I left on May 29th and did not read your email until I returned. While there I actually found some relatives through pictures from the 1950s. One lives 30 minutes from me in the US and was in Poland while I was. I met Stanislaw Marek. He only speaks Polish. He is a friend of the owner of the hotel where I stayed for a few days in Nowy Targ. He traced his family back to the 1600s. However, he is from a different line of Mareks. I went to Szflary to check and did not come up with anything there. There are lots of villages that I need to check in the future. One woman I met in Gronkow was very helpful and is going to continue searching for me. The government workers are usually helpful in sending you somewhere else. I had a major in the army send me to Warsaw where I wasted two days, not counting the travel and expense. They were surprised when I showed up again in Nowy Targ. This time I had documentation that said I should be there. However, the director of the archives in Nowy Targ was not at all cooperative. However, I made numerous friends and contacts. Government workers are still pressured not to divulge too much info. There is a lot of construction going on: new buildings and new roads. All in all, I had a remarkable trip. The country is beautiful and I enjoyed myself. In the 2+ weeks I was there I drove over 2300 miles, 3699 kilometers. I started in Krakow and went to Nowy Targ, Warsaw, Lublin, Zamosc, Bydgoszcz, Torun and then back to Nowy Targ and then Krakow. There is almost a village every mile most of which are not on any ordinary map. To find them you have to purchase special detailed maps. I liked Torun and Krakow the best outside of the Nowy Targ area, where my grandparents came from. I believe one of their children, Louis, stayed in Poland and may never have come to the US. He may have been too young when his siblings left. I am sure that I have other relatives that I did not find but I'll have to wait until I can go back to meet them. Being a Christian I relied on God all the time I was there. The day before I left a priest from Gronkow gave me a baptismal certificate for my grandmother. She was baptized there in 1884. How I met the priest and many of the other events that happened are amazing and were obviously God appointed. - Ken
---Hello, Paul, Hope this gets to you. Do you have an update on your newsletters? I would love to see the latest. - Eleanor K.
***Hi Eleanor, All of the TARG newsletters (including the last one for June 2008) are on our TARG website. I'm not done with July's yet, but have been working on it. I don't mail them out anymore. The mailing list is too big and many more of them each time were being rejected as spam. Posting them on the website lets me include pictures and links I couldn't do before, so from that standpoint it's a plus. Here's the website address: www.e-TARG.org. You'll see the links to the e-newsletters on the home page. Thanks! - Paul
---Hi Paul, Well I'm back from one week in the villages and 3 weeks in Bratislava studying Slovak at SAS. Had a great time! Any chance you are putting out another issue that would be timely to include this greatly reduced DNA test kit pricing? This is better than I even negotiated it. - Karen
***Hi Karen, Thanks for your e-mail. I want to hear all about your trip! I would love to make an announcement about this great offer, too, but have one problem. My computer last week would not boot and as far as newsletters and updating my website I am still dead in the water. I am actually on another computer checking my e-mail right now. I am seeing if I can get my machine fixed, so I'll keep you posted. Please share more about your trip. (I wanted badly to go this year but with three in college it just wasn't in the cards.) Thanks! - Paul
---Hi Paul! I've recently started to research my grandparents hometown. It is Krynica or Krenica. I can't tell for sure on your maps. I think it might be just to the east, but I'm not sure. Can you tell me? Thanks! - John
***Hi John, There are 7 towns & villages named Krynica in Poland. Do you know for sure which one your ancestors are from? There are none named "Krenica" although there are two Kremnicas in Slovakia. Thanks - Paul
(Even more of your mail next time!)

Chapter 8 "Sudden Cross and Sorrowing Christ" continued from last time:
The Gorals are great artists in wood carving. Their hatchet-sticks ('ciupaga'), spoon racks, drinking cups, pails, cheese moulds, chairs and other objects of domestic use, made of wood, are richly, but not excessively, decorated. The delicate and tasteful simplicity of the ornament gives them a pleasant, old-time charm, and it must be regretted that cheap manufactured furniture tends to spoil the local style and makes competition difficult to the pleasant craftsman.
The ingenuity of the Goral carpenters was such that they contrived to make complicated door locks, which were opened with a wooden key, without a single metal part. Such locks can still be found in many old cottages, particularly in the villages some distance from Zakopane. Houses also used to be built entirely of wood, wooden plugs being cleverly substituted for nails.
Much in the local wood work vividly recalls Scandinavian patterns, which may or may not be due to the similarities of climate and material (fir wood), though original motives must have been common to the whole of Northern Europe, even if they have disappeared elsewhere. Other elements of Goral ornamentation can be easily traced to back to Hungarian influences, as the robbers had frequent contact with Hungary during their southern forays.
(Chapter 8 "Sudden Cross and Sorrowing Christ" of Firsoff's 1946 book will conclude in our next issue.)

CONTACTING TARG_____________________
   To contact the TARG Editor, the new e-mail address is: TatraAreaResearchGroupgmail. Our "snail" mailing address is still TARG, P.O. Box 3533, Escondido, CA 92033. Use it for sending in orders or photos and anything else you want to share with the group. (If for some reason you are unable to contact us at the new address above, go ahead and use the old address targ_nethotmail.)
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