I started this website with the intention of it being a place to list my books. Then I decided to add a page for blogs. I didn’t expect to write many, and there were times when I didn’t post a blog for weeks. Other times I would write enough blogs to have them scheduled for a month in advance. Time went by and the number of blogs crept higher and higher. I made it to 50… then 75… then 90… 95 until I finally arrived at this one.
This is blog number 100. When I finally realized I would make it to 100 blogs, I began to think about the subject. I basically envisioned it would start off like this, but I didn’t know where it would end. I know now.
Earlier this week I received a Facebook invitation to an event. A birthday event, and in case you haven’t guessed, a dear old friend was turning 100. I say old friend with the utmost respect. It would take several blogs… No, I take that back… It would take an entire book to chronicle the fascinating life of Leon Lasota. I will list some of the highlights that I know.
Leon was born in Kozowka, Poland on April 16, 1921, … Duh!… That’s why he’s turning 100. He lived on a farm as a child and was one of two survivors of a pandemic at his school. So, he’s always been a survivor. If you do the math, Leon would have been 18 in 1939. That was the start of World War II. To simplify matters, Leon was in the Polish Resistance. I can’t tell you exactly what he did because it’s still Top Secret! He ended up in a labor camp, and I won’t dwell on that. I just thank God he survived. After the war, he moved to Folkestone, England. He met his lovely wife Ann, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but raised in Bradford which is in the Yorkshire area. I’ve always loved her accent. They got married, lived in Leeds, had a child in England, Richard, moved to Toronto, had two more children. Daughters. Sue and Sylvie. Then the family moved to Chicago and finally ended up in Romeoville of all places. That’s where I met Leon. And that was just the beginning of his incredible life!
Do you remember the space shuttle? The shuttle would not have existed without Leon Lasota. I could share the technical details, but trust me, it wouldn’t have flown without an unassuming man and his skills and tools.
Along the way there have been numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. I think the list ends there. For now. There have been health setbacks, but Leon continually astonished the doctors with his ability to survive, recover and forge ahead.
That brings us to 2021.
Leon, you finally made it. Like many others, I am grateful for the chance to have known you for over half your life and call you my friend.
Perhaps, I will be allowed to fill in the gaps about Leon one of these days. For now I will echo the grandchildren and say,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DZIADEK