I BRAKE FOR ETHNICITY
Yiddishe Cup has shared the stage with the Hungarian Scouts, Ukrainian Kashtan dancers, and Csardas, a Hungarian troupe. These groups draw fans to local festivals, and the dancers perform in difficult odd meters. Yiddishe Cup doesn’t draw many fans to these multicultural shows. The typical Jew doesn’t want to watch Ukrainians, Poles, or Hungarians dance.
At one festival, some of the folk dances had sappy English titles, like “My Little Cherry Tree” and “I Love You, Shepherd Boy.” I took the printed program home and looked up the real titles:
“Tylko We Lwowie” (Let’s Get Out of Lviv)
“Frogisic Sie Pani” (My Bagpipes are Soggy)
“Jaz Pa Ti” (Dad is Tipsy)
“Pytala Sie Pani” (Pierogis With Butter, Senator)
“Llactosi Nyasa Pilsenioya” (I Hate Milk and Like Beer)
“Jak Szybko Hund Chwile” (Jacko’s Chili Dog Is Outstanding)
“Nasza Jest, Noc Tylko” (Not Tonight, Not Tomorrow.)
I bought a raffle ticket for the St. Mary’s Church (Collinwood) fundraiser, Catholic Order of Foresters, Court #1640.
I bought the ticket from Stan. Stan’s father was Stan too. Stan — my friend Stan – got married at St. William’s Church, not St. Stan’s. (St. Stan’s church is Polish. Stan is Slovenian.)
Stan’s wedding reception was at the big Slovenian National Home on St. Clair Avenue at E. 65th Street. Stan hired his uncle’s polka band. At the wedding, we danced Slovenian-style polka — not the same as Polish-style polka. (If you don’t know the difference, please see Harvey Pekar’s “Polka Wars” American Splendor, issue #16.)
Yiddishe Cup can play Slovenian! We’ve done Yankovic’s “Just Because” and “Blue Skirt Waltz,” and some charts from polka musician Joey Tomsick.
I won $20 in the St. Mary’s raffle. I haven’t seen the money yet.
Slovenians are tight with a buck. That’s their in-group reputation. Amongst themselves, Slovenians brag about their frugality, and they like to trash Lithuanians, who are even tighter. Stan told me all this.
The St. Mary’s Church raffle was three years ago. Stan, you owe me $23 — that’s $20 plus interest. Pay up, Stan. Any Stan.