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This photo shows you what community life used to be like…
a proud father, son, home, school, church and main street within three blocks…………….

Jack Jehorek and son, Jerome.

A 1920’s 4th of July Team Photo

I’m betting this was taken down at the old ball field right East of town one 4th of July afternoon during the 20’s after winning against one of their Sherman-Howard League opponents. What a patriotic bunch they were. After the photo they probably walked up to Dilla’s to celebrate with friends, family, locals and the visiting team.
By the way, look real close at a prank being done. See me if you can’t find it.

Jack Jehorek, , , , Charlie Hansen, , , Dan Hays, , Albert Horky

1926 Champions

Here is my #2 favorite photo. Besides my Grandfather Paul being on this, so also is my great uncle Al “Beanie” Strelecki. I knew him as the egg and creamery store man. Here he’s a handsome young man with his buddies. Now I know where Glen Hansen got all his sports interest…from dad Charlie, who I recall buying IH tractor parts from my grandpa.
I’ve had this photo so long and know all the names that I feel much attached to them almost as friends from days past. Many also were known from my growing up days on Main St. or delivering the World-Herald to their doorsteps, rain or shine. Of special significance is my memory of meeting Arnold Harvey during the Farwell centennial in 1987.
I had this picture hanging in the town museum and upon visiting; he commented that “that’s me on the left.” I was old, he was older but the stories were still fresh! Over the years, more stories of these boys surfaced.

Arnold Harvey, Charlie Hansen, Howard Waltman, Al Strelecki, Ed Kremlacek Dan Hays, Albert Horky, Amzel Gdanitz, Jack Jehorek Chick Petersen, Paul Lukasiewicz, Emil Fugan

1926 Battery


I'll bet these guys just loved to hear that. The pitchers are Albert Horky and Amzel Gdanitz and catcher is Dan Hayes. Albert has a pretty worn right toe and something tells me he had a smokin' fast ball! Dan caught for many guys in addition to Howard County native and Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander.

There's something neat about this photo of team manager/ player Jack. Jehorek. He is pictured here with Victoria Pawlowski Jehorek who was also a sister to the John and Victor Pawlowski, who were some awesome ball players. As much as folks dressed up for most occasions, maybe this was Sunday afternoon right after church and just about game time down at Deminski field.

Good morning, Bradyville.

Your faithful reporter is home again, home again, jiggity jog, and enjoyed an absolutely fantastic weekend. As my dear old granddad used to say, "I had so much fun I couldn't believe what I was doing was not immoral or illegal." By the way, do you know the difference between immoral and illegal? Immoral is something that is morally wrong and illegal is a sick bird.

I left early Friday morning and enjoyed an hour long break in Arnold to visit with old friends, Bill and Cyd Miller. Arrived in St. Paul and checked into the Bel Air Motel. There I met owners and operators, Tom and Ginny Jankovich, who are a delightful couple and doing a wonderful job of restoring the fine motel to it's original condition. It's taken a lot of work and dedication, but I highly recommend Bel Air for comfort, convenience and being treated royally by Tom and Ginny.

We also welcome them to our Bradyville family and they can be reached at (tjankovich@juno.com) or to call the motel it's 308-754-4466. I've already made a reservation to return the last weekend of September for the 3 day 220 mile junk yard sale that is a festive fall event put on by many communities along highway 2 west from Grand Island and also included towns along highway 92 and 11. This covers most of the North and Middle Loup area as each community features sales, special events and programs to entertain the public. I'll be signing books and enjoying the fun from St. Paul's wonderful Baseball Museum that is a must see for any fan. Pictures, stories and mementos of all past and present baseball players who have Nebraska ties.

Of course, Grover Cleveland Alexander is prominently featured as he was a native of Elba and St. Paul. Dinner Friday and Saturday nights at the Legion Club proved they haven't lost their touch in satisfying every taste bud with steaks, seafood and most anything your little heart desires. Their desserts are to die for. Everyone is welcome and it's another way to be good to you by enjoying your favorite drink and an unforgettable meal.

The festivities in introducing the Farwell Athletic Club and honoring former high school athletes and town team baseball players was well attended and much enjoyed. Former players and family members packed the school gym to view the old pictures and share memories of those times from about 1900 until the mid 1960s. If every small town had a historian and worker like Farwell's Randy Lukasiewicz, there would not be so many villages rolling up the streets and becoming ghost towns.

Randy has done a super job in creating interest in his hometown and we are so proud of this Bradyville member. Auburn Mayor, His Honor Robert Engles, drove out to attend the celebration as he and Randy were college roommates at Creighton and have maintained their contact through the years. After I finished speaking I asked His Honor how I did. He said, "Your voice really filled the auditorium. In fact, several people left to make room for it."

With more memories than anyone could expect to enjoy in one short weekend, I headed home about 5:00 yesterday morning, arriving by noon. Old blue ran without a hitchthe weather was perfect and my new found salvation, Zelmore, is solving my longtime internal problem. Dear old granddad would have said, "If things were any better, I'd think I must be somebody else."

The kitties greeted me with open paws and both helped me unpack. They climbed in and out of my travel bag and checked each item in hopes of finding something I brought them. After a well deserved session of pets, pats and brushing, they joined me for a nap. My "You've Got Mail" box was jammed so sadly once again I had to delete many items just to catch up, but I thank you all for staying in touch.

The kits have been fed and are ready for their first full week of sitting on the living room picture window sill serving the neighborhood watch program as children go to school. They love it when some of the kids wave to them as they pass by. Miss Abigail waves back and Dolly hides behind the drapes. So, I guess all is about back to normal on Dogwood Avenue. I'll bid you farewell after wishing you a wonderful week and a great day. Please continue to share your most needed smile, and don't forget to be good to you.

Bye for now: Jay

August 20, 2005 - His quest: to honor town's glory days


FARWELL, Neb. - It's just a horse pasture now, a blur of tallgrass and cockleburs along U.S. Highway 92. A diamond-shaped area, hard as a boot heel and carpeted with clover, is the only hint this is where local heroes once played ball. Men such as Chick Petersen, the best spitballer in the Sherman-Howard County League; or lanky Jim Horky, whose knuckleball dropped like it had fallen off a table; or husky Howard Waltman, whose uppercut swing blooped single after single.

More than 40 years after the Farwell baseball team folded and its field became a pasture, a native of this Polish farm town is trying to rekindle the spirit of the Farwell Athletic Club. Those were the glory days, when the Farwell team was feared and baseball was a favored pastime. The town still had a high school. Its main street was filled with businesses and activity. On Sunday afternoons, townspeople lined their cars around the diamond and cheered the local nine.

Randy Lukasiewicz, who sells furniture in Omaha, said his bid to revive the memories began with the discovery of a photograph of a 1919 Farwell basketball team that included his grandfather, Paul. Since then, Lukasiewicz, 54, has amassed dozens of old pictures and news clippings and has turned them into a traveling exhibition of the town's baseball and basketball exploits. He has launched a Farwell Athletic Club Web site and created a line of replica ball caps and T-shirts to honor the long-gone "FAC."

He said his "Field of Dreams"-like quest is about rekindling the spirit of the days when heroes were local men and women, merchants and farmers, who played baseball or made music or art in his hometown.

"This was a special place at a special time with special people, who had special gifts and talents," he said. "I saw a lot of these people on the streets of Farwell as old men . . . no one realized their importance."

Today, Lukasiewicz's memorabilia and merchandise will be displayed during an open house and reunion at the Farwell School, from noon to 5 p.m. A vintage baseball team from Ord, Neb., will play a game that has disappeared from the landscape in the town of 150 about 30 miles northwest of Grand Island. Farwell's high school closed in 1968. The Sherman-Howard League, formed in 1912, is a distant memory. To play ball now means a trip to bigger towns, like St. Paul or Loup City.

"We just don't have the kids, we don't have the rural population anymore," said Larry Lukasiewicz, 73. Randy's cousin, he played on the last Farwell teams in 1962, '63, then on other town teams until he was 50. There are great memories, said Larry Lukasiewicz and two other former Farwell players, Ray Olsen, 81, of St. Paul and Galen Jackson, of Rock Rapids, Iowa. They said up to 1,000 people would crowd around the field when Farwell faced rivals from Elba, Ashton or the Danes from Dannebrog.

Kids chased foul balls, which could be turned in for a nickel. That rose to a dime if the chase took them across the old highway and through a row of tall cottonwoods along the left field line. "It was really a nice field, kind of a loose loam dirt that could be smoothed quite easily," said Jackson, 81, the team's ball boy and son of manager H.T. Jackson, who managed the local train station and lived above the depot.

The Farwell Athletic Club - taken from the initials on the uniforms of the 1919 Farwell basketball team - has come back to life on caps and T-shirts designed by Randy Lukasiewicz. He said he's sold FAC ball caps to people on both coasts, and sells his wares at a couple of gift shops in Omaha and at the Kearney Arch. Randy Lukasiewicz, whose family operates a furniture store in Farwell, said he sometimes wonders why he has invested so much time and money in resurrecting the Farwell Athletic Club. "So far, it's been a labor of love," he said. "But it's a story worth telling. Who knows? Maybe there will be a Farwell Athletic Club again."

Farwell to host special reunion Saturday
Farwell Athletic Club, area baseball players remembered By Gretchen Fowler, gretchen.fowler@theindependent.com

Independent Talk

FARWELL -- The public is invited to a special reunion, open house and dance Saturday in Farwell. Randy Lukasiewicz of Omaha attended kindergarten in Farwell and has been involved with other Farwell alumni in organizing the day's events. Over the years, he has collected Farwell memorabilia and photos, which will be on display throughout the day. Lukasiewicz said of Saturday's gathering, "It's just a get-together to celebrate small schools, small towns and a little bit of baseball."

"One reason for this is to honor 70 years ago," Lukasiewicz said, referring to Aug. 18, 1935, a day set aside to honor veteran baseball player "Chick" Petersen. According to an Aug. 21, 1935, issue of the St. Paul Phonograph, a large number of people came to Farwell on that day to honor Petersen "for his 23 years of valuable service on the Farwell (Athletic) Club." The article went on to say that Petersen, a pitcher, had been kingpin of the Farwell (Athletic) Club for many years and that his banner year was in 1913 when he won 13 games and lost only four. His active baseball service ended in 1935.

"Truly Sunday was a big day in Farwell," the article stated, "a day that will always be a pleasant memory to Chick Petersen and his family." The mayor of Farwell has declared this Saturday Chick Petersen Day as well, Lukasiewicz said. Petersen's scrapbook will be on display that day, along with numerous photos of former distinguished Crete resident and coach Howard Waltman, who played from the '20s through the '50s.

Any former Farwell student is welcome to take part in Saturday's festivities. Lukasiewicz said that while Farwell hasn't had a high school for 37 years, this will be a chance for alumni to reminisce. There will be an open house from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Farwell Public School, along with an exhibit of Farwell baseball and Sherman-Howard League photos and memorabilia.

The original stage curtain, with visible production names and signatures from the '30s and '40s from the old MWA Hall, will be on display on Saturday, along with an exhibit of vintage cars and farm equipment. Lukasiewicz said the MWA Hall in its day was used to host numerous school and community productions and was the "Qwest Center of Farwell."

Jay Brady will speak at the school at 3 p.m. Brady worked in Farwell in the '80s and was an area radio personality. He grew up in Ainsworth and is now retired, using his skills and interests as a writer (author of "Do You Remember"), sports enthusiast and current mayor of Bradyville.

The 1910 Ord Tigers will play vintage ball at 4 p.m. on the field between the church and the school. The evening's activities will include a dance at 7 p.m. at the Pawlowski Community Center, with music provided by the Shuda Orchestra.

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