CAROLYN’S ONLINE MAGAZINE (#COMe)
YES, ED, I HAVE FRIENDS
Ed Polcyn was the second husband of my high school friend, Pat. After a short illness, ending in the early morning on August 2, 2015, he began his journey into the next world.
Ed and Pat resided in West Seneca, New York. Because of the distance between our homes we visited together only a couple of times a year, usually for breakfast on the mornings my husband Monte and I were leaving the Buffalo area. It was obvious the Union Family Restaurant, where we dined, was Ed’s favorite breakfast spot—staff and community members were always there to offer him a friendly greeting.
On September 25-26, 2005, Pat and Ed visited our Pennsylvania home in Laurel Mountain Borough. I relate my version of their short visit in his memory.
“You mean you have a friend?” Ed asked me after I introduced him to my neighbor.
Ahh, that was Ed. Sarcastic. Curmudgeonly. Able to provide me with a mantra for their visit.
“Of course I have friends,” I responded, not mentioning that these friends might be few and far between—but I did—do—have some friends.
Our home, being about 21 miles from both the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville and the 2002 Quecreek Mine disaster site nearby, provides the opportunity to take guests on a historical tour, which also includes the Flight 93 Chapel in Shanksville. A fitting end to this tour is a meal at the Coal Miner’s Restaurant in Jennerstown.
At the Flight 93 Memorial site we looked in the distance to where a stone, with a green tree line behind it, marked the actual crash spot. We examined memorabilia attached to the fence, items left by visitors to the crash site: crosses, caps, license plates, flags, a fireman’s jacket—many of them signed by the donors. There were signatures along the guard rail surrounding the site.
Suddenly it began to rain. We entered the small shelter where there was a guest book, which we all signed while waiting for the rain to stop.
We left the crash site and continued on to the Chapel, a peaceful spot to reflect on the Flight 93 crash victims. Pat and Ed spent time in the side room viewing pictures of the victims and reading their biographies. Before we left this site Ed rang the bell outside the chapel.
It was time to visit the Quecreek Mine Rescue Memorial site located on the Dormel Farm.
“Ed,” I said. “I must tell you that the museum is closed today. It’s Monday, and I forgot that fact. However, I’ve taken care of that. I’ll get you into the museum.”
Ed gave me a look.
We drove off the main road to the entrance of the Quecreek Mine memorial site. However, Monte didn’t turn into the driveway. He continued on to the farmhouse further down on the opposite side of the road. I knew Ed had to be wondering why we didn’t stop at the site.
We pulled into the driveway of the farmhouse and I got out of the car.
“I’ll be back in a minute,” I said.
I knocked on the farmhouse door. Lori Arnold, owner of the Dormel farm with her husband Bill, answered. She gave me the key to the museum and instructed me to lock the door after we entered the structure.
I returned to the car, waving the key in Ed’s face.
“Now we can go into the museum,” I gloated. “See, I have friends.”
We took our time in the museum and walking around the grounds, examining the equipment and other displays.
Then we returned to the farmhouse where I returned the key and paid for the items Pat and Ed had purchased.
“See, I have friends,” I said again to Ed.
I think by this time he was beginning to believe me.
We topped the day off at the Coal Miner’s restaurant, where they serve generous helpings of good, wholesome food.
The day was coming to an end. We returned home and I waved to my neighbors, who were out in the yard.
“Yes, Ed, I have friends.” And I want to end by saying Ed was one of my friends, and I’m going to miss him when I’m in West Seneca and meet Pat for breakfast at the Union Family Restaurant.
POLCYN – Edward S., Jr. Of West Seneca, NY, August 2, 2015, beloved husband of Patricia L. (nee Andrzejewski) Kwitowski-Polcyn; dearest father of Peter (Kim) Kwitowski, David (Mary) Kwitowski, Mary Ellen (Robert) Bilski, Daniel (Tracy) Kwitowski and Andrew Polcyn; loving grandfather of 11; brother of Thomas (Laura) Polcyn and brother-in-law of Marcia (Tadj) Szymczak, Roger (Penny) Andrews and the late Linda (Donald) Zastempolski. Family will be present Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 at the HOY FUNERAL HOME, INC., 3855 Seneca St., West Seneca where prayers will be said Friday morning at 8:30 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial from Queen of Heaven Church at 9 AM. Family and friends invited.