The Clarinet Polka – Keith Maillard

His family probably changed their last name. But why Maillard? Usually a nice anglo name like Miller would be more likely. If one has any Polish in them, The Clarinet Polka doesn’t just read to the heart. It sounds like your roots.

My roots are Polish and Canadian with several cherished years living with Polish Americans. The Ohio Valley setting of the book is not mine, but the characters, the speech, the customs, the sounds and the times – last of the Vietnam War, resonate. Certainly this author is Polish.

It is the story of Jimmy Koprowski returning home from the Air Force, losing and finding all that is precious. His sister’s all-girl polka band practice and church hall scenes surround the reader with tensions, dischord, harmony, and joyful energy. Jimmy’s fondness for drinking makes the reader miss the smells and tastes of the wonderful food served at Polish church hall zabawy/fetes/parties.

Keith Maillard wrote The Clarinet Polka in 2002. I plan on amending my guilt for paying next to nothing by getting his more recent works, Morgantown, and, Lyndon Johnson and the Majorettes. This expat American, teaching and writing in BC, can tell a story.


About mielniczuk

Community, systems, design, collaboration, change, evidence, Intelligent Accountability(c)
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