Bohemian Princess Diary
What better way to celebrate the month of love than with a feature on polka sweethearts Ross and Valina of Das Ist Lustig. This polka power couple seem to have boundless energy when it comes to promoting happy music. And it’s not just through their performances. They share their love of polka with students promoting music and dance through German clubs at Houston-area high schools. Whether you see them as a duo at Rudi Lechner’s in Houston, or as a band at festivals like the upcoming 20th Tomball German Heritage Festival, you will be entertained and leave with a smile on your face and skip in your step. Now, if we could just find a way to harness that energy from Valina’s ponytail, we could make a dent in global warming!
This month we are also remembering the lives of some special people who were near and dear to the polka community (See page 17). One especially – Harold Lawson – was near and dear to me and my family. Harold and his wife, Mary Lou, were good friends with my dad. When my dad passed away, I felt I had a second set of parents in Harold and Mary Lou. John and I knew that if Harold and Mary Lou were going to be at the dance, we were going to have a good time.
Some fond memories of Harold – He and Mary Lou dancing the polka hop. When Mary Lou couldn’t dance that step any more, Harold still danced the hop as recently as his 95th birthday party. Deborah Logue was one of his favorite partners. Table number 47 at SPJST Lodge 88 was always reserved for the Lawsons. We had many a good time at that table. Dancing the Crazy 8 line dance. Mary Ann Barcak was always a fan of this dance. Sharing a pitcher of Bud Light with Harold at the Lodge. Dancing the jitter bug with Harold. Ringing in many a new year with Harold and Mary Lou. Watching Harold entertain kids at the dances with his origami talent. He loved rocks and stones and made some beautiful jewelry, including the bolo John wore at our wedding and the matching earrings for me. His ability to master those crane machines where you grab a stuffed animal. I still have the Tweety Bird he fished out of the machine at the New Year’s Eve dance at KC Hall in Houston.
His pride in serving our country and promotion of the website ww2.vet.org.He and Mary Lou always had a stack of brochures about the site to hand out. They also had a stack of membership applications for the Polka Lovers Klub of America Texas Chapter. Mary Lou could work the crowd and always end up signing new members. The Lawsons were one of the founding couples of PoLK of A. They never missed a membership meeting in the 30-year history of the Klub. Even a trip to the emergency room would not keep Harold from missing a Klub meeting. The only way he would miss a meeting was if there was no breath left in him. That’s what happened on Jan. 12. He passed away as the Klub gathered for its annual meeting. It was very fitting that comments were made at his service by Al Stryk, the first president of the Klub, and Kathy Cernosek, the current president.
Harold once told me how much he enjoyed reading the Book of Psalms. This one is for you Harold. Rest in peace. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. - Psalm 62:5-8
Till next month, Polka On!