Adam Stanis³aw Dró¿d¿ was born on December 15,
1920 in Go³onóg, Poland, and he spent his whole life there. He simply
loved Go³onóg. He knew its every corner and many of its inhabitants
and used this knowledge to write an extensive and detailed history
of Go³onóg, and the history of his immediate and not so immediate
family, "Family Chronicle." Adam spent several years gathering
information through interviews with family elders, and eagerly collecting
other necessary materials, prior to writing. With the very kind
help of his godson, this wonderful chronicle was published, and
many family members were grateful to be able to receive a copy of
Adam was already over eighty when he mastered the use of a computer,
and learned how to create web pages. With his new skills he started
working on “Our Go³onóg”, a website dedicated to Go³onóg, which
still exists (see naszgolonog.net)
and has many visitors. There, he published an even more detailed
history of Go³onóg, based on many different sources and numerous
illustrations. Many of the pictures on the website were taken by
Adam himself. In fact, he climbed to the very top of the tower of
the church of St. Anthony three times in his life to take panoramic
pictures of Go³onóg and its surrounding areas, and to document the
changes. At eighty years old he made his final journey to the top
of the tower where he took his beloved pictures for the last time.
Adam was also an admirer of the Kraków-Czêstochowa Jurassic Highland,
a place he frequently took his family and friends during the weekends.
He was also very fond of the Beskidy Mountains, where for many years
he used to spend very active vacations with his family.
He was very happily married twice. His first wife, Daniela, was
a very popular photographer in Go³onóg. She took pictures of the
people in Golonóg for 43 years until her death. Her pictures documented
baptisms, first communions, weddings, funerals, and many other memorable
occasions. Adam Dró¿d¿ helped his wife in this as much as he could.
Several years after Daniela passed away, in 1993, he was happily
married to Eugenia, who, like Daniela, is a very well known and
well thought of person in Go³onóg. For many years Eugenia worked
in different parts of our village bringing its people their mail.
In his lifetime, Adam Dró¿d¿ was a model husband, father and grandfather,
and also a much loved uncle. As a young father he devoted all his
free time to his children, and also to other children in the family
and the children of the neighbors, for whom he always organized
interesting activities. And, until his illness made it impossible,
he very thoughtfully took care of his son, who because of his disability
is confined to a wheelchair.
As an eternal optimist, Adam always paid attention to the positive
nature in every situation. He was very honest and good hearted,
and had a great sense of humor. He constantly examined his conduct,
and tried to change himself for the better. He followed a principle
that one cannot go to bed at night with anger in one’s heart, or
holding a grudge against anyone. If there were any misunderstandings
or insinuations in the family, he made sure that he apologized to
everybody, and that nobody was angry before he went to bed.
Adam had a great will to live. Six years ago he was broken by an
illness – a severe stroke. His doctors gave him little chance of
survival. Soon after that he had another stroke. Thanks to God’s
Grace, the loving care of his wife and often his cousin, good and
kind doctors, and an excellent physical therapist, he survived.
Though he was partially paralyzed and in a wheel chair, he did not
lose his sense of humor and his optimism. He could no longer read
by himself, but he loved to listen to the classical literature on
tapes, and he used to often go in his wheelchair with his wife to
the library to select new tapes for himself. He loved to listen
to Kraszewski’s books. One of his doctors used to say that the medicine
pales in comparison to the patient’s will to live.
Throughout his life Adam Dró¿d¿ loved to learn new things and visit
new places. He travelled to the southern part of the United States
five times to visit his daughter, and every time he chose a different
route so he could change flights in a different country and at a
different city to see something new.
We could talk about Adam’s active life for a long time and also
about his work, volunteering, and his service to Go³onóg, but in
the end we would just like to read an introduction to his “Family
Chronicle”. It is a short text, which Adam wrote himself in the
mid 1990s. These are his own words:
“Life is a continuous school, an unceasing experiment.
Findings from our own life, examples of other people, lessons
from the history, and guidance of our conscience are the impulses
for our actions, and they are why our life gives us satisfaction,
becomes useful for others, and gives us hope for being born again
according to Jesus Christ teachings.
That is why we need to devote more time to think
about life's duration and goal, and to utilize the most possibilities
to pull ourselves together, and to choose the proper way to live.
Usually we do not remember about it, in the turmoil
of the current matters and responsibilities, in the continuous
rush of the insane world, and more and more overwhelming influence
of the mass media.
At the end of life we experience an irresistible
urge and need to summarize and analyze what we experienced in
our life, to save at least a part of our experiences for our successors,
and to save them from being forgotten.
Perhaps, one of my grandchildren would like to learn
one day where his roots were, what the place where his ancestors
came from looked like, and whom the people in his family were.
These notes are an attempt, a little primitive, maybe inefficient,
to describe some fragments of the reality, which filled my life,
to remember the silhouettes of the people who were close to me.
Because of the inability to describe all the facts,
and because of a failing memory, this work does not aspire to
be complete: it is not deep enough, and it does not have conclusions
or predictions for the future.
At the end it needs to be said that my life was quite
successful. It was full of tragic events, the untimely death of
my father, the death of my child, the disability of my son, and
the death of my beloved wife.
But it was also filled with great joys. My inherent
optimism, good physical shape, still being active and no financial
worries in my old age, allowed me to live so many years, something
not shared by many of my contemporaries”.
-- Adam Dró¿d¿, introduction
to "Family Chronicle", Go³onóg, 1997 rok.