Yellow Jacket Football in Hard Times and Good

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AuthorHouse, Jun 25, 2010 - History - 236 pages
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Ray Golarz paints a revealing pathway into the lives of a Depression era immigrant community. He takes the reader aboard a journey via the very early American game of football. Once aboard, the reader is introduced to a team of young semi-pro Polish football players, along with their friends, families, ethnic customs, and religious ways, then drawn into a community struggling to survive the Depression's challenges and maintain their unique identity in this newly-adopted country.

This account has it all: football games filled with action, emotion, strategizing, and gritty determination. And like those who actually came to see the games, you will find it delightfully easy to walk along with family and friends, coming from all over their neighborhood, to stand or take a seat on a make-shift bench. Join in the singing of the National Anthem, agonize over plays gone wrong, and walk with them over to Wusic's gas station to gather and celebrate after game victories.

Ah, but stick around. There's more. Before, during and between games and seasons, you can come to team meetings, share a Christmas Eve ethnic meal, and attend a Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. If you can wake up at two o'clock in the morning, you will be taken on a night trip to collect coal along the railroad tracks. Then in early morning, go off to Wusic's for coffee and a log in the pot-bellied stove.

And you can get a close look at the Depression on a national level as you join Lefty who goes “on the bum” hitting the rails, driven by curiosity and want for food at home. Meet World War I vets on their way to Washington for promised bonuses, walk to Niagara Falls, and take a cot in a New York City mission.



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About the author (2010)

Raymond J. Golarz was born in 1940 in East Hammond, Indiana, The setting for this book. He spent his earliest formative years in this community, even attending much of his elementary school years at St. Mary's school. As a young adult, he spent his early working years employed in steel production, processing, and forging plants. He married Marion Joyce Simpson and together they have six children: Tanya, Michael, Scott, Jocelyn, Daniel and Thomas John. He became a teacher and later directed delinquency prevention programs near Chicago. For years he taught law enforcement officers before becoming an assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools. He taught psychology at St. Joseph's College, Purdue Calumet, and City College in Seattle. He has keynoted major conferences in every large province in Canada and in virtually every state in the United States. He is the co-author of Restructuring Schools for Excellence Through Teacher Empowerment published in 1991, co-author with his wife Marion of the Power of Participation published in 1995 And The author of When the Yellow Jackets Played published in 2009. He received his doctorate from Indiana University in 1980. He currently resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife Marion. His personal "Rosebud" continues to be the 1930s and 1940s neighborhood of East Hammond.His email is

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