Polka party set at Kravitz Deli

Staff report


A polka party, with music by Summit Jammers, the former Kuzman’s polka band, will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Kravitz Deli, 3135 Belmont Ave., sponsored by the William Holmes McGuffey Historical Society.Admission is $6 ($5 for society members), and reservations are suggested; call 330-726-8277.

Featured musicians will include Dolores DePietro, Joe Godina and Pete November on button box; and Laurie James and Stan O’Day, accordion. They will perform popular polka tunes, which were once played weekly at Kuzman’s Ballroom in Girard, which closed in 2017.

A Fred Astaire Dance Studio couple will showcase various polka dances and offer tips on polka steps and form, at no charge. Guests are encouraged to dance to the music.

The Summit Jammers, who also perform at the Youngstown Saxon Club, will share memories of Mahoning Valley polka music, which once was commonly found at area ethnic churches, social events, lodges, bars and dance halls. A brief history of polka music, which has roots in Slavic countries, and the art of playing the button box and accordion will be provided. A question-and-answer period will follow.

The McGuffey Society is now conducting a membership drive. Membership levels include individual, family, organization, business, patron and lifetime. Members have the opportunities to participate in a school-based literacy program, the annual McGuffey Founder’s Day/Pioneer Award program and the monthly public program committees.

For information, contact Richard S. Scarsella, WHMHS chairman, at 330-726-8277.


The William Holmes McGuffey Historical Society lecture series at Kravitz Delis also includes the following (all start at 10 a.m.; admission is $6):

Feb. 16: Gerald Kern, president of the Historic Warner Cascade Theater Museum, New Castle, Pa., will recount the Warner Brothers family’s first venue and ongoing efforts to preserve it.

March 23: Allan May, author of books on the Mafia, will share tales from his book “Welcome to the Jungle Inn,” which is about the notorious Mahoning Valley nightclub.

April 20: Dale Perelman, of New Castle, Pa., and author and jeweler, will retell stories from his book, “Road to Rust: The Disintegration of the Steel Industry in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.”

May 18: Diane Sauer, auto dealership owner, will recall her groundbreaking career, challenges and memories, in the Mahoning Valley.

June 15: Sherry Linkon, Georgetown University professor of history, will discuss her books “Steeltown USA” and “The Half Life of Deindustrialization: Working Class Writing & Economic Restructuring.”

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