From Ray Dziak
One Sunday afternoon, I received a call from Ted, to travel with him half way to Madison, to pick up a boat. The boat turned out to be a row boat with the bottom rotted out. That didn’t seem, to make any difference to Ted, so the row boat was loaded onto the trailer and towed home. The following weekend, we attended a 50th wedding anniversary party for his brother Johnny and his wife Irene, at Johnny’s “Veterans Park” hall. The couple were planning a trip to Hawaii for their anniversary. When the band took a break, to everyone’s surprise, the bottomless boat was pushed into the middle of the dance floor. The surprised couple were forced to sit in the boat, while pot bellied old men in hula skirts danced around the boat to the tune of “hawaiian wedding song” while leis were placed around their necks.
Late that night, after the party ended, I had to help Ted drag the rotten boat back to the farm and dispose of it the following day.
We have wonderful memories of Ted and Virginia from the years at Vets Park, the Blue Canary, Pats Oak Manor, at the various church picnics, et cetera. Ted graciously opened his home for the meetings of the Wiscsonsin Polka Hall of Fame meetings when the organization was in its infancy. I always enjoyed dedicating songs to them for their birthdays and anniversaries on the radio show over the years.
Our condolences to the family. Had we not been in Poland, we would have known about Ted’s passing sooner. As an Ignasiak brother, he was one of the few remaining stalwarts of MIlwaukee’s fabulous polka “era”. Bog Zaplac, Tadziu.
Jerry and Debbie Halkoski
I remember that pony ride.
Tom and Linda
We are so sorry for your loss. A wonderful, fun man.
One time when Tom played with the Pat Zoromski band at the Blue Canary, Ted saw Tom and came right over when he recognized him and said it looks like we should have some good polish polka music today! He got red hats from the bar and gave them to all the band members. The red hats had an eagle on the front of them. Ted called it “the Polish Chicken”. Tom still has that hat!
You are in our thoughts and prayers!
Tom and Linda Mielke
Mark I’m so sorry for your loss. I was just thinking about the time in the early 90’s when you and Kathy invited the girls and I to your home. We took them to your Dad’s and they had their first pony ride. Good times!
Ted always went out of his way for a practical joke.
One day, news came down to the farm that a friend was buying a house. He asked Ted if he could borrow a lawn mower to tidy up the place.
Ted told me that “no matter what you do today, the donkey goes to skinny Ray’s house”
The donkey was loaded into a pickup truck, kicking and braying, and tied in the middle of skinny’s front yard.
When Skinny Ray got home, he found the staked out donkey surrounded by a dozen or more of the neighborhood kids. and the angry police informing him that it was illegal to have a donkey in the city of Milwaukee. Skinny Ray explained to the police that the donkey was a practical joke and locked it in the garage until the “owner” ( skinny recognized, was from Ted’s farm) could come to claim it the next day.
The donkey brayed and kicked at the garage walls all night. The next day, we had to go pick up the donkey. Not an easy task with a donkey who was braying, hungry and mad.
We also dropped off the “real lawnmower” skinny requested.