15 January 2011

Salt Lick from the Old Country

David Trzebiatowski was a skinny, oily little Polish-American kid growing up in the 1970's on the south side of Milwaukee.  That describes me pretty accurately, as well.  Strangely, that describes about 2/3s of my second-grade class, too.  Anyhow, David T. was a strange little kid (there's the pot calling the kettle black), and I distinctly remember a very strange morning of show-and-tell that involved my oily little acquaintance.

David had recently traveled back to the "old country" with his family over some holiday or something, and while in Poland he managed to visit a salt mine and come back with the most interesting souvenir - a small model of a mining car with a tiny block of pure salt in the back.  Use your imagination - a little four-wheeled cart with railway type wheels and a one-inch square block of salt in it.  What fun.

David stood at the head of the class and beamed as he told about how his uncles and cousins worked in the salt mines (and we all thanked God that our ancestors had had the presence of mine to LEAVE those God-forsaken salt mines in Poland), and he showed us the little mining car model with the salt in it.

"Should I pass it around, Mrs. Anderson?" David asked.

"That would be fine," said Mrs. Anderson.

"Should everyone take a lick?" David asked.

Mrs. Anderson paled.  "No David, I think just passing it around would be fine."

I always kind of wondered what that little block of salt tasted like, but I was always glad that I was not given the chance to find out.

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