New Bedford

In Loving Memory Of Stasia Gorczyca

February 9th, 2018

In Loving Memory of
Stasia B. Gorczyca
February 6, 1930 - December 18, 2001

MY MOTHER INSTILLED IN ME the love of music. When I was 3 1/2 years old, she started teaching me the piano. When I was 8, I began flute lessons and together, my mother and I took an incredible musical journey.

At 12, I joined my mother, a violinist in the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, in playing Smetana Moldau Suite. My flute teacher, Faust Fiore, was first flute, and I was second. In High School we also played together in the Fall River Symphony, where I was first flute and Mom played second violin not far from my seat.

My mother was in the audience of my every musical adventure: All Eastern Orchestra, under the baton of Benjamin Zander, Young Artist Showcase, WQXR New York, Carnegie Hall with the MIT Symphony Orchestra, Longwood Symphony Orchestra — every competition and recital. We had a great time.

In Boston, when I was a dental student at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, I had some great flute teachers. These included Louis Moyse, Claude Monteaux, John Heiss, and Lois Schaefer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I used to practice 2 hours a day during dental school and am still occasionally referred to as “the flute girl of Vanderbilt Hall.”

My mother was principal violinist of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra when she was in high school. At the very end of her life, she was the very last 2nd violinist. I used to kid her and say “Mom, you’re almost behind the curtain!” She would say “I don’t care, I’m still playing!

I’m happy to report that my son Richard, age 12, has now been playing the violin for 8 years. On Saturdays, he is a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in the Pre-College Division studying music theory, violin, chamber music, and playing in the orchestra.

Please honor Stasia by supporting the Stasia Gorczyca Endowment Fund:

Stasia Gorczyca Endowment Fund
New Bedford Symphony Orchestra
P.O. Box 2053
New Bedford, Massachusetts 02741

Thanksgiving, The Wamsutta Mills, and "Holy Turkey Day"

November 23rd, 2015

THANKSGIVING RECALLS history and family memories.

My Family's Thanksgiving Heritage

My grandmother came to the U.S. with a third grade education. At sixteen, she sensed imminent war in Poland, a starving nation. When an American came to her village in the early 1900's and offered $3 a week for Wamsutta Mill workers in New Bedford, Massachusetts, she thought, "this is a pretty good deal."

The Wamsutta Mills

On the voyage to Ellis Island she met my grandfather. He became a loom fixer and together they bought a few tenement houses and started a farm. Intrigued by the November holiday which made everyone eat turkey, they decided to raise these birds on the farm. Coming from a religious nation, they named Thanksgiving "Holy Turkey Day."

In the 1950's, my Dad returned to New Bedford, Massachusetts from bootcamp in Pittsburg, California. He sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge on this way home from the Korean War. He went back to college on the GI Bill. He first saw my mother, a third grade teacher, playing piano in a dance band. He thought she looked cute and decided to visit her on the farm to buy one of her turkeys and ask her out on a date. They got married and had two daughters who grew up living on that old turkey farm.

In 1999, after I opened my new orthodontic office in Antioch, California, I decided to take my first real vacation. Eager to find my grandmother's village, I traveled to Poland and drove to an address where only factories now stand. That night, I returned to my Krakow hotel later and rejoined the Harvard Alumni tour with whom I was travelling. There, I ate dinner and shared my day with an older businessman. I described California and my life as an orthodontist. Curiously, I asked him "And what do you do?." He replied "My family owned the Wamsutta Mills in New Bedford Massachusetts."

Wishing you special memories for a Happy and Healthy "Holy Turkey Day."

Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca

Antioch, CA

More Topics
diplomate american board of orthodontics Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists advanced education in orthdontics
member american association of orthodontists seattle study club american dental association california dental association
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