Thursday, February 12, 2009
Hitting the open road after retiring
Tony Ryszewski can be found most afternoons relaxing at the Paola Senior Center.
With a cup of coffee in hand, the quiet senior typically sits at one of the back tables, enjoying some quiet time or playing a game of pinochle. But anyone willing to strike up a conversation with the East Coast native soon will discover that quiet relaxation hasn’t been the norm throughout his life’s adventures.
Ryszewski was born in Brooklyn, and he still speaks with a thick New York accent. As a young man, he took a job doing assembly work for General Motors in New Jersey.
“I was hired in 1937 for 65 cents an hour,” Ryszewski said.
The job lasted more than 30 years before Ryszewski retired in the early 1970s at age 55. His life’s adventures, though, were just beginning.
Ryszewski and his wife, Netti, decided they wanted to travel throughout North America, and they didn’t waste any time.
“We sold our house, summer home, boats, everything, and got a motor home,” Ryszewski said. “The only thing I said is I didn’t want to go to Europe. My mother and father were from Poland, and I had no desire to go to Europe.”
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