Today is Dyngus Day. Every year ladies waited patiently so they could be hit by pussy willows by Chet Tarnowski. Chet told me before he passed away that he had done Dyngus Day for 56 years and that he wouldn't be able to do this this year. He had tears when he said that.
The ladies loved him. He visited banks, doctors offices, the hospital and nursing homes just to make people happy. It made his day, too. He will be missed by everyone, including myself who was his taxi driver.
Chet made people happy all the time, no matter who he met. He always had a very happy attitude toward life. He did a lot in his lifetime - a county legislator for 38 years, president of Murray Hose Co, #4 for 38 years and this year he would be a 50-year-member. He and Al Kaymore were the originators of the Veterans Council that gives people a beautiful Memorial Day parade. He was involved in Hose #4 Drum Corp for many years as well.
When the Polka Hour came on, he would put in requests for birthdays and anniversaries of people he knew. They loved him for that.
I guess he just was a good, religious, person, making people happy. He was an honest person. I never ever heard a curse word from him and he always said a Rosary every morning and evening. He prayed for everyone; he even told me he prayed for me.
He will be missed by many people, so today, Dyngus Day, please remember Chet. He will be there in spirit to see all those ladies. Also say a few prayers for him, because he said them for you. He was a great community person and we'll miss his smiling face. We know that Chet will be ringing those bells up there in Heaven.
Alex Uszacki is a Dunkirk resident and close friend of Chet Tarnowski