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The Times
  • Kowalczik recounts history of the Depression Boys

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  • Depression Boys President Joe Kowalczik spoke to the group on Sept. 3.
    Kowalczik gave the group the background on how the Depression Boys came about and how it all began with plans of a small reunion for old friends in the neighborhood.
    As word got out, Kowalczik received so many phone calls that his idea for a small barbecue in the backyard would be out of the question for the amount of people interested in coming. The reunion was moved to Donna’s Diner where over 65 people showed up for a morning of breakfast and reminiscing. Everyone had such a good time they agreed to meet once a year, but for most attending once a year was too long to wait. The group decided to have monthly breakfast meetings in Utica so they could see each other on a regular basis. The group then started to invite guest speakers of various backgrounds and careers which brought the meeting to a whole new level.
    In the beginning 95 percent of the people attending were original Depression Boys or fought in World War II. With a show of hands at this last meeting, only three out of 30 were from the Depression.
    It’s been over 20 years and the Depression Boys are still going strong with new faces in the crowd every month.
    Women have always been welcomed to the meetings, but not utill recently have they been joining the men.
    The Depression Boys meetings are open to anyone who enjoys guest speakers, a good social setting and breakfast.
    The next meeting will take place t 9 a.m. on Oct. 1 at the Folts Homes Claxton dining room. October’s guest speaker will be Mary Powers, office manager for the Herkimer Post Office.
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