by BETH ALTENA We need to get over our pride and ego and get on with our lives, Frenz Coffehouse owner Rich Zeck believes. He is one of many local businesess people who haven’t bought into the news that we are going through the worst of times. “I can speak for myself because I have lost my job,” he said of a former high-paying career. Zeck opened his own shop after the job loss and also works another part-time job. Zeck said he believes Americans have allowed their financial fear to dominate their lives and this has made things worse. “What if there were no newspapers and no televisions? The economy ”d go about our business and have a life.” He believes the stockmarket slumps follow each dire news report as people hunker down, afraid to spend money and get on with things. Zeck, who is also a college professor, said he understands the economy is a hot topic and his students want to discuss it at length. “It’s such an emotional issue,” he said. Zeck believes there is plenty of good to be learned and practiced in tough times. He said friends, neighbors and families helped each other out to make it through the Depression. We should take a page from that chapter of history. “I knew we were in big trouble when people came in worried about the cost of a barrel of oil and gold,” he said. “That makes no difference to most people.” Putting hope in corporations and companies rather than in people is part of the error behind economic troubles. “Two hundred years ago you were a seamstress and I was a farmer,” he said. “We helped each other out and did business together.” Doing this today is what we should be doing, Zech believes. As a coffee shop owner, he has sent customers to the other coffee shops in town. “Too often it’s ‘Me, me, me.’ It’s not me, it’s just us.” He is a firm believer in paying it forward. “If we all took the time to help someone else out, what would that do?” he asked. Zeck gave the example of people who have lost their jobs. “Get out and volunteer,” he said. “People lose their jobs, […]
Fat Tuesday time for paczki Filled with the traditional prune or with less “Old World” but more popular cherry, raspberry, custard cream cheese or blueberry, paczki is a taste of Poland that has in many ways been Americanized. Bostwick Lake Bakery owner Mike Moyer believes that the popularity of paczki would radically increase if people tasted those made at bakeries, where authentic dough is used and a variety of fillings are offered. His bakery was formerly owned by a polish man who, ironically, didn’t make paczki. In the last ten years Moyer has sold paczki prior and during Fat Tuesday, the Tuesday before the Catholic tradition of Lent. This year Fat Tuesday is February 24. Fat Tuesday is the day of feast before Lent, a time when Catholics give up sweets for 40 days before Easter. Paczki is a Polish tradition with a strong American following. Traditionally prune-filled, the treat features a dough heavier and richer than a bizmark, and is filled now with many fruit or even custard or cheese filling. Moyer said his bakery often offered paczki for a month prior to Fat Tuesday, but now sells them for about a week. The annual treat will be available at the bakery now. With a traditional, religious and flavorful reason to try this taste of Poland, there is no excuse not to enjoy this annual pastry.