Post Eagle Newspaper

Wednesday

Feb 28, 2024

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Buffalo Touch In Phoenix March 1-2

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Tadj Szymczak Mardi Gras King

The Buffalo Touch ushered in March with a weekend of foot-stomping polkas at the Pulaski Club in Phoenix, Arizona. Dave and Princess Bonczkiewicz kicked off the weekend with a fantastic brunch for the band, family, and friends. All of the locals brought dishes – absolutely scrumptious. A desert storm paused just in time, allowing us to enjoy a hint of sunshine around their pool while we stuffed our faces – quite a contrast in climate for the band from Buffalo. So much of a contrast that Ken Machelski , leader of the Touch, and his wife Carolyn decided to stay a couple of days after the event and suck up the warmth of the desert.

It was Mardi Gras weekend, so everyone was decked out in goofy hats, beads, and boas. The Pulaski club hall has one great room with the dance floor on one side and the bar area on the other side. I like this configuration versus the separate barroom, because it brings everyone together. The Bonczkiewicz kids (hard to call 20 year olds kids) work the bar and more volunteers work the kitchen. On Saturday we had golumbki and on Sunday chicken patyczki with paczki – we’re talking to die for!

The band was absolutely stellar with enough energy to move the Titanic. At one point I thought that Tadj, the bass player, was going to go through the roof. One highlight that I wasn’t able to capture on film starred a 5 year boy. A disco ball hangs from the ceiling and light cast on it throws light spots on the floor, rotating as the disco ball spins. The young lad spent a couple of tunes leaping from one spot to another almost in unison with the rhythm of the band. Now that’s cute!

The Touch provided a nice remembrance video show of Jerry Darlak, the founder of the Buffalo Touch, who died in 2010. His last performance was at the Pulaski Club in Phoenix. We miss him personally and professionally.