Sit down and stay a while

Kris Leonhardt

Sit down and stay a while

2 min.
July 19, 2022

A new book recalls a local small-town tavern and a time when polka music filled the air.

Written by Ken Szymanski, the book takes a step back in timeto provide a glimpse into Leon & Lil’s Thorp bar, and Lil (Teclaw) Kaczmarek’s 50-plus years behind its operation.

Lil Kaczmarek, now 96, chronicles her life story and the days of welcoming patrons at the establishment.

“Sit Down and Stay Awhile: My Aunt Lil, a Small-Town Bar,and a Lifetime of Polkas” is like “sitting down at the bar with a great bartender on a slow Saturday afternoon, listening to a series of great stories spanning the decades,” Szymanski said.

This is Szymanski’s second book. In December 2020, he released “Home Field Advantage,” a collection of “short nonfiction tales that either take place in Eau Claire or are about the people of Eau Claire.However, they are type of tales relatable to any Wisconsinite.”

He lives with his wife and two sons in Eau Claire, where he teaches English at DeLong Middle School.

On Aug. 5, 2-4 p.m., the Thorp Historical Society will present “A Visit with Lil” at 307 West Birch Street, in Thorp.

The event will feature a visit with Lil and the author, as well as a chance to see Leon & Lil’s bar memorabilia.

This article was orginally reported by
Kris Leonhardt

Kris Leonhardt is a senior editor for Multi Media Channels and serves as general manager for the company's publications in Clark, Portage, and Wood counties.