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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- September 11, 1989
- Vol. 32
- No. 11
It Was Shake-the-World Time for Lech Walesa in Poland, but Polka Time for His Son in America
In truth, the political ructions in Poland, and his father's role in the spotlight, created complications for Slawek. Almost every time the band played, Slawek was mobbed by Polish émigrés eager for a look at the son of their hero. At the recent Bethlehem Musik Fest in Pennsylvania, Slawek, accompanied by Lewan, his father's old friend, appeared onstage and led the crowd in patriotic songs, including a bittersweet version of "Let Poland Be Poland," the Solidarity anthem.
While immensely proud of his famous father, Slawek, one of eight children, admits that he doesn't have much enthusiasm for politics; he'd rather be just an ordinary teenager. "There are so many things happening in Poland right now that are so important, and here I am in America, liking girls and fast-food hamburgers and cars and video games," he says. "I'm out of touch." Every chance he got, Slawek turned reveler without a cause, slipping away to local arcades to plunk quarters into the Space Invaders game. He also adores the music of Madonna, though he concedes that if his devoutly Catholic father were to find out "which Madonna I like, he might not be pleased." As Slawek made ready to return to Poland last week, he wasn't pleased to be saying Do zobaczenia to his American girlfriend, Kristen Wasilewski, 15, of Shenandoah, Pa. The end of a summer romance might not set the world order atremble, but on the hair-trigger scale of teenage emotions, this Walesa knew one thing: It hurt.
September 24, 2016
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