Dad and I made it to Detroit. Visited the St. Patrick's Senior Center--an INCREDIBLE place. I had the pleasure of meeting Ernie Popyk. I heard about his experiences during World War I in the Ukraine as a boy. His clothes were made from the uniforms of fallen German and Russian soldiers. Coming to America, through Ellis Island, was a big shock. He saw cars and planes for the first time.

From nearly starving in the Ukraine to starving on the streets of Detroit during the Depression, he has worked hard for everything in life. At age 14, he was working in a steel mill, wearing extra coats to make himself look older in order to get the job. The working conditions were terrible, but men needed a job so badly that they did what they had to do. If a worker dropped under the strain or heat, Ernie said there were another 100 men waiting in line to take over. Ernie said that unions were very important to improve their lives, and they sometimes had to force the older men to walk off the job to accomplish their goals.

Ernie got married, raised a family, and ran his own business. He's surprised that he has lived to 93, given the obstacles and tragedies that were a part of his life. This is one strong man.

Tomorrow I will interview Sister Mary Watson who began the St. Patrick's Senior Center in 1973. I can't wait!