WWII vet Stanley A. Pokrzywa, 95, at the Bethany Terrace nursing home in Morton Grove. | Mitch Dudek~Sun-Times
Updated: August 11, 2013 6:38AM
The Quinn bin . . .
Don’t count out Gov. Pat Quinn in the Dem primary race that reads like a dust-up with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley.
† To wit: Sneed hears that Quinn out-raised both potential opponents this last quarter.
† The numbers game: Sneed is told Quinn raised more than $1 million, while Madigan raised more than $600,000 and Daley raised more than $790,000.
Lisa’s Mad Again . . .
Giddy-up? A 5-year-old race horse named “Lisa’s Mad Again” showed her Arlington Park competitors her heels when she won the ninth race Friday, her second career win.
“When I named her . . . I believed, and still do, that [Attorney General Lisa Madigan] would one day be our governor,” said Alan Portman, who bred the mare. “The ‘Mad Again’ part came about because it seemed to me that when Madigan saw a wrong that she would try to do something about it. In any case, I think as the state attorney general she does a great job. I don’t care much for her father.”
A hero’s welcome . . .
Hooray! Stanley A. Pokrzywa is OK!
Our search for the World War II vet, the subject of an Independence Day column last week, is over.
To all those Sneed readers eager to find out what happened to Pokrzywa, 95, relax.
He is living in a new care facility under the watchful eye of his nephew, Joseph Gera. Gera, 62, a retired pharmacy director, grew up in the same building with Pokrzywa and his wife, Helen, now deceased.
Pokrzywa, who spent 195 days in combat through France, Belgium and Holland, still wears a vest emblazoned with his prized U.S. Army 104th Infantry Division Timberwolf logo as he maneuvers his wheelchair in black gym shoes.
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mitch Dudek caught up with Pokrzywa and his nephew Tuesday morning. Gera was out of town during Sneed’s attempt to locate his uncle, the subject of a Dudek interview in 2010.
Here is a report from Dudek, who met the vet after Pokrzywa sent a letter to Sneed in 2009.
“It was great to see Stanley again! He’s frail and now lives at the Bethany Terrace nursing home in Morton Grove because he is no longer able to walk,” Dudek tells Sneed.
Pokrzywa — who used to talk about how he helped liberate a concentration camp, was wounded by shrapnel, polka-danced on Division Street and loved his wife and his country — is still proud of his military service.
“He recalled a lady at the concentration camp getting down on her knees giving thanks upon her release; still refers to food as rations; his eyesight is now only about 20 percent; his hearing is bad, and he takes a second to gather his thoughts” in conversation.
“But he tells me, ‘So far, I’m in good condition.’ ”
“He also misses the annual Timberwolves conventions, where his old comrades would meet. Joe said the Timberwolves are mostly too old to get together, but their kids and grandkids now meet. They call now themselves ‘The Timberwolf Pups.’ ”
His two-drawer Tupperware container labeled “Stan’s War Memories” — filled with “treasures” — is now kept at his nephew’s home.
He celebrated his 95th birthday at the nursing home in mid-April with his family.
As for living to 100, “Maybe I’ll make it. Maybe I won’t,” Pokrzywa told Dudek. “But I have no regrets in life.”
Thank you, Joe, for taking such good care of your uncle. It is so good to know the legacy continues to be cherished.
Sneedlings . . .
Condolences to the family of Julie Miller, whose beloved father, John Bradbury, died Sunday at 78. No father had a better daughter. . . . Wednesday’s birthdays: Sofia Vergara, 41; Jessica Simpson, 33, and Adrian Grenier, 37.