GREG KOWALSKI, JOURNALIST/HISTORIAN
Greg Kowalski is the poster boy for Hamtramck boosting. None of these fair-weather, show-up-for- paczki -day or once a year dining at Polonia. Greg Kowalski is the real deal.
We set up our camera equipment in the rear of the Hamtramck Library to interview this prolific writer (books, articles, and former editor of The Citizen, that venerable Hamtramck institution) and discovered what it’s like to be a true Hamtramckan.
Born at St. Francis, now the City Hall, Kowalski attended St. Florian’s and chose, as the subject of his first book, Hamtramck history. Hamtramck: The Driven City is an engaging narrative that takes readers on a fascinating journey into Hamtramck’s past and breathes new life into the memorable characters and events, the conflicts and scandals that formed the city’s distinctive identity.
Kowalski is living proof that the image of Hamtramck as a solidly blue-collar town is only partially correct. He displays a ridiculous game released by Milton Bradley in 1987 (no, not 1957, as you might guess…) called Life of the Party. Sort of a role playing game, it is (for reasons unknown) set in Hamtramck, and is loaded with awful jokes and stereotypical Poles, and is just a general travesty of ‘PC’. Want to know what irks the normally soft-spoken and easy going Kowalski?
Also the chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Association, Kowalski states, “I’ve seen much of our history first hand. I’ve been here since birth, watched the ups and downs; I was here when Dodge Main closed, I’ve seen the re-birth as new groups find the same sense of neighborhood and comradery that my grandfather did when he first arrived.”