I first heard about Rosie Giesie’s new book Keep Dancing in the Texas Legacy Czech Band weekly newsletter. What a great title for a book I thought. (Much shorter than Jimmy Brosch Remembers Twenty Legendary Texas Czech Polka Bands :-)
The book tells the story of how Rosie and her husband, Gene, high school sweethearts originally from El Campo, learned how to continue living, laughing, working and enjoying the new life they created for themselves after the loss of all three of their sons. This book takes you through their childhood, dating, marriage, having three sons and then losing two sons to an inherited kidney disease and a son to complications from AIDS. Rosie hopes to encourage others who have lost loved ones not to give up on life but to enjoy and celebrate their memories and look forward to someday being reunited.
Bob Suttie put me in touch with Rosie, resulting in the following interview. I also had the privilege to meet Rosie at the Lodge 88 Czech Day. We traded books and autographs and commiserated about the book publishing process. I took the book home and read it that night. As a mother of two sons, my heart ached when Rosie lost her boys. By the end of the book, I was truly inspired by the Giesies’ strong marriage and ability to move forward as a tribute to their sons. Thanks Rosie for sharing your story.
PB: Why did you write the book?
RG: Actually, I didn’t want to write a book, but my cousin Father Gary Janak convinced me to do it. I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t want to have to go through it again. I found a lot of the journals I had written over the years and helped get me started. After writing the book, I felt total healing. When I used to talk about the boys, I would tear up, but now I am at peace.
PB: How long have you been dancing?
RG: Probably since I was about three-years-old. And I’m 71 now. My mother and dad would take my twin sister and I to polka dances, especially when the Pateks played since we’re related. Mother and dad would dance and put a quilt down for us to sleep. I’ve been dancing ever since. It’s alike a drug. I can be achy or not feeling well, but when I hear polka music, I get up and dance.
PB: How do you know Bob Suttie?
RG: Bob is a good friend of ours. I’ve known him since he began playing in the Bobby Jones band. Bobby was supposed to play for our 50th wedding anniversary, but then he disappeared. We didn’t know what we were going to do, but then Bob started putting together the Legacy band and played at our anniversary.
Rosie and Gene split their time between homes in Markham, Texas; Sun City, Arizona; and Forest Lakes, Arizona.
Rosie’s been on the book-signing circuit and has the following upcoming events:
Nov. 12 in El Campo at Heavenly Helpers
Nov. 19 in Bay City at Apostle Bookstore
Nov. 20 in El Campo at the KULP Polka Expo
Click here for more information and how to order the book.