Bogus

Radio documentary script

Author: Henryk Dedo & Waldemar Kasperczak; Sound Design: Waldemar Kasperczak; Producer: Voice of the Gospel Foundation; Lenght: 29 min. 52 sec.; Date of Production: 2009; Script Translation: Andy Edwins.

Music

The story of Prodigal Son

“A certain man had two sons. The younger son said to his father “Give me the share of the estate, which is meant for me. So, the father divided the estate between his sons.”

Aunt:

He was a pampered and mollycoddled child, you know, really... somewhere I had such a handsome little boy.... (Voiceover: Bogdan’s Aunt) ... and here I had such a great little prince, a princess, here are Bogdan’s parents with little Bogdan, here are his parents. His mother was a very pretty woman, Bogdan’s Mum, you know. Here’s Bogdan, here’s Bogdan with his Mum, here’s Bogdan at 1st communion, please look what a good-looking boy he was. Here’s Bogdan the prince, Bogdan at 1st communion, this is also Bogdan in 1959.

Pampered and mollycoddled, his carrot and apple for school were always peeled and cut into little pieces, so Bogdan had everything, he wanted for nothing. People even joked that his Dad carried his bag to school so that Bogdan didn’t get too tired. That’s the kind of child he was.

Father:

I was busy in the factory, worked 8 hours... (Voiceover: Bogdan’s Dad)... then I did overtime, so I didn’t really have much of an influence on his upbringing.

Bogdan:

Little Bogdan was dressed up well, Little Bogdan was on show...(Voiceover: Bogdan)

Father:

I never spoke to him using such diminutive forms. 

Author:

And his Mum?

Father:

His Mum would call him Boduś, Boduśka. And I would just say Bogdan – that’s it. Tough. Well, I really had very little influence. I wasn’t at home much. But she did and was in constant contact with his teachers. We knew everything, his every move.

Bogdan:

Until I went away.

Father:

Until he went away. But the whole, whole, frankly speaking, that he became what he did, was that Army band “Desant”.

Bogdan:

In 77 I left for Kolobrzeg, going through all the different eliminations. I got through every round and got to the Soldier’s Song Festival in 1977. And at that festival, after my performance, I remember that a man came to my dressing room and offered me a job in Army entertainment. It was the Army entertainment band “Desant”.

Father:

How they recruited him into that “Desant”, I didn’t show much emotion, encouragement or joy that he was going there. Because even here one...

Bogdan:

But Mum, she was happy.

Father:

Mum was happy because the teachers told her that he had to go there, to follow his... get his bearings. But me, I was not so happy.

Bogdan:

That’s me in “Desant” in 1978.

Father:

Well... they were a right bunch of drunkards, really...

 

Army song

 

Bogdan:

Work in the band, at that time, meant about 25 trips a month. 20 – 25 days. We would go on tour, to different hotels, different towns... They were so-called “roundabout tours”. We’d sleep in those hotels, 2 performances after lunch – 1 in the afternoon then again in the evening, back to the hotel.. and what to do with the time? We were at the hotel around 9pm. We went to the restaurant and then till late at night ... we drank alcohol.

Army Song

Bogdan:

After 2 years’ work in the band a got into, I took entrance exams to the Music Academy in Warsaw, on Okólnik Street, to the Vocals and Acting faculty. I took the exams, got accepted, not only did I get accepted but I also got a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and Arts and I went to Sofia in Bulgaria for 5 years. Professor Karapetrov taught me to sing. When he heard me for the first time he said “Bogdan, you’ve got a future”

 

Music

The story of Prodigal Son

“Soon, the younger son cashed in his part, went away to a distant country and wasted it all, living the high life”

 

Aunt:

Bogdan had everything. He didn’t go to Sofia by train, it would have taken too long. Mummy had to give him money for the airplane, if not mummy, then auntie, if not auntie then grandma... so that Bogdan wouldn’t get tired, that the best way was to go by plane to Sofia. The child couldn’t tire himself in a train for so long. So he had the perfect life.

Bogdan:

I wasn’t able to function without alcohol. It didn’t matter if I was going to a lecture, or for an exam, always, always, I remember that alcohol accompanied me. Even the professor, who taught me to sing, said “Bogdan, you’re wasting the greatest chance of your life.” And, after 5 years of studies, when I got back, I only finished the taught part of my studies, because I turned up to the final exam in singing so drunk that they threw me out. I couldn’t be bothered about anything. I said “So, just give me some kind of certificate that I studied here, I’m going back to my country. And I left. I got a paper saying I had completed the lectures. And when I returned from Bulgaria I got a job with the army band again.

Father:

You know, the concert had finished, I was waiting for him, he came out to me, not so far away, in Dabrowa Gornicza in the Community Centre. He came out, we’re talking, maybe 10 minutes later, 2 of the “Desant” people ... female ballet dancers or singers or whatever came out. One was holding on to one arm, the second onto his other. What kind of life was that? And they were hosted and booze and vodka was everywhere. Give me a break, it was awful...

Bogdan:

The work on stage didn’t last long. After a year, I just had to resign. I couldn’t sing, I was so drunk at the concerts that sometimes they didn’t allow me to perform. I had memory problems, I forgot the words, when I was supposed to go on stage, and when not to. All this meant that I had to resign. My Mum was really suffering and ... cancer had ravaged her. I remember those last few weeks of her life – Mum couldn’t move, couldn’t walk, she just stayed in bed and looked... she looked awful. And I, in such an alcoholic state, came to visit her. I remember, as if it were today, my last meeting with my Mum, it was like this, Mum said “Bogdan, don’t come, don’t come any more.” And.. she died.

Father:

She was very sick. It was her who said to me “Leszek, don’t hurt him.” And I know, I know that in anger I could hurt him.

Bogdan:

I then decided to go for rehabilitation for people with addictions. I managed to last 3 weeks there in that dry-out centre. I went back home, saying to my Dad that I was cured that I wouldn’t drink any more. I went abroad. I went to Israel and took on all sorts of jobs. I remember that I worked in a jewellery factory, even in Tel Aviv. I worked in a chemicals factory, a textile factory, I put deck chairs out on the beach, but they were just odd jobs, because it wasn’t long before they realized that I had an alcohol problem. The problem was hard to miss. Finally I ended up in an international group of wanderers. there was an Austrian, A French man, 2 Germans, 2 English men and 2 of us Poles. In the morning we went into town ... and we begged. We begged by the barriers in Tel Aviv. I remember I had a sign saying “I am a tourist from the Soviet Union” .. I had written...”I have been robbed, please help me” Something like that. And behind the sign, I was bent over, head down.. I felt the shame, terrible shame... But the addiction was stronger and the money which we got from begging was used in part for food but mostly was spent on alcohol.

 

Music

The story of Prodigal Son

“Meanwhile, when he had spent everything, the country was caught up in famine and he found himself with no money to live on. He wandered around until he found himself work on a farm in that country. He was given a job looking after the pigs. He wanted to satisfy his hunger eating the roots that the pigs were fed, but he wasn’t allowed.”

 

Bogdan:

I went into a shop, for example, buying 2 bread rolls, because I had enough for 2 bread rolls and somewhere between the aisles, when no-one was looking I opened a bottle of alcohol, drank it all and left the empty bottle on the shelf and went to pay for the 2 rolls. Sometimes I would go to a restaurant, several times I ordered dinner, knowing that I didn’t have penny, but I did it anyway. Later, when the waiter came over I pretended that I didn’t have my wallet, that I had lost it and I didn’t know the language so it was hard to communicate. Once, it turned out that the restaurant manager spoke Polish and said that either he’d phone the Police or I’d have to work to pay the bill. So, for a whole day I washed up in that restaurant. But at least I was full. But I felt really bad. It was, it was ... getting harder and harder and I became a terrible tramp. I stank. I was walking the streets of Tel Aviv and I remember that one day I thought to myself ”I can’t keep on like this”, I pretended that something was wrong with my heart, fell over in the street, an ambulance came, an ambulance came...

 

Music

The story of Prodigal Son

“And then he realized the state he was in and said ”How much more food than they need do my father’s servants have, and I’m here dying of hunger. I’m leaving, I’ll go back to my father and confess...”

 

Bogdan:

I remember how they closed the prison doors behind me. Later, it turned out that they had phoned my father late at night saying “Your son is in prison and now it all depends on you, whether you will cover the cost of his journey. If not, then when he returns to Poland he will go straight to prison and he’ll have to work off his debt.” And my Dad told me later that his first thoughts were “ Aah let him go to prison” But later he realized that he couldn’t do that and agreed to cover the costs. I was deported back to Poland.

Father:

When I saw him, unshaven, unkempt, with insects in his hair, well, disgusting. But Bogdan, his first words were, “Dad, I’ll go and work down the mines, I’ll make it all up to you.” Typical for those alcoholics, that he’ll go down the mines... Like he was fit for that... when you could knock him over with a feather. So, me and my sister set about him. My sister cut his hair, we bathed him, he didn’t even have any shoes, nothing. He arrived in such rags.

Bogdan:

And I was in sandals. Aah that was...

Father:

Those plastic sandals, not leather, only plastic. Jeans that I’d throw away today, not even any good as rags. But I took him home, I took home, he is my child after all...

Aunt:

And he never doubted him. Never. He said, it doesn’t matter what happens, that he’ll always be his son.

Father:

And that’s how we went through it. Some time went by, a time of reflection. But do you think he stopped? Later after he had eaten a bit, he was a little different, a bit more lively and he needed alcohol straight away. Straight to town, friends, a bit of this a bit of that... he had a great jeans top with fur inside, and I see him coming back with no top. I said “Where’s your top?” And it was obvious he’d been drinking.

Aunt:

I remember the Corpus Christi procession, we were all walking in the procession and he came out of the local park in Olkusz, dirty, unshaven, without boots, black feet, trousers rolled up... I don’t know, at that moment I didn’t know how I was supposed to behave.... to leave... like everyone else, I also walked by...

Father:

For me it was the most difficult, when I just couldn’t see a way out and gave him a condition: “Bogdan, either you for treatment or you can’t live under this roof. Because I’m not going to suffer.”

Aunt:

There were several times in Olkusz when he was laying under a bench, on a bench and people came by, carried him, everyone knew him “Hela’s son, Hela’s son... it’s good that Hela’s dead, because how would she be able to live if she saw this..”

Father:

How much I cried, only I know. And I didn’t know what to do next...

Bogdan:

After a few months of drinking, wandering between dens and friends, I came to my town Olkusz, from another hideaway, I came with the idea of stealing from my father. I needed it for alcohol. I just couldn’t cope without it. That delirium was really getting to me and on the way from the station I kept thinking, I need to break in, I need to steal something. It was 4 in the morning, I had never thought that I would meet someone. Suddenly, coming from behind a building, I bumped into my father. I wondered later what he had been doing so early, but I never asked him. My Dad said ”Bogdan, there were times when I woke up, at different times at night, and I went out hoping that I’d find you somewhere…” And I remember that he hugged me, a really strong hug and said “Bogdan, I don’t want to lose you, you’re all I have left. I’ll do anything to help you.” I said “Dad, if you want to help me, right now, and if you want me to do something with myself later, then buy me alcohol now.” On the way he gave me some money, I went to the den and bought half a litre of vodka, we went home and when that state of delirium started to come on I had already decided I was going to go for rehabilitation, when I started to get delirious I took a drink. The next day I packed and went to the centre in Gorzyce.

I was in detox for 10 days. For 10 days they detoxified me. I remember that I was tied to the bed at the beginning, I was writhing all over the bed. It was terrible. Thoughts of suicide non-stop, those thoughts all the time that it’s the only way out that there was no hope for me. Later, when my body started to settle down, when I was stuffed full of those psychotropic drugs, pills, medicines, drips, injections, when they had repaired by body a bit, when I started to think more normally, when I was still in detox a man came into the room, he burst in – Pawel Szarzec from the Elim mission in Wisla. I didn’t know who these people were, but they told me about a meeting with people whom God had pulled out of alcoholism, and that anyone who wanted could go to the meeting. I thought to myself “But I’m already a believer, what do they want from me?” and I wouldn’t have gone to the meeting, for sure I wouldn’t have gone, if Pawel hadn’t said there would be coffee and cakes. I suddenly had the desire for a good piece of cake. So I went to the meeting. 

It was a group made up of just a few people, people who God had pulled out of alcoholism, they told us about their lives, all the dirt and what their alcoholic lives looked like, what their homes looked like and what they are like today. Anyway, just looking at them, I saw well-dressed, smiling, joyful people and I thought, when I heard the story of the prodigal son, I identified myself with those words and I thought “I’ve been a prodigal son for 39 years” and I thought “God, if you really exist, if you really have that kind of power, then please change my life.”

For the first time in my life, for the first time I felt true regret from the bottom of my heart “God, change my life, I don’t want to live like this, I don’t want to die like this, if you can do it then change me right here, right now.” And that was 12 years ago. I don’t know how God did it; you have to have gone through it personally, but the next day I woke up a new man. And there in detox, for the first time in years, I sang. It was beautiful. I remembered one song, from my youth “On a clear, peaceful night, I look at the sky full of stars, when I wonder if anything makes sense, I call out to you Our Father!”

And after the first verse I cried like a baby… and the impossible happened, my voice came back…

 

Music

The story of Prodigal Son

“I’ll go back to my father and confess, saying: Father I have done wrong against God and against you, I’m not worthy to be called your son, but give me work as a servant, please. So he set off back home to his father. He was quite a long way away when his father noticed him, got up and ran to meet him and hugged and kissed him.”

 

Bogdan:

I rang the doorbell. My Dad opened the door – it’s going to be difficult for me to talk about this – I said “Dad, don’t say anything.” I asked him to go into the living room, I knelt before him and I said “ Dad, if you can, if it’s possible, then please forgive me my past. Forgive me for all the things I put you through.” My Dad said nothing, just knelt, hugged me and we stayed like that for some time, both of us crying. My walk with Christ has been 12 years now. My Dad has never, even once, gone back to the past. He has never brought up all those things he must have gone through with me, with Mum, what they must have gone through… I remember that I took all my Mum’s jewellery in that alcoholic life of mine. My Dad had been keeping it as a kind of memento, something really important. And I just took it to the pawn shop and sold it to buy alcohol. He never brought up any of that stuff which had to go through with me.

 

Music

The story of Prodigal Son

“Father” said the son, I have sinned against God and against you, I’m not worthy to be called your son... but the father told the servants “Bring the best clothes for him, put a ring on his finger and give him some sandals. Choose a fattened calf, kill it and we’ll have a feast and be happy. This son of mine died, but he came back to life, he was lost and now he is found. After he had said that they started to celebrate.”

 

Song:

My Lord leads me to victory

The day will come when

I see you in glory

My Lord leads me to victory

I’m going to see you face to face

I want to shout your praise

But for now on this earth,

I need to fight

Hallelujah, worship the Lord

Give me power and strength, Lord

Help me...

 

Aunt:

I suspect that what changed Bogdan, mostly is thanks to that rehabilitation centre where he went and that probably changed him, that music, the guitar, the singing. He claimed that he has someone to live for, that he has a new way in life, a new God who is leading him, is really leading him in good ways.

Bogdan:

I’ve just been on that trip, Dad, in Duszniki, in Szczawno and in Jedlina. It was a really beautiful time. I went with Mirek, Andrzej Kulita joined us and sang with us over those 2 days. People were really glad and happy...

 

End of song:

Hallelujah worship the Lord!

 

Father:

For about a year I had... mixed feelings, I was unsure about him being there, going away with that Pawel to those various meetings, I didn’t really believe that he’d... that he’d leave that lifestyle... He’d told me many times that he’d finished with drink, that he would be better, but that was just empty talk. I didn’t believe him, what did I have to go on? Well, somewhere, well somehow he found a wife, Anitka, who I really adore. Hmm. But I couldn’t believe it, I’m telling you, it was a year, maybe more. He would say he wasn’t drinking and I wouldn’t believe him. I was even afraid when he and Anitka got married. He brought her here to visit me...

Bogdan:

You were worried for a long time...

Father:

Later, she called me and said “I’m in love with Bogdan and we want to get married” So, I replied “I’m very happy for you” But I wanted to tell the girl “Think about it, what’s going to happen, think about it.” But I didn’t say anything. Later, when I went to visit them I always thought to myself ...“What will she say? What will she say?” I was even afraid that Anitka would leave him and that would be the end. But for how long it lasts .. I adore that girl, because she accepted him as you should, she started to work on him and could see, I calmed down, I could see that something good was happening.

Bogdan:

That one is from the wedding. It’s a picture from my and Anitka’s wedding.

Father:

And that’s my granddaughter

Bogdan:

In this picture you can see grandad and granddaughter making pierogi. Grandad in an apron, so she also put one on and they made Russian pierogi.

Anita:

No, I wasn’t afraid, because I had no reason to be afraid. Or maybe I didn’t think about it, that there could be reasons, situations, that I might be afraid.

Bogdan:

Yeah. So 3, 4

 

Bogdan sings with daughter:  

My Lord knows the way through the deepest thicket

I just have to follow Him

Because my Lord knows the way through the deepest thicket

I just have to follow Him

 

Bogdan:

Today we have a great relationship, My Dad is a really happy guy. He’s proud. He walks the streets of our town with his head held high. People congratulate him saying “Leszek, sir, your son is a hero.”

 

Music

The story of Prodigal Son

“And when your favourite little boy, who wasted all your money in foreign lands, came back, you killed the fattened calf in his honour. Then the father said “ Son, you are always with me, everything I have is yours. But we must celebrate, because your brother died, but came back to life, he was lost but is now found.”

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