Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Don Polinski: Where Is He Now?

Who is Don Polinski? This mystery man made his way into an old blog post, years ago.  But, I have no idea who he is. For 12 years, he's been an enigma. He's been known by his name, and this one image. How did this unknown person show up in my blog, and who is he?

In the old days, on this blog, I used to feature a Superstar of the Week. This was something I had done ever since day two of this blog, and continued on and off, usually in the Summer. This continued up until sometime in 2010, about a year before this blog ceased to be active. It was essentially a gag. I would think of someone random, usually a celebrity or historical figure, sometimes a fictional character or a cartoon. I've even chosen Muppets, a Mii made to look like Jack Black, and a Kenmore washer and drier set. It was essentially just a picture of said person or entity, with the title reading "Superstar of the Week is..." Sometime in 2009, I expanded Superstar of the Week into being a full article.

At one point, towards the beginning of this blog, I decided to think of a random name off the top of my head, and Google it. Or, "Yahoo search" it, according to that particular post. I guess this was back when I was still using Yahoo instead of Google. The name I randomly thought of, was "Don Polinski". Why the name that popped into my head was "Don" in combination with the last name "Polinski", I have no idea, but I put the name into Yahoo search, and came up with the picture at the top of the page. Thus, this man became the Superstar of the Week for December 19, 2005.

Occasionally, I would make a reference to Don Polinski in my blog posts. I could have sworn that Don Polinski had made an encore appearance as Superstar of the Week at some point, but I just went through my entire blog history, and found no evidence of that. (Don Polinski never found his way into my videos, however). At one point, I found that an anonymous commentor had commented, "Ok, well this is too funny b/c the Superstar of this week is my dad! (literally)".

But, who is Don Polinski? This image originally came from a park services website in Canada. Several years ago, while reminiscing through old blog posts, I decided, out of curiosity, to Google "Don Polinski", again, and see what came up. The only image that came up for Don Polinski, was from my blog post. The site from which the image had originated, no longer showed up. There were, however, some obituaries which lead me to believe that poor Don had passed on.

Towards the end of this past year, I found myself once again reminiscing through old blog posts. I decided, out of curiosity, to Google "Don Polinski" again, and see if anything new came up. Once again, the first image in the search that was relevant to Don Polinski, was from my blog post. But, this time, I also found this image:
 This image, from an article, posted in October 2016, is relatively new. I scrutinized it a bit to determine whether the older gentleman in the picture was the same man from the image above. He does seem to have the same features, but he looks quite a bit older than the original image. This article was posted about 11 years after my Superstar of the Week post. And, who knows how long ago the image from my Superstar of the Week post had been taken prior to finding its way to my blog. Yes, there's been quite a bit of time in between. It looks like the obituary had reguarded a different Don Polinski. Our Don Polinski is alive and winning awards!

According to the article, the image depicts the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association being presented with the 2016 Parks Excellence Award. This image lead me to another article featuring Don Polinski's team winning an award, the previous year. For the past 12 years, Don Polinski has been sort of a mystery man who had arbitrarily made his way into an old blog post. I find myself feeling glad to see this complete stranger alive, smiling, and holding an award, a sign that he's been successful in his endeavor. Whoever he is, I hope life is treating him well.