to thrive. Tower, the main street, is hnedrnwith bars, most of them full. Bars are thernsetting for much of the work of both writers.rnIn Bukoski’s very dark story, “ThernTomb of the Wrestlers,” a 19-year-oldrncharacter. Bob Harris, imagines a postcardrnfor Superior.rnWeeds that grow over rusted tracksrn. . . no diesels slowing for the crossingsrn. . . no ore boat whisdes everrnpiercing the fogg}’ noon .. . steelrnwork ain’t good anymore. This isrnSuperior, a town where the onlvrnthing left are the drinkers andrndrunks.rnAnother postcard:rnSuperior, Wisconsin, pop. 28,000,rnhas two, actually three things to setrnit apart. It has 1) the highest rate ofrnalcoholism per capita for any cih- ofrnits size in the country; 2) thern”World’s Largest Freshwater Sandbar,”rnwhich is a long sandy beachrnbordered by the lake on one sidernand a bay on the other; and 3) thern”World’s Largest Ore Docks,”rnwhich are three in number, but onlyrnone in actual use.rnHarris helps his father in the bar and isrnpropositioned by a man who can offer onlyrna box of government cheese. “It’s allrnI’ve got. No money left, and I heard yournwere an understanding kid.” Harris refusesrnon the grounds that he has to havernat least beer money. Incidentally, Harris’rnmother was a prostitute for man) years,rnworking at 314 John St. In a darkly comicrnscene, an old Canadian sailor hadrnpropositioned Harris three years earlier,rnand the homosexual experience is describedrnin nautical terms such as “‘Steadyrnnow… steady as she goes. All ahead onethird?’rn’All ahead,’ I repeated.” As I said,rnit is a dark story.rnThe world gets darker still when thernold people’s stories are told, as in “Mrs.rnBurbul.” During World War II, Mrs.rnBurbul had been held prisoner in a camprnwhere the cook was Polish. He made herrnstrip and raped her, rewarding her withrnthe better cuts of horsemeat, a piece ofrnpotato, a rutabaga. When the guards ranrnaway at the end of the war, she and othersrnpulled the cook down, spit on him,rnkicked him, and likely killed him with arnshovel. Now these memories haunt her,rnand she continues to ask for forgiveness,rnwandering endlessly about the fields.rnThere are other powerful stories thatrnconvey the alien experience of being anrnimmigrant while yearning for the oldrncountry of one’s parents, one’s friends.rnOne character sums up the anguish inrn”The Korporal’s Polonaise.”rnAbove us, in a church that is tornclose, the despairing priest preparesrnfor his last Palm Sunday as I openrnthe music box on the table and findrna lock of my father’s precious whiternhair. Now the Polonaise he lovedrnbegins to play, but we cannot gornback to him. We cannot return tornthe Old Country. All we have arerngraves and crosses.rnThe partition of Poland in 1939, therndeportation of 1.7 million Poles from thernSoviet sector, and the Nazis’ transportationrnof 1.3 million Poles to Germany forrnuse as slave labor in factories provide thernbackground for “Polack Joke,” the thirdrnsection of Weaver’s Circling Byzantium.rnAn old Polish immigrant and bar owner,rnMary Janka, receives an answer to tiie lastrnof her many incjuiries about her family.rnShe is found crying one day by her employee,rnRomv Lewinski, after a refugeernidentification committee wrote thatrn”What was left of her family had disappeared,rnmust be presumed dead.”rnLewinski is not a pretty Pole, but he isrna very believable character. He is part ofrnthe force that destro’s the tranquillity’ ofrnthe lake at Wautoma. He inherits the barrnfrom Mary Janka, but no money. Of thern$111,000 she saved, she left some for perpetualrnMasses for herself at SaintrnCasimir’s, $5,000 to the MilwaukeernCounty Democratic Council, and thernbalance was split down the middle betweenrnthe Polska-Amerikanski RefugeernRelief Committee and the Littie Sistersrnof the Poor. Yet Lewinski makes a go ofrnthe place, sells it to buy the rundown resortrnat Wautoma, and proceeds to turnrnthat into the tacky thing Americans haverncome to know as “fun parks” — a post-Disney,rnEisner version.rnInstead of retreating into memory asrnSpaulding does, Lewinski is a go-getter, arn”man with a plan.” a futurist who has nornroots in the community of this summerrnresort and is there only to make a killing.rnSpaulding remarks to another character,rn”I’ve vet to meet the man could definernthe word ‘progress’ to my satisfaction.”rnThe town fathers of Wautoma are complicitrnin Lewinski’s big plans, for they seernall the taxes he’s going to pay and the jobsrnhe’s going to create.rnIn Bukoski’s work, as in Weaver’s,rnthere are the overriding motifs of timernand the falling away of the world whichrnwas the first half of this centim’. Not on-rn]’ has Poland receded for the inunigrants,rnSuperior itself has declined andrndecayed. Much of Bukoski’s fiction is arnmeditation on mutability and a skepticismrnabout the future. This meditationrn•A TRAVELER’S GUIDE-rn\^^en Up Nortli, you can stay at one of three log cabins on tiigjiway 27 in Brule, buy flies,rnhire a guide, and get tips on fishing all at Brule River Classics. For breakfast, try tiie Belgianrnwaffle at the Twin Gables. Down U.S. 2 a few miles try Green Top, an old highwayrnrestaurant with a friendly bar, good lake trout, and fresh pie.rnThere are conventional motels in Iron River (the least chain-like is Rustic Roost), butrnyon can also put up at the Trout Hans, a B&B right on the Iron River. The proprietor is arnwildlife biologist who told us tales of expeditions to New Guinea and South America as hernfixed us a delicious breakfast in his kitchen. In town, he and his wife also operate JavarnTrout, where von can buy muffins, cheese, smoked fish, and better espresso than in citiesrna hundred times the size (I speak from experience). Yes, it seems like a place for Yuppies,rnbut there aren’t any in Iron River.rnThe same building is home to the White Winter Winerv’, which is really a meader)-, becauserneverything they make appears to be a honey wine. I do not like mead and after drinkingrnit in one or two forms had sworn that only Beowulf could stuff that swill down myrnthroat, but 1 ate (or rather drank) those words when 1 tasted their Black Mead (made withrnblack currents and honev). I took several bottles home, and although the family’s enthusiasmrnwas not quite so high as my own, they all drank it—which is more than usually happensrnwhen we bring back fruit wines. For a lake woods pizza experience, tiy Finnell’s inrnLake Nebagamon —have a drink there and one at Bridge’s to be tair.rnNo trip to the Northwoods would be complete without a stop in beautiful S’perior. Onlyrnthe downtown has been spoiled b ill-advised atteiupts at urban renewal. Be sure to buyrna copy of Anthony Bukoski’s Polonaise. If enough people buy his books, he will be able tornmove to Louisiana and pretend to be Gajun.rn— Thomas Flemingrn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn