Mary Dolsak and Leo Holf twirled under the disco ball, swaying inside the warm embrace of the Slovenian Workmen’s Home, a Collinwood staple since 1926. Perhaps they were warming up for a night of dancing to polka greats such as Frankie Yankovic and Johnny Vadnal, both of whom filled the hall with oompahs during their careers. Dolsak earned musicians’ love and a spot on the National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum trustees honor roll for her excellent cooking. Holf was a regular at the weekly Friday fish fry, says vice president Pat Nevar. “We have a few older women, they’re in their 90s, and they know everybody,” says Nevar. Although they can’t be positive, they recall Holf always sitting at the first table from the kitchen and waiting, patient and friendly, for his take-out order. Dolsak died in 1986, and Holf has likely passed since too. A new owner purchased the building in 2017, but its legacy continues to endure, says Nevar. To this day, the ladies cook up the Friday fish fry, and the disco ball still paints the ballroom hardwood with dappled light.
3:00 PM EST
February 14, 2018