Just as each painted wooden egg is unique, Pam Corsoro’s collection is unique. Over the past 25 years, she has collected nearly three dozen painted Polish eggs from the Broadway Market in Buffalo.
Each Easter, Corsoro proudly displays her collection that has been two decades in the making. The collection started when Corsoro first received a painted egg when she was a young girl and thought they were pretty. Ever since she started traveling annually to the Broadway Market in Buffalo, she has purchased at least one egg as a souvenir.
“Every year that I went (to the Broadway Market), I’ve been collecting them. I used to go with my girlfriends – that was our big event,” said Corsoro. “I love them. They look so pretty in a basket. I’ve been (collecting) them for years. I took a liking to them because they were so colorful.”
The eggs, which trace back to traditions in Polish and Ukrainian cultures, can be made from wood or real eggs painted with various designs.
One of Corsoro’s favorite eggs she has is one that says “Broadway Market” and also a phrase in Polish. Corsoro’s father was fluent in Polish and she regrets not learning it from him. Her father, who was a resident of the Old Fourth Ward in Dunkirk, would help friends who needed translators.
“When he came out of the service, a lot of the Fourth Ward (residents) only spoke Polish. He would actually help translate for them,” said Corsoro, who is half Polish. “He’d go to the bank with them because he spoke (the language) so well. As a kid I didn’t think it was that cool. I wish I had learned more of it.”
Even with dozens of eggs, Corsoro does not have any duplicate eggs in her collections. She said since each egg is unique, it is hard to find a duplicate. Each year, Corsoro said she goes to the Broadway Market with an idea of what design or color she is looking for.
“I know with all the dozens they have there, I can usually find a different one. Sometimes I look at the colors; pink was the one I wanted to get this year,” said Corsoro. “They’re all so unique and all painted differently. If you rummage around a little bit you can usually find something different.”
During this year’s trip to Buffalo, Corsoro said she had some help looking for new eggs – one of the vendors was helping her search. The egg she found this year was one painted with a rabbit holding a basket filled with eggs. For Corsoro, the eggs is more about the tradition than the collection.
“It’s a nice tradition. It kind of reminds me of the special Polish holiday and traditions. I’ve always liked Easter,” she said.
Now that Corsoro’s children are grown, she has started them their own collection. Her children enjoy and look forward to adding to their collection each year. Corsoro said it is nice to carry on the tradition to her children.
“It’s just a special Easter remembrance,” she said.
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