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Czachorowski teaches library-goers juggling

Philip Czachorowski and his wife, Lois, showed one of the more advanced juggling techniques called two-person passing.

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

When he’s not spending his time juggling being the President of the Friends of the Walpole Library, working with the Walpole Peace and Justice Group, and helping the United Church with its outreach programs, Philip Czachorowski is, well, juggling.

While the 2012 Willis D. McLean Citizen of the Year winner is far more well known around town for his philanthropy, Czachorowski is also an accomplished juggler who managed to teach himself the skill in the 1970s, long before there were YouTube tutorials to follow. But since he acknowledges it is far easier to learn from someone who can correct you in real time, Monday night at the Walpole Library, Czachorowski hosted a workshop to teach people how to juggle.

“I love juggling and I really encourage other people to learn, so I try and do a workshop every summer," he explained. "I’ve probably done over fifteen in Walpole. They’re not always through the Library Friends; I’ve done them through a church. But I’ve done many workshops over the years”

Philip Czachorowski shows the crowd how to do the basic three ball cascade.

Czachorowski has been teaching people how to juggle for years, including at work years ago. There, during their hour-long lunch-breaks, a dedicated group of about seven or eight people eventually got good enough to juggle in different patterns and formations, pass the balls in a circle or while standing back-to-back, and learn all the different tricks involved in juggling. At times they would practice on Boston Common and draw some sizable crowds, though they weren’t looking for tips.   

While most of the crowd on Monday was brand new, Czachorowski noted that in years past there have been people who’ve come to the workshops multiple times and have gotten to the point of learning passing. They might not have known about the workshop this year, though, after COVID forced Phil to cancel last year’s event.

Czachorowski did showcase some passing with his wife, Lois, with whom he once performed at a wedding reception, telling his audience a story about “How Juggling Won the West” while juggling canned beans, pots and pans, and cow Beanie Babies.

But while many people came close to having the three-ball cascade pattern down after the hour, nobody was quite ready to juggle chainsaws or knives quite yet. Czachorowski encouraged everyone to practice ten minutes a day rather than try to figure it out all at once.

But if you’ve tried to learn to juggle before using a video on the internet and just couldn’t manage to figure it out, what would Czachorowski tell you?

“I would probably say, 'give me a try.'”

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