“The Legend of Stys’ Power”
by ~ Anita J. Skocz
Long before the “Ya Ya Sisterhood” in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, a group of women with a unique power lived amongst the common folks. They looked normal, and on occasion acted normal, but running through their veins was a force called “Stys’ Power.”
This unseen powerful magnetism had been kept a secret from the fourth generation of Stys’ Girls until the mid nineteen nineties. My sister, Kathy, seeing my cousin’s daughter tearfully relating a harsh teasing incident at school, wanted to comfort the young disheartened Raquel. Without calling together a meeting of the sisterhood, Kathy made the call on her own, and took Raquel to her side. Assured that the timing was right, Kathy cautiously revealed the family legend, hoping to empower the saddened youth. With a whisper, Kathy began.
“Your great grandfather’s mother, a mere servant woman for a Barron in the old country, was the first to experience the so called “Stys’ Power.” The Barron was never to lower himself by seeking the attentions of a servant, but Maria Stys’ beauty, intelligence, joy for life, and self confidence caught his eye. But, he had seen these qualities in other woman, and was able to control his desires. There was something different about Maria; he could not understand his undisciplined yearnings. Streaming from this servant woman was an invisible force that made her irresistible to all men.”
Rachel’s eyes dried as she listened to Kathy’s tale. Before Kathy could finish the rest of the saga, Rachel asked.
“Do I have “Stys’ Power?”
All the women born on my mother’s side of the family were strong, determined, lively and charming. So, being the fun loving bunch that we are ~ the crazy legend was created. Kathy loved sharing our narrative that grew every time the Stys’ women got together. At this time, Kathy composed herself and continued.
“Raquel, yes my dear, you possess this mystifying energy that leaves men bewildered by its seductiveness. Each girl at the age of sixteen begins to realize its strength. At that time, men from around the globe are driven to search for a Stys’ Girl that has yet to be wed. They are unable to resist the pull, and have no choice. A widowed, divorced or single Stys’ Girl needs a bodyguard to protect her from the throngs of passionate pursuers.”
At this point Raquel, a thirteen year old, marched to her room enlivened by the legend and began chanting, “Stys’ Power!” Kathy smiled, and was pleased to pass on the family tale ~ and the strength of heart that came with it.
The next day Raquel came home from school with three friends ~ all desiring to be Stys’ Girls. Kathy and my cousin Kim, Raquel’s mother, rolled their eyes as these want-to-be Stys’ Girls chanted “Stys’ Power,” while making snacks in the kitchen. Kathy settled the girls down by explaining that they could become Stys’ Girl Trainees, but it was not easy. If they could befriend a bloodline Stys’ Girl, and maintain the friendship for three years, they would be eligible to take the secret oath ~ after being interviewed by the Counsel of Elders.
Since that day, my sister sent all the Stys’ Girls caps, and established the rules and a sacred pledge. When Kathy came to Florida to visit a few years ago, she had awards for the Stys’ Girls that were present, and we had the installation of a trainee, who took care of my mother for ten years. She was honored to be a part of the clan, but terrified to give her acceptance speech.
As you will see in the pictures, we all had old gowns pinned to our clothing, and carried weeds as our bouquets. Kathy did not want to shame the flower kingdom with our unbelievable beauty ~ hence the weeds. While we did the conga around the living room as part of the awards ceremony with music blasting, unbeknownst to us, three police officers were at the front glass door peering inside. They must have thought they came across a stoned coven of witches.
Upon opening the door they were laughing hysterically, and found out that they came to the wrong address. After thanking us for the entertainment, we proceeded with our ceremony ~ happy to have spread our cheer that evening.
The Stys’ Girl legend has been a source of fun and craziness in our family, which celebrates the quirky, bizarre, wacky and the pure nonsense of life. We pledge to be mischievous, and to never let a day go by without adding a bit of joy and playfulness to the energies of our great planet. The following pictures will tell a bit of the tale that night, the night the Stys’ Girls danced into the hearts of the Orange City police officers.
Applications to be a Stys’ Girl Trainee will be accepted at my e-mail address: