I've known Kuba, Greg's best friend since elementary school, for just about as long as I've known Greg, although I didn't actually meet him until we'd been married for almost two years (meet Kuba, not Greg. I both heard about AND met Greg before we got married.).
Back in the early days when I was just getting to know Greg, he would tell stories about his exciting life back in Poland. Because he'd only been a member of the church for a year before going to the states (for his mission and then school), most of his memories were from before he joined the church.
Buddhism, poetry, , tai chi, hitchhiking, and wandering the Polish countryside with nothing but a little food and some cigarettes. It was such an exotic life, and so different from my own youth. I ate up every detail (except the cigarettes. I spat those out), and asked lots of questions. I couldn't get enough. My very favorite stories were those of his adventures with Kuba. In some of our more peaceful and happy moments before and while dating, I would request "Kuba stories".
Stories of teasing the girls and various pranks in school, eating sandwiches together after school, adventures with their Syrian friend, and many, many adventures (and misadventures) in foreign countries (most notably Berlin) while hitchhiking. Kuba was like a brother to Greg growing up, so I kind of thought of him that way, too.
Greg was with Kuba when he met the missionaries in Vienna. Later Kuba invited Greg to his baptism, which was the real catalyst for Greg investigating the church. Which lead to him joining it. Which eventually lead to him marrying me. I sort of owe Kuba a lot.
When I was heavily pregnant with Ewelina, this mystical, magical personage left Poland and came to Utah to attend BYU. We picked him up at the airport. He even looked like Greg's brother.. They were very happy to see each other. They laughed a lot. I enjoyed it.
It was a little hard for me to believe that this kind of quiet, thoughtful, though usually smiling, person was the prankster I had heard so much about, but the more time we spent with him and the better I got to know his sense of humor I realized that he was probably capable of all I had heard. :)
It was wonderful for Greg to have his best friend back for the next year or so before we moved back to Poland. I was happy to get to know him on a more personal level, to add to my "Kuba story"-based understanding of him.
After he finished school at BYU he moved back to Poland and we have seen him now and again while visiting Greg's parents in Łódż. He and Greg have had a few more adventures wandering and hiking (this time with fewer cigarettes and less alcohol--although good Kuba never smoked)
And now, we are having the worst adventure of all. Kuba went back to Utah for a visit last month and, after being there for a couple of weeks visiting with friends, he just disappeared. No trace. His things were left at the home he was staying in, but no other trace of him has been found since last month. We are searching. Greg is still hoping that this is just his biggest prank yet. We want him found.
It seems to me that the more people hear about this, the greater the chance that he WILL be found.
If anyone would "like" or share the following links it would help his story to be spread.
I don't have a picture of Kuba, though there is one in the above links, but here is a picture that he took years ago of us with his parents one time when we visited.
His dad passed away last year, but his mother surely wants him found, too. I'm constantly praying it will happen soon.
UPDATE! A friend has created a website to organize efforts to find him. Find it HERE. A search party is being organized to meet on Saturday, June 23rd at the north end of Rock Canyon, behind the temple at 8:45. All volunteers welcome!!