I Can Hold My Own is a true story about what it was like growing up in New York City in the 1940s through the eyes a first-generation American, the son of Polish immigrants. As one might expect, the lifestyle and day-to-day activities of a youngster growing up in an urban environment were a lot different from those of a similarly aged youngster growing up on a farm in the Midwest. Added to the demographic differences, in Dr. Nowatzki’s case, there were also differences from being a first-generation American caught in transition between the culture of his parents’ native Poland and that of twentieth-century America. Dr. Nowatzki describes his experiences in a way that illustrates these differences from many perspectives, ranging from his attending a Catholic parochial school and playing sports on the playgrounds of New York to his awareness of historical events such as World War II. The story comes from a period in American history when life was relatively simple and the culture was family-oriented and deeply rooted in traditional American values based on loyalty to God and country. Unlike today, there were no distractions from television, the Internet, computer games, and social networks, so youngsters had to provide their own means for leisure time activities. Some of those activities are described from Dr. Nowatzki’s perspective as a participant. I Can Hold My Own will be of interest to anyone growing up in the United Sates at that time whether on a farm or in a large city like New York. The story will also be of interest to any first-generation American faced with a similar transition between two different cultures.