We are still in 1951, courtesy of the pages of the Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář, its publisher, August Geringer and Sons, of Chicago, Illinois, and the insightful editors who sought to preserve the early historic stories of Czech immigrants to the United States.
We begin a new exclusive translation today about a new Czech couple, Charles and Anna Lux. We begin in Bohemia and Charles adds several village names as well as additional family members, friends, and coworkers to his story!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Year: 1951, Volume: LXXIII, Pages: 117-
Old Settlers’ Memories
“THE LIFE EXPERIENCES OF SPOUSES CHARLES AND ANNA LUX – from Sayville, New York”
Translation by Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce and Layne Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
Charles and Anna Lux during their celebration of the 35th anniversary of their shared life. On the day of the 22nd of August, 1949.
“Biographies usually start with “I was born,” etc. I still know up to this day that I was born and this is from the excerpts from the work ledger of my mom, born Hlaváčová, into which my already departed father noted: “On Thursday, on the day of the 4th of August at eight o’clock in the evening a boy was born to us. He was christened on Sunday and received the name Karel.” And so here you have me. Unfortunately there was very little of mother’s love, since my sweet mom left for the place from which there is no return when I was six months old. Perhaps even a six month old baby felt that it was losing something that cannot be replaced in one’s life, which is to say a mother’s love, since according to my nanny and my late Aunt Hlaváčová, who was my mom’s sister, I was always crying bitterly.
Firstborn little sister, Gustynka died at an early age, and her little grave was in front of the entrance to the Church of The Holy Trinity in Valašské Meziříčí where even as I was leaving for America they were still saying Masses for students of the local high school. There they buried not only her remains, but also those of my little brother Josef, who was the first child from my father’s second marriage with Miss Marie Vosmanská from Krasno. My sweet mom’s grave was located by the vestry in the direction of the river Bečva and I myself during the time of my childhood, when I was an acolyte in that small church, would go to her grave and I am not ashamed even today to say that I cried.
I do remember my father’s second wedding. We went to the church in Meziříčí on a green painted sled. My childhood was not a happy one, and I was glad when I went for an apprenticeship to Olomouc. I am grateful to my good friend Frank Dobiáš from Astoria for a beautiful picture post card of that town which he sent me. I will write later about my experiences in that town and the hell of my apprenticeship. I had my orphan account: two hundred gold pieces from my late Aunt Františka Meřková and from my other aunt, Lorencová, who was a cook for the manufacturer “Kohn” in Vsetín, I had fifty gold pieces. I decided therefore to follow the luck of the marsh fairy to America. – I was nineteen years old.
I went to the regional governor’s office for a travel document, which, however, the governor refused to give me with the remark: “because we would never see each other again.” And he was right. In his office there was a clerk, my former classmate, František Hruška, who visited me later on the same day and offered to get me the travel document. “Name your price,” I said. “You know Charles,” he said, “Give me a gold piece for the official stamp, since I haven’t forgotten what you did for me. “ – This sentence should be remembered by those who have forgotten completely what it is to be grateful.”
Tomorrow we continue the story of the lives and times of the Czech-Americans of Charles and Anna Lux and their families. Follow along to learn if Charles leaves Bohemia behind or decides to stay!
Onward To Our Past®