Our wonderful Czech story of Moravian immigrants in America continues today! We began, thanks to the penman, Hugo Chotek, with these immigrants’ first Christmas in America in 1850. Then we all moved on to be a part of a second Christmas with them in 1863. Now we are at Christmas number three in 1873.
This is a marvelous story we are proud and pleased to bring you as the exclusive home to its English translation.
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: XLIV, Year: 1921, Pages 154-168
A Page from the Lives of American Czechs from the Fifties
Written by Hugo Chotek
Translated by Layne Pierce and Mila Saskova-Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
“How quickly time passes! Before you know it, in the blinking of an eye, ten years go by, and it is once again Christmas time. At the Bláha’s home everyone is merry and lively. Aneška is now already nineteen years old and together with the sixteen-year-old Anna they are helping their mother in the kitchen and they are moving around the stove like on a spindle, singing and poking fun at each other. Only the mother is sad and often she wipes her teary face with her apron. This is because the poor woman is thinking about her husband who was torn out of her embrace so early and died such a horrible death. Sitting by the table in the kitchen there is an old man who has hair white like silver, a wrinkled face, which is nevertheless full and exuding health and beside him is his faithful companion, quite a bit gray and bent over from age, as well as from worries and pain. Both of them are gilding nuts and attaching threads to apples, and cookies, destined for the tree. Every once in a while they look at each other. They smile with pleasure and significantly they turn their heads to the industrious girls. Often, however, also their faces get wet, since they too remember painfully their son, who ten years ago fell as a victim to human intolerance. Suddenly they hear the thunder of several galloping steeds. The girls run to the windows and there they are happily screaming: “Our folks are already here!” –
In front of the farm five riders have stopped and each one of them has a heavy bag tied to their saddle. Those are Bláha’s sons and old Lešovský and his son. First of all they untie the bags and carry them into the kitchen. After they unsaddled their horses and let them outside the corral, while the Lešovskýs horses remained saddled.
“Here we are,“ said Josef Bláha, a youth about twenty-two years old, grown like a fir tree, beautiful and manly like Mars, “But I will tell you that it was quite a piece of work to get out of Brenham. There were many friends over there and everybody wanted us to have an additional glass with them. Beer, just now brought from St. Louis will be brought in by Václav. We will enjoy it, won’t we grandpa?”
Old Bláha only nodded his head and got up to welcome his son-in-law and his son, and then answered: “That’s right, we are going to enjoy it. The St. Louis beer is after all quite a different drink than Krenschel’s potion, and we can let it stand now in a more relaxed way. And what about you, will all of yours come after supper?”
“Of course that is evident that we will since today I want to be merrier than ten years ago when through my carelessness I caused you and my dear Anna, such an amount of worry and pain.”
“Leave it alone, let it be,” Bláha chastised his son-in-law. “Why do you remind us every year? It is good that it ended at least in this way and you regained your health. Today ten years ago it is true that I would not have bet even a penny on your life.”
Tomorrow we conclude our wonderful story of “Three Christmases” by Hugo Chotek. How wonderful and blessed we have been to have found this fabulous story and been able to bring it to you in English for its first, and only, time!
Onward To Our Past®