Today we are celebrating a Czech Christmas back in 1850! Plus we move into Section Two of the wonderful Hugo Chotek story, “Three Christmases”. We jump ahead in time to Christmas Eve, 1863 and catch up with our Moravian immigrant families for the second Christmas!
This story continues to give us delightful insights into the lives, times, customs, and concerns of our Czech ancestors who were in America in the 1850s!
Remember, you can click here if you have missed any previous installments of our story .
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®
“Having pushed away the flour he bent over and he rolled out two beer kegs, and he immediately tapped one of them.
The clamor of the present people cannot be described and even Bláha was so surprised that he could not find words for his admiration. This was because the beer was a great rarity in the settlements, since it had to be brought in either from Houston, or San Antonio, which was quite a difficult task. Lešovský, however, learned by chance that several weeks before one enterprising German, Louis Krenschel, had started brewing beer in Bluff, in Fayette County, and so without hesitation he asked two neighbors to bring him two small kegs. He did not want to ask Vojtěch to bring it in, so that the surprise would be that much bigger. –
The old Bláha was glowing with happiness. Holding in his hand a foaming chalice, he got up and he started to talk: “Friends, today’s day will remain unforgettable for me. Even though I am in a foreign country far away from the land of my birth, nevertheless, I am among old friends on my own land, and under my own roof. Outside around us a wild blizzard is raging, and its freezing death is destroying the life of everything that it can reach. However, it does not have power over us, since our hearts are warm, and the emotion of true friendship binds us together. This touches not only us, the old ones, but also our own young ones. Myself, I know at least two people, who are nearly dying with yearning for each other. I love both of them and in spite of that I have not given them so far any present for the Christmas Eve because I was awaiting this moment. It is you my Anna and you Vojtěch, the son of my best friend. I know what would be probably the dearest present for you, and therefore, dear Anna, I give Vojtěch to you and, Vojtěch I am giving you my dearest jewel, my only daughter. Take good care of her! She deserves it. Here, Vojtěch is the permission for marriage brought from Brenham and Justice of the Peace Williams will come probably at any moment.”
Jubilation and embraces followed. The judge also came about an hour later and the young lovers became happy spouses. –
Outside the blizzard was raging. Inside of the Texas temporary cabin, however, there were several happy people having a good time.
It was once again Christmas Eve, however, thirteen years later in the year 1863.
The place where thirteen years ago was standing the old cabin and which gathered several families for a merry celebration, looked nowadays completely different. The forest around disappeared since it had to make a place for a well-tended garden and in the place of the cabin stood a statuesque farmhouse. Behind it then were horse and cow sheds, log cabins and other farm buildings. Everything that the eyes could see exuded affluence, wellbeing, and scrupulous husbandry. Even the rooster that was patrolling the barnyard like a household steward thought that he was better than the neighboring roosters, since he lived with Bláhas. Even the extent of the farm was much bigger since young Bláha having married Kathy Černá took over the farm and several years later he bought an additional 140 acres from the neighbor.
Their marriage was happy and was blessed with five children; three boys and two girls. The oldest, the twelve year old Vojtěch, was skillful enough in farming to be able to help with many tasks.
Neighboring the Bláha farm on the north was the no-less extensive farm of Vojtěch Lešovský. Anna as wife and mother had not lost anything in her attractiveness. To the contrary, she seemed to be more tender and affectionate than before. This family also was very successful and it was a pleasure to watch how she dealt with children and how they were interacting around her.”
Tomorrow we continue our story as we follow farther into Section Two of our wonderful story by Hugo Chotek titled “Three Christmases”.
Onward To Our Past®