We are now in 1873 with our Czech (Moravian) immigrants and continuing to follow their lives thanks to the wonderful Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář and the Czech-American penman, Hugo Chotek.
We are with the families for the third of Chotek’s titled “Three Christmases” and the story is giving us a delightful window into the world, concerns, and culture of our Czech ancestors who were in America during those times.
Enjoy today’s installment with our compliments! Tomorrow our story finishes!
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®
“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.”
“Yes, and it was thanks to you and my dear Anna, who sacrificed herself for my sake. It was a miracle she did not collapse under the weight of work and worries; if not for that, for sure I would not be among you today. This is also why I have to remind myself often of the day where the power of true and unselfish love was proven. I would have been happy and satisfied to await my last hour, only if I saw my son, side by side with such a faithful and kind wife as my Anna is.”
“Hey, hey! Who at your age would already be thinking about his death? Take a look at me I am already in my seventies, and still I want to visit my old country to enjoy the view of my beloved Radhošť Mountain, and then to spend among you several more quiet and happy years.”
“This is the most ardent wish of all of us. However, now I would like to ask you to accompany me to our place. I would not like Anna to wait for things brought from Brenham and yet I would like to talk to you still before supper.” –
“Well, well,” smiled Bláha. “I sense what you have on your heart; a few moments ago we talked about it, did we not my old lady.”
“I don’t know what Vojtěch thinks about,” said the old lady merrily, “If it is, however, something similar than let it be so.” Bláha put on his coat. He lit his pipe and accompanied his son in law.
Young Lešovský meanwhile approached the young girls and was poking fun at them as much as possible, especially Anna, on whose heels he was all the time, so much so that her mother would threaten him often with her wooden spoon. It was curious that Anna over and over again had something to do outside. – Once she had to go to fetch eggs in the chicken coop; then she had to fetch sweet cream in a faraway cellar, and similar things and then each time, Vojtěch also disappeared with her, like mercury. When then Anna returned she was red like a rose and her little sister was smiling like a little devil. Mother and grandmother, however, pretended not to see and not to hear. They remembered their own young years and knowing that Anna and Vojtěch loved each other they were not standing in their way. After all soon they will belong to one another, so let them enjoy their happiness. –”
Tomorrow we will bring you the final installment of our exclusive English translation of the wonderful Hugo Chotek story “Three Christmases”.
Onward To Our Past®