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Showing posts from August, 2013

158th Prazska Pout

Last Thursday, I attended the 158th picnic of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Praha, Texas. I thought it would be interesting for you, dear blog follower, to first read about my great grandfather, Alois Morkovsky, attending the 28th Praha church picnic. Below is his account of getting to Praha. At the time (1889), he was a single man of 19 working for a farmer in Moulton. He worked the fields, built a hayloft and stable, and hauled loads of stone from Praha for the lining of a well.
He wrote "The Parish Feast in Praha took place in August, and it was more than half a year since I had been there among my old acquaintances. But how to get there the 10 miles distance? We had a young horse that had a habit of first throwing the rider and then letting him mount again and ride. I put on my stout, everyday clothes and saddled the horse. He was full of mischief and indicated that he intended to throw me to the ground. I did not give in. I lost my hat and was…

When Life Hands You Chicken Necks....

My parents' deep freezer is an amazing place. There aren't many shelves, so the ones that are there (and the shelves in the door) are stacked from the bottom of one to the bottom of another, front to back with frosty packages, some commercial and some things packaged by my parents in Ziplock bags and Tupperware containers. I don't know how they can possibly find anything at the back without taking dozens of pounds of food out first to get to it. It is intimidating and comforting at the same time. My parents could eat for weeks without going to the grocery store.

There are leftovers, of course, plus all cuts of meat bought when on special, vegetables from overabundant gardens, game and fish from family and friends, and store-bought prepared meals for busy nights. A month or so ago, I took home a bag of catfish fillets caught by Aunt Deneise and Uncle Gary. At least that's what I thought I was taking home. The Ziplock bag had the word "catfish" scrawled across…

A Venezuelan Czech in Texas

When my 14-year-old was in preschool Montessori, he had a classmate whose grandmother's last name was Tugendhat. I knew it sounded familiar, but couldn't figure out where I'd heard it. Then on a playdate, Marcia asked about my Czech background. She, too, had a Czech background, and I realized where I'd heard the unusual last name.

Many people who've been to the city of Brno in southern Moravia in the Czech Republic have visited the Villa Tugendhat. It is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture, designed by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and built between 1928-1930. The residence is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reopened in 2012 after restoration. The fascinating story of the house can be read on the Villa Tugendhat website. Even though I've been to Brno three times, I've never visited the house.


It was built for Fritz and Grete Tugendhat, who were my friend Marcia's grandparents. As Jews, they fled Czechoslovakia for Venezuela …