Thursday, April 24, 2008

A little about my Grandmother...

It's been a very busy past couple of days. Last night and today, we celebrated my grandmother's life.

It was the first time in a very LONG time that all of her grandchildren were gathered in one place - 20 in all plus 1 in spirit. I was very nice to see all my cousins again. Since we're all so spread out, we don't get together as much as one would like. Between the 20 of us, we can account for 11 states.

Several years ago, I completed a family history project for a college class. I visited with Grandma about her life again last year. I thought I'd share some of what she shared with me in her honor.

My Story in My Words
by Marcella (Vitek) Pechous

When I was a child:

- I went to country school until I was in the third grade and then I went to the Catholic school in Tabor. In the mornings, my mother would get up, start the stove, and wake the children. Then she would go out to feed the horses, milk the cow and hitch up the mule. We rode to school in a covered, wooden buggy pulled by our mule, Fritz. He was so lazy and we were often late to school because he would not move. I remember trying to chase him with a stick, but it usually didn’t do much good. We would park the buggy at Robert Cacek’s house and tie up the mule in the barn while we were in school and hitch him back up and go home after school.

- We would take a gallon of milk to school to pay for our tuition. We got 50 cents for each gallon and the milk was used for the children who boarded in the school. Our milk cows were very important to the livelihood of our family.

- Catechism was taught in Czech and our other school classes were taught in English.

- Peanut butter and jelly, chicken salad and sometimes luncheon meat were common sandwiches to be found in our school lunches. One of my favorite things was homemade bread.

- At school, the children often played a game called pum-pum-ala-way, which is a lot like tag. The boys played ball and the ball ended up in Mr. Kokes’ hay field many times. Mr. Kokes often got very angry when the boys would go in there to retrieve the ball.

- At home, my brothers, sisters and I played card games like pinochle and solitaire.

- In the summer, it was my job to herd the cows into the ditches so that they could get enough to eat and give more milk. The summers were often very dry and there was a shortage of grass in the pastures. This was my job until I was out of high school. I also did a lot of horseback riding. My family had about 15-20 work horses.

- Since I was the youngest daughter, I wasn’t needed as much at home, so I got to finish high school. I was the only child in my family to do so. I graduated in 1934.

- After high school, I herded cattle because I could make more money doing this than by babysitting which is what a lot of the other girls did. The money really helped the family and I loved horses.

- I met Emil when I was about in 5th grade at a dance. I was friends with his sister, Violet, and once I dance with Emil and asked Violet, “Who was that boy I just danced with?” She said, “Why, that’s my brother!” We didn’t start dating until after I was out of high school. Emil didn’t go to high school. We would go to dances a lot and sometimes to the movies. Girls didn’t have to pay to get into the dance. The boys did though and later, they did start charging the girls also. We didn’t really have a specific curfew, but we were always home before twelve. Emil and I dated for about three years before we were married. I was just about twenty-two then.

I have more from after she and my Grandpa married, but will save that for another post.

I have already uploaded all of the pictures that I took last night and today to Shutterfly. For family that is interested, please just drop me an email and I can send you the link so that you can view and/or order prints if you wish.
A little about my Grandmother...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend