This page is for your personal stories – interesting and/or amusing recollections from your genealogical pursuits. Send to me (JudyNelson08@gmail.com) for inclusion. I’ll go first……

I grew up on a farm near Oxford Jct. IA, inhabited by many who had emigrated from what is now the Czech Republic. My step-grandfather was Albert Vochoska whose mother took him from Hrdlorezy to Iowa when he was eleven. He farmed some Oxford acres but had retired to town by the time I was born. I always loved Grandpa and Grandma’s backyard because it was cozy and private, surrounded by the chicken house, the barn, the outhouse, another shed, and grape vines on a fence. During the summer there was a large vegetable garden, flowers, laundry on the clothesline, a pump, and a bench. A narrow opening led to the alley. We seemed drawn to that space. There was always something going on – fixing a shoe, cutting cabbage for coleslaw, etc. In 1997 I visited Hrdlorezy for the first time and Albert’s childhood home. There I saw how farmers lived in the village in farmsteads: connected structures (house, stable, storage, trade area, etc.) surrounding a cozy courtyard. Then I understood Albert’s backyard – his courtyard. Judy Nelson Largo FL

During my 1997 visit to the Czech Republic, my companions and I had lunch in a small restaurant near St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Suchdol nad Luznici. While we sipped some locally-brewed and delicious Regents beer I admired a large mural on the wall. It was a scene with a town gate and was labelled “1379”. Deciding that it surely depicted the founding of Suchdol, I photographed it and posted it on the website I started in 2000. When I returned to that area in 2005 I learned that the Regents brewery was near the old square in Trebon, beyond arched gates, and it was founded in 1379! I had been advertising beer for 5 years. Judy Nelson, Largo FL