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Re: [TexasCzechs] Re: Shooting the Anvil

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  • george patrick
    Susan, I m not sure if this is related to shooting the anvil or not, but, my dad and his 3 brothers were helping their father clear stumps on some new land
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 2, 2002
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      I'm not sure if this is related to "shooting the anvil" or not, but, my dad and his 3 brothers were helping their father clear stumps on some new land he was clearing in Bell County.  Seems there was a couple of sticks of dynamite left over.  The boys decided to see what a stick of exploding dynamite would do to the outhouse.  They never said how high it went.
      I always took this story with a grain of salt because they were usually partaking of a bit of pivo when they started telling stories.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 1:13 PM
      Subject: Re: [TexasCzechs] Re: Shooting the Anvil

      >What is the deal with "shooting the anvil" and how is this a tradition?   I have never heard of this, nor has my mother.  Please help me understand.<
      Just got from hunting/camping in Starr County and am trying to sort through all the e-mails.
      "Shooting the Anvil" is an event brought to the United States by immigrants from Central Europe.  In fact, this year's Christmas issue of the  Texas Monthly magazine includes "shooting the anvil" as one of the Texas Christmas customs.  That article indicates that the main reason for shooting the anvil was for the noise.  I think there is much more to it than that.  It is awesome to watch an 70-pound anvil tumble end-to-end about twelve feet above the ground!
      Shooting the Anvil in my family originated with Tom Mrazek who was a blacksmith and a wagon wright by trade.  He and his family immigrated to Texas from Jablunka in Moravia in 1881.  Being a blacksmith, he always had several anvils available for use. Back then, black powder was also used more frequently and more easily available too.
      I am always looking for other families who used to shoot the anvil.  So far the only other ones I have verified are a branch of the Grossman family and my Ermis family who all had contact with my Mrazek family.
      My Dad told me that shooting the anvil was done on special occasions when the family gathered because back then fireworks were not easily available, there were no movies, (and we all love fire and explosions.)
      I am lucky in that my family did carry forward traditions from the old country.  We are now working hard to revitalize these customs and pass them on to the next generations.
      For some of you, it is more difficult to find those old traditions because so many Texas Czechs assimilated so fully.  That is part of the reason why I share so much of what I learn.  Our Moravian ancestors were really quite colorful...somehow that has been left out of lore of many families.
      I will try to write more later.  We have a deer to process, it is cold, and my goats have the scours.

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