Re: [TexasCzechs] The Eagle, the Man, and the Lions
- I love your stories and I think you need to just keep writing period.
Lois Petter Pereira
The story ended with Part 3. This message contains some general information
on this folk tale. As I explained previously, this story was told to us, as
children; however, I wanted to just point out several other aspects of the
tale, although they might be obvious:
1. This story clearly was a way of telling of the hardship and oppression
experienced in the "Old Country." It also allows those who are oppressed
(or were) to tell of a time when one of their kind was victorious against
great odds. It also clearly establishes through the use of frequent
repetition of the adjectives "good" and "honest" who was on the honorable
side. The fact that a magical creature is necessary to make the good man
victorious is an indicator that the grip of the oppressors was very tight
2. This story also follows the path of a "Resurrection Myth" as seen in many
other cultures. Here we have, for all purposes, a man who is dead. When
the good man is sent to the great pit. He is sent to his death. There
then comes the intervention of a godly spirit. With the aid of this
spirit, the man is reborn through his escape from the great pit. With
great detail, we even have the man giving his flesh to be eaten. In truth,
at this level, this is a highly sophisticated myth.
3. In capturing this tale in writing, I have tried to retain some of the
rhythms and speech patterns used when it was told. The written story
will never have the same affect as when a real storyteller uses his voice
to greatly enhance the "Swoosh...Swoosh...Swoosh!" of the wings of the great
eagle and the great wind- swallowing "Gu-lump!" of the eagle asking for the
lion meat. This story is best when told in a quiet setting and with a great
deal of sound effects being provided by the storyteller including the
"yeowls and snarls'' of the lions and the slashing sound of the good man's
I suppose that, at the current time, this story would be considered to
graphic and gory to be told to children; however, I always listened
intently, no matter how many times I had heard it before...and I never
had nightmares about this tale.
I am planning to start writing about the Joseph and Anna Svoboda Hrncir
family who immigrated to Texas prior to the Civil War. I also need to
capture the folk tale of "Spriritus" a wee man who takes on a wealthy
nobleman in order to get food, clothing, and money for the oppressed
peasants. If any of you would rather read one or the other, please e-mail me
back and let me know your preference.
Susan Rektorik Henley
Kdo chce s vlky býti, musí s vlky výti!
"If you run with the wolves, you must howl with the wolves!"
"Remember who your people are, keep and tell their stories."
"Keep the fires of the culture alive!"
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- It would be nice of all you could download your stories and send by snail
mail or fax to Daniel Hrna: Czech Heritage Society of Texas-Harris County,
Texas, Inc. for our archives. This information is archival interest and gives
us a chance to share with others who are interested in family stories.
Presently, we are working on presentation of Czechs who contributed to the
Millennium and would like have a list of names and a short biography. This
information is very important as we are preparing for Czech Heritage Month
and Media Releases. that is why hard copy by snail mail is important.
My snail mail is: 11920 Beechnut, Houston, Texas 77072, Phone: (281)
564-9800, FAX: (281) 498-0851and e-mail is:dhrna@...
We would like to have many participants in this project.
- Dear Daniel,
Thank you for expressing interest in my stories. I am more than willing to
share them as paper copies with the Harris County Czech Heritage Society.
The stories I have shared on the Texas Czech web site have been ones which
attempt to capture what the lives of Texas Czechs were like. These I can
forward as is. As far as Texas Czech and their contributions, I am sure I
can obtain permission to Mr. Jo Charba to submit a copy of his autobiography.
Already prepared, I have the life history of my father, Julius Rektorik,
which I researched and wrote when the Robstown Historical Commission honored
him as a life time citizen with a strong history of civil service. It is my
hope that this biography will be included as my Dad was one of the first
children of Texas Czech settlers who attended college, taught in a public
school system and was involved in the State Guard during World War II as an
air raid warden, coast watch for enemy planes and U-boats, and in many other
local civic organizations. I have not published his story on the Texas Czech
site for my dad was born in 1913 and is so much younger than the ones of
which I currently write. However, his contributions are noteworthy.
I am also the great-granddaughter of Tom Mrazek who designed, engineered, and
manufactured the Mrazek Grubbing Plow which allowed the area around Corpus
Christi to be cleared of the "running mesquite" and put into cultivation when
commercially available plows were not up to task. His plow cleared the
roadway for the first highway between Robstown and Corpus Christi. He is
noted in many references on Nueces County and Robstown. He also designed,
manufactured the parts for and built a steam-powered cotton gin in Williamson
County, Texas. Tom Mrazek was a Czech Texan worthy of mention in the history
books. I have been gathering information, photos and references on him for
several years. Because of his gifts and the practical application of his
genius, it is taking me a while to determine how best to capture him in
writing. Your project would give me impetus. Please let me know when Czech
Heritage Month is and I will pull together not only a biography but photos of
his Williamson County cotton gin, the Mrazek Grubbing Plow Factory in
Robstown, and a photo of the plow as well as a photo of the Mrazek homestead
here in Robstown. The significance of this man, Tom Mrazek, can be found in
the articles in both the Nueces County Historical Commission Bulletin, the
Robstown Record which is the local paper, as well as books on Williamson
County and the Czechs in Nueces County. I would love to do this and I would
appreciate having an outlet so that I can have a product which is shared with
a sizable audience. There is not a large audience which I have found which
will understand and appreciate the stories which I tell.
Please let me know if you are interested in the Tom Mrazek Profile and when
Czech History Month is. I will pull together a nifty and informative
package. I will also edit and send hard copies of the stories which I have
already published on the Texas Czechs web site.
With Interest and Appreciatively,
Susan Rektorik Henley