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Re: [TexasCzechs] Medical Conditions--Cultural Biproducts?

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  • Nancy Sugarek
    Susan, What a wonderful, insightful letter. Although I am a half-breed , Czech father and generic Anglo (we are not totally sure what on that side) mother, a
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 1, 2001
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      What a wonderful, insightful letter. Although I am
      a "half-breed", Czech father and generic Anglo (we are
      not totally sure what on that side) mother, a friend
      once described me as "the world's largest collection
      of recessive genes". With blue eyes, curly hair, very
      light skin and an Alto singing voice (I once read a
      medical article where they did a small study and
      concluded that alto and tenor vocal range are
      recessive genes), I can see where she might see it
      that way. Well, she was wrong, while my only claim to
      hybrid vigor is A negative blood type, OK half
      dominant (A, from my mom) and half recessive
      (negative). My Czech FATHER (and probably quite a few
      on the list) may be the world's LARGEST collection of
      recessive genes, for along with all of the above
      (tenor rather than alto), he also has O-negative blood
      (and you don't get much more recessive than that).
      Someone once looked at a picture of a group of my
      relatives and suggested that we needed to "use a
      little imagination" (too much white bread look). I
      told them that if there was any "imagination" in this
      group that someone would have had to leave town... as
      my family has married folks who look like us therefore
      both parents look this way.
      One thing that I have found interesting is that the
      facial characteristic and body build genes seem to be
      very strong. Once, after having lived in San Antonio
      for some time, I needed to cash an out of town check
      in Beeville (our family nest and a town of about
      13,000). The clerk yelled across the store asking the
      manager if they'd take an out of town check, the
      manager asked what name was on it. The clerk said
      "Sugarek". The manager hollered back "take it, she
      looks like a Sugarek".
      Now the younger generation is using some
      imagination in choosing spouses. It will be
      interesting to see the next generation.
      I have really been enjoying this physical genetics
      stuff, and I think it colors in the picture. The
      names, dates, etc are the structure, the customs
      constitute the background, and the physical genetics
      make the color. Thanks to all for sharing. Somehow
      this does seem like a sharing, caring family.
      --- "Susan R. Henley" <srektorikh@...> wrote:
      > Hello Everyone,
      > I have been following the mails addressing heart
      > murmurs, Alzheimer's and
      > depression. I believe it is positive for us to be
      > able to share concerns
      > about these issues with people with whom we are
      > comfortable...others on
      > this list.
      > I also wanted to let you know that the messages
      > about heart murmurs and
      > high cholesterol at an early age were very
      > meaningful and enlightening to
      > my sisters who also have these problems. It was
      > important for them too
      > to read that someone else had something similar and
      > was coping with it.
      > Since the beginning, I have been wondering about
      > another aspect of these
      > medical issues. As I am not a physician,
      > geneticist, nor statistician, I
      > cannot state anything definitive: however, having
      > studied a little on the
      > history of the Texas Czechs and our European
      > ancestors, it is easy to
      > see, at least for me, how "pockets" of medical
      > problems could have
      > developed. Some of the contributing factors would
      > have been:
      > 1. the feudal system in Europe which kept families
      > in the same
      > geographic areas for generation after generation;
      > 2. the custom of marrying someone who lived within
      > five to ten miles of
      > where ones family lived; and,
      > 3. environmental conditions which killed of great
      > numbers (plague,
      > flooding, famine) and decreased the variety in the
      > gene pool and general
      > health standards which would have stayed consistent
      > (if not decay) from
      > generation to generation.
      > Next add to this the fact the most of our ancestors
      > lived in the same
      > areas of Bohemia and/or Moravia and immigrated to
      > the United States in a
      > fairly tight time frame. ANd, it seems to me that
      > enough of our people
      > came from the same areas to again form clusters here
      > in Texas which were
      > still fairly close in genetic-make up as we had in
      > Europe.
      > Finally, top it all off with a consequence of
      > sticking with our ethnic
      > identity...marrying other Texas Czechs almost
      > exclusively for...say, what
      > four or five generations!
      > I would think this sort of magnification of medical
      > problem exists in
      > other ethnic groups. It was just a bit surprising
      > to find it in my own
      > house, so to speak.
      > I have been a tad bit reluctant to mention all this
      > because I would hate
      > to get started a round of Czech jokes similar to the
      > "redneck one"'...you
      > know,...going to family reunions to look for a date
      > (ouch!)"...but I do
      > think the theory does tend to explain what we are
      > discussing.
      > And yes, for the record, depression runs strong in
      > at least one of my
      > Czech family lines.
      > Susan
      > Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for
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      > Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit:
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