IF TEXAS IS NOT THE BIGGEST OR BEST IN SOMETHING, WE CAN SURE MAKE IT SOUND LIKE IT IS.
Four years ago I arrived in Waco and discovered a whole new world to me. Cows, farms, Dr. Pepper, zero sidewalks, tons of trucks and cowboy hats …but also Czech communities, Czech ancestors, Czech culture. 8000 km away from the Czech Republic!
And two years afterwards I gave a lecture at Baylor University entitled How Kolaches Came to Texas: A Social and Cultural History of Czech Migration.
WHAT A STORY!
The lecture was based on my thesis about Czech immigration to Texas in the nineteenth century.
Did you miss it? Watch it here.
Do you want to read my thesis? Go ahead!
How did all this happen?
Speaking at Baylor has been one of the best moments in my entire life. It is quite difficult for me to find words which would adequately describe my impressions from that event. It was just AWESOME! The audience was amiable, very supportive and also large – there were three hundred people. I was caught off-guard by the fact that so many people showed up. The pride and determination of the Texans with Czech roots will never stop astonishing me. They like gathering and maintaining the Czech heritage.
I will never forget the moment I took the microphone into my hands and started speaking about a topic that has a soft spot on my heart – Czech migration to Texas.
After the lecture I had the opportunity to speak with the people who came and I appreciated a lot their kind words. It was a pleasure for me to chat with them. The lecture was definitely a huge success and it always brings a smile on my face when I think about it. Thanks once again for everybody who came.
Who would say that after my exchange stay at McLennan Community College in 2014, I would go back to Waco in 2015 to spend time researching Czech history, and began work on an academic thesis on Czech immigration to Texas, which resulted in a series of lectures in 2016. Sometimes I cannot still believe that all this happened.
I would like to express my gratitude here to John and Kathy Hillman who did a marvelous job when organizing and promoting the lecture at Baylor. Nothing would have been possible without them. Their support during my whole stay played a crucial role. They gave me the best background I could ask for.
You can have a look at some pictures from the lecture that were taken by Sarah E.Lindstorm from Baylor University and you can also read this article published by Baylor newspapers.