Archive for the Ancestry and Roots Category

80’s Ladies

Posted in Ancestry and Roots, Czechs of Nebraska, Family, History, Life, Relationships, Traveling with tags , , , , , , on November 8, 2014 by Morguie

Hazella  and Joan 2014 Verdigre, NE



Sorry to have been away for such a long time, my dear friends. I feel better now after a little break. In fact, I wanted to share with you a picture of my cousins from my Daddy’s family. I wish I could accurately say for sure whether they are 2nd or third cousins…all I know is that they are pretty much the last of the “Mohicans” on that side of the family…Hazella (left in pink) and Joan (right) are each in their mid-80s. They were born and have lived their entire lives near to where this picture taken. They both reside in the same senior home,  in Verdigre, Nebraska. Aren’t they sweet?

You see, my Dad’s side of the family are all 100% Bohemian Czechoslovakians…when the family came to America from the old country it was mid-1800’s…a great many of the Czech immigrants settled right in this very region of the American heartland. To this day, the area is still very ‘ ethnic Czech’ and the people come from the same families who first settled and farmed the land here.

My father was born in this little town of Verdigre.

When I came into this senior retirement manor I wasn’t sure how the cousins’ health might be, if they would be able to remember me from 40 years ago — except for Joan, I actually visited her 4 years ago, however I’d been told she was starting to have issues remembering things, ever since she fell and broke her hip …and has since not been able to walk, sadly.  So glad were they to see me I was speechless!  Even the nurse remarked, as I was about to leave later, that this was a real treat for them and that it more than made their day…it made my day, too.


Anyway…we got to spend a little over an hour visiting and catching up. I must say, if I must live to be over 80, I do hope I will be able to have as sharp a mind as these two sweet little ladies! They easily recalled 30+ years ago and the family reunion my dad organized down at the river in Niobrara State Park (before the Army Corps of Engineers re-routed the Missouri to form present-day “Lewis and Clark Rec Area”).  We chatted about my girls and grandbabies, my mom, and other stuff. Before long, it was time for them to be seated for their supper-time…my cue that I had to get back on the road…I still had a couple hundred miles to Omaha and it was late afternoon. Ahh, well.  Sure was nice to see a little piece of my past, my dad, my childhood. A beautiful day.

As I took my leave, I realized I’d likely never get to see them again…but…I could be wrong! There is another lady, my Aunt Evelyn..who is 99 and who I adore keeping in touch with…she is the cousin of these gals,as well.  Aunt Evelyn lives near Chicago in her own condo, though she is nearly completely blind and using a walker. Her children all predeceased her, but her grands and great- and great-great grands are by to see her daily. And get this…she uses the email to write to me!!! Pretty dog-gone amazing…99 years old, and using the computer like any of us regular ‘littler’  kids.

Thanks for sharing time to read about the trip ‘back home.’  I have a little more coming up in the next post about this quick trip, so come on back!

©2014, C.S. Thompson.


Lewis & Clark Rec Area on South Dakota side of the Missouri River...the trees are all turning reds and golds now in Autumn

Lewis & Clark Rec Area on South Dakota side of the Missouri River…the trees are all turning reds and golds now in Autumn 2014


Lewis and Clark Rec Area...on the Missouri is the natural border between South Dakta and Nebraska

Lewis and Clark Rec Area…on the Missouri River…it is the natural border between South Dakta and Nebraska  When I was little we used to ride the ferry across to this place. All re-worked by Corps of Civil Eng, changing the river’s path and adding bridges to the new ferry needed now.

Today Is The Day Of The Dead

Posted in Ancestry and Roots, Cemetery, Death, Faith, Funerary Customs, Ghosts, Holidays, Life, Music, Remembrance, Spirits, Tradition, Video Clips on November 2, 2014 by Morguie







Today is ‘Dia de los Muertos’. We are posting a clip we hope you’ll enjoy. Thanks for coming by to visit us.

Have a wonderful day everybody!

CJ and Morguie




Leaving To See What’s Left of My Past

Posted in Ancestry and Roots, Cemetery, Family, History, Life, Losing A Parent, Remembrance, Spirits, Tradition, Traveling with tags , , , on October 14, 2014 by Morguie
English: The mass grave at the Wounded Knee Ma...

English: The mass grave at the Wounded Knee Massacre site in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Classification of indigenious peoples of North...

Classification of indigenious peoples of North America according to Alfred Kroeber, English Version (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Range of Plains Indians at the time of first E...

Range of Plains Indians at the time of first European contact (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Buffett's home in Omaha

Buffett’s home in Omaha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Fishermen on the Missouri River in Co...

English: Fishermen on the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge is in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi everybody!  Morguie and I are busily packing for a quick trip upon which we plan to embark tomorrow. It will be a brief excursion…something which will give me peace of mind…you see, it’s time for the annual pilgrimage for my man and his friends to go pheasant hunting in South Dakota. Because I am a full-time worry-wart, I actually get to go along for the 1700 mile ride, just so he will make to his destination alive. I hope. I just don’t like to think about him making such a drive solo. Who knows what roadside evil lurks, know what I am saying? He used to have a buddy to ride along…but his friend declined to join in the pheasant-fest this time.

Thoughts of this country’s history will be hard to escape…the Wild West, the forging of the Trans-Continental Railroad, the Native Americans and the buffaloes that once inhabited this heartland of America.


It will take us a couple of full days and a half to make it to the destination—a farm town way out on the plains. Naturally, Mousie and I have no thoughts of staying once we get there. We’ll be on our own brief trek, the next morning. We are going to go back to my ‘homeland’ where my daddy was born and raised; where he met and married my mama: Nebraska.  We’ll pick up our rental car in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. From there we’ll take the small roads directly south into Nebraska, where just over the boundary of South Dakota the Missouri River flows. A few miles later we’ll reach dad’s birthplace: Verdigre, Nebraska. I happen to still have 2 cousins still living there in an assisted living home for seniors. I plan to surprise them, perhaps getting there in time to take them to an early supper in town, if they are up to it. It will no doubt be my last chance to connect with any of dad’s side of the family who is still living.  After that, the mouse and I are going to drop by St Wenceslaus Cemetery, to pay our respects to my great-grandma who is buried there.


After our visit we will go to my birthplace: Norfolk, Nebraska. If there is still some daylight, I hope to visit my dad’s parents’ graves there, as well as take some pictures of the town, to take back to show my sister and mother. Mom worked at the State Hospital there until she gave birth to me…I hope I can find it. I heard the hospital where I was born was turned into some other entity and is no more the Catholic hospital staffed by nuns who were nurses, back when I was born there.


We’ll continue eastward to pass by my great-grandma’s old homestead, or what remains of it in a wide spot in the road called Pilger, Nebraksa…years ago, after her death her house sat vacant on her little farm, and the local fire department decided it should be razed so as not to become a place for squatters or a fire hazard—it sat right beside the state highway there. My sister owns the title to the land still. Perhaps I can take some modern pictures to show her how much (or little) things have changed over the past 30+ years. The tiny town made big news several months ago: a rare set of twin tornadoes struck the hamlet, destroying nearly everything there. It should be interesting to see, and probably a bit sad, too.


By evening, we will have arrived in the big city of Omaha. I think Warren Buffett  lives in Omaha. Haha wouldn’t it be a hoot to catch him eating at one of the local Mom-and-Pop diners?!  Allegedly, he eats simple hamburgers and french fries at a small cafe regularly. Everyone treats him like a regular local, or so it is said. If I were to see him, I believe I’d want to have a word or two with him about a few things…


City of Omaha and Epply Airfield, with the Mis...

City of Omaha and Epply Airfield, with the Missouri River forming the border between Iowa (on the left) and Nebraska (on the right). Council Bluffs, IA on the upper left corner. Taken from an altitude of 36,000 feet, looking south. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are booked in a hotel west of the airport. If we are still looking for something to do in the evening, we plan to head across that Missouri River into Iowa, specifically Council Bluffs, located on the east bank.They have legalized gambling in Iowa…perhaps we’ll pull a couple of handles while we take in the sights of that Union Railroad town.

It will be nice to see those places I didn’t fully appreciate as a child, when dad and mom would take us back for family reunions, thirty and forty years ago.

The spirit of my father will be with me…and I will miss him even more as I remember those wonderful times spent there.


So we bid you all ‘adieu’ and thank you for coming by to see us off — we shall be back next week to share our trip highlights with you. Take care!


Morguie and CJ






English: Picture of the 1913 Omaha Tornado whi...

English: Picture of the 1913 Omaha Tornado which devastated much of the downtown core of the city as well as suburban Council Bluffs, Iowa. Courtesy of Historic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





Diesel powered replica of a Paddlewheel steamb...

Diesel powered replica of a Paddlewheel steamboat known as the River City Star in Omaha, Nebraska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





The falls of the Big Sioux River at Sioux Fall...

The falls of the Big Sioux River at Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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