FROM CATHEY LANE: In light of the terrible tragedy in West, Texas, this week, if you would like to send a card of support or some specific form of help to a family who has suffered loss of home or family member, consider sending something like a WalMart gift card to a local church for direct placement. Many folks were just seeing the full extent of damage to their neighborhood and homes today. Friends and family are providing immediate food and shelter, but our experience with friends who have lost their homes to fire or hurricane was their next most pressing physical need was to buy themselves new underwear, 2 changes of basic clothes, and get prescription medicine and health supplements/items replaced. Some insurance companies respond very quickly with some emergency replacement cash for that purpose; others do not – renters like those living in the devastated apartment complex may not have
carried renters insurance and could have no monetary fallback for their lost possessions and will have to rely on donated household items that seem to be coming in from collection boxes that have been set up in some small central Texas towns I know of from my mother’s reports.
Some churches in the area:
WEST BRETHREN CHURCH, 901 N Marable St, West, TX 76691
Not long ago, a local TV station promoted itself as the "Spirit of Texas."
Commercials showed Texans of all ages and colors. They danced together, shared thrills and celebrated life's joys. It looked just like West.
Of all Texas' iconic small towns, I don't know another that is such a crossroad for Texans.
We meet on the polka dance floor at the annual Westfest, or for kolaches at Gerik's or the Czech Stop.
Smack dab between Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and College Station, West draws guests and energy from all three, but remains loyal to century-old traditions of Moravian immigrants who came seeking freedom.
Families still teach their children Czech. After a night in one of the Czech-founded fraternal lodge halls (the Slovanská Podporující Jednota Statu Texas, SPJST), they worship at Czech Protestants' old Brethren church.
On Labor Day weekends, they dress up and dance, bake pastries or make sausages and potato pancakes for the biggest cultural festival in this part of Texas, Westfest.
Having fought assimilation and urbanism, they now must fight to survive after an explosion that took lives, including firefighters and paramedics, and also homes, jobs and pets.
"The kids today, they don't know anything about West or Czechs in Texas," said Jerry Janecka, 80, a fifth-generation Czech-American and docent at the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio.
"Czechs came to Texas for freedom. They didn't want to be forced to speak German. They wanted to keep their church. They wanted to live their own way. That is a close-knit community."
Until last year, a Czech-language weekly newspaper flourished.
Prague-based Czech Radio had no trouble finding an interview Thursday.
Raymond J. Snokhous, 83, of West, the honorary consul for Texas, is the son of a Bohemian blacksmith.
According to an online translation, he said: "Please tell all the good people in the Czech Republic that our city is 75 percent Czech."
Czech Radio led newscasts with West most of the day.
Snokhous told listeners that the blast was "like a bomb." Then he said he lost two nephews.
It'll take a while. But someday, West will dance again.
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Elizabeth ([address removed]) from Triangle Area Czech & Slovak Meetup Group.
To learn more about Elizabeth, visit his/her member profile
To unsubscribe from special announcements from your Organizer(s), click here
Meetup, POB 4668 #37895 NY NY USA 10163 | [address removed]