This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

And now, from OBERSCHLAGLES.....

Thank you LARRY! These are older women in the little village of Horni Lhota:

"Ostrava (Czech Republic): They are grandmothers or great-grandmothers with ample silhouettes and X-sized outfits, but this golden age can-can troupe has charmed the Czech Republic and is fully booked to 2009.

“We do this for fun, we laugh a lot and people love it,” said Libuse Novakova, 61, a robust, retired accountant before slipping on black fishnet stockings, frilly skirt and fringe-trimmed bloomers for what has become the group’s signature act, a French cancan. She’s had such fun in the outfit “I want to wear it in my coffin”.

Born seven years ago during a dance class for seniors, this 10-member amateur troupe—the “Mazoretky”, or Majorettes of Horni Lhota, a tiny village of 600 souls—started off with a simple number dressed as drum majorettes. But their humour hit a chord in this former Eastern bloc state with, like neighbours Poland and Slovakia, a steadily ageing population whose struggle to live on tiny pensions leaves many with a morose existence longing for the old, guaranteed social comforts of communism. Over-65s today account for 15% of the Czech population but will swell to a third by 2060. And their standard of living has slumped considerably since the end of communism.

In came the Majorettes with their antidote to “laugh and make people laugh”. Their fame has spread by word of mouth, but they are booked solid through next March, have performed on half a dozen popular TV shows in recent months and found their husbands balking at anything more.

“We give one to three shows a week, we no longer even have time to rehearse,” said Hana Havelkova, a former teacher and head of the troupe. They all hail from the decidedly unglamorous Horni Lhota, in the rural east near Poland that still bears the stigmata of its former mining days.

They are far from the picture-postcard granny in embroidered blouse still seen across the Czech countryside. Spunky and flirtatious, they tuck 200-forint bills into their stockings to tease audiences at local fairs and other venues across the country.

“These retired Majorettes make the whole village laugh,” said a supplement of the mass-circulation Mlada Fronta Dnes. “They even dance in ‘pemprsky’,” it said, using the slang for the disposable diapers the Majorettes don under white tutus for their rendition of Swan Lake. AFP "

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