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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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wow, it's "Nicht zu Laut"!

The human brain is a great toy, and a most amazing storehouse to boot.  Just this week, Larry was thinking about questions we've drummed up but didn't find answers for over the past 794 posts (since January 2009).  One that came to mind was the odd bit of "German" that great Uncle Math Hesch recorded in his notebook in the end of May 1914, when their big trip to Poland was almost over.

"Well, we are in RHEINE now.
Just heard a tune. It sure is a nice one

Zum Lot means crap en can.
I sold my shoes for one mark. Hard times.

Bought a pair for 12.50.
Was to confession today in Rheine.

There it goes again. Some one else is playing the machine, same tune".

At the time we were posting about Math and Theo's adventures in Europe,   Larry and I talked about how "Zum Lot" sounded familiar to me--it had to be an expression I'd heard, ya know?  But it didn't translate.  It was spelled wrong, for sure, and probably was oddly abbreviated via Hesch humor, not to mention the mix of two languages. We worried the question for awhile, then dropped it...sigh.  We figure, if it really wants to be deciphered, it'll pop up again.

WELL!  Evidently, the phrase "Nicht zu laut" drew Larry's attention somehow yesterday. He googled it, and a book from 1915 called "Russia and the World" came up. Page 304 relates an incident from a theater in Germany:
Ahhh...(I expect Grandpa muttered "Nicht zu laut!" in the kitchen in Royalton when we kids tore out the door).  I'll BET Math wrote it down in the abbreviated version they used at home, just like we used 'ferschtay' for "Verstehen Sie?"  

So, a possible interpretation of the incident with Math and music in Rheine, Germany was that he heard the song once too often there on the street, and commented that it was nice at first but now it was a can of crap...☺

When we find an audio file of Nicht zu laut, we'll post it here.  You'll be honor bound to play it at least ten times in a row, full blast.  Uncle Math would want it that way.  Full circle, ya know.
Ahh, it took the man overnight to find it!  WOW, huh?

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