Jun13

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Simanek Family Photo - Předmíř, Czechoslovakia

Simanek Family Home in Předmíř. Rear row: Antonin, Vaclav, Marie (my Babi), Bozena, Joseph. Front row: Rose, Mother Bozena, Jaroslav, Father Vaclav, Jan

This is a photo of my great-grandparents Bozena and Vaclav Simanek and their children at their home in Předmíř, Czechoslovakia, circa 1915 (give or take a few years.) My grandmother Marie (known as Babi to us grandkids) is the oldest, standing in the rear row, center.

I have seen this photo several times over the years, but it was not until I scanned it that I realized all of the children were holding lilacs. Many years after she had emigrated to New York, Babi had planted several lilac bushes at their summer bungalow in upstate New York. They are one of my favorite flowers in both appearance and scent – we planted some Japanese lilacs in our yard that I look forward to each spring.

I suppose that love of lilacs may go further back than I realized.

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