I remember we had a family athletics meeting at the farm once. We built a stadium of sorts in the yard and went on with it. Shot put, javelin, long jump, high jump. Just like actual Olympics. We put two huge eiderdowns in the landing area so that the landing wouldn’t hurt that much.
My dad was able to pole vault almost four metres. He took a wooden pole, took a run-up, took off and flew. Then he landed in a massive soft foam mattress. He was a tough guy. I inherited my sports genes from him. Athletics was his thing and he was decent at it, so they accepted him to the army club Dukla for his military service. Dukla was a fantastic club. My dad used to run 200 metres and 400 metres, he was quite adept at decathlon too. He’s got a bronze medal from the Czechoslovak athletics championship.
And he used to play football too... Every weekend was the same. On Saturday we waited till I’ve finished my match, then we went to my grandparents’ farm, on Sunday afternoon my dad played his match and we went back home.
I used to spend the entire holiday in village Nezbavětice, where grandma and grandpa lived, with the exception of two weeks every summer when we went camping with my parents. We loaded up our red car Škoda 105, stuffed the boot, strapped the enormous bag with the tent on the roof and off we went.
The Lipno dam, Southern Bohemia. The Štilec camping site near České Budějovice. We also used to go to the Sycherák pond near Stráž. We just set up the tent and we had our temporary home. Four camp beds in the main tent and dad sleeping in the entrance area next to the cooker and camping cookware.
The rest of the summer I spent at my grandma’s, of course. We climbed the rafters in the barn, we played cowboys and Indians. The girls – my sisters and my cousin – always had to be Indians. We had plastic guns from the village fair and we used to ambush each other and steal the Indians’ horses.
Wonderful and unforgettable times.
P.S. Next week - Chapter 4
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