From the Heart of Europe to the Heart of Houston Texas
in the Museum District

4920 San Jacinto Street, Houston, Texas 77004 - 713.528.2060
Open Monday - Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm
December Topics
Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to our dear Friends of the Czech Center Museum Houston!
Christmas TreeWe thank the many visitors and supporters who have helped our museum become one of Houston's gems as we wish for you the many blessings of this Holiday Season! Our organization embracing all cultures fills the need to help individuals realize how their heritage is important in their lives in making them Citizens of the World.
  At this time of year, you may be reviewing your Charitable Giving. Please consider making a gift to join others in the recent effort to provide a critical component of support to establish an endowment to allow the CCMH to continue its mission in perpetuity. An endowment will help relieve the constant strive for funds over and above and beyond basic admission and membership dues. Please consider Gifts to the Endowment Fund at this time. Please help us meet our goal of an additional $50,000 by making a year-end contribution toward our educational programming. It only takes 50 people contributing $1,000 each or a larger number to give any amount to get there! Your gift may be made on-line right here, or make a check payable to CCMH.
Saint NicholasAn Ancient Saint Nicholas Eve Celebration. Friday, December 6, 2013, Brno Gallerie - Prague Hall - Pilsen Hall were filled with over 200 celebrants who enjoyed a delectable Holiday Dinner, seasonal punch, Czech beers and wines. There was Christmas music and a greeting by the Bishop himself and his assistants the Sweet Angel (andel) and incorrigible Devil (cert). Thirty-eight children ages one to thirteen and others gathered in Pilsen Hall for a Puppet Theater performance by famed actor Jon Conlon (from Kiterik and Skipper Television). The evening awarded special honors to Board Member Wesley Pustejovsky who filled two tables of family and friends. The Czech Center Museum Houston was decorated in Moravian Stars and the warmth of twinkling lights of the magnificent Bohemian Czech Chandeliers while the winter was cold outside!
Saint Nicholas Eve Celebration Saint Nicholas Eve Celebration Saint Nicholas Eve Celebration
Sponsor a Cultural Film Production. CCMH members Dawn Orsak, Austin, Texas and friend Lori Najvar, San Antonio, Texas with the nonprofit Polkaworks are heavy into the production of a multimedia, traveling exhibit called Texas Czechs: Rooted in Tradition. The exhibit will use photography, film and text to highlight cultural and community traditions of 21st century Texans of Czech descent. Dawn and Lori came to the CCMH in August to interview Effie Rosene about her Texas Czech background and to take photographs at the sing-along hosted by CCMH for visiting Czech deacons. They are gathering much needed funds to complete the exhibit through an online campaign. We encourage you to visit their website at to see a short video about the exhibit and their goals. The CCMH is looking forward to hosting the exhibit in 2014 or 2015. For information, please contact Dawn at or 512.825.2249.
Books Available in Prague International Gift Shop. These are must reads. They are great gifts to all ages!
Texas Czech Polka Bands by CCMH Members Jimmy Brosch with Theresa Cernoch Parker - A timely remembrance of major bandleaders and band members that dedicated their time and effort to promoting Czech music and heritage in Texas.
Rustic Baroque - A novel by Jiri Hajicek - Set in South Bohemia about a decade after the Velvet Revolution, the novel recalls the tumult in the countryside during the 1950s collectivization by the Communist party.
Border Crossings - A Memoir that Reads Like a Thriller! by Charles Novacek. This charming, erudite artist spent his boyhood in the Czech Resistance, defending his homeland from the Nazis and the Communists!
Prague, My Long Journey Home - The true story of a man who, at the age of nine, shot a Nazi; by CCMH Member Charles Ota Heller. It is a memoir of Survival, Denial and Redemption providing a window into one Czech American's experiences!
The Czech Pioneers of the Southwest by Dr. Henry R. Maresh - a must read for research of your genealogy. A book reprinted by his wife, Thelma Burnett Maresh Outstanding Texas Czech (by marriage), who realized that this organization was the answer to her desire to memorialize her late husband. Dr. Maresh, who had a lifelong interest in his Czech heritage, recognized the need to chronicle the triumphs and travails of Czech pioneers in America before their records would fade in time. This resulted in publishing in 1934 the hardbound edition of The Czech Pioneers of the Southwest, one of the most accurate and informative books dealing with the history of a Texas ethnic group. Thelma Burnett Maresh was a first CCMH Patron.
Living Longer Than Hate - A Story of Survival and Success by C.S. Ragsdale, PhD is the story of Houstonian W. J. Bill Morgan's life. From hate, murders, escape, liberation to America, struggling with language, poverty, loneliness, guilt and pain, he vows to keep the promises made to his family.
Fields of Light, A Son Remembers His Heroic Father by CCMH Member Joseph Hurka.
For information on these books and to order, call: 713.528.2060 or visit our website. Please support education and remembrance of brave people in the world! The Czechs and Slovaks are some of those people.
Czech Center Museum Houston - Endowment Fund for Perpetuity Sponsors to date. 
10,000 to 25,000 Marek Family Foundation+, Mary & Frank Pokluda*, Laverne Nash*, Cynthia Gdula & Charles Westervelt*, Lorraine Rod Green**, Chris Hlavinka**, Rosene Family*  5,000 to 10,000+ Emil Kovalcik 1,000 to 5,000+ Eva Maria Bartoskova Campo, Mark & Betty Kubala  500 to 1,000+ Purvis & Lynne Harper, Danette Cornelius, James & Jeanette Mallory, Charlotte Matula, Jean Stratton, Albert & Margaret Smaistrla, Henry Tyroch, William Vavrik, Gladys Oakley  200 to 500+ Joy Koym Balderach, Cathy Jankovic, Dan & Suzanne Kubin, Alma Berger, T.P. & Burnette Boyett, Larry Janak, Cecilia Forrest  0 to 100+ Jerry & Anna Brannan, Tim Opatrny, Virginia Hodge, Eddie Janek Sr., Harper & Pearson, Emil Ogden, Jane Cyva, John & Frances Istvan, Stephen Hlavinka, Jean Humlicek, Clare Kollaja, Emil & Connie Stavinoha, Barry & Marian Malac, Sherry Rosene Pierce, Norman & Tracey Zetka, Veronica Frost, Jean Humlicek, Wayne Shandera, MD
+ Response to appeal & pledge; * Certificate Loan Surrender; ** Legacy Gift; +/- Endowment to date $95,000
About Board Member Wesley Pustejovsky. His history and connection to his Czech heritage began when his Grandfather, Frank Pustejovsky, immigrated to the U.S. from the Frenstat area of what is now the Czech Republic at the age of 14. The family eventually settled around West, Texas where Wes was born in the family farmhouse in Abbott, Texas 87 years ago, October 29, 1926. He is one of the five sons and one daughter that his parents, John and Annie Bezdec Pustejovsky raised on the farm. It was a working farm - no electricity or any of the other amenities we now take for granted. This is the same house and farm he has been working on restoring for several years. They have managed to add a few luxuries like two additional bathrooms. The outhouse is long gone and almost forgotten. (Ed: I remember well those Houses of Meditation.) Not sure that the farm life was for him, Wes decided he better broaden his opportunities and attend college first, to Hillsboro Junior College and then graduating from the University of Texas. Somewhere in there was a stint in the US Army. After all, there was a war going on. His tour of duty included the Philippines where along with his regular duties he volunteered for paratrooper duty. Back safely home, he finished his college on the GI bill. We were always impressed with his stories of driving from Austin to Abbott on his motorcycle. It also came out he has owned an airplane, sailed as a merchant marine on the Great Lakes and has driven a commercial truck all over the states. Finally, he settled down and married his beautiful wife, Janell, his wife of almost 60 years (deceased 2012), and had five children, Sandra, Dan, Terry, Vicki and Johnnie. He has called Houston home for 57 years. He has been a partner with Houston Petroleum for many years; even today, he goes to work daily in the oil business. Wes is also very involved with his church, Holy Rosary, and of course his work here with the Czech Center Museum Houston. He is proud of and enjoys the company of his 14 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren with an additional one on the way. This short biography does not note the numerous other Community Outreach appeals he engages. Wes Pustejovsky is more than deserving of this distinguished award the Czech Center Museum Houston presents annually on the Eve of St. Nicholas.
Ed: Written by Terry Kloos and Effie M. Rosene 12/4/2013
Effie RoseneA Conversation with Effie Rosene, co-founder of the Czech Center Museum Houston. Envisioned in 1995, the Cultural Center opened its doors to its new building on September 1, 2004 in Houston's Museum District. It was founded by Effie and Bill Rosene to celebrate, share and promote the rich cultural abundance of Czech immigrants in the state to celebrate ancestry, history and heritage. The Czech Center Museum Houston, also a gathering place for weddings, fundraisers, ambassador visits, concerts, galas and conferences, is a 501[c][3] educational cultural arts institution in a Baroque Palace setting serving a global community. See conversation online by following this link: Or read here...
Visit Prague International Gifts for a Unique Shopping Experience! Make time to tour CCMH ($6 admission), 10am - 4pm M-S, three floors of art, artifacts, history and heritage. Prague International Gifts Shop offers its unique collection of Antique and Contemporary crystal, porcelain, pottery, wood toys, textiles, jewelry collection and Christmas ornaments at a 20% discount through December 31st. Featuring New and Antique Czech Garnet Collection. Try our hassle free shopping with a glass of wine!
The Czechs are Coming to Texas!
The Czechs are coming to Texas!
The brass band is a common feature in the life of the Czechs. Beginning with the marching army bands, the style soon spread beyond the military to become the “music of the people” and, by the beginning of the last century, nearly every town and village had its own “dechovka.” The Czech Educational Foundation of Texas, in partnership with the University of North Texas College of Music and Professor Tom Sovik, brings one of the most popular dechovka of Moravia for a tour across Texas. They entertain at the Czech Center Museum Houston on Friday, January 17, 2014, in Prague Hall. Concert and Dance commences at 6:30pm. Dinner at 7:30; the music continuing until 9:30. Enjoy complimentary valet parking and a great repast. Admission is $35.00.  Please RSVP by January 10th to or 713.528.2060 to confirm as you do not want to miss this. These people know how to entertain!
You are welcome to view this organization's 2011 IRS Form 990 available on the Guidestar website. 2012 Form to be entered soon. Note this organization's name on filing was the Czech Cultural and Community Center, which now does business as the Czech Center Museum Houston. Click this link.
Interested Members may also view financial records by appointment.
Czech Language Online Daily  It would be impossible not to learn from these simple distinct lessons. Try it now! or
2014 Calendar of Events: Throughout the year Concerts, Art Exhibits, Lectures, Marionette Theatre to be scheduled. 1/14 Zone 2 Museum Day includes Czech Center Museum Houston, the Holocaust Museum, etc. 1/17/14 Dechovka (Brass) Orchestra from the Czech Republic Performance and unveiling the Prague outdoor Mural. 2/14 St. Valentines Tea Party. Welcome Marie Slamova and traveling group from the Czech Republic. 3/14 Members Friends Day Annual Meeting celebrating the CCMH. 8/14 Annual Gala Fundraiser. 9/14 51st Annual Sts. Cyril and Methodius Slavic Festival. 10/28/14 Czech Oktober Fest and remembering statehood of Czechoslovakia 1918. 11/17/14 Remembering Velvet Revolution of 1989. 12/6/14 St Nicholas Eve.
Connecting a Museum with People, Heritage, History and the World. We receive so many special letters:
October 24, 2013 Blairgowrie, Scotland. Dear Mrs. Rosene/Effie: I am writing to you on a beautiful fall morning in Scotland. Soon there will be a flock of blackface sheep going past the house, being moved from one field to another. This is a far different life from the one I led living in Houston. One afternoon, a few weeks ago, I was on my way downtown to meet my beloved sister Nancy Bradley, who works for Merrill Lynch. We were going on a tour of the "old" courthouse (new by Scottish standards!) and I had a few minutes before the time to meet her.
  I had heard about your museum while at the craft museum. So I went to the Czech Museum. The moment I walked in, greeted by a very nice young woman, I wished there had been lots more time to see everything. Then I had the absolute pleasure of meeting you. I saw this absolutely beautiful woman with gorgeous eyes and perfect posture - you. You were so kind to me - offering a tour, telling me about how you and Mr. Rosene came to open the museum. A bit about your family and passion for history and education. Having worked for three Czech theaters so many years ago at Hemisfair '68, I felt a special connection with the people of Czechoslovakia. My visit in Texas was over so quickly and I had to say goodbye again to my family and friends in Texas. I greatly look forward on my next visit to Texas (in 2 years?) to spending time at the Czech Museum and seeing you again.
Thank you for the lovely experience of meeting you. Love, Connie Wright
December 6, 2013 St. Nicholas Eve Bellaire, Texas
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go…
some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts,
and we are never, ever the same…"
To my dear friends, Effie and Bill, you have changed so many lives and so, so many Czechs! You have brought us together and made us so very proud. Your gift of giving and building the Czech Center Houston will go on for centuries. I'm so proud to know you and to have been there from the beginning.
With much love and respect, Lynn Chernosky Swaffar
Ed: Two beautiful letters which make for a humbling experience. Yes, we must definitely be pursuing an Endowment for Perpetuity of the Czech Center Museum Houston connecting Museum, People, Heritage, History and the World.
"Time goes by so fast, people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you." Anonymous

"Those that say that individuals are not capable of changing anything are only looking for excuses."
Václav Havel

"To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
Chinese and Czech Proverb

Questions or comments or to be removed, please email first and last name to
Effie M. Rosene, Chair/CEO, on behalf of Board of Directors, Volunteers and Members and Friends.

This organization is supported in part by a grant from the City of Houston through the
Houston Arts Alliance and by the contributions of our Friends, Members and Volunteers.
4920 San Jacinto
Houston, TX 77004
phone: 713.528.2060