Midpines is a small community about 10 miles northeast of Mariposa on Hiway 140, which goes between Merced and Yosemite. There is no town as such, but just a little store, which accommodates the post office and gas station. Some residents live nearby and work in Mariposa, some run small motels along the highway, and others enjoy the mountain atmosphere in their retirement. On January 29, 1938 the folks bought 40 acres on Colorado Road with retirement in mind. Pop always worried about his lungs and believed mountain air was better for him. The property, which has a small house and some sheds on it, they named "Výborný ’s Haven." However, as it turned out, they had to wait until the end of World War II before they could move there.
This property was in the Mariposa foothills, about a mile off the main highway and on the side of a hill. Since the flatter land was on the other side of the road from the house, a garage was built there. It was large enough for their car with lots of wall space for Pop's "girlie” calendars. Mr. Plant, who was an electrician, did the wiring for the garage lights, and when Bill was able to get some Pabco paint at a good price, we painted the building.
One large room took up half the house and served as living room, dining room and kitchen. Two bedrooms made up the other half, with a bathroom just off the kitchen. Each bedroom had a double bed, and when we went up to visit, Mom would give up her bed for us and slept with Pop. The youngsters slept in the living room. There was a chicken house so for a while Mom had some chickens around. They acquired an Australian shepherd for a watchdog and named him" Whiney."
Between 1955 and 1957 Bill worked for Pabco in the Redwood City plant involved in the manufacture of asbestos cement shingles. When he could get some rejects, he had them sent to Midpines and then spent several weekends with Lumie's and Pop's help, putting them on the house.
Between the house and the road. Mom had a large flower garden, which she had to have fenced to keep the deer away from her trees and plants. Along a nearby ditch wild blackberry plants thrived, so Mom had quite a time processing blackberries for jellies which we all appreciated. The blackberry pies were delicious, also.
Because Mom never learned to drive, she would have to rely on Pop to take her to one of the neighbors to visit, and inasmuch as he wasn't very sociable, this didn't happen too often. She did enjoy her weekly trips into Mariposa to shop and hopefully would run into some acquaintances then. Thus she was happy to have any of the family come and stay. The folks listened to the radio, mainly to get the news, and when television came in, they bought a set but had difficulty getting a good picture in their location.
When our children were little, several times a year I would have the car packed when Bill came home from work on Friday evening, and we would take off for "the mountains." Mom would have spent days preparing for our arrival baking special cookies for the children, lots of strudel so I could take some home, and big meals for all the time we were there. Besides visiting, we did what work had to be done, took walks, and in the summer months, we would take the children to a creek to play in the water. Many times Lumie and family from Merced would join us for a good family get-together. The fellows even enjoyed target practice shooting at cans in an open area behind the garage. I can only recall one Thanksgiving when all four of us were there with our children for a family reunion.
A couple of times when Bill and I wanted a week to ourselves, we would take Bill's aunt Jennie with Beverly and Jeffrey to Midpines and leave them with the folks. Mom was good about it, but did admit that Auntie had all the pleasure of the children while she had all the work to dothe extra cooking and laundry. After that, when the children were older, we took them with us on family vacations.
A few times the folks did travel to San Francisco to spend a holiday with us, but Pop would complain about the damp air making his bronchitis worse and wouldn't stay very long.
One of the nearby neighbors raised turkeys, so then the traditional goose gave way to the turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I don't know that Pop was ever satisfied with that change, but he had no choice, as it was difficult to find anyone who raised geese.
In the winter it sometimes snowed there, and this was a special treat for the youngsters. We would spend Friday night with the folks, and then on Saturday drive to Badger Pass in Yosemite where they learned to ski. I will never forget the time Jyme took Alex and Jeff (when they were about five years old) up a hill on a rope tow and directed them to ski down the slope. Since they hadn't learned to turn or stop, I was scared for them, but they made it down and seemed to enjoy it. I think that after that Bill gave Jeff some instructions on turning and snowplowing to stop. After a big lunch on Sunday, we would return to the bay area.
In 1950, when Pabco built a linoleum plant in New Jersey, we moved back there. In about 1953 Mom and Pop flew back for a visit. At that time planes were a lot smaller and slower so the trip was quite an experience for them. While there, we took them to Atlantic City and also to New York. In New York they weren't very interested in the regular tourist sightseeing, but did have to look up a couple of Bohemian families to visit.
The Christmas before their trip back east, Mom sent a fairly large box of Christmas ornaments which Teta Jármila had sent from Czechoslovakia. During the war the Czechs had a terrible time getting clothing, so Mom would send Jármila our hand-me-downs, as well as woolens purchased from the Salvation Army. Sending Christmas ornaments was her way of thanking us. The original box must have been huge, as each of us was given four-dozen beautiful ornaments and a top piece. I still use these each Christmas along with other ornaments that I have purchased during my travels.
In late 1958, Mom started getting small strokes, and by 1960, when we had moved to Fullerton, she was partially paralyzed and couldn't speak much. Lumie and Jyme, living closest to them, looked after them during this period. When Mom was discharged from Mercy Hospital after another stroke, Jyme brought her to Southern California so Helen and I could take care of her. Since she needed more attention and care than we could give her, we had her in a convalescent home where she passed away on November 11, 1960.
Pop came south when Mom did, but soon was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was hospitalized in a county facility. Fortunately we were able to get him a pass to see Mom in the funeral home when she passed away. A few months later he was discharged, and since neither Helen nor I had room for him, we placed him in a home where the owner took care of five or six men. We would visit as often as we could and would take him to our homes for meals on the weekend. In some Bohemian magazine he read of a Mr. and Mrs. Talas in Douglas, Arizona and corresponded with them. Upon their invitation and his request, we put him on a plane to visit with them. As Mrs. Talas later wrote, (Click on the link at the right) they had a great time reminiscing until he caught cold and developed pneumonia. He passed away on February 21, 1962 and was brought to Merced for cremation and internment.