18 – A Chance Encounter

If you stopped your car in front of a house in Solomon, Kansas, and started walking around the house taking photos, you might get confronted.

We were sensitive to this, and we always approached and greeted anyone who appeared. It had worked out great in Oldřiš; even a shot of Slivovice.

In Pustá Rybná, we were doing a house photo shoot, and noticed a neighbor down the road had been watching us. Jan and I walked down the road to meet him.

Neighbor:  You're on private property.

Jan: Oh, sorry. We'll just be a few minutes.

Neighbor: Well, that's private property.

Jan: I'm with an American couple. Their ancestors lived here.

Jan: They just want a few photos.

Neighbor: Oh. Well, OK.

Jan: Their family name is Teplý.

Neighbor: That's my name.

What? I couldn’t believe it. I was excited.

Jan:  Your name is  Teplý?

Neighbor: But we can't be related. My family is from Oldřiš.

Jan: Their family is from Oldřiš, too.

I hurried to the car, and returned with my map of Oldřiš.

We three searched the map, and talked about Oldřiš. But we couldn’t find where his family house was.

After talking a while, we shook hands and parted ways. I was so excited I forgot to take a photo.

A goal met

When I had corresponded with Jan before the trip, one of my goals in Pustá Rybná was to “meet a Teply”. Check that one complete.

I knew our Pustá Rybná visit was going to be great.


  • Photos – Mark Jarvis – October 2019

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