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Author Talk – Czech Village & New Bohemia: History in the Heartland
March 19, 2016 @ 2:30 PM - 3:30 PMFree
Meet local author Dave Rasdal on Saturday, March 19 at 2:30pm at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library! Mr. Rasdal will give a talk in the museum’s Skala Bartizal Library about his brand new book, Czech Village & New Bohemia: History in the Heartland, followed by a book signing. Books are available in the Museum Store!
The book examines the symbiotic relationship between Cedar Rapids and its Bohemian residents, celebrating Czech resiliency, industry, and culture. Beginning in the 1870s, thousands of Bohemians flocked to Cedar Rapids in search of a better life. Czech immigrants courageously overcame the difficult conditions of the local packinghouse and the challenge of creating a new home. They maintained a strong cultural identity with Czech music, literature and an undying dedication to family. In the wake of a devastating flood in 2008, the people of Czech Village and New Bohemia re-imagined traditional principles to forge a remarkable resurgence toward a promising future. Author Dave Rasdal travels from the Charles Bridge to the Bridge of Lions in a celebration of Czech heritage and history in Cedar Rapids.
About the author:
Dave Rasdal, a native Iowan (born in Lake City, reared in Marshalltown and a graduate of Spencer High School) moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1979, to continue his newspaper career. At The Gazette he often wrote historical articles that included stories from Czech Village and New Bohemia. For 30 years he was known for writing “Ramblin’,” a column about the people, places and things in Eastern Iowa.
In 2015 Rasdal ghost-wrote “The Advantage of Being Born Poor,” the self-published autobiography of Ernie Buresh who grew up in a poor Czech family and used his life’s lessons to become the owner of several banks in Eastern Iowa which allowed him to donate generously to various area causes.
In 2011, The Gazette published “Ramblin’: Reflections of Hidden Iowa,” a hardcover coffee-table style book of notable Ramblin’ columns and photographs. Rasdal followed that up in 2014 with the self-published “Ramblin’: Recollections of 30 Years on the Road” that included additional columns.
When he’s not writing about history or working on the manuscript of a novel, Rasdal enjoys cruising in his 40-year-old sports car, bowling and playing golf.
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