52 Ancestors: #1 George Rudolph Nahodil

 

I was reading through my normal blogs yesterday when something caught my eye…”52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”.  So I headed over to Amy Johnson Crow’s site at http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/posts/challenge-52-ancestors-in-52-weeks/ to read more about her challenge for 2014.  One blog post for a specific ancestor each week… I should be able to swing once a week even with the upcoming move.

 

Since my Pop was always my favorite, it seems fitting that he should be my number 1 post.  My grandfather, George Rudolph Nahodil, was an amazing man.  He was a family man.  He was a hard working man.  He was a caring man.  He was a funny man.

 

Rudy, as George was known by his entire life, had a great sense of humor.  I imagine it must have started as a young boy as he listed his occupation as an “Actor” on his World War II enlistment record in 1942 when he was just 19 years of age (or so he claimed); Rudy’s actual occupation was as a laborer in the anthracite coal mines of central Pennsylvania.

George Rudolph Nahodil - a sampling of the ears

George Rudolph Nahodil – a sampling of the ears

The Nahodil family was blessed with big, beautiful (uh, did I really just say that?) ears.  The ears of the earlier generations were so distinctive that you could pick a Nahodil our in a crowd without even knowing him.  While my actor grandfather was overseas in the military, he must have spent his downtime perfecting his signature move known as the ear wiggle.  He loved to perform this move for us kids, especially when other adults were around but not looking…we broke out in giggle fits every time.  We all wanted to learn this skill and spent a great deal of time practicing but nobody has ever done it as well as Rudy; I’ll turn 40 next week and still catch myself “practicing”.

 

Rudy was the consummate joker and all people and places were fair game.  Dragging his leg behind him as a zombie might was not uncommon while out shopping with the kids and other adults.  This was hysterical when I was a child but I now I cannot help but think of how mortified his wife must have been…still makes me chuckle.

Rudy - This was not Halloween.

Just another day in the Nahodil home.

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Family Recipe Friday: Rudy’s Apple Cake

George R. Nahodil's wonderful recipe for apple cake.

George R. Nahodil’s wonderful recipe for apple cake.

This is the first time this recipe is being sharing with the world.  I grew up watching my grandfather make this apple cake and to this day it is the only apple cake I have ever liked.

 

On one visit, he told me that it was time to learn how to bake this treasured cake for future generations of my family to enjoy as I have.  Though he never used a written recipe (like I need to), he did help me write this out during one of his last bakings in the year leading up to his passing.  I’m not sure if it is my inability to cook or bake anything or just my being sentimental but I have yet to attempt to make Rudy’s Apple Cake.

 

As I was reviewing the recipe, I could help but notice that it doesn’t really take that long to make yet it always seemed like an all day production to me…must have been my anticipation and impatience.