• Introduction by Eva Dusil • Editing by Gabriel Dusil • 2014 October
• My mother, Valeria Kendeova, was the shining light in our family. I sometimes wonder where her strength and vision came from, since most of her life she suffered ill health. My mother contracted scoliosis as a teenager. This was due to malnourishment while attending private school in Budapest. When she came home for the summer holidays her mother noticed she had bowed legs, due to the onset of rickets. Valeria told her parents that she was always hungry at boarding school, but they didn’t believe her. Malnutrition at the school later manifested into scoliosis. The curvature of my mother’s spine worsened when she started to work as a clerk – sitting all day at a typewriter. The fact that my mother had a job was considered an achievement. Most women in post-war Czechoslovakia were homemakers. Valeria’s employment was further challenged by the fact that her Slovak wasn’t very good. Her mother tongue was Hungarian, and she also spoke German fluently. My mother also learned French while attending boarding school in Belgium. When the grandchildren were born my mother’s nickname became “Nanika”. This is from the Hungarian, “nagymama”, or grandmother. My mom was the one that guided me to getting a good education, and to strive for post-secondary studies. She allowed me to be independent.
• My father, Stefan Kende’s nickname was “Nadapi”, for the grandchildren. This was taken from the Hungarian “nagyapa”, or grandfather. My father wasn’t involved in nurturing me. Maybe it was different for my older brothers – Csaba who was twelve years my elder, and Attila was seven years older. Stefan had a reputation as an intellectual in our community. He worked as an antique book expert in Czechoslovakia – one of only three experts in the country, who would appraise old books throughout the state. This service was mainly for private libraries, collectors, and antique stores. My father was also a champion chess player – certainly one of the top ten best players in Czechoslovakia. Stefan would finish work at 18:00, come home for supper, then go to the café at Hotel Slovan to play chess. Nadapi played with a group of friends for one koruna per game (about five Canadian cents in today’s exchange rate). With their colorful game commentary they entertained onlookers. He also played in regional and national chess matches. He was a well known chess champion in Košice.
If you missed the previous posts on Kende, then click on these links:
• Digital Photo Restoration
• 6 minutes 17 seconds
• 5 minutes 55 seconds
• 5 minutes 25 seconds
• Postscript from my Mom • 2014 October • This photo was taken on my father’s 71st birthday.
• Postscript from my Mom • September 2014 • This is a photo of my Mom and Dad, taken in Kosice, at their home on Krmanova 3, Kosice, shortly after we emigrated to Canada.
Anka Kendeova, Attila Kende, Csaba Kende, dusil.com, Eva Dusil, Eva Kendeova, Gabriel Dusil, Hotel Slovan, Lacko Kende, Ladislav Kende, Marta Kolos, Nadapi, Nanika, Richard Kende, Stefan Kende, Tibor Kolos, Valeria Kendeova, Zsusanna Kolos