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It has taken a lifetime to try to comprehend what my father must have gone through to start his life over again in America some 100 years ago. He never spoke about his life in Czechoslovakia. Was it because it was too painful? Perhaps, when he started a new life his past had to be put behind.
My father died when I was just 12, and though I do have some fond memories of him, there really aren’t enough. I wish I had known more about him and his background. I found that I had to google his name to find some clues as to who he was and to what his life was about.
My father was a structural engineer and architect that built many famous homes in Beverly Hills, including the house I grew up in.
I found this post on google in Beverly Hills Heritage, “In 1925, a young man of 23 years old set out to build a grand home on North Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills. A structural engineer hailing from Czechoslovakia, Francis Nils Dlouhy constructed his near 6,000 sq. ft. home on a 42,512 sq. ft. lot for an approximate cost of $25,000. His 15 room, 2.5 story home was built in Louis XV style and the beautiful hillside view from his backyard included the 13-year-old Beverly Hills Hotel.”
I know my father was a very smart man who went to college in his teens and graduated from college at the age of 17. He was very good in higher calculus. He was still a teen when he taught himself English and headed to Hollywood.
I try to imagine what it must have been like to leave his family and friends behind.
It has taken a long time to try to understand my father who was very withdrawn and not affectionate. I am still putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and I am grateful that I could reflect on his life and get perspective on it with this opportunity to share it with you.