Vrhnika Pri Ložu, an Old Postcard and Palčič Stories

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Thanks to deepl.com, I am now able to translate blog posts from Stare Slike (old pictures), a blog featuring stories from the Lož Valley where somePalčič families lived. A recent post featured a postcard with images of Vrhnika Pri Ložu, and two references to stories involving a Palčič family (or families) living there:

Tudi Francozov se vrhniško izročilo spomni – ne le po tem, da so ukazali saditi osenice, pa da so gradili lepe mostove, še bolj po zelo visokih davkih, fronkih … Ko so pa čez štiri leta Avstrijci nazaj prišli, so takoj vse francosko ukinili – samo davke so pustili … Ko so tudi Vrhničani hodili v Slavonijo sekat hraste in švelarje tesat, se je Palčičevemu očetu zgodilo tole:

Pozimi je bilo, snega veliko, ko so hrvatarji iz Vrhnike hodili po poti proti vasi. Pa je domačin s sanmi in konjem prišel, a jih ni hotel dati peljat – kar naprej je šel. Mrdlni so jim rekli Vrhničani, tem domačinom … Potem je pa od nekod volk prišel in se je onemu postavil pred konja. Dolgo časa je stal pred njim. Ko so Vrhničani prišli do tja, se je volk umaknil, a mrdl jih še vedno ni hotel dati na sanke, da bi se peljali. Pa je spet volk prišel nazaj in ustavil konja – tako dolgo se je to ponavljalo, da so skupaj prišli do vasi, Vrhničani peš, tisti domačin pa s sanmi in konjem …

Here is the translation:

The French are also remembered in the Vrhnika tradition – not only for their orders to plant aspen trees and build beautiful bridges, but even more so for their very high taxes and fronts … When the Austrians came back four years later, they immediately abolished all things French – leaving only the taxes … When the Vrhnika people also went to Slavonia to cut down oaks and carve channels, this is what happened to Palčič’s father:

“There was a lot of snow in the winter, when the Croatians from Vrhnika walked along the path towards the village. A local man came with a sledge and a horse, but he didn’t want to let them go – he just kept on walking. They called them the Vrhnikans, these locals… Then a wolf came from somewhere and stood in front of his horse. He stood in front of him for a long time. When the Vrhnikans got there, the wolf retreated, but the grumbler still refused to put them on the sledge to ride. But the wolf came back again and stopped the horse – and this went on for so long that they reached the village together, the Vrhnikans on foot, and the local man with his sledge and horse…”

My best guess is that this refers to the time between Napoleon’s rule in Europe and the Austrian return to power after Napoleon’s exile. Unfortunately, the author of the post who shared the anecdote did not mention who exactly “Palčič’s father” was, so we are left to speculate about who the Palčič’ ancestor is.

Another tantalizing reference is made as follows:

Za pusta je bilo v Vrhniki veselo, prav tako za godove, posebno o svetem Jožefu in svetem Antonu – vsi so šli brklat, kar pomeni, da so godovniku pod oknom delali trušč/muziko s pokrovkami, kantami, verigami ali kakšnimi drugimi primernimi rekviziti in bili potem povabljeni na šilce žganja in celo prigrizek. Ob nedeljah pa so otroci posedali na tramu pri Palčičevih in poslušali neskončne zgodbe o Ameriki in prvi svetovni vojni… Pred drugo svetovno vojno se je šestinštirideset Vrhničanov odselilo v Ameriko! Nekateri so se vrnili, drugi ne. Kako premožen je bil kdo, pa se je vedelo in videlo po tem, da so premožnejši imeli murčka v ušesu, v žepu pa uro na kietnci.

Carnival in Vrhnika was a joyous occasion, as were the festivals of the feasts of St.Joseph and St.Anthony – everyone would go to the church, making a noise/music under the window with tin cups, canteens, chains or other suitable props, and then they would be invited for shots of schnapps and even a snack afterwards. And on Sundays, the children would sit in the rafters at the Palčič family’s house and listen to endless stories about America and the First World War… Forty-six people from Vrhnika had emigrated to America before the Second World War! Some returned, others did not. How wealthy someone was, however, was known and seen by the fact that the wealthier ones had a little gold earring in their ear and a pocket watch in their pocket.

Once again, we are left to speculate about who this Palčič family was, and who exactly was telling the stories. I have asked the person who wrote the blog post if she knows which Palčič family (or families) was (or were) the subject of these reminiscences. In any case, it is interesting to see that the Palčič name is remembered in Vrhnika pri Ložu.

Here are some details from the inset photos on the front of the postcard:

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Photo credits: Stare Slike

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