“I went to the classroom and there was, indeed, everything ready for them to play at least the part of Our Swaggerers, the one which took part in a pub. So they served something and I just hope it wasn’t beer. And they played Our Swaggerers at full. Only they didn’t break the furniture.”
“A few persons got together, an exceptional musician, a commercial engineer… and we started playing the puppet theatre. And this was our escape from the everyday life, we played in our leisure time, which we didn’t have much of, we wrote plays and performed the puppet theatre. They made our puppets in the military workshop. We went to perform in a kindergarten, performing for the officers’s children. Well, out repertoire included military topics, so we even took part in an army competition.”
“Classes were often interrupted because of air raids. Finally there was a number of mighty air raids on Pilsen and I experienced one of them. There were whistling sounds all around. It was a raid on the railway station and many houses were destroyed. The so-called Cikánka quarter had suddenly many people with no homes. I stayed with my aunt and uncle who took care of me during my studies. And [in the cellar] we heard the bombs whistling. It was a terrible experience.”
“Well, shiranichka originated when I got a new class and I wanted to learn something about them — what they do in their leisure time. And I found out: these do folklore dancing and singing, while others play theatre, another one is a model maker, this one plays this music instrument and that one plays another. And so an idea occurred to me to ask them to introduce themselves, to show what they can. And you can think of something you would like to present. So this was the first shiranichko we performed on the stair. We introduced themselves, one to another, and it was interesting. There was fancing in costumes, various musical instruments — even pipes appeared. So the student got to know one another.”
Ladislav Jašek was born on May 3, 1930, in Horažďovice, where he went to the primary school. Already during the war he was accepted into Teacher’s Institute in Pilsen, where he stayed with his uncle and aunt. It was in the cellar of their home that they experienced the raids on Pilsen, including bombing of the railway station or the Cikánka quarter. He met U.S. soldiers for the first time in Horažďovice. After the war, he continued to study at the Teachery’s Institute and passed his final exam in 1948, on the day of Jan Masaryk’s funeral. He started teaching in Sokolov the same year. This was followed by a stay in Kynšperk nad Ohří, Slavkov and, finally, in Chlum Svaté Máří. In 1951 he married teacher Irena Tomanová and went for his military service to Malacky, Slovakia. On his return, he opted for an extramurral study at the Faculty of Education, Charles University. His wife’s family had to leave Pilsen because of her father, a WWI officer. They moved to Touškov. He started to teach in nearby Stříbro. His wife was already pregnant with son Richard. In 1966, he was transferred to Pilsen to Secondary General School, later St Nicholas Grammar School. It was here that his first literary and dramatic attempts originated. Eventually he was fired — he was too popular with the students and his cadre profile was poor. He went to teach at another school in Pilsen, in Pionýrů street, later Masaryk’s Grammar School, where he stayed till 1998.