Jaroslav Novák

* 1932

  • “He applied for the Expo 67 in Montreal at that time. I was telling him: ‘Bro, don’t be crazy, don’t you even think of staying there!’ – ‘No, no way!’ – ‘Really, I mean it, brother...’ He says: ‘No, no kidding…’ Obviously, he did remain there. With a twenty-kilogram suitcase and ten dollars which he had illegally bought from somebody here, he went for the Expo 67. In the first letter that we received from him he wrote: ‘My dear mom and dad.’ What he wrote sounded very reasonable, he must have had it already prepared and thought out… ‘I am not staying here in exile out of my own will... and he stated the reason for that, he mentioned his employer. He wrote names of three people who had wronged him: ‘I filed a criminal complaint against them, together with a request that they write such personal assessment on me which would correspond to reality. Objective and just, not a dishonest one, so that I would be able to live as a human and not as a fourth-class citizen.’”

  • “One’s upbringing matters a lot, of course, you cannot turn this dial back. Nevertheless, out of every man, we can… every man makes mistakes and has some faults. But everyone can think about himself and say ‘I cannot do this,’ ‘I must not do this,’ or ‘this is the right thing…’ I thus believe that Scouting does have a great influence even on people who became Boy Scouts when they were already older.”

  • “‘Stínadla is Revolting,’ that was actually the second part, a sequel to ‘The Mystery of the Mechanical Puzzle.’ Well, I was totally captivated by that… I fell in love with Jan Tleskač, who was a locksmith apprentice of Emil Mažňák. Jan Tleskač was an orphan and he had the puzzle, the ‘Hedgehog in the Cage.’ Well, and since Jan Tleskač was an apprentice and so was I, he felt somehow close to me, and I thus did two things: firstly, I began writing a journal just as he did… I did not have any model how to write a journal, I only knew that I needed to wrote a date. The second thing was that I began to make my own hedgehog in the cage.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 13.01.2014

    duration: 02:09:56
    media recorded in project A Century of Boy Scouts
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We do not realize it, but Scouting is somehow encoded within us

Novak jaroslav dobovy orez.jpg (historic)
Jaroslav Novák

Jaroslav Novák was born in 1932 in Prague. He has admired Boy Scouts since he was a little child, and he considered the characters from the Rychlé Šípy (Fast Arrows) stories as his role models. His identical twin brother Vladimír participated in Boy Scout camps which were led directly by Jaroslav Foglar, and Jaroslav Novák therefore had an opportunity to meet Foglar in person several times. At the time when Boy Scout troops were being disbanded after 1948, Jaroslav joined the 34th Water Boy Scout Troop. Afterwards he became a member of the Sports Club of the Electric Company (SKEP) where many former Boy Scouts found a refuge. Among other, he took part in the Czechoslovak championship in flat-boat rowing with this club. He completed his apprenticeship in a drugstore and then he studied a pharmaceutical specialization at a secondary technical school. In the 1950s he briefly worked in the construction industry, and in 1953-1955 he did his military service. His brother Vladimír emigrated to Canada in 1967.