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European food traditions, music are big parts of her life

Although Janet Bowman has lived in Virginia for many years her memories of growing up and working in Minnesota are always present. 

“My mother’s family was from Germany and my father’s parents were immigrants from Czechoslovakia (formerly Bohemia). There were 11 siblings and we all grew up knowing how to play at least two musical instruments; we all started on the piano. My father became a well-known musician in the area teaching and directing and when studying for his master’s in Germany he was lucky enough to just get out of the country before World War II. The love of music ran in our family. … I remember ice fishing and playing in the snow. We always got our presents on Christmas Eve but before we opened them, Dad would play Christmas music, then it was midnight mass for us all. I am now a Baptist.

“My mother did most of the cooking but I learned from her how to make cookies which I always did, and decorated them. My sister always made th...

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