Chapter 21 of the P. and G. Klopp Story – Part VII

New Year’s Eve Party

Chief Günther Kegler provides some much needed distraction

The stupendous outpour of pent-up emotions alleviated the anger and the pain. I began to enjoy the almost daily outings with my friend Gauke. But in spite of the pleasant distractions the visits to the pubs provided by the excellent beer, wholesome food, Bavarian music in the background, and the pretty waitresses in their traditional dirndls, I could not push the troubling specter of my lost love out of my mind. I had asked her for a farewell letter or card to end amiably what had started amiably. Two months had passed. The silence became unbearable. So against my own conviction like a moth attracted to the flame of a burning candle I wrote her another letter from home before Christmas, in which I reiterated how much I appreciated her supportive letters during the hard days of my basic training, Then all of a sudden as if triggered by the emotionally cry of despair on the last pages of my novella, I let the proverbial cat out of the bag, “… Add to that the devastating fantasy, which produced during our correspondence the strangest imaginary flowers. At times I saw you – please don’t be alarmed, dear Biene – in my arms, then at my side travel to Canada, study with me in Marburg or Berlin, and in the more distant, but all the more brighter future spend a life with you through joy and sorrow. All these fantasies essentially destroyed our relationship…”

Biene and Mother ß Christmas 1963
Biene (Gertrud) and her mother  Elisabeth Panknin – Christmas 1963

Again I urged her to reply, even if she had no desire to write, just one more time. Before I sealed the envelope, I inserted a short story, which I had especially written for her. I hoped that it would in allegorical terms evoke the tender feelings we had once felt for one another. I did not mention the novella, which as an unedited rough copy I did not yet consider complete. Within three days and just in time for Christmas a miracle occurred. The letter that I no longer expected, but had hoped for arrived. And what it contained surpassed all my expectations. Instead of a farewell message, she wrote that my story about little Irwin had moved her to tears, but more importantly that she had once entertained similar thoughts and dreamed similar dreams about the two of us living a life time together. Even though she too had also allowed her fantasy to go too far and expressed doubts about the fickle nature of dreams, which often do not bring the fulfillment one had longed for.  She placed her trust in the mysterious force called Fate that one day things would work out between the two of us. The way she was wording her sentences I sensed that she had gone through some troublesome times during that long period of silence in our correspondence. Some way or another the anguish was connected to her fiancé Henk, whose father had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Nevertheless the news that our friendship at least at the correspondence level had been restored gave me a big boost.

Helga Kegler - daughter of General Gerhard Kegler
Helga Kegler – daughter of General Gerhard Kegler

I participated eagerly in the preparations for the New Year’s family party planned by the ‘chief’ of the Kegler clan, Uncle Günther. In the large vestibule of the basement suite we set up a bar, which we dubbed the Flamingo Bar. The good uncle had it well stocked with choice wine and beer as well as nonalcoholic drinks for this festive occasion. We decorated the wall with pictures, photos and old movie posters. I even contributed my painting of the 21st century space woman now looking down on a happy party crowd. Happy and diverse indeed was the crowd ringing in the New Year, young and old celebrating in perfect harmony, Uncle Günther, Aunt Lucie, Mother and Aunt Mieze, Adolf, Eka (Lavana), my cousins Helga and Jutta, two young ladies, the daughters of a pastor’s couple, whose names I can no longer recall, and my humble self. My tape recorder provided the background music for the party, and whenever there was a call for a dance I cranked up the volume and switched the music to a livelier beat.

From left to right: Helga, Uncle Günther, and my sister Eka (Lavana)
From left to right: Helga, Uncle Günther, and my sister Eka (Lavana)

At midnight we raised and clinked our champagne glasses wishing each other a Happy New Year. With Biene’s letter tucked away in my suit pocket I looked with confidence into the future. I felt that 1964 was going to be a great year for me. However, if I had read Goethe’s autobiographical novel ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ and understood how I, like Werther, was also entangled in a love triangle, I would have been less optimistic. The frayed thread on which our love was hanging was ready to snap any time. Whether I would have shot a bullet through my brain on a night watch in the army, if Biene had married Henk, was doubtful. Eventually I would have found and married another girl. But the oppressive awareness of having lost my first love would have lingered on my consciousness for the rest of my life.

Jutta Kegler - Youngest daughter of General Gerhard Kegler
Jutta Kegler – Youngest daughter of General Gerhard Kegler

Autobiography Book Bundeswehr Germany Photography The P. and G. Klopp Story Writing

7 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Was für eine wunderbare Erzählung,Peter! Ich finde es so schön,wie sich alles für dich und Biene entwickelt hat..Du kannst deine Gefühle von damals noch so wunderbar beschreiben,dass es sich beim Lesen deiner Zeilen anfühlt,als wäre es erst gestern gewesen! Toll! Und gleichzeitig erfahren wir wieder einiges von der Kegler-Familie.Onkel Günther haben wir ja selbst noch kennen-und lieben gelernt.Wir haben ihn bei seinen Besuchen “aus dem Westen” lieben und schätzten gelernt! Liebe Grüsse! Edda

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    Liked by 1 person

    • Vielen Dank, liebe Edda, für deine verständnisvollen Zeilen! Du und Dieter gehören ja nun schon längst zu unserem engeren Familienkreis. Da freuen wir uns besonders, wenn wir ‘Post’ von Euch erhalten. Ja, ihr kennt schon das Happy End zu der Geschichte. Trotzdem kommen da noch einige Überraschungen, die dafür sorgen, dass es nicht langweilig wird.

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  2. Hallo Peter,
    Edda war schneller, ich muss mich dennoch auch hier melden. Ich kann sehr gut nachfühlen, wie Du in den 2 Monaten “Warten auf einen Brief” gelitten hast. Ich habe während meiner Militärzeit auch täglich auf Post von “draußen” gelauert, bei uns wurden die Briefe vom “Spieß”, also dem Hauptfeldwebel, vor angetretener Einheit verteilt, ich habe mich immer über Post von Eddchen sehr gefreut !
    Zum Glück ging ja alles noch gut bei Euch !!!
    Dein Dieter

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ja, mein lieber Dieter, das war bei der Bundeswehr genauso. Auch bei uns teilte der Spieß die Post aus. Ein Brief mit Wachssiegel von Biene war immer eine freudige Angelegenheit. Vielen Dank für den lieben Kommentar!

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