Chapter 27 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I

The Voyage

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Shakespeare

1024px-2005-08_Gießen_-_Theater
Giessen Theatre – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Travel Preparations and a  Farewell Speech on a Vinyl Record

The day after Biene had returned home, Adolf took my sister Eka and me on a whirlwind tour to Berlin, where we saw for the last time Aunt Alma and her family. On the way back we dropped in at the apartment of our brother Karl in Braunschweig, where he had recently embarked on a banking career at a local bank. There in the beautiful apartment we spent a few days with our brother, his wife Ingrid and their little baby daughter Annekatrin.

93
Adolf Standing in front of the Giessen Travel Agency

Back at home we directed our attention to the task of getting our belongings packed and ready. Our tickets for the voyage to Canada included the shipping charges for the wooden crates that contained all our personal effects. Almost too late we found out that we were responsible for moving them to the travel agency in Giessen. Almost instantly arose a heated argument among the hot-tempered siblings, myself included, as to whose fault it was for having overlooked such an obvious problem. Accusations were flying back and forth. It seemed that each one of us was on a faultfinding mission. Of course, no matter how hotly we debated the issue, the heat of the arguments would not move our big, heavy crates to Giessen.

94
Problems Worked out over a Mug of Beer

Fortunately our cousin Jürgen arrived just at the right time and helped diffuse a potentially explosive situation. He suggested a cooling-off period for the enraged brothers. In Giessen we dropped in at the ‘Vienna Forest, a popular restaurant, where they served us grilled chicken and beer. Tension and lingering hostility abated quickly at the same rate as our stomachs filled with delicious food and copious amounts of beer. Now we were ready to tackle the shipping in a more amiable environment. Jürgen had just made the acquaintance of a fellow student, who would be willing to provide his old and dilapidated VW bus for the crates. After a few more drinks at a roadside fast food outlet we were going to announce the good news at home. However, the pub, ‘The New Homeland’, was still open in Watzenborn. We thought a few more beers would not hurt and would definitely clear away the last little bit of rancour, before going home. So we finally arrived in a fairly boisterous mood. Everybody had already gone to bed. But this did not prevent us from loudly announcing to Eka that we had found a solution to the shipping problem. We all withdrew into the furnace room, which with its excellent sound-proofed walls offered a modicum of protection against the noise. Befuddled by all that beer I played the guitar rather poorly often missing the correct fret, while Adolf sang the song merrily out of tune with the chords I was playing. In the meantime  Jürgen and Eka had an animated discussion on the poor timing of our nocturnal arrival. Not receiving the appreciative reception that we were expecting, we decided to spend the night at Jürgen’s place in Giessen and slept for want of something more accommodating all three in one bed, but not before having a taste from the bottle of whiskey that happened to be there for this crazy occasion. Next morning (or was it noon?) Adolf and I, feeling somewhat remorseful for our rambunctious behaviour the night before, drove home quite willing to accept any criticism with a repentant heart and to make amends by getting the crates ready for shipment.

Record

In the turmoil of the endless visits of well-meaning relatives and friends, who all came to say good-bye, I still managed to keep up the correspondence with Biene, although it was almost impossible to find a quiet corner in the house. I had  made a recording of a few simple classical guitar pieces that I felt were good enough for her to listen to. In addition, I recorded a farewell message on tape and mailed it together with the music to a company in France to have it pressed onto a vinyl record. A few days before our departure date the record arrived, which I embellished with some pretty labels and redirected it to Biene’s home address. It so happened that on the very day we boarded the Canada bound vessel, the ‘Ryndam’, she received my gift.

The recording sounds a bit scratchy. But what do you expect from a 50-year old vinyl record?

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

16 Comments Leave a comment

    • Vielen Dank für deine lieben Worte zu meinem Post, liebe Jeannette! Ich habe deine Grüße an Biene weitergereicht. Sie freut sich immer, wenn unsere Geschichte so viel Interesse erweckt. Morgen kommt endlich der erste Teil von der versprochenen Serie über ihre Kunst. Herzliche Grüße aus Kanada, wo der Frühling nun auch eingekehrt ist!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Das war wirklich ein sehr schönes, privates Geschenk an Biene, lieber Peter. Ihr wird es wohl sehr gefallen haben. Ein schönes Wochenende nach Kanada. Hier ist es schon recht warm, so 20 Grad und sonnig. Liebe Grüße Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vielen Dank für deinen lieben Kommentar, liebe Mitza! Wie immer habe ich mich sehr gefreut über dein Interesse an unserer Geschichte. Der Frühling ist nun auch bei uns endlich eingekehrt. Die ersten Schneeglöckchen blühen. Heißt es nicht in einem Schlager: Schneeglöckchen im Februar? Und heute ist der 2. April. Liebe Grüße von uns nach Hamburg!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wie wunderbar,dass es diese schöne Aufnahme an Biene noch gibt!Wie wird sie sich gefreut haben..Die Vorstellung einer so langen Trennung muss schlimm gewesen sein-da war dieses Geschenk sicher oft ein Trost für sie!!Mir wäre diese Zeit unendlich vorgekommen…Wirklich sehr ergreifend diese Liebeserklärung von dir,Peter!👍👍
    Und der ganze Wirbel vor deiner Abreise ist heute ein Vergnügen zu lesen-aber damals war es ja wohl katastrophal!!Schön,
    dass da der gute Jürgen auftauchte.
    Ich bin gespannt ,wie es weitergeht,Peter..
    Herzliche Grüsse an dich und Biene.
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liebe Edda! Ich habe deine lieben Worte gleich mit Biene geteilt. Dein Kommentar hat uns beide sehr erfreut. Ja, diese Schallplatte existiert noch. Die Aufnahme, wie du hören konntest, war natürlich nicht die Beste. Biene war damals zu Tränen über dieses Geschenk gerührt. Du hast recht, es hat viel dazu beigetragen, die Zeit der Trennung zu überbrücken. Ganz liebe Grüße an dich und Dieter von Biene und Peter!

      Like

  3. Hi Peter, My apologies for being away from blogging for so long. My new job is even more time-consuming than I’d feared and I haven’t been near WordPress for over a month. Tomorrow is a holiday where I am, though, so I wanted to take the chance to catch up with your and Biene’s story. You’ve certainly found a dramatic place to end this one, with Biene getting your record and you about to embark for Canada! One good thing about being away for a while is I don’t have to wait to find out what happens next. I can go to your next post immediately! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand your situation. A new job brings many challenges and calls for often painful adjustments in one’s life. I am very thankful and I appreciate very much that you took the time to respond to my posts in spite of you being so busy, dear Bun.

      Liked by 1 person

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