Chapter 29 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part III

To my dear blogging friends: Summertime activities prevent me from writing comments on your posts. I promise to return to your stories and photos in September. Happy blogging till then!

Splendor of the Rocky Mountains and Disappointment at the Employment Office


On the weekend before I began to actively look for work, Gerry took his family and me for a ride into the Rocky Mountains. Even though the mountains were partially concealed in a shroud of low clouds and fog, the stark unspoiled beauty of the wild scenery was stunning. Half way up to Banff, Gerry suddenly stopped the car at a viewpoint at Lac des Arcs. There we took a long admiring look at the majestic beauty of the Three Sisters, a trio of peaks in the Rockies named Faith, Charity, and Hope. Then my brother handed me the car keys and encouraged me with his peculiar tone of voice that did not leave much room for refusal, “Now Peter, you drive.”

Except for one day of driving lessons in an army truck I had never sat behind a steering wheel before. I received a one-minute lesson on the use of the power brakes, gas pedal and the simple way of putting the automatic transmission into gear. As it turned out, driving an eight-cylinder American car was a piece of cake. I enjoyed it so much that I did not notice how fast we were going on the four-lane superhighway, until Gerry remarked, “Watch your speed, Peter. For a greenhorn like you this is way too fast.”

          At the gate of the Banff National Park Gerry took over the driving again, and I had time to marvel at the mountains that began to close in on us from either side of the highway. Words cannot describe the splendor of the landscape with its rivers, mountain streams, lakes, and forests. I mailed Biene a booklet about the park, so she would be able to experience vicariously what I had seen with my own eyes.


Peter at Lac des Arcs – June 1965

          On Monday morning bright and early I joined the ranks of the job seekers at the Canada Employment Office. While waiting in the long line-up for my turn to register, I listened in to the conversations among the men in front of me. What I heard and what little I understood was not very encouraging. The government workers here received daily memos from companies, which were looking for skilled, certificated workers, preferable journeyman ticket holders with years of experience.

          “How would I ever get experience, if nobody hires me?” I heard one man in his thirties complain.

          “They drop your name and application form into a file and tell you that if anything comes up they will notify you. It’s like playing in the Irish Sweepstakes. If you are lucky, they pull your name out of the hat,” said another.

          “Then tell me you know-it-all. Why are you wasting your time here?”

          “Because I sometimes get lucky playing the lottery!” was his smug reply.

          When I had finally advanced to the front desk, I had from all the talking around me the distinct impression that I would be going nowhere with my search for work at least not here, where the only people who had work were the government employees. In a sudden surge of sarcasm I felt that they were being paid for the number of applications they processed in any given day, for shuffling papers from one stack to another, and then burying them in their gigantic filing system, thus squashing the hopes and aspirations of people like me. I filled out the forms that the main clerk had handed to me and filled them out as well as I could. I wondered who would ever find the time to look over the detailed responses we were expected to provide. With a feeling of gloom and doom I stepped out of the Canada employment office into the sweltering heat.


Happy Family Life at Gerry’s Place in Calgary


10 thoughts on “Chapter 29 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part III

  1. I can sympathize with your plight in those day, Peter. I’ve certainly been in employment offices before once or twice in my life and it has never been much fun. Luckily, I know it somehow all worked out for you in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Was für ein Gegensatz:Am Wochenende ein so herrlicher Ausflug in die Rocky Mountains und zum Banff-Nationalpark mit einem tollen Auto und erlebnisreichen Fahrstunden😉 !
    Dann am Montag dieses nicht gerade ermutigende Erlebnis als Arbeitssuchender beim Canada Employment Office. Da sind dir wirklich Gedanken durch den Kopf gegangen,die sehr naheliegend waren nach den Eindrücken dort. Wieder einmal denke ich,dass ein fester Wille ,grosser Mut und vor allem viel Liebe da gewesen sein müssen,um trotz allem auf diesem Weg weiterzugehen.
    Und da kommt ja noch einiges auf dich zu…
    Viele Grüße an Biene und dich!👋👋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liebe Edda, ich finde es so rührend, dass du trotz vieler Verpflichtungen in eurer Großfamilie die Zeit findest, so liebe und ausführliche Kommentare zu schreiben. Ich war heute dran nach Hause zu fahren, die Blumen zu wässern und Proviant zu holen. Die Waldbrände bereiten uns große Sorgen, obwohl wir in unserer Gegend noch nicht davon betroffen sind. Ja, du hast es erraten. In unserer Geschichte kommen noch schwere Zeiten auf uns zu. Ganz liebe Grüße aus Kanada auch an Dieter!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.