The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 30 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part IV

16

Accident at the Construction Site and a Painful Walk to the Jewelry Store

1200px-Rocky_Mountain_National_Park_in_September_2011_-_Glacier_Gorge_from_Bear_Lake.JPG

On Friday, June 18th, I had an accident at the construction site. One of the bricks slipped off the upper board on the scaffold and hit my left knee, which almost immediately swelled up. It could have been much worse. The law did not require safety helmets in the mid 60’s. As I found out much later, I wasn’t even insured and therefore would not have received financial assistance from the Workmen’s Compensation Board. Our boss had deducted the laborers’ insurance and pension contributions from the pay cheques, but kept the money for himself.

Unable to work with so much pain from my swollen knee, I had to call it quits for the day. I promised the foreman that I would report back the following Monday. Instead of returning to my brother’s place, I stepped on the bus, which took me to downtown Calgary. Very close to the bus station stood the building of the Hudson’s Bay department store. With its three stories it was then the highest building in downtown Calgary. From there I limped two and a half blocks on Seventh Avenue to the jewelry store. There on the previous weekend I had ordered Biene’s engagement ring, on account of which so many tender, bitter-sweet feelings had already welled up in our hearts.

I was lucky. Although I had come sooner than planned, the ring was ready. Yet I felt timid and embarrassed in my dirty work clothes and with bloodstains on my pants. I felt oddly out-of-place in this opulent place laid out with red carpets, the walls covered with oak paneling, spotlights illuminating the sparkling wares for the wealthy, with every imaginable piece of expensive jewelry securely placed behind glass cabinets. My heavy German accent was in stark contrast to the polished Oxford English of the gentleman, who was wearing a formal suit. I pulled out four twenty-dollar bills from my back pocket and put the folded bundle on the counter top. It was one week’s worth of hard work. On that very same day Biene’s engagement ring began its odyssey half way around the globe, but never arrived at its intended destination in Germany.

For the longest time I did not know that the letter with its precious content had gone missing, presumably lost in transit somewhere between Calgary and Velbert. Week after week I waited for Biene’s thankful and happy response, while Biene was desperately yearning for a sign of life from me. For her, as we have seen, the ring meant protection, a signal to all that she belonged to me. But perhaps more importantly she perceived it as concrete assurance of my love and faithfulness. Wearing, seeing, touching and feeling it on her finger would have imbued her with a sense of security from within and without. But there was no ring, no letter, not even a card, which would have immediately ended her distress and despair…

16 thoughts on “Chapter 30 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part IV

  1. taphian

    your way to each other was plastered with a lot of obstacles, dear Peter. It was really difficult for both of you at these times to have a satisfactory contact to each other. Telephoning was probably very expensive. A rabbi once said: The sinking happens for the sake of rising. I’m pretty sure your story will end happily. Kind regards from cold and always rainy Hamburg, Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Dear Mitza, these were indeed difficult times, where all the communication tools of our present time were missing. Even a phone call would not have been possible, since Biene’s parents had no telephone at that time. I like your quote from a rabbi. Somewhat similar is the proverb: the night is darkest just before the dawn. Biene and I hope that you will finally see some sunshine in HH. Greetings from sunny British Columbia!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pure Glory

    My heart goes out to both of you, at this point of your story. One obstacle after the other. But nothing will keep you from loving each other. Someone probably saw the valuable ring and stole it from the mail.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Weill, the ring eventually re-appeared. It is a miracle that Biene was able to finally wear it. Here I will reveal only the fact that the ring was not stolen. Thank you for taking a genuine interest in our story!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. corneliaweberphotography

    Peter, my heart is crunching, there you had this painful injury and than the lovely ring didn’t get onto Biene’s finger and all that with your hard earned money. How many more obstacles did you both have to go through? Beautiful images by the way. Have a great Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Dear Cornelia, this was indeed a great blow to Biene and me. It also was a severe test of our love, since for a while there was no communication from me. From far away Canada I saw in my mind the ring arrive at Biene’s home and was waiting too long for her grateful acknowledgement. Your question points to more obstacles we both would encounter. Thank you for your continued interest in our love story, Cornelia!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Edda

    Lieber Peter!
    Als ich ebengelesen habe,dass der Ring bei Biene nie ankam und einer
    auf ein Zeichen des anderen wartete,hab ich unwillkürlich “oh nein!” gerufen, als ob es jetzt erst geschehen wäre.Euch wurde auch wirklich nichts erspart!
    Und es gab keine Möglichkeiten,sich so wie heute,mal schnell miteinander in Verbindung zu setzten..Und dein geschwollenes Knie hat dich nicht daran gehindert,diesen Ring zu kaufen..👍
    Ich hab das Gefühl,dass es trotzdem mit die kleinste der “Prüfungen “für euch war..Aber sehr traurig,finde ich…
    Wir wünschen dir gute Besserung,lieber Peter!
    Edda und Dieter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda und lieber Klaus!
      Wie sehr habe ich mich über euren Kommentar gefreut! Weiss ich doch, dass ihr selber wenig Zeit habt, euch mit einer Liebesgeschichte zu beschäftigen, zumal sie schon über 50 Jahre alt ist. Vielen Dank für eure liebe Anteilnahme! Ihr habt ganz recht, das war nur ein kleiner kalter Schauer im Vergleich zu dem, was noch auf uns zu kam. Übermorgen fahren wir nach Victoria zur Tonys und Lisas Hochzeit. Da werden wir viel zu erzählen haben. Liebe Grüße aus dem fernen Kanada!

      Like

  5. Ann Coleman

    That is horrible! I can’t believe your ring for Biene was lost in the mail! Honestly, I think the two of you were destined for each other, becuase with all the obstacles you had to overcome, you would never have gotten together otherwise! But so glad you did…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Yes indeed, these were great obstacles. One of my aunts once said that every obstacle we encounter has been placed in our path for a reason. The episode of the missing ring really showed how strong our love was. But as some other comments hinted correctly, this was only the beginning. The spectre of more serious obstacles were looming on the horizon. Thank you, dear Cornelia, for your interest in our story!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bun Karyudo

    Oh no! What a terrible development! It must have been shocking and disappointing for both of you once it eventually become clear what had happened. Fate clearly had many twists and turns in store for you during your courtship.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter Klopp Post author

    In retrospect it is clear that our love was being tested to the extreme. The incident with the lost ring could have easily led to a major disaster in our relationship. Thank you, Bun, for your interest in our story! The saga will continue next Friday with the next instalment.

    Like

  8. cornelia1972

    Lieber Peter! Es hat etwas gedauert, bis ich die Geschichten “nachgelesen” habe, da ich eine kleine Sommerpause eingelegt habe….. ich bin froh, dass ich das Ende der Geschichte bereits kenne und habe trotzdem mit Euch beiden mit gelitten. Ich hoffe sehr, bei Euch ist alles in Ordnung – hört man doch immer wieder von schweren Bränden in BC. Herzliche Grüße aus Wien, Cornelia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Ja, die Waldbrände sind schrecklich. Viele Menschen mussten ihre Häuser verlassen und der Rauch ist so dicht, dass er die Sonne verdunkelt und in den betroffenen Gegenden Gesundheitsprobleme schafft. Vielen Dank, liebe Cornelia, für deinen lieben Kommentar und dein Interesse an unserer Liebesgeschichte!

      Liked by 1 person

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