Chapter 31 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part V

Pyramids from a Socialist Viewpoint

All_Gizah_Pyramids

Egyptian Pyramids – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

After sunset the air quickly cooled off. We threw more wood on the dying ember and moved our chairs closer to the fire pit. It provided the only light, as twilight gradually changed to complete darkness on this moonless night. Our teenage companion, who was first to break the contemplative silence in our group, astounded us with his patriotic, boastful chatter about California being in his opinion the greatest, the most beautiful, the most attractive, the most this and the most that place in the world. Harry impressed me with the calm manner, with which he countered the preposterous display of chauvinism, when he simply stated, “It takes a lifetime of traveling to many countries before one can decide which is the most beautiful place on earth.” Then in a conciliatory tone he added, “But there is one thing we can all agree on.  This place here without comparing it to any other place is truly beautiful. I for my part wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

After a few more beers our conversation shifted towards more philosophical topics, such as the eternal grandeur of creation in contrast to the ephemeral nature of the man-built structures, even of the most enduring 5000-year old pyramids of ancient Egypt. When I ventured to express my admiration for the wonderful buildings that the ancient civilizations had created as lasting monuments to their cultural achievements, Gary responded rather disdainfully, “I don’t care two hoots about all these amazing structures in the world, because they have been built on the backs of millions of slaves, who had to sacrifice their lives in pain and agony so that one person, a pharaoh, a king or an emperor would be remembered as great and glorious in the annals of history.”

Gary’s unexpected outburst, tinged with socialist undercurrents, reminded me a little of my brother Adolf and his strongly worded attacks against the exploitation of the working class. But I had to admit that Gary had a point, which didn’t fail to leave a lasting impression on my way of thinking. Not quite firm in the pronunciation of English words I meekly said, “Nature is the best ‘arshitect’. So let us all admire its creation.”

212

Harry Mueller in his Cozy Trailer

The fire had completely died down. The Big Dipper had moved a considerable distance during the last couple of hours on the starry northern hemisphere. It was time to go to sleep in Harry’s cozy trailer. I was in a very happy mood having plucked a delicate mountain flower, which I intended to send to Biene as a little memento of our weekend fishing adventure. Dreaming about owning a small trailer and traveling with it to a place like this with Biene, I drifted off to sleep being blissfully content with the world around me.

U of C in the mid 60s

University of Calgary in the Mid 60’s

On the way home to the farm Harry dropped me off at Gerry’s place. It was very disappointing not to have any letters waiting for me, neither from the Employment Office nor from the University of Calgary. I was very anxious to find out whether or not my high school diploma had received full recognition for the entrance requirements. So I checked in at the registrar’s office. To my greatest relief, the secretarial staff had done their homework and reported that come September I would be eligible to begin my studies as a student in the Faculty of Education. Now the time had come to decide in earnest which program to choose. To make sure that I would succeed in my first two semesters not just with passing grades, but rather with superior marks in most subject areas, I embarked on a most unusual program. I selected German as my major and Mathematics as my minor. After a brief interview with the head of the Modern Language Department it was decided on the basis of my German background to advance me to the senior courses at the 300 level and above. In math I would take the mandatory calculus courses, which at least for the first semester would be simply a review of the material already covered at my final high school year. This arrangement with the core subjects, I thought, would enable me to concentrate my energy on the other subjects, such as English literature, philosophy, psychology and school administration, all of which required fluency in the English language. Having accomplished all this in the course of a single morning visit, I returned home full of confidence and wrote Biene a letter feeling on the top of the world again.

13 comments

  1. Pure Glory · October 14, 2017

    It is amazing how when things are going well, we feel on top of the world and can dream again. It sounds like God is working out all the details in your life so you can see your future with Biene more clearly.

    Like

  2. arv! · October 14, 2017

    I’m somehow a big fan of pictures from 1960-70’s. The world was so different then…full of possibilities!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · October 21, 2017

      Thank you, Arv!, for your interest in the era of the 60’s! It was indeed an interesting time and an opportunity to prosper for anyone willing to work hard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • arv! · October 21, 2017

        I’m sure it must have been. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann Coleman · October 14, 2017

    Sounds like a very sensible college plan to me! (And I’ve always thought the same thing about the pyramids, and the Great Wall of China, too. The people who actually had to build it led miserable lives.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · October 21, 2017

      I am glad you mentioned the great wall of China. Like with the 70,000 miles of road the Romans built for their empire, so the Chinese emperors built the great wall on the backs of tens of thousands of workers, many of whom perished. Thank you, dear Ann, for your continued interest in our story!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bun Karyudo · October 16, 2017

    I’m enjoying following your story as ever, Peter. It seems things are moving along for you rather nicely. (By the way, I hope you sent Biene the flower!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · October 21, 2017

      I am glad you like the story, even though the love story has been temporarily put on the back burner, dear Bun. Yes, I sent Biene the flower, which she placed into her Book of Dreams.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Edda · October 18, 2017

    Stark, wie Du Deine Eindrücke nach so vielen Jahren immer wiedergeben kannst, Peter. Da sieht man die Landschaft und auch Euch abends am Feuer deutlich vor sich.
    Die Sichtweise von Gary ist beeindruckend gewesen und er hatte so Recht!

    Dein beruflicher Werdegang beginnt sich abzuzeichnen und Dein Optimismus ist riesengroß!
    Gibt es das Blümchen für Biene noch???😊
    Herzliche Grüße aus Sottmar, Ihr Lieben!
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · October 21, 2017

      Bevor ich den nächsten Post veröffentliche, möchte ich noch schnell auf deinen lieben Kommentar eingehen, liebe Edda. Ja, auch mit Gary stimmst du überein so wie ich. Ich erinnere mich noch ganz genau, was unser Religionslehrer, den wir Lausbuben respektlos Kahler Jesus nannten, sagte. Der herrliche St. Peters Dom in Rom wäre mit dem Schweiss der armen deutschen Bürger gebaut wurden. Vielen Dank, dass du weiterhin so interessiert meinen Blog verfolgst, liebe Edda! Ja die Bergblume existiert noch und ist in Bienes Buch der Träume zu finden.

      Like

  6. Ankur Mithal · November 2, 2017

    Have to say that Gary does seem to have a point. Many monumental creations have come from repressive, conquering regimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · November 3, 2017

      We are in total agreement on this matter. Too many great cultural monuments have been built with the blood and sweat of the oppressed.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.