The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 42 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I

adventure calm clouds dawn

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Biene’s Flight to Canada


1 a journey made through the air, especially a scheduled journey made by an airline

2 the action of fleeing, such as flight from turmoil

The New Oxford American Dictionary”

A Very Peculiar Itinerary

On April 6, 1966 Biene’s best friend Ulli pulled up her Mercedes at Elisabeth Street 9 to pick up Biene and her mother and drive them to the Düsseldorf Airport. Having taken the passenger liner Ryndam the year before, I was unable to give Biene any advice on the best possible airline route from Germany to Calgary. The Frankfurt International Airport  would have been a better choice. For it was then and still is one of the busiest travel centres with non-stop flights to all major destinations including Calgary. As it turned out, Biene’s odyssey with two stop-overs, one in Paris, the other one in Montreal, was going to be the last endurance test on her patience , which had already been stretched to the limit of her strength during the past twelve months.

After the final farewell and one last appeal from her mother to keep her independence (meaning not to get married), Biene stepped onto the regional plane to Paris. She was travelling light, although in those days airlines were far more generous than today with the weight of your luggage. Her suitcase contained only the most essential articles of clothing and personal effects. Perhaps her mother perceived it as a hopeful sign. The sweet illusive prospect of having her daughter back by Christmas had made her departure a little easier to bear.

In the late afternoon, Montreal time, Biene had just made herself comfortable at the window seat on the plane bound for Calgary. Tired and a bit exhausted from the long journey across the Atlantic and the tedious passport control by Immigration Canada, she let her thoughts and feelings dwell on the joyful moment awaiting her at the Calgary Airport and on the time together with me in my humble basement suite. She could barely contain her excitement mixed in with the fear of the man whom she only knew, except for a very few visits, through their three years of correspondence. Yet, it was a pleasant fear, as she described it in one of her last letters to me. She managed to calm herself knowing that the love she felt for me would overcome all fear.

Suddenly an announcement over the intercom brought her back to the immediate presence. In a calm and reassuring tone the pilot explained that due to some engine problems he would have to fly back to Montreal. When Biene looked outside, her eyes became glued in horror to the engine on the left wing. A trail of thick smoke was pouring from the defective engine. Fortunately, a short time later the plane landed safely, but caused a two-hour delay for the passengers on their flight to Calgary.

41 thoughts on “Chapter 42 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I

  1. Amy

    Ouch—she must have been SO exhausted and frustrated! And you as well at the other end.

    Somehow I missed that you had only been together a few times before this move to Canada. No wonder her parents were skeptical! As a parent yourself, you must better understand that than you must have back in 1966.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Edda

    Also, ich glaube es nicht- das ist wohl vom Schicksal eine ganz miese Masche gewesen, sowas hatte Biene echt nicht verdient..Und Du auch nicht..Schon auf dem Weg zu Dir ,mußte sie umkehren-und dann unter solch schlimmen Umständen! Ein von Euch geschriebenes Buch könnte nicht “abwechslungsreicher” sein. Aber auf so etwas kann man dann im wahren Leben gut verzichten…Und mittendrin nicht weiter zu erzählen ist von Dir auch nicht fair,Peter!😉🙏😛
    Obwohl wir jetzt erstmal 14Tage nicht hier sind, hoffe ich die Fortsetzung trotzdem mitzubekommen..
    Herzliche Grüße an Euch beide!🙋

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda, du und andere wünschen, dass ich die Geschichte weiter erzähle. Das kommt bestimmt noch im geplanten Buch III. Am besten lasse ich meine Leser entscheiden. Buch II soll die Geschichte von Bienes Eltern beinhalten und liest sich auch wie ein spannender Roman.
      Nun aber zu euch. Biene und ich wünschen euch noch eine schöne und erholsame Reise. Herzliche Grüße!


  3. Des

    I was wondering to myself if Biene’s light packing was by design to provide some reassurance to her mother. It seems like a plausible explanation to me. And for the smoking plane engine…I was glad to read Biene handled it well and had a safe landing. Yet another obstacle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Biene reassured me that at the time of the engine problem, she felt calm and was very confident that nothing could happen to her any more. Perhaps it was the soothing tone of the captain’s voice that made her feel at ease. Thank you, Des, for your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you, Tiny, for your kind words! So many people expressed their interest in our love story, but came on board a bit late in the story that I may consider republishing it at some point in the future. Have a great day!


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