Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) and his Family – Part 37

Sweet Memories

Right from the beginning of my visit, Erna, Father’s second wife, and I got along very well. Her cheerful and lively disposition did not allow me to lose myself in gloomy moods, as I was occasionally prone to do, especially during prolonged periods of idleness and aimlessness. Even though I was reluctant to admit it, I could even see that Erna was the right person for Father. She was the sunshine that had brought lightness and contentment to his sunset years. From her radiated a contagious joyous spirit that created the in-peace-with-the-world atmosphere so conducive to Father’s healing process from a torturous past, from which he only now began to recover. I do not remember him as a man broken in body and spirit, as my distant cousin Eberhard Klopp described him in his book of the Klopp Family History.

Schotten – Photo Credit: vogelsbergtourist.de

Erna also had a moped of the same make and the same 49 cc class as mine, on which she would travel down the steep hill into the town of Schotten to buy the few things she needed for the small household in Michelbach. When you have company, one always seems to find the time to show off the beauty surrounding one’s home turf. Without visitors, one tends to delay and leave such outings for another day. Erna was no exception. Now she was eager to travel with me to the nearby-forested hills, up to the scenic Nature Park around Mount Vogelsberg, down winding country roads into the lush verdant valleys neatly tucked in between minor mountain ranges. There was no better form of transportation than our two Miele mopeds. With a lunch pack clamped to the rear luggage rack, we were ready to dart off into the magnificent Hessian landscape. A little overweight for these light machines, Father gladly stayed behind, looking after a few chores still to be done on this mini-farm with just a few goats to feed and milk. Just as we were revving up the engines, Father came to the road to congenially shout over the noise, “Have a good trip!” Too soon, my vacations came to an end. Thanks to our weekly excursions into the hill country, I had acquired a solid geographical knowledge of the region. As I was internally preparing myself to leave the Rhineland for good after graduation, I had already created a new base to drop in as son and stepson, a place I could truly call home.

Landscape of Vogelsberg Hill Country – Photo Credit: vogelsbergtourist.de

After supper, we three would sit in the living room leisurely sipping homemade apple cider in the long summer evenings. We would talk until it was time to go to bed. More accurately speaking, it was Erna who did most of the talking. She certainly had the gift of the gab. With the unerring memory for minutest details spiced up with colourful expressions and peppered with her village’s melodious dialect, she was the born storyteller. I will never forget how she described the chaotic scene of the German Reichstag of the roaring twenties. She and her friends were sitting in the same living room forty years earlier and acted out the ugly political debates they had heard over the radio. They did this with such exuberance, with so much mock yelling and screaming that the poor cats terrified by the brouhaha created by the inflammatory speeches sought refuge under the sofa and added to the parliamentary cacophony with much hissing and growling.

22 comments

  1. Amy · March 5

    It’s wonderful that you were able to develop such a close and warm relationship with Erna. She sounds like a very special woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · March 5

      You are so right, Amy. When I get depressed, I am thinking of Erna’s cheerfulness.

      Like

  2. Stella, oh, Stella · March 5

    Sometimes things happen as they are supposed to happen, although we do not understand it right away. So marrying Erna was obviously necessary for your father to heal. The same as your aunt was for your mother, who found comparative safety and a home with her. I would have wished for your mother to be financially better off in the end. I mean, she also suffered a lot and had shown a great courage all along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · March 5

      You have a beautiful way of seeing things in a positive light. Thank you for your insightful comment, Birgit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pure Glory · March 5

    It was so good that you could develop a good relationship with Erna and with your father. Sometimes, a change of scenery helps in the healing process. More happy memories to sustain you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter, it is wonderful to hear that you were able to accept Erna as your father’s second wife and develop such great relationship without any grouches , that your father had left your mother. Erna seems to be the perfect partner for your father to have healed his inner wounds from a horrible past experience and she appears as a wise and adventurous person. Can’t wait for the ” to be continued”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · March 7

      Thank you, Cornelia, for your insightful comment! I am so glad that I took the plunge and visited my father and Erna when there was still time to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. kopfundgestalt · March 6

    It’s good that your father was gradually able to shake off the painful past.
    His lively wife certainly contributed.
    I also found the aping of the Reichstag debates with the frightening of the cats funny. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Steve Schwartzman · March 6

    Not being familiar with the brand Miele and never having heard the word pronounced, I wondered if this honey of a moped might have been named with the Italian word for honey, miele. But no, a search turned up the following: “Founded in 1899 by Carl Miele and Reinhard Zinkmann, the German company manufactured milk-centrifuges and other dairy equipment. In 1907 the company had 60 workers and from 1911 bicycles were manufactured. The first automobiles were built for the military during the Great War and in 1916 a second factory was established in Bielefeld, production of these ceasing shortly after the armistice. In the 1930s they produced bicycles and motorised bicycles in various guises including Saxonette rear wheel engine models. In 1927, the Miele vacuum cleaner became popular and in 1929 they introduced the first electric dishwasher.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Peter Klopp · March 7

      We are using a Miele vacuum cleaner in our household. Pronounce Miele like the English me followed by the French le.

      Like

      • Steve Schwartzman · March 8

        That’s why I mentioned never having heard Miele pronounced, as the Italian and German word, though spelled the same, sound different when spoken. My guess is that if Miele products are sold in Italy, at least some Italians pronounce the brand the same as their word for honey. I’m reminded that when I lived in Honduras a long time ago I heard the name of the automobile brand Dodge pronounced in two syllables; the first rhyming with English road, and the second having its g pronounced like ch in German.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Peter Klopp · March 10

        Haha! I can hear the Italians shout when they see a Miele: That is a honey of a moped.

        Like

  7. Edda · March 6

    Das liest sich einfach toll,Peter! Wie schön,dass Du Dich zu diesem Besuch entschlossen hattest und dadurch Erna und Deinen Vater in solch guter Erinnerung haben kannst. Erna muss wirklich eine starke, gute Frau gewesen sein- hat sie doch Deinen Vater wieder ins Leben ” zurückgeholt” durch ihr lebhaftes und optimistisches Wesen..So interpretiere ich das jedenfalls..
    Es ist sehr beeindruckend,was Du über die Beiden geschrieben hast!
    Herzliche Grüße aus Sottmar!
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · March 7

      Du bereitest mir immer viel Freude mit deinen lieben Kommentaren, liebe Edda. Dieter hat mir wieder ganz tolle Bilder von eurer Gegend geschickt. Vielen Dank, lieber Dieter!

      Like

  8. Shepherd Cathy · March 6

    Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) and his Family – Part 37 Sweet Memories are yeah. On Friday, March 5, 2021, The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project wrote:

    > Peter Klopp posted: ” Sweet Memories Right from the beginning of my visit, > Erna, Father’s second wife, and I got along very well. Her cheerful and > lively disposition did not allow me to lose myself in gloomy moods, as I > was occasionally prone to do, especially during prolo” >

    Like

  9. Ankur Mithal · March 7

    It is wonderful that you developed a good relationship with Erma as well as your father.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Steve Gingold · March 7

    Although there was much disappointment in some of your family history, I am envious that you recall so much of it and some with happy thoughts. I know little of mine from either side so envy these of yours, Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · March 7

      I was lucky that my sister and brothers wrote a report for me, that there was an entire book written on our family, plus of course my own experiences. Thank you, Steve, for following so faithfully my blog! I enjoy looking at your amzing photography.

      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.