Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch6 Part 10

The New School

Biene wrote this post.

The school looked new and bright. Our teacher was a young, tall man with a severe expression. He didn’t smile at us once. About thirty students quietly stared at us when we entered the classroom. I recognized a girl and a boy I had seen last night at the Old House. When our teacher introduced us as refugee children from Thuringia, a tall girl with big brown eyes smiled at me. Gisela was her name, and she eventually became one of my best friends. She still lives close to Velbert, Germany. We have only seen each other twice after moving to Canada, but we have been corresponding for almost 50 years. I soon discovered that she was born in the “East” and from Eisenach, close to Gotha in Thuringia. Eisenach is renown for its imposing Wartburg castle.

Historical Photo of the Castle Wartburg (late 1960s)

When school was dismissed, a girl from one grade higher than us approached me and introduced herself as Margit. I had briefly seen her through the window at the Old House this morning. Margit smiled at me warmly and invited me to walk back with her. She became my closest friend when we lived at the Old House. Margit was mature beyond her age. She was a motherly type and a born leader. We liked her cheerful and outgoing personality. Fights amongst us kids never lasted long because she was a peacemaker, and we trusted in her judgement. 

About 15-20 kids about our age lived in the Old House, and we spent most of our time playing in the big yard around the old building. The Old House used to be a beer garden restaurant with a bowling alley in its younger days. The hedged-in yard with old trees had been the garden area of the venue where people would eat and drink on warm and sunny days.

11 Replies to “Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch6 Part 10”

  1. Who knows, what the story of the serious teacher was … good for you that several children were from the same house as you. And really good for you that you kept the friendship to Gisela, even over the distance. I have a friend myself from 1st grade (my best friend), with whom I am still in contact. Though we met more often than you and Gisela did, she only moved to England. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have three with whom I am still in contact, the one from first grade, and two from my very first job. Lately two of my former classmates from gymnasium have contacted me via facebook, that was nice. Alas, four of us are already dead …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess so too, Peter! Two died already in their late twenties, one killed herself, the other one was killed by her husband, terrible stories. Alcohol and nicotine seemed to have helped a third one over the Styx.
        I am glad too that the blood pressure story is over, poor him.

        Like

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 )

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.

%d bloggers like this: