On my first post of many more to follow on my late brother-in-law Walter, I would like to highlight just one of the many fascinating hobbies that he passionately pursued through his entire life. When he was ten years old he received as a gift a simple model construction kit with dozens of tiny parts and an instruction manual on how to build the ship. It was a humble beginning. But when he presented the finished project to his parents, he was filled with the proud feeling of having accomplished a piece of craftsmanship. It was not only the beginning of a passion for model boats and airplanes, but it also set the course for his future career as a successful engineer. When after their flight from East Germany to the West and a long wait in a refugee camp, his father and mother were finally able to find a small apartment in the city of Velbert. There Walter continued to build bigger, more elaborate and more complicated models from a Mississippi sternwheeler, a French warship, a Roman trireme, all the way up to his the masterpiece, the great American sailing ship. The lesson we parents can all learn from Walter’s amazing hobby is that we should attempt to awaken talents and interest in our children at an early age. For once developed the resulting hobbies will help enrich their lives and the lives they come into contact with.
“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” Charles Dickens
There lives an evil spirit in us all. It puts fetters on your feet and shackles on your thoughts. It impedes good deeds and wastes precious time, not minutes, hours, or days, but years, decades, even en entire life span. Many have learned to master it, but I am not one of them. For me, it is a monster of titanic strength and insidious cunning. As long as I can remember, I have been struggling with this maleficent force that has been leering at my weaknesses and taunting me from within. Yes, I do admit, I often succumbed to it, but also successfully put up resistance against its crafty attempts to lure me into the swamp of idleness when vigorous action was required. That monster is commonly known as procrastination. It has been working hard to thwart my plan to write a family history. Continue reading “Chapter 1 of the P. and G. Klopp Story”
Mateo is the great-great-grandson of Peter and Emma Klopp. He is attending high school in Montreal and speaks fluently French and English. He wants to become a computer programmer. His two half-sister Azure and Eméline have already received one post each on this blog. He sent me his latest picture. He promised to contribute a short story about some important event in his life at a later date.
Our family reunion in the summer of 2014 was a great success. For the first time in a long time we had the entire Klopp family united. The fine August weather allowed us to spend some time together at Taite Creek campground. Even though it was very hectic at times, we all enjoyed being together and experienced the magic of belonging together as a family.
Azure fitted right in. Her great-grandmother on Opa’s side would have been rejoicing, if she had seen Azure taking part in all the games, especially the card games. She would have learned French just to play the game I played with Azure in the gazebo not far from the beach. The game required quite a bit of memory skills, which Azure had and I didn’t have enough of. The eager tone in her voice is still occasionally stirring in my mind and brings up precious memories of summer, “T’as grandpère?” When I answered, “Oui”, she would take the card with glee and added it to her ever-increasing collection of completed sets. Needless to say, she won all the games against Opa.
The grown-ups often played the highly competitive bocce game. Of course, Azure wanted to be part of it. However, lacking the ability to handle the heavy steel balls, she was only allowed to throw the little wooden jack for the players. She soon realized that she wasn’t really participating, and she got quickly bored. So I came to the rescue and offered to play with her a real bocce game with much lighter plastic balls. Soon her disappointment about being left out was forgotten, and we two had as much fun as the players higher up on the playing field. Merci, Azure, pour avoir parlé français avec moi!
What delight to have had you with us last August! You won our hearts with your wonderful smiles. Your bright eyes brought joy and happiness during our family reunion at Taite Creek Campsite. I remember when I observed you play with just few objects, while you were standing at the cooler. In your vivid imagination you turned the most common things like spoons, a tube of toothpaste, wooden sticks into drum sticks, which you used to create powerful rhythmic sound, while the rest of the family were down at the beach. Best of all, Opa admired your intelligence that you demonstrated to me and the whole family, when you quickly pointed to the little fox on your highchair, every time I asked, “Show me the fox!”
As time goes by, I hope to receive more stories and photos from Richard and Youki. This little story with a picture will go right away onto our family tree page. Azure will be on the next post.
The post on Lucie Kegler below may serve as an example of how we can go about submitting material for our family tree project. Please note that you can contribute stories, pictures, and documents on any person on the family tree as often as you like. To facilitate the placement into the various branches, please identify the item by providing first and last name, chart, and generation numeral. For example, the post on Aunt Lucie below uses the title: Lucie Kegler – Chart II a – II. Each family related post is then being transferred to its proper page, while its corresponding branch is being updated. To try out the example below, click the menu item ‘Our Family’ and then click on the Kegler Family to view the changes.
Please send your contributions by email. Also feel free to ask me any question you might still have.