36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 356: Final Day—Paris to home, 10 francs


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 356 — Final Day—Paris to home, 10 francs
23-Jul-1972 (Sun.)


1971 John as hippie


Didn’t see much of Paris—only the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. That’s life.

I still feel the void, emptiness, and I’m tired. Last two weeks have had unforeseeable (money and trip plan cancellations) and foreseeable (Anjali and Elisabeth) results.

For now, I am in a vacuum.
Everything in Europe is finished. Nothing more to do or see (for now).
And I have nothing (definite) to go to in America.

Remedy. A slight rest. And then really begin to work on my music. Seriously. To hell with all of these crappy problems!!

Before I left: Stayed in a very nice place. A student hostel. Had a lot of facilities. Lot of students around. Room cost 20 Francs.

At breakfast, the French drink out of bowls. Coffee, a nice change.

Met a very nice English girl. Pleasant conversation. Right after, met a very pleasant German guy. Everyone was very friendly and pleasant.

I like the attitude.

Most people I have met on this trip have been this way. Makes one feel good—that most people have this very friendly attitude towards other people.

Tour of Paris

After dropping my bags off at the terminal, I took a tour of Paris.

Took a very quick 20-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower. Took a few pictures. And then “ran” back to the terminal. Thought I was going to have a heart attack.

Just caught the bus. Got to the airport 40 minutes before take-off. Just about made it. No problems with instruments, reservations, or tickets. People were very friendly.

747: left at 12:30 will arrive 3:30. Gigantic plane. Can feel the power when it takes off. This plane shakes more than the smaller one.

I feel really tired, headache, seems to be getting worse. Flight is nice. Great food. Talked with a few people.


Arrived at Kennedy. Stewardess was friendly and said the office would be able to help me out because of my money problem. Result: no one will cash the check. Bank, no. Pan Am doesn’t offer any help. Won’t cash check. Don’t give any tickets for buses. They really don’t care. [I am upset.] Some people are friendly but most don’t care.

Exception: custom’s officer was extremely friendly. I explained to him the situation with my horn. That I used it to study, used it for a year, and that I bought it used for $200. He was really friendly and valued the horn and my gifts at $100, which means I didn’t have to pay custom’s duty. I think it was good that I told him I bought it in Europe.

That part (customs) and the plane ride (Pan Am) worked out really well. Only thing that bothered me is the “no-help” attitude of most people.

Called up Frank & Dennis. Will come and pick us up as soon as possible.



Feelings of being down. Ok, what a way to end a year’s worth of blogging. Today’s post sounds like I’m ready to end my life or something. I apologize to those readers only reading this one page—please head on to other pages. I’m usually a pretty normal and nice guy. Mostly. Sometimes. Once in a while.

Of course, I’m somewhat depressed by not having any money, having to leave France early, and not seeing London.

Anjali. I’m mostly depressed by not being with Anjali. I probably imagined spending a few days in the city of lights, holding hands, being with Anjali and just re-igniting whatever relationship there was. Maybe the relationship was just in my mind? Well, ignition and liftoff failed. Houston, we have a problem. Certainly, I’ll get back to my normal self but looking back at my journal, I almost don’t want people to read this last page—but, I had to be true to the journal. It probably wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Maybe it was.

Paris hostel. Thanks to Anjali’s mom, I stayed in a very nice youth hostel. My finance journal, below, shows the room as 20 francs. I remember being surprised—the French drink their coffee out of these large bowls, instead of cups with handles. I seemed to have enjoyed it and had some nice discussions with other students. Meeting lots of students throughout the year was great. I certainly talked to many students at dinner and lunch without writing about it in my journal.

Last-minute sightseeing. Not content to get to the airport on time, I decide to walk back to the Eiffel Tower and the environs, take pictures (see yesterday), and then run back to the bus station to get to the airport. Lucky I made it.

10 francs = $2. By the end of today’s journey, I only had 10 French francs left. I think that’s about $2 US. I’m heading back home, after a year’s journey, “with only $2 in my pocket.” That phrase last deserved quotes and will hopefully make it into someone’s novella one day. NOTE: I just confirmed (the Internet) that in July 1972, the exchange rate was about 5 French francs to $1 US.

Paris expenses - last day

Going home. I’m on the 747 and I’m heading home. I’m supposed to be excited to getting back home, seeing my brothers and my mother. Well, I sound really depressed about life and about the future. Don’t worry, I’m going to rebound. It’s that vacuum feeling, I’m sure. I’ll be ok. I think. On the positive side, my experience with Pan Am airlines was first class all the way (even in economy class).

Arrival in Kennedy. I’m in a sourpuss mood because no one can cash the $100 check that my mother sent me. Again, I’m going to be making such a bad impression on people only reading this page—it was all that stress. The customs agent was really a sport and downsized the price of the horn so that I didn’t have to pay any duty. I did fib a bit on the purchase of the horn. I usually don’t do things like that. I do feel bad. The horn was probably all beat up—Alexander horns without lacquer do tarnish and looked used. What would have happened if the agent assessed me? I only had 10 Francs—$2. Thanks Mr. Customs Agent.

No money. At any rate, I don’t have enough money to take a bus home. I usually don’t like to bother people and would have preferred to just get home on my own, with a bus. Well, I must have changed the last of my money and made a phone call to my brothers, Frank and Dennis. I actually remember my brother Mike eventually coming to get me and drive me back home.

Surprise. Did I happen to mention that I DIDN’T TELL ANYONE I WAS COMING HOME? No one knew I was back in the U.S. When I called my brothers and mother, they were totally surprised. There is a second little surprise that happened both at the airport, and at home, but I’ll save that for my next “micro-blog.”

Home, Sweet Home. It WAS great to see my brothers, Mike, Steve, Frank, and Dennis after a year away. And of course, seeing my mother was an amazing joy as well. My mother was an incredible woman, raising 5 of us boys all by herself.

I was a bad son and brother—I didn’t write home as much as I should have during the year. However, I do have some letters saved from that year to my family and friends. Some of them are pretty funny. Maybe I’ll post them.

Nothing beats being home. Nothing beats being with your family. Well, maybe a year in Vienna comes in a close second.

Rotary International. I’ve said it before—thanks to the Rotary Clubs and Rotary International for the opportunity to participate in this amazing personal and educational learning experience, and to my boss, Nick Lioy, who sponsored me. Slicing baloney at Archies Delicatessen for 8+ years builds character.

An amazing, absolutely incredible year. Yes. Farewell Vienna.

New learning, personal growth, and friendships
356 days of incredible Vienna adventures
Unrivalled musical concerts & operas
356 days of exciting experiences
Great teachers and education
A new international outlook
Rotary International
New confidence

An amazing year


36 years ago

For a follow-up to this year, see my upcoming micro-blog on this website—After Vienna. There may be some surprises in store. In my journal, I find a few pages about what happened to me after Vienna, written by myself two years later. And one minute after coming home from Vienna, there was a big surprise for my mother. And Anjali?

“After Vienna”

Thanks for reading and listening. I hope that you enjoyed reading. You can contact me at

It’s been an adventure.


John Maryn


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Family pictures and all pictures of myself from this year.
Farewell, Vienna.


My wife Olga and the fall folliage
My wife Olga and fall folliage

My wife Olga and I
My wife Olga and I

Olga and her mother, Hanna
Olga and her mom

Alex, Olga, and Walter (my stepsons)
Alex Olga and Walter

John in Switzerland 2005
John in Switzerland 2005

Beemer loves the snow
Beemer loves the snow

My mother (Olga) and our young family
Top: Mike, Mom and John
Bottom: Steve and Frank
Mom and our young family

My mother and family. We’re older.
John, Mike, Steve, Frank, Mom & Dennis

Mom and family - older
A bigger view of family


Receiving the Rotary Scholarship (from Nick Lioy)

Receiving the Rotary scholarship

1971 Student ID
Johns student ID

Anjali and John’s neck—I had hair
Anjali and Johns neck

Conversing with Beethoven
Conversing with Beethoven

Playing tribute to Mozart
Playing tribute to Mozart

Dieter Kaufmann and electronic music class
In electronic music class

Skiing the beautiful Austrian Alps
Skiing the beautiful Austrian Alps

Self portrait with friend Peter in Munich
Self portrait with a friend in Munich

With the kids in Malomice, Poland
With the kids in Malomice Poland

On a horsie (Poland)
On a horsie in Poland

Visiting my mother’s birthplace in Tylawa, Poland
Visiting my mothers birthplace in Tylawa Poland

What happened to John?
Johns picture montage 1971 - 2005

Farewell, Vienna
Farewell Vienna


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