36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 059: Two resolutions—exam completed and new apartment

Day 59 — Two resolutions—exam completed and new apartment
30-September-1971 (Thur.)

Wickenburggasse apartment
Examination day—composition. I’m not sure if I passed or failed. I think I passed.

Then on to my new apartment. It’s nice to settle down.

Day 058: New music in 2007

Day 58 — New music in 2007
29-September-1971 (Wed.)

Nothing happened in 1971, but 2007 brought in a fall beach day, pirogies and stuffed cabbage, and a new music concert.

It’s nice to be living simultaneously in two decades. If one decade doesn’t pan out, do something in the current decade to make up for it.

Day 057: Hot cold, Ying Yang

Day 57 — Hot cold, Ying Yang
28-September-1971 (Tues.)

Experiencing the opposites of life, a bad hair day turns into a good hair day. Hair aside, I find a room to live in for the remainder of the year. It’s a great day.

A double-bill of two light Italian operas,
Cavalleria rusticano and Paglicacci at the Volksoper makes it even better.

Day 056: Viennese house hunting

Day 56 — Viennese house hunting
27-September-1971 (Mon.)

Vienna house hunting 02
A day of house hunting, and some reflections on the kinds of housing that was available. In 1971, finding apartments was difficult in Vienna. It is probably difficult now as well, and is often just as difficult in the U.S.

Stress reliever—opera at night.

Day 055: A Haydn Mass, Chicago II

Day 55 — A Haydn Mass, Chicago II
26-September-1971 (Sun.)

Vienna Musikverein concert hall
Music, music, music.

Haydn, horn, Chicago Symphony.

I’m just living music in this town. My horn teacher gets me backstage. I hob-knob with fellow “hornists” (no such word—but you can do anything as a blogger). What a musical year.

Day 054: Incredible Two's

Day 54 — Incredible Two's
25-September-1971 (Sat.)

Vienna Musikverein
What a day!

Two incredible:
• concerts
• conductors
• orchestras
• symphonies
• horn sections

The day was mostly two amazing concerts by two incredible, internationally renowned orchestras—the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony. From Dr. Karl Böhm to Sir Georg Solti, to Dvorak’s
New World Symphony and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, I was in heaven.

What a day!
What a city!
Vienna, the city of music.

Day 053: Mozart's magical opera

Day 53 — Mozart’s magical opera
24-September-1971 (Fri.)

Mozart statue in park
There’s magic in the air, at the Volksoper, with Mozart’s Magic Flute opera. I imagine writing a multimedia version of an opera, though it hasn’t yet happened.

Magic Flute is a wonderful opera. Try to see it, if you can. Kids would like it as well.

Still practicing. Roommates leaving. Exam coming up.

Day 052: Standing room only, La Bohème

Day 52 — Standing room only, La Bohème
23-September-1971 (Thur.)

Vienna Staatsoper at night
Standing room only, please. That’s the ticket (10 schillings) to seeing a lot of opera for us students. And what an opera it is, “La Bohème,” a Puccini favorite.

Day 051: Standing room at the Staatsoper, friendly letters

Day 51 — Standing room at the Staatsoper, friendly letters
22-September-1971 (Wed.)

Vienna State Opera
I’m going for the composition exam. I hope that I don’t screw it up. Letters from friends are coming in and that’s taking my mind off of the pressure of entrance exams.

Letter writing and reading is fun, especially from friends. It’s a lost art though, replaced by email, social networks, and instant messaging.

I don't get to dine with the King and Queen of Belgium, but I learn the ropes of "standing room" at the Vienna State Opera.


Day 050: Wien apartment hunting

Day 50 — Wien apartment hunting
21-September-1971 (Tue.)

Apartment hunting
Spent the day apartment hunting. Fun?


Some musings on apartment hunting, the 2007 US$/Euro exchange rate, and other nonsense.

Day 049: The Vienna State Opera (Wozzeck)

Day 49 — The Vienna State Opera (Wozzeck)
20-September-1971 (Mon.)

Vienna State Opera
My first visit to the Vienna State Opera. The building and interior of the opera house, and the performance of the opera Wozzeck, all lead to a grand conclusion for the day.

Day 048: Stress relief: Donau Park and Tower

Day 48 — Stress relief: Donau Park and Tower
19-September-1971 (Sun.)

Two girls strolling in park
To reduce the stress of my daily frustration, I visit the Donau Park and Tower adjacent to the Danube River.

Great views. Ah, I feel better.

Day 047: Preparing for entrance exams

Day 47 — Preparing for entrance exams
18-September-1971 (Sat.)

I start preparing for the entrance exams to the academy. I’m feeling inadequate. I have an interest in studying composition. I am not certain as to how I developed that interest.

Interesting. (Sorry for the redundancy. Literary humor.)

Day 046: Another girl?

Day 46 — Another girl?
17-September-1971 (Fri.)

In the evening, I go to a dance and meet an American girl. We dance. What happens next?

Day 045: Starting over; photos arrive; social networks

Day 45 — Starting over; photos arrive; social networks
16-September-1971 (Thur.)

John pays tribute to Mozart
Today, I’m trying to start fresh with my horn playing. Change is always difficult and frustrating. All I can do is keep trying.

The scans of the 35mm slides arrived a short while ago. I hope to add them to the blog posts over time.

I'm gonna join some social networks.

Day 044: My new horn teacher–Professor Gabler

Day 44 — My new horn teacher—Professor Gabler
15-September-1971 (Wed.)

I get to meet my new horn teacher, Professor Gabler, at the opera. I’m in the pits, literally, during a Volksoper rehearsal. Great experience. Then, an opera at night.

I’m loving opera. I’m loving Vienna.

Day 043: Nothing new

Day 43 — Nothing new
14-September-1971 (Tue.)

Typical day.
Frustrated on horn.

That’s it today. Nothing new.

Day 042: Where is Joan? In Vienna

Day 42 — Where is Joan? In Vienna
13-September-1971 (Mon.)

• I learn where Joan was yesterday—not in Vienna.
• A second apology goes out to the entire city of Vienna.
• It’s nice to spend time with friends.
• I don’t get excited until I get a letter from Anjali.


Day 041: I am a 60's student radical

Day 41 — I am a 60's student radical
12-September-1971 (Sun.)

Today, I am supposed to meet a girl that I had met and dated before leaving for Vienna.

I am frustrated and blame everyone. I am a 60’s student radical. I am the stupid one.

Day 040: A typical day?

Day 40 — A typical day?
11-September-1971 (Sat.)

A typical day in 1971. Mostly practicing, study, German, and life chores.

I remark how September 11 is no longer a typical day after 2001.

This blog, and other ventures I hope will come about, will not be political, but will be about people—you, me, everyone.

Day 039: Der Freischutz—my first opera in Vienna

Day 39 — Der Freischutz—my first opera in Vienna
10-September-1971 (Fri.)

I'm in heaven.

I get to see my first opera in Vienna,
Der Freischutz, performed at the Volksoper. I’m really enjoying the opera, the horn playing, and the musical life in Vienna.

Did you know that the Viennese had their own brand of “French Horn”—the Viennese horn?

Did you know that the early Vienna F-natural horn had no valves? Just like the "Ricola" alpen-horn guys on the commercial. Try playing a Mozart horn concerto on your Boomwhacker™.

[The Boomwhacker™ is a plastic tube, used in elementary music education, that you whirl around your head to create musical pitches. The tubes come in different sizes, each tube length produces a single note. I was making a funny. A joke. Ok, it's not funny. It's clever.]

Day 038: Finally, a normal day

Day 38 — Finally, a normal day
09-September-1971 (Thur.)

Vienna park and Rathaus
Time to get down to business. I set up a daily routine for practicing. School (Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) will be starting soon.

I am getting to know my roommates—they’re fine, good guys.

The ghost of Anjali appears.

Day 037: Anjali leaves for home

Day 37 — Anjali leaves for home
08-September-1971 (Wed.)

Anjali leaves for home today—Paris. I am sad to see her go, but reflect on why she is special.

Will I get to see Anjali next summer in Paris? The city of love?

Day 036: New roommates arrive

Day 36 — New roommates arrive
07-September-1971 (Tue.)

Roomates Pavel and Jeff
I don’t get to see Anjali today, she’s preparing for her journey home. I do get a nice surprise—two new roommates, both English speakers—Pavel from California and Jeff from England.

It’s nice to make new friends.

Day 035: Dinner with Anjali's mom; Belvedere Palace

Day 35 — Dinner with Anjali's mom; Belvedere Palace
06-September-1971 (Mon.)

Austria360 Belvedere Palace North Vogl
Letter writing, Belvedere Palace, dinner with Anjali’s mom, and some discourse on living in the “analog” world. Link to a wonderful 360-degree panorama by photographer Bernhard Vogl.

I'm really sad, once again, and missing Anjali. Happy She is still here, but I'm missing her. Ah, young love!

Day 034: Anjali's mom comes to Vienna

Day 34 — Anjali's mom comes to Vienna
05-September-1971 (Sun.)

Anjali last couple of days
Anjali’s mom comes to Vienna to pick up her daughter—Anjali. But her daughter—Anjali—is the girl that I really like and want to be with. Anjali will be leaving for Paris in a few days.

John stars in
Meet the Parents. What am I going to do?

[2007—computer mishap, offline for several days.]

Day 033: Anjali in a dress—dinner and dancing

Day 33 — Anjali in a dress—dinner and dancing.
04-September-1971 (Sat.)

Anjali saying goodbye
A full day with Anjali. We both know that she will be leaving soon which brings a bit of sadness to the day. We start out with a Woody Allen movie and end with dinner and dancing. And, she wore a dress and became a young woman.

If you’re a romantic, read today’s journal.

I veer a bit from the day’s activities and revisit some of the reasons for writing this blog whether you’re young or older.

Finally, send me an email or note a comment on the blog. I would love to hear from all readers.

Take care.

Day 032: Amusement at Prater

Day 32 — Amusement at Prater
03-September-1971 (Fri.)

The Prater ferris wheel
A day at Vienna’s Prater amusement park with Anjali. I get a little dizzy, lose in ping pong, and eat a lot. As an aside, I comment on my use of emdashes and thus address some of the grammar issues of my journal writing, and plea to Grammar Girl to set me straight.


Day 031: Anjali; the National Library; Hofburg Complex

Day 31 — Anjali; the National Library; Hofburg Complex
02-September-1971 (Tue.)

Sightseeing with Anjali continues. Just a bit of info on the Austrian National Library situated in the Hofburg Complex in central Vienna.

When visiting Vienna, you can’t help but imagine the expansive power and influence of the Austro-Hungarian empire as you enter the incredible Hofburg Complex through the Heldenplatz and look upon the massive Neue Burg.

Day 030: Sightseeing with Anjali

Day 30 — Sightseeing with Anjali
01-September-1971 (Mon.)

Anjali smiling
With exams over, I spend some quality sightseeing time with Anjali.

And I admit that I really like her.