36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

002: Coming Home


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

After Vienna
Two Years Later

002 — Coming Home
July 23, 1972

Written April 28–29, 1974

I remember coming home and seeing things in a new light. America was a differently constructed country—the highways, traffic. But even seeing the tree-lined Passaic Park seemed to be very refreshing. I saw a lot more than I ever did before.

Frank was driving us home with his friend in his new car. The English couple I met, I decided to invite over our house—they needed a place to stay. There were quite surprised to see that my brother’s friend had a brand new luxury car. In England, most people could never own something like that.

When I first walked into the house, it was different. The old front room, which had formerly been just planks, was now a newly-designed room. It looked so good. Our other room, I remember, was ok, except now it was torn down and the walls were bare planks. What irony.

It felt weird to walk around the rooms and to be home.

I don’t think anyone was home. After all, they weren’t expect me. Frank, when I first saw him, looked much older.

After I was in the house, I remembered Dennis coming in and when he saw me he smiled and started letting out a long scream—yell (in joy, I hope.) We both started laughing, and I remember chasing him around the house.

Mom was away in Canada but came home the nex morning. She looked so good.

Eventually, everything was back to normal and settled. I remember making the rounds and seeing all the neighbors.

It felt good to be home.


Home, sweet home. Obviously, coming home was a pleasant event for me. Remember, that I came home from Europe without telling anyone and my arrival was a surprise. Looking back, it was a good thing that Frank was home to pick me up. I mistakenly thought that Mike came to pick me up but that was wrong.

America, in a new light. It is interesting to come back to New Jersey, specifically Passaic Park, where I lived and grew up. Why was it different? In Vienna, I was in the middle of the city and living and walking daily among the history, culture, and architecture that was Vienna. In New Jersey, I’m in the suburbs with tree-lined streets and regular houses and city shops. In Vienna, I was never traveling the highways and in the suburbs. I traveled by train whenever leaving Vienna. So, there was a change in moving from the environs of Vienna to Passaic, New Jersey. Nothing wrong with that.

Home. Well, it looked like there were changes to my house (my mother’s house) where my brothers and I lived.

Some history. When I was younger, we lived in an older Victorian house with a front wrap-around porch. The house had a major fire and half of the house was lost. Over the years, it was gradually fixed up but for many years, the house had bare walls and floors. It was a slow process.

I guess that when I was gone, my brothers and mother did some fixing up. Nice.

Brothers Frank and Dennis. My brother Frank came to get me with his friend in a new car. I totally forgot that. I always got along well with Frank and he is a great guy. Dennis was now only about age 12 and still at that age when older and younger brothers could goof around. Remember, I was the first to leave our family for an extended period and Dennis cried when I left. Dennis was also a great kid brother.

Mom must have been out and, I guess, came back the next day.

Guests from England. What’s this about people from England? More on that tomorrow.


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