Sabina, my wife, and I ...
… step by step agree on what should be published here.
My parents, my sister, my brother and I in 1944
My grandparents in the times of the German Reich on a trip to Helgoland. After this experience they would have liked to travel by ship to Zansibar. Martial developments thwarted that plan.
Sabine’s father in the age of three years with his mother.
The next generation, apart from a little accompanying thunder when they were blown into life, got nothing of the war and what it was like. Nevertheless, they often unconsciously chose islands far away from possible conflicts. For example, the Eivissa of the hippie era.
Material goods did not play a major role among the hippies. But those who couldn't or
didn't want to follow along spiritually felt uncomfortable in this community filled with friendliness and human warmth. Game boys were of flesh and blood and mobile phones were unknown. There
were few telephone connections on the island. Most of the time, for whatever, you had to go and see each other in person.
In the third volume of Snakiestory, which is still being worked on, the half-brothers Billy and Manuel (nicknamed Quee and Jiggy) slip into a phase of life marked by artistic work and a search for meditation.
Billy’s and Manuel’s live-in girlfriends take care of them, so that the boys in their kinkiness …
… keep a healthy balance.
In four decades Sabine and I had to deal with more than a dozen changes of domicile and location. The books, of which we were most fond of, required special care. They occupied the centre stage of moving to another home. Unfortunately, due to lack of space, the not so close friends and acquaintances among them had to be left behind again and again. But they ended up in other reliable hands.
Our cats shared the same fate. The very first of them, Mauli, was an extremely distinguished animal of Ibicenkian country gentry. He lived with us five years. His life ended as discreetly as we hope our own death will be: To be mobile and cheerful until the last hour. Mauli jumped onto his favourite place, our bed, stretched out once more and passed away. Presumably of a heart attack. The cat rested under a pine tree in the forest above the bay of Salt d'en Serra. He liked to roam around there, never forgetting a meditation session in the shade of the trees.
Mauli was followed by Tiger, Diablo, Tabby (the gentlest creature who ever lived with us, although a bit simpleminded as to a cat) and Betsy Benilde Campos. Other cats only paid us a short visit, for example Bingo, a huge Carthusian cat. He was so heavy, that loose tiles on the garden path rattled under his steps. The picture shows Titi, who enjoyed making himself comfortable on his master’s short leather pants. Unfortunately, he had an unhealthy affection to car tyres and never became tired to sniff about them. One day, the wheel of a Land Rover started moving on the sloping road without the warning howl of the engine. That broke Titi's neck.
Titi’s friend was Sir Schnurrli, our actual feline. That animal, where ever it might be, only needs some tender words without being touched physically. Promptly it starts purring. Those telepathical expressions of fondness as well as the obsession of cleanliness are phenomenons which might have induced the people of Ancient Egypt to worship felis catus as a deity.
Furthermore, Sir Schnurrli is on cold days a trusty and useful warming pan.
Since thirty years, the Upper Ampurdán in the Spanish part of Catalonia has become a second home for Sabine and me. The landscapes at the foot of the Eastern Pyrenees are vast and empty.
The Ampurdán is a lovely spot where besides odd people rooted to the soil is much space for art subjects and other beautiful things of life. Even though retired persons like us generally not do a stroke of work, Sabine likes here as in Salzburg to carry on a bit with managing young artists who do not have any know how.
Georg Eisler · Für Sabine Leingartner · 1973
· From our collection
The early affinity for the fine arts turned out to be Sabine’s vocation. By work experience in galleries of Vienna, Salzburg, Berlin, and London she put her knowledge on a sound basis in the field of an art director. Her gallery Junge Generation in Vienna became a stamping ground for painters of most different orientations. It’s hardly surprising that the young woman was often portrayed. A special remembrance is the drawing of Georg Eisler, son of the the composer Hanns Eisler.
Robert Zeppel-Sperl · Quartet · 1977 · From our
A friendship of long standing existed with the Austrian painter Robert Zeppel-Sperl, who unfortunately died very early. With him and his wife Marianne we shared a love for the beauties of the Mediterranean world and other marvellous things in life.
Concerning Walter Benjamin, who, being on the run from the Nazis and being tired of persecution, ended his life in Portbou, by now we are able to help interested visitors in understanding this or that aspect of the philosopher’s biography. An important element for us is the always pleasant and patient help from the former mayor of Portbou, Josep Maria Moré i Canals.
Besides all that, daily life does not come off badly. Let us mention, for instance, the Club Societat Coral Erato, Plaça Triangular, Figueres.
Where a blitz chess game is like a gulp of life elixir …,
... as well as on peculiar days old men’s dialogue under the Mediterranean sun.
The day should ever be concluded with a nice drink and the aroma of tobacco.
And, as characteristic for aged people, with reminiscences, going back everywhere. Back to all the friends who accompanied us. Old acquaintance should never be forgotten.