The importance of being kind

Last weekend there was a big celebration in Olomouc, when the famous Holy Trinity Column (built in the 18th century in commemoration of the Plague) was listed as a UNESCO monument a rare occasion, taking place only about once every 35 years in any country.

Many buildings normally closed to the public, were open. So I walked through halls older than the Declaration of US Independence, many of them built even before Columbus set foot on a small Caribbean island. Olomouc is a very ancient city with a beautiful historical centre.

In the evening on the main square, 200 singers and actors interpreted CARMINA BURANA, the famous cantata composed in 1935 by CARL ORFF  (born in Munich on 10th July, 1895, died on March 29, 1982 at the age of 87). An audience of thousands filled the Old Square. The songs were in Latin, it was great and there were fireworks at the end. I really enjoyed the music (I was also near the orchestra and chorus), the experience of listening to the 'live' masterpiece  was very intense.  (Just like a painting, the original is always the best.)

Guess who was standing next to me, enjoying the event? Mr. PEPRNIK!

Yes, this legendary man who has more diploma certificates than one can imagine on the walls of his home (I have not been there, I only suspect this)  and has so many titles before and after his name that, if he wrote them all every time he signed anything, there would be no space left for his name the man whose name is stated as author of countless books on English grammar, the English language and English-speaking countries (and probably he himself does not know the exact number, as he continually creates newer ones).
What is the probability of such a meeting in a crowd of thousands of people?
Quite small, I suppose. But it was really he, in person...
"Good evening, Mr Peprnik!" I greeted him.

He seemed happy to see me......perhaps also because I had given him many kilograms of brochures and maps of most of the U.S. states. I'd had the brochures because some time ago I wrote to the local Chamber of Commerce of every single state within the USA to request information.  In the following months, I received maps, brochures and other information from most of the 50 states. Afterwards, having finished my studies, I realised that I did not really need so much information and so I gave everything to Mr Peprnik, believing that he would have better use for them. (Misha saw me delivering the bags to him, shortly before her first departure to the US.)

However, in exchange, although I did not want anything, he gave me a book of several great theatrical plays (in English, of course) - he claimed he had two copies of it. I am sorry I did not ask him to sign the book...


Copyright 2000 Viktor Horak. All rights reserved.