Early in our fascination with the Pierz Journals online, we found a short note that three men were soon leaving for a visit to Europe:
Looking farther, Larry found this article about the travelers, starting with Peter Nagel:
WILL SAIL FOR EUROPE
Peter Nagel will leave in about two weeks for St. Catherine, Rhine Province, Germany, his old home he left over thirty years ago. He intends to spend the summer there. Frank Otremba Sr, better known as "Buffalo" Otremba, and Albert Motschke, of South Pierz, intend soon to leave for their old home, Schlesien, Germany, but have not yet decided on the date. Mr Motschke's and Mr Otremba's old homes in the Fatherland are not far apart.
Then in July 1913, this odd, cryptic column appeared in the PJ. It starts nicely enough, but whew--wonder what ticked him off? Think he was jealous?
"A LETTER FROM GERMANY
Mrs Peter Nagel is in receipt of a letter from her husband, now sojourning at his old home in the Fatherland. Mr Nagel, Buffalo Otremba and Albert Motschke took the steamer at New York on June 8th and arrived at Hamburg June 19th, after a fine calm voyage, wholly devoid of sea-sickness, but not without a longing for home and familiar faces. Out of the vast expanse of the Atlantic with nothing to rest your eyes against but the blue heavens above and the ocean below, and nothing to feed your fancy but the thoughts of the slimy monsters of the deep, the ceaseless monotony of the rolling billows become almost unbearable. They were all glad to once more rest their feet on Terra Firma.
Their arrival at Hamburg found them all in good health, especially Buffalo Otremba, who reports that he gained 20 pounds while crossing the Atlantic. The Journal hopes that their visit to the old country will be a pleasant one. All visitors to the Fatherland, after an absence of 30 or 40 years, do not find conditions there so congenial as they expect. During the space of so long a time, American custom and haste has been adopted, age and fixed habits of thought have crept on, and the bright visions of adventure and fortune beyond the western main no longer flit before a youthful and hopeful imagination. Many of their old schoolmates are gone and are not remembered by the rising generation, all of whom are too busily engaged in the struggle for existence to give much thought to the entertainment of Americans. The old familiar landscapes, and buildings which have not tottered to decay, are now unduly small and contracted in comparison with what they appeared to be when life was young, dilating, magnifying.
But discomforts and shades of disappointments the inevitable companions of the traveler may be relegated by an historical interest in the grandeur and beauty of the scenery along the river Rhine, of which it has been said:
More mighty spot may rise--more glaring shine,
But none unite in one attaching maze,
The brilliant, fair and soft;--the glories of old days.
Peter Nagel no doubt took a boat up the Rhine to his destination. He who travels for comfort, leaves that which he seeks, at home.
A competence always fails to give full measure of comfort and contentment, save where it was attained, and those who go long distances to enjoy their fortunes, usually come back.
We have in mind several of our acquaintances of Melrose, possessors of home-made millions, now suffering affected enjoyment of Pacific breezes at Los Angeles, who might add immeasurably to the comfort and the peace of mind during their declining years, by returning to the scenes of their early struggles".
Isn't that about the oddest commentary?