Every ten years the populace of the tiny Bavarian village of Oberammergau recreate Christ’s passion on a daily basis before a live audience of tourists from around the world. The alpine village is famous for its hand carved woodwork, but every ten years the wood-carvers put aside their carving and are joined by their families and most of the townsfolk in acting out Christ last days.
In the Spring of 1970, Pat and I were planning to be in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, just down the mountain from Oberammergau, for a week during that time when the Passion Play was being staged. Pat was very familiar with the Passion Play having learned and studied about it in catholic school and looked into getting tickets for when we were close by. In doing her research, she came to learn that the tickets were terribly expensive and the play lasted from early morning to sunset with an hour break for lunch which you were expected to bring with you. After a fairly quick discussion we decided that 10 hours of Christ’s passion was more than we could endure and decided to pass on attending.
We spent a weekend in Wiesbaden, Germany, before going to Bavaria,using it as our departure point for a Sunday Rhine River cruise. At our hotel, we accidentally met a group of American women, school teachers. For some reason, they took a liking to us and they adopted us. They turned out to be “royal pains in the ass”. Whatever we did, wherever we went – there they were. We simply couldn’t’ loose them.
The Sunday Rhine Cruise was no exception. When we got to the dock,there were the teachers. At one point during the cruise, we went up on the top deck to get a better view of the vineyards and wine villages which lined both sides of the river and also to hopefully ditch the teachers. No Such Luck! One of them followed us and started a conversation with Pat. When she heard we were going to Bavaria later in the week,, she asked what day we were going to the Passion Play. She was dumbfounded when Pat told her we were not going. “How can you be so close and not go, it only happens every tens years and has been staged without changes since mid evil times, etc., etc. How can you not go?, she asked.
Pat had enough.
Without missing a beat, Pat simply answered –
“I Don’t Have To, I Read The Book!
Based on the shared recollections of Pat & Frank Fleming
Posted by Frank Fleming 1/30/2017
In Loving Memory OF
1936 – 2016