x Close

First Job in Canada

“My boss was especially cheerful on the way to my first job. He seemed delighted to finally have a hard-to-get, but urgently needed, plasterer. He put me to work, on the public sidewalk of a busy street, of all places, to plaster a wall around a store window. He left all the tools and materials and told me he'd be back after lunchAlone now, except for strangers stopping to watch, I couldn't delay any longer. I had to get started. I mixed the goo carefully and slowly, watered the old wall, and hit it with my mix, almost closing my eyes, not wanting to see what I inwardly feared. Sure enough, the goo wouldn't stick. It ran down the wall and onto the sidewalk. Up I pushed it and down it went, faster down than up. The wall and the goo were too wet to stick to each other. There was no way to keep going. I had to scrape it off and start over with a drier mix. By then a crowd had gathered, watching, staring, trying to figure out what I was doing. Unseen by me-but as fate had arranged it-my boss had joined the crowd.”

- Alexander Muenzel arrived from Germany in 1951. [S2012.500.1]