National Geographic : 1968 Jun
KODACHROME BY JOHNLAUNOIS,BLACKSTAR( Landmark in the Prater, the Riesenrad, or Giant V fills the sky above a glowing fountain. Lifting its bc size gondolas 210 feet, the Ferris wheel has thrilled nese and visitors for 70 years. On the Steinberg, or Stone Mountain, I watched two women at work. They wore wool stockings, because it had been cold when they started at 6 a.m. Now they put on head scarves, because of the sun. I won't mention their names. They said the name of a woman who is not famous and has done nothing wrong shouldn't be in a magazine. Frau A. had worked in vineyards since she was 9, hoeing, pruning, harvesting, pressing. Now she was 69, still pulling weeds-down one row and up the next. Frau B. came after, tying the leafy vines to sticks with straw. Carefully she kept the young grapes facing outward, to let them get the sun. Between the women hopped a red-tailed bird. "He's a redstart, and he comes when we pull weeds," said Frau A. "It breaks the earth and he gets a worm or two." Both women worked steadily, constantly bent over. "We're used to it," Frau A. said. "The young ones don't want to do this. They go into a factory. They don't earn any more, but they think it's easier." Frau B.: "They couldn't keep me in a factory, I'd get sick. I want to be outside...." Frau A. showed me her hands, grimy and hard. "I wash them in lemon water and put on cream over night. Hands must be beautiful. If you don't take care of your hands, you can't hold a needle again." A Thousand Voices Unite By now the annual Festival of Vienna was upon us, 29 days in May and June, bringing a flood of things to see and hear: exhibitions, lectures, 9 operettas, 10 ballets, 39 concerts, 47 different operas, in halls of all kinds, in palaces, in parks. The second day, after hearing a choir of 1,000 school children in the Konzerthaus, or Concert House, I met Friedrich L. Friedrich of the festival management. "World's big gest festival," he said, "with the smallest staff." By the time it was over his count was 977 events. The C N.G.S. staff numbered seven. He sighed. heel, "In Vienna we say 'Let's do some ixcar - thing, but spend very little mon ey.' We expect miracles. Somehow things work out." On the morning of Corpus Christi a colorful procession dominated the Inner City. Along with His Eminence Franz Cardi nal Kinig, Archbishop of Vienna, walked Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in white capes, Knights of Malta in black, and university stu dents uniformed in scarlet, blue, and orange, with flags and dueling sabers. Little girls fol lowed with flowers in their hair (page 753). Nine out of ten Viennese are Roman Catho lics. The sidewalks were jammed. Cabinet members and generals followed the canopy held up by tall Boy Scouts. "It used to be stonemasons from St. Stephen's," said a Knight of Malta. "But now their union would insist they be paid overtime."