A trip down memory lane

Dining With Duvall By Lynn Duvall

Last month I enjoyed a meal in the Hoover High School cafeteria, catered by Acapulco. My table mates were strangers, though, like me, they were graduates of the high school. We’d gathered with nearly 100 other grads to work on plans for the upcoming 75th anniversary celebration on May 15. One gentleman talked effusively about the jazz ensemble at the school.

His enthusiasm ran very high. Finally, when he stopped for a breath, I asked, “How do you know so much about them?” He explained that he taught in the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts at Hoover. He’d been listening to a rehearsal, marvelling at the improvisational talents of the young musicians. I was told that the ensemble is nationally rated among the top five high school jazz groups.

Our conversation was interrupted by other questions related to the business at hand, but I made a mental note that I’d like to learn more about this gentleman. I squinted to read his name tag and saw “George.”


The committee met again last week. When I got the microphone during the introduction phase, I asked if anyone present lived in our Foothill communities. Across the room, I saw George raise his hand. George and his friend Lee Miller from the class of ’52 agreed to pose for a photo. I wanted to capture Lee’s amazing outfit. He was wearing his old letterman sweater and a purple hat with pins. I was impressed to find a man whose 50-year-old sweater was spotless and still fit perfectly.

Lee and George gave me endless directions. We had photos with flash, without flash, close-up, wide-shots. Finally, we had a shot in the digital camera’s viewer that satisfied all of us. Lee went back to committee business.

I settled down to talk with George.

A few minutes into our talk, George mentioned that his wife was the organist at St. Bede’s Church. I looked more closely at his name tag: “George Klump.”


“Oh my gosh,” I exclaimed, “My husband Bob and I have known your wife Barbara Klump for 14 years.” We first worked with Barbara at Lazare-Johnson Realty. Later, all three of us worked together again at MacGregor Realty.

George and Barbara met at Syracuse University while doing graduate studies. George grew up in Glendale, attended Hoover and graduated from Occidental College with a music major. He went to Syracuse for a master’s degree. At Hoover he often played the organ and remembers the Hammond in the auditorium as the largest installation in Southern California.

When their master’s degrees were completed, George and Barbara married. George received his Ph.D. at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. Then the couple made their home in Vienna, Austria. George studied on a Fulbright scholarship at the Academy of Music. George recalls, “We could see the Schoenbrunn Palace and the Hapsburg Zoo from our window. The palace gardens were more beautiful than Versailles. The zoo is the oldest one in Europe.”

On his return to America, George embarked on an academic career, teaching in Southern colleges.

The couple returned to California in 1977, where George accepted a position with Loyola Marymount. The Klumps’ daughters Anneli and Heidi graduated from Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School.

As the girls grew up, George and Barbara traveled extensively in Europe in the summer, performing in cathedrals across the continent.

At home in La Crescenta, George tends the garden. He’s president of the Southern California chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. In his garden, he grows 75 plants, including 50 different varieties. He’s excited about a variety from Malaysia called vireya. George says, “The colors are fantastic.” He commented that the newer plantings at Descanso are situated up on the hill near the Boddy House, away from the frost line that killed earlier plantings near the Japanese Tea House. George is looking forward to hosting the Gardens’ director, Patrick Larkin, who will speak at the chapter meeting in May.

The Klumps are also looking forward to traveling soon to the big island of Hawaii to see the twin telescopes on Mauna Kea. George added, “They’re the largest telescopes of their kind in the world.”


George often cooks. He favors rustic, European-style cuisine and has a collection of goulash recipes. For my readers, he e-mailed me with a classic Hungarian goulash.

I’ve worked on several reunion committees. Everyone says how much they enjoy reconnecting with old friends. My experience is a bit different. I’ve liked meeting and making new friends, like George Klump.

Write Lynn Duvall at or in care of the Valley Sun: PO Box 38, Number One Valley Sun Lane, La Cañada, CA 91012-0038.

George Klump’s Hungarian Goulash

George writes: Here is my goulash recipe, one of several, from Austria. This uses beef (‘Rindsgulasch’), and it is set up to serve four people. However, you can multiply the recipe by factors of two, three or four to serve eight, 12 or 16 people. If allowed to rest in the fridge a day or two before it is served, things mix more thoroughly and it tastes much better.

| 3 ounces vegetable oil (I use olive oil)

| 2 pounds beef cubes (shoulder or chuck)

| 2 pounds finely chopped onions


(rule: same amount of onions to beef)

| 1 pint of beef broth or water

| 2 tablespoons tomato puree

| 1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika

| 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika.

| Grated skin of 1/2 lemon

| 1 tablespoon wine or apple cider vinegar

| 1 teaspoon ground caraway

| 1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic

| 1/2 teaspoon thyme

| 1 teaspoon marjoram

| 2 bay leaves

| Salt & pepper

Heat the oil in a medium size pot, brown the beef cubes. Add in onions to cook with meat until onions become transparent.

Add vinegar, paprika and tomato puree with all spices. Stir well to mix.

Finally, fill it up with the broth or water and stir it well again. Add a little pepper but very little salt. Austrians tend to add salt at the end to correct the seasoning rather than taking a chance on putting in too much salt. If that happens, then, the recipe cannot be corrected.

Bring everything to a boil, that is, the entire goulash pot. Then, put it on medium so that it will simmer slowly until the meat becomes soft (done) which is about 1 1/2 hours. The onions serve as a thickening agent. If the water evaporates, just add a little at a time so that the goulash doesn’t thin out.