The von Trapps arrived in America in 1938, just before war broke out in Europe. They had virtually no money and set out to make their living through performing. They spent the next 18 years on the road. Because they traveled so much, the children basically had to put their personal lives on hold. Every time they made a stop during a tour, Maria made all of the family visit a nunnery. A strong figure, Maria would not hear of any of the children leaving the family to strike out on their own, even after some married and had families. She also seemed torn between what she thought God wanted her to do and what she felt to be most important--which caused her to lash out at her family. When the Captain died on May 30, 1947, the children started to rebel. They were tired of living on the road, and they wanted to start families and settle down. All of the children eventually broke away, and the von Trapps stopped touring in 1956. The family corporation bought an old farm house in Stowe, Vermont, with everyone helping to build the home and take care of the farm. They soon found out that this was not enough to support the whole family, so while they were away on tours they rented their home to skiers. This was the beginning of the von Trapp hotel business. The love of music has continued with the younger generation. Here are some modern members of the Von Trapp family performing in Vermont (figure 1). The children here are Melanie, Sofia, Amanda, and Justin. They are the descendants of Maria and Cpt. von Trapp. Like their great grandparents and grandparents depicted in the "Sound of Music", they are very talented musicians.
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