Tag Archives: Germany

Random Memories of Germany-Aerobics Part 1

9 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

In thinking back to our times in Germany, I am reminded of the years that I taught aerobic dancing.  I have written about this previously, but there are some small details that I didn’t mention.

For instance, we had not been in Heidelberg for very long, when we attended a party for the Weather Wing (my husband Fred, was a meteorologist), and we were introduced to the men and women Fred would be working with there.  One of the wives mentioned that she was going to be attending a new aerobic class in her housing building the next week.  Well, always being interested in exercise, that peaked my interest.  When I asked if there was room for “one more” in the class, she said, “come on!”

I had heard of the Jackie Sorensen® program of exercise – aerobic dancing – literally days before we left the States for Europe.  So when I went to the first class, that was the aerobic dancing program Joanne was teaching.  I had never done any dancing in my life, but was intrigued by the concept of “dancing” as a form of exercise.  I fell in love with the class!  I am a fairly coordinated person, so I took to the steps right away.

After dancing with the group for a few months, Joanne said she needed a partner, as she couldn’t handle all the classes that people wanted.  She chose me to be her partner.  

And so, we set out to make our program as good as possible, naming it “Heidelberg Aerobic Dancing.”  This was our color and logo.

The classes were held either on the military base itself, or in the space above some of the housing units.  For example, we lived on the third floor, and the “space” above our apartment was just empty space.  At one time, I held a small group of classes in that space.  Since it was above our unit, we were disturbing no one else in the building.  I usually held my classes either in the gym, or in the ballroom of what they called “the Casino”…essentially the Officer’s Club on the base.  That particular class had about 50 women in it – we danced most of the dances in a double circle.  It was an evening class, and I actually think I enjoyed that class the most – the women had to face each other and get acquainted.  And usually the women who attend this class were those who worked during the day, and this was their way to get some exercise as well as let off some stress.  It was loads of fun. 

The classes I held in the gym were three days each week.  The man who managed the gym reserved that time for us, and would sit and watch us dance.  He said it was amazing to watch the new-comers learn the steps and eventually we were all doing the same steps at the same time.  The classes in the Casino were only two nights each week.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Figures

28 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I am re-blogging this piece, as it is a wonderful memory we have of Germany.

…There were several things that interested us while we were in Germany.  All those years before that we lived in Wiesbaden (1967-1970) , we had never heard of the Kaiser company (founded 1872..became Kaiser in 1928) that produced porcelain figurines.  But when we arrived in Heidelberg (1980-1983), that was the rage – to have some figurines by Kaiser.  We found several that we liked and purchased them for ourselves.  And some we purchased for our family.  For instance, my Aunt Jessie loved dogs, and especially poodles.  So we purchased this poodle for her.  Following her death, I reclaimed it.

And this little Scottie just took my fancy – he’s got such a happy expression, don’t you think?

These dolphins reached out to me, so I purchased them.  Kaiser has several different versions of the dolphins.  I liked the two set best.  Some were glazed (shiny) but I liked the unglazed better.

I think this squirrel is quite the cutie.

But this little bunny rabbit looks so much like Thumper from the Disney movie Bambi®, that I had to have him in my collection!  He’s adorable!!

We have a couple of nudies that appealed to us, and here they are.

I don’t have pictures of them, but my Aunt Jessie had several Kaiser figurines of gymnasts.  Our Janet has them now, as she was quite interested in being a gymnast herself.  They are quite delicate and beautiful.

Our Karen has a Mother and Child figurine, and a running horse with her colt – all made by Kaiser.  Here they are in a picture of them on her fireplace mantle.

As you can see, all of those Kaiser figurines are white bisque.  While we saw many of the same figurines that had been painted, for some reason, I liked the plain white much better.  However, there was one figurine that we purchased that couldn’t be anything but painted.  It is so delicate and beautiful, and we treasure it.

Another type of figurine that caught our attention was those made by Lladro (Spanish pronunciation – yah’ – drow).  Many of their “human” figurines are rather grotesquely elongated – definitely not proportioned, and did not appeal to us at all.  However, the figurines they made of animals were something that did appeal to us.  My family purchased them for me and gave them to me as Christmas presents two different years.  I enjoy them so much, and am thankful to have them.  They were rather expensive, even in Germany.

One other figurine type we purchased when we were in Wiesbaden, and have enjoyed them all these years.  They are Dresden “musical angels,” with each one having a different musical instrument.  Two seem to be the same, but after looking closely, you will see that one is praying for her sister instrumentalists (far right – hands closer together), while the other one is directing the music (far left – hands more apart).  I have treasured these figurines for over 40 years.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Heidelberg-2

4 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

We so thoroughly enjoyed our tours of duty in Germany.  First those three years in Wiesbaden, and then, 10 years later, those three years in Heidelberg.

Being the wife of a U.S. Air Force officer, I became a member of the OWC – Officer’s Wives Club.  That may sound rather “exclusive,” but we did a lot of good things for the entire military community.  As just one “for instance” – the OWC held a Christmas Bazaar every year.  It wasn’t just for crafts that the wives had worked – although there was that, as well.  But a lot of the international vendors presented their wares at these events, as well.  We were able to purchase many things for ourselves that we enjoy even to this day.

But the monies that were made for the OWC during the bazaar was used for many different projects.  In one instance, I remember the OWC in Wiesbaden was able to present three $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school students.  The NCOWC (Non-Commissioned Officers Wives Club) presented scholarships, as well.  That’s just one project.  And I was fortunate enough to be the one presenting the scholarships one year.

I don’t have a picture of the bazaar in Wiesbaden, but here is a picture of the one that was held in 1982 in Heidelberg.  It was held in the ballroom of the Officers Club, as it was the largest room in that building.  As I recall, it was held for about a week – with a weekend on each end.  It was usually a great success.  The entire military community was invited to attend and shop.

The bazaar in Wiesbaden was held in the General Von Steuben (pronounced fon shtoyben) Hotel.  It was a very up-scale hotel in Wiesbaden, and run by the U.S. miltary at that time.  I remember us eating in the restaurant many times.  And the OWC Bazaar was held there in the ballroom of the hotel.

Credit Google Search – The General Von Steuben Hotel, Wiesbaden

I do remember we purchased the first of our three wood-inlay pictures at the Wiesbaden Bazaar.  We thought the price was high ($33 as I remember), so only purchased the one.

In later years we wished we had purchased more pictures, as when we went to purchase the other two we have, while in Heidelberg, the price was considerably more!  But we purchased them anyway.

The artist of the wood-inlay pictures – we only know his initials, B.G. – had a workshop in Heidelberg, which we visited.  While the artist had already died, we were told that he had cut enough jigsaw pieces to make pictures for five years following his death.  WOW!  There was a journeyman the artist had trained to put the pictures together.

I’m not sure just what else we purchased at the Bazaar, but I do know that we purchased our hanging-wall clock there.  It was just the “right” shape and size, and had a really nice chime to it – it was the Westminster chime, better known as the “blind-man’s chime.” 

 It hung on a wall in every house we lived in from 1970 until we moved into this house in 1999.  It just gave up-the-ghost then (quit working), and we had to purchase another clock.  When we lived in Panama City, Florida during the late 1970’s, we had a clock shop there ship the inner workings to Germany for repair, and it worked for a long time after that.  I really enjoyed that clock, and was sorry to have to retire it.

1974 – San Antonio, Texas – Fred and Janet – clock on the wall

1974 – Tyndall AFB, Panama City, Florida – Karen, Janet, Charles Wills clock on the wall behind them

I do remember purchasing some brass Christmas tree ornaments at the Bazaar, that came from the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas store in Rothenburg, Germany.  Every time we were able to visit Rothenburg, we managed to stop by that store and purchase other ornaments.  

I caught Fred in this picture

Such fond memories.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Part 6

12 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Fred and I tried to be good Americans – not the “ugly” Americans that are portrayed so often.  To do so, we took German language lessons before we left the States, and studied some after we arrived in Germany.

I remember taking classes after we settled in our apartment in Heidelberg. 

Part of Mark Twain Village – across the courtyard from our building

One of the last days of classes, we had to partner up with another student, go downtown Heidelberg, stop a German on the street and ask questions/directions in German and get an answer from them.  That was a rather intimidating thought to me, but my partner and I did it.  We would stop someone on the street with “Entschuldigen (Excuse me).  While we then began our questions, the person we stopped usually had a stern look on their face, which nearly made me stop.  However!….as soon as the question was asked, their face cleared, and they answered our questions eagerly and with friendliness.  It never felt like we had interrupted their day.  That was amazing to me!    

Heidelberg Castle, gate and town from the Neckar River

I mentioned in previous posts that we were occasionally mistaken as German by the Germans (i.e., please see my post of March 20, 2016 – The Cruise of a Lifetime, Part 6 continued).  That was always fun.  And that brings me to a time when we were walking from our apartment on Römerstrasse to our church, when a car pulled up beside us and stopped.  In German the people in the car asked for directions to Leimen – a town just a few miles south of Heidelberg.  Well I did my usual “ich habe nur ein bischen Deutch” (I only know a little German),and as I turned to Fred to ask about how far it was, someone in the backseat spoke up with “I speak English.”  But then, being good Americans, I still answered in my best German – that it was straight ahead perhaps 10 kilometers (geradeaus vielleicht zehn kilometers).  They thanked us – in German, with smiles on their faces – and off they went.  

Römerstrasse – the street near our apartment building – where we walked

While in Heidelberg, I found a set of china/porcelain that I wanted.  It is made by Goebel, the same company that makes Hummel figurines and plates.

The pattern I liked is called “Burgund.” 

There was a store in Heidelberg that carried the entire pattern, and I purchased my set from them.  When I got home with it, and compared what I had to what I had paid for, I realized that they hadn’t charged me for 12 saucers.

Again, wanting to be good Americans, I went back to the store with the receipt to explain.  Well, between my halting German and their halting English, it took some doing to make them understand that I had under-paid them!  They thought I was saying I had over-paid for something!  When it was finally clear that I was in the wrong – and was there to make payment – they were astounded!  And as a thank-you, they gave me a set of salt and pepper shakers in that pattern!!

 WOW!  It really does pay to be nice!  I just wanted them to know that not all Americans are “ugly” Americans.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Part 2

7 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Last time, I wrote about the pathway between our housing area (Mark Twain Village or MTV) and Patton Barracks in Heidelberg. 

It was a shortcut between the facilities, and one we could walk easily.  We were able to experience a lot of God’s good earth along that pathway.  We saw the garden platz that the Germans used to grow their own vegetables.  But the blackberry bushes were our favorites.  And the berries were free to any and all who would or could pick the berries.  Yummmm!

Credit Google Search and Pixabay

We also enjoyed the pizza that was made at the pizza parlor on Patton Barracks.  And it was a favorite of most of the military there – of any and all ranks!

But I have another memory of that pathway.  It started with us arriving in Germany and getting into temporary housing.  We were there several weeks in that glorified hotel room, and had to eat either in the restaurant downstairs, or on the economy (military speak for the civilian population).

One of the first things we did was to locate a church for us to attend.  Of course there was the base Chapel, but that really didn’t suit us, even though Fred’s father had been a Chaplain in the Air Force most of his career.  (I say most, because he was a Chaplain in the Army during World War 2, before the Air Force became the Air Force)

In finding the church, we found it was meeting in the church building that was owned by a German Baptist congregation. 

The church we met in

 It was within walking distance of MTV, and so when we moved in there, we walked most Sundays to the church.  However, the German congregation met during what we considered our Sunday School time, so our Sunday School met in an English Institute which was a school that taught English as a second language to Germans. It was not far from the church facility.  And then, following Sunday School time, we would all go over the few blocks to the German church building and have our worship service.

All that to say that we found the pastor of that church had been there for his three year term, and had already resigned and was ready to head back stateside.  In the few weeks we were in the church, I got to know the pastor’s wife fairly well.  She was telling me that one time she was doing her jogging along the pathway between MTV and Patton Barracks when a German teenager came upon her with his bicycle.  He began to ride behind her, as if chasing her.  She said she finally turned around to him and said “geh weg!! (go away!)”  At that point, he stopped chasing her.

Well, I thought it was funny.  I told it to Fred, and we devised a skit to retell the story during a “roast” the church had for the pastor and his family before they left Germany.  I had on a pair of shorts under my skirt, and we fashioned a set of “handlebars” for Fred, complete with a sign saying “bicycle,” and when the time came for our skit, I took off my skirt, jumped up, Fred took up his handlebars and began chasing me around the room.  We went on for a few minutes, and then I told him to go away!  

Looking back – it was a fun memory.  We haven’t kept up with that pastor and his wife.  However, the pastor that followed became our oldest daughter’s father-in-law, so we have kept up with them.  But that’s for another story.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany

31 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I have already written several posts about our time in Germany.  But recently my husband, Fred, and I have mentioned to each other some events or incidents that happened while we were there.  They were fun memories, and I would like to pass them along to you.  Perhaps you have experienced something similar in your lifetime.

As we were eating our strawberry/blueberry combination one morning, Fred mentioned he had seen a strawberry/blackberry combination.  Telling him that it sounded good, but I really dislike the blackberry seeds in my teeth, he asked if it was blackberry bushes we saw walking along a path from our housing area to another while in Heidelberg.

Heidelberg castle from the Korn Markt

You see, there was a “short cut” from our area (Mark Twain Village)

Part of Mark Twain Village – across the courtyard from our building to Patton Barracks, and it wove through an area of garden platz.  While most of the gardens within the platz were fenced in, the pathway itself was not.  And those blackberry bushes were there for anyone to enjoy.  

And we did enjoy them.  We would pick some of the berries and bring them home.  I remember making jam out of them, but the seeds just made it uncomfortable to eat – at least for me.  I think I even made a pie from them, but the same situation.  We have found some jelly made here in the States that is blackberry, but the seeds have been strained out.  Much better!!

Blackberry, Berries, Fruit, Bush

Credit Google Search and Pixabay

I remember once, when our girls and I were walking along that path, and Janet was trying to reach some of the berries that were back (obviously someone had picked the ones up close to the path), and while trying to help her reach those distant berries, I accidentally pushed her into the bushes!  And, unfortunately, she came home with a few scratches from that!  Not a good move on Mom’s part!

Credit Google Search and Pixabay

One of the reasons we liked to walk the path to Patton Barracks was that one of the eateries on Patton Barracks was a pizza parlor.  And they made the BEST pizza!  We would frequently call ahead, so that our pizza would be ready for us when we arrived.  So we could just sit down and eat it.

Pizza, Food, Takeout, Box, Pepperoni

Credit Google Search and Pixabay

Do you remember the TV series “Dallas?”

DallasLogo.jpg

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

 We didn’t watch it, by the way.  However, one season-ending cliff-hanger was with J. R. Ewing getting shot.

Larry Hagman as JR.jpg

J. R. Ewing, portayed by Larry Hagman – Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia, that wasn’t resolved until the fourth episode in the next season, November 21, 1980.  There was a lot of hype about it, even with the catch-phrase “who shot J. R.” and it seemed like the entire world was eager to see who did it.  As it turned out, that particular night, the pizza parlor was having a special – come order a pizza and watch that episode.  Well, since we weren’t big fans of “Dallas” we didn’t realize all that was going on, and we ordered a pizza!  After walking along the garden platz path, and arriving at Patton Barracks, we discovered the place was packed with people!  When I went up to the counter to get our pizza, they told me I would have to wait in line – and it was a LONG line!  And then, when we finally made our way to the counter through the line, they then told me we should have come up to get the pizza, as it was ready!  Talk about being frustrated!  I think we even just took the pizza home – it was too crowded to eat there.

Looking back – it was a fun and funny memory.

More on the path from Mark Twain Village to Patton Barracks next time.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

\

Treasures from Germany~Part 7

11 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

In this final Treasures from Germany series, I want to share some precious items we found in Germany. Once again, as with the Kaiser porcelain, we had not heard of Swarovski crystal until we returned to Germany for our second tour of duty there (1980-1983). We were enthralled with the beauty of it! And while each piece was relatively inexpensive at our U.S. base exchange, we found them to be almost half price at the Canadian exchange in Baden Solingen. We happened to be there once with Fred’s parents, and our daughters, and I had to borrow some Deutchmarks from my Father-in-law in order to purchase the ones I wanted. And I did pay him back!

I actually purchased some for myself, as well as duplicates for our girls, so they each have a set of their own. I suppose they can distribute ours to our grandchildren, when the time comes.

1

 

2

 

I found some lotus blossom candle holders that I really like, but I can’t use U.S. candles in them. They are made for European candles, which are thinner-based. So they sit on a shelf and look pretty. That’s okay with me.

 

3

 

When we were in Germany, we traveled quite a bit. One of the places we went, was Innsbruck, Austria. The Swarovski factory is there, and we thought to pick up some “seconds.” However, when we asked about “seconds,” the saleslady informed us that they had NO “seconds.” If there is a flaw in the product, they just re-fire it and make something new. Well, shucks! That really put a damper on our outing!

Fred’s parents came to visit us in Germany each year we were there. During our first tour, Fred’s Dad was involved with the gathering of Baptists in Bertchgarden, in Bavaria, and we joined them there. We all stayed in the General Walker Hotel at the top of a small mountain at the end of a steep drive. The large facility was delightful (formerly used by the Nazi’s – named the Platterhof). There were restaurants and shops within the main building.

 

4

Credit Google search

 

Fred’s mother found this beautiful crystal three-sided obelisk. Each side has a different Christian symbol carved on it. Here they are:

 

Of course, I was taken with the obelisk as well, and purchased one for myself. When Fred’s mother died, I inherited her obelisk, which I have given to one of our daughters. When I die, the other daughter will get mine. I think it’s beautiful.

While we probably have many other “treasures” from Germany, these that I have shared with you are the ones most prominent in our memory. I hope you have enjoyed our journey. It was been a pleasure for me to see these treasures through new eyes, and has brought back the memory of acquiring each one.

God has been so gracious to us allowing us to live in that wonderful country for a total of six years. It was a terrific experience, and one I never dreamed I would have. God is good.

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected

if it is received with thanksgiving,

 

1 Timothy 4:4

 

Treasures From Germany~Part 5

27 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

In previous postings, I mentioned that one of our very favorite cities in Germany to visit was Rothenburg. It is a walled city, that has existed by name since 1170 A.D. While we didn’t know all the Nazi history of Rothenburg, we still loved the city. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

In March 1945 in World War II, German soldiers were stationed in Rothenburg to defend it. On March 31, bombs were dropped over Rothenburg by 16 planes, killing 37 people and destroying 306 houses, six public buildings, nine watchtowers, and over 2,000 feet (610 m) of the wall. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy knew about the historic importance and beauty of Rothenburg, so he ordered US Army General Jacob L. Devers not to use artillery in taking Rothenburg. Battalion commander Frank Burke (Medal of Honor) ordered six soldiers of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division to march into Rothenburg on a three-hour mission and negotiate the surrender of the town….When stopped by a German soldier, Private Lichey, who spoke fluent German and served as the group’s translator, held up a white flag and explained, “We are representatives of our division commander. We bring you his offer to spare the city of Rothenburg from shelling and bombing if you agree not to defend it. We have been given three hours to get this message to you. If we haven’t returned to our lines by 1800 hours, the town will be bombed and shelled to the ground.” The local military commander Major Thömmes gave up the town, ignoring the order of Hitler for all towns to fight to the end and thereby saving it from total destruction by artillery. American troops of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division occupied the town on April 17, 1945, and in November 1948, McCloy was named Honorable Protectorate of Rothenburg. After the war, the residents of the city quickly repaired the bombing damage. Donations for the rebuilding were received from all over the world. The rebuilt walls feature commemorative bricks with donor names. Traffic-reducing measures were put in place in a significant portion of Rothenburg to increase safety and accommodate tourism.

Since our days in Wiesbaden (1967-1970), we had visited Rothenburg, and collected etchings that we liked, and had them framed. Here are some of them.

 

1

 

 

2

 

Here are some recent pictures of Rothenburg that we enjoy:

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Treasures From Germany~Part 2

30 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Another musing about our time in Germany. We had such a great time, and enjoyed just everything there. The food was one of the best things! We never had a bad meal, even if we stopped at a Gasthaus in a small town we were traveling through. I remember we went to sight-see in one town, but when it came time to eat, we left the town and went to a Gasthaus in a smaller town down the road.

 

1

The Schwartzer Adler Gasthaus – Courtesy Google search

 

Our girls didn’t understand our reasoning, until I explained to them:   If the food in the larger, tourist town isn’t too good, well, the patrons are just tourists and won’t be back. However, if the food in the Gasthaus, which is patronized by the locals, isn’t good, then the local people won’t be back, and the Gasthaus will close down. So the food has to be good. And it was VERY good!

We had several favorite restaurants within both Wiesbaden and Heidelberg that we frequented. I’m told that our very favorite in Heidelberg is no longer an eatery – it is now a bank! Noooooo! Unfortunately, we haven’t been back to see it ourselves, but our Karen and her husband, Brian, have, and gave us the bad news. Shucks!

Here are some of the treasures we picked up while in Germany. I’m not sure I remember where I purchased this candle, but I have enjoyed it for many years. While it is a candle, and “decorated with grapes and vines,” it is also painted with silver. Most unique.

 

2

 

When we lived in Wiesbaden, our first apartment was on Albrecht Dürerstrasse (Albrecht Dürer Street). When we found this etching of the “Praying Hands” – and since we knew the story behind the hands, we purchased it. It hangs on a short wall in our entryway, along with a scripture verse, and reminds us of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

3

 

Here’s an abbreviated version of the “Praying Hands:”

Albrecht Dürer was one of 18 children. He and his brother both wanted to be artists, but knew their father couldn’t pay for their studies. They flipped a coin – the winner would go to art school, the loser would work in the mines to support the winner. Albrecht won. His work at the academy was an immediate sensation. Albert worked the mines for four years to support Albrecht.

 Following his return to Nürnberg, and a festive dinner, Albrecht raised a toast to his brother and said that, now it was Albert’s turn to study. With tears in his eyes, Albert showed his hands that had been so damaged working in the mines, that he was unable to even hold a paint brush, and so unable to study art. It was “too late” for him.

 Tradition has it that Albrecht’s drawing of the “Praying Hands” are those of his beloved brother in prayer.

There are other versions of this story, but this one touches my heart.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

The Door

13 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

Many years ago, I came upon something my Father had saved. It was an “etching” of an ancient doorway, with lantern overhead to light the way. There was a description attached to it, explaining where and what the door was all about. Somehow, I have misplaced that etching – every once in a while I come across it, but can’t seem to find it when I’m looking for it.

As I recall, that door was somewhere in the ruins of an English castle or cathedral. However, Fred and I have found another “door” that reminds us of that original one from Daddy. We just happened upon it while we were visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany many years ago.

2

 

That is one of our favorite places to visit, and we did it often while living in Germany. It is an old, medieval town, and is a walled city. One can still walk along the covered walkway at the top of the wall.

3

 

It was built in the 1100’s. Fascinating! Any time we had visitors, we always took them to Rothenburg. Such fun!

I’m not exactly sure what there is about that door that is special to us, but we enjoy it so much. It’s tucked back, almost in an alleyway, and is rather easy to miss, unless you are looking for it.

Recently, Fred and I took a 15-day Viking River Cruise (more on that later). One of the stops we made had an excursion – a bus ride to Rothenburg! We’ve never had a guided tour before – usually we just looked around on our own. So we found out some things about Rothenburg we didn’t know. But as we followed along with our guide, we came upon “the door” again, and were so pleased to find it. We had intended to try to find it on our own again, but there it was!

4

One of our favorite Christmas gifts from our daughters, are calendars for the next year, with pictures of castles or of Germany. So might imagine our delight when we turned the calendar page to December on one calendar and…..there was “The Door!” Of course the professional picture is better than ours, and we thoroughly enjoy the fact that someone else likes this door as much as we do.

5

 

Beautiful, isn’t it?

%d bloggers like this: