by Theresa Duke
We first arrived in Berlin in 1976– I want to say it was right before the Bicentennial–but it is hard to remember. The plane trip over I remember well because it was on a Pan-Am flight, and I had the entire row in the middle section of seats to actually lie down on. (Today that would be impossible).
My father had gone ahead while we finished up school at Ft Campbell. When we got to our new apartment in Berlin, Dad then showed us to our rooms. In each room on the night stand was a little welcome gift that he set up for us; I got a few comics, don’t really remember what my brother and sister got.
Now that I was going to be turning ten years old, in October of that year, I was allowed a little freedom. I learned how to ride the bus line, how to get from the PX/Commissary complex and such. Read the rest of this entry »
I hope you enjoy my Christmas Story. I once had an 8×10 autographed glossy of Tosh Togo aka Oddjob, but sold it on eBay when I needed cash…
Christmas was a time of sharing my childhood home with the lonely, the strange and the outcasts. My mother would spend days prior to Christmas Eve cooking her Hungarian specialties. Strudel dough stretched as thinly as tracing paper would be draped across the dining room table, filled with sweetened moc (poppy seed paste), then folded over again and again to be baked into a buttery, flaky loaf. Hams, dotted with cloves and pineapple rings filled our home with salivating aromas. Fresh chestnuts, scored, baked and pureed into a cognac laced soufflé. My all-time favorite, palachinka (Hungarian filled crepes) stuffed chubbily with cottage cheese, raisins, bits of lemon then smeared generously with sour cream. Incredible.
My dad was an old Army sergeant. As an entertainment promoter for Special Services, he was responsible to bring outstanding shows and celebrities to the Tokorozawa NCO club. Through his past personal experience as a trainer, he managed to expand his wide repertoire with super-star wrestlers and boxers. For several years, Zebra Kid
and Tosh Togo
sat at our Christmas table enthusiastically inhaling my mother’s culinary creations. Zebra Kid, known by his zebra striped mask which he never removed, set the mark by consuming three dozen (yes, really) palachinkas after indulging in the sumptuous spread.
An absolute family man, Tosh Togo, was always accompanied by his stunning Hawaiian wife. My two brothers and I adored Tosh for the lavish gifts he bore and the undivided attention he heaped on us. He was also the rare male visitor who did not attempt to charm our gorgeous mother. He wore an enormous silver belt buckle which declared him a world wrestling champion. He was our only dinner guest who reciprocated my parents’ hospitality by inviting our family to fantastic luaus at his extravagant home in Japan. Whole pigs were wrapped in wet burlap, covered with hot coals in a deep sand pit, left for nearly 24 hours, dug up, cut up and served to his honored guests with the traditional poi.
Circe Olson Woessner
I just received this email from Dr. Karin Pohl–
Our exhibits “Amis in Bogenhausen” and “Amis in Giesing” – both referring to Munich city districts which hosted many important American institutions and homes from 1945 to 1992 – are shown again.
When we first prepared in 2011/12 (!) for this project you were very helpful connecting us with former University of Maryland Munich Campus students. It would be great if you could share the added information about the exhibits and the side program – there will be guided tours of McGraw Kaserne including the University of Maryland, the housing areas and more. Read the rest of this entry »
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