Tag: Germany

  • Ein besuch in Deutschland in 1984

    Ein besuch in Deutschland in 1984

    As you read this, Margaret and I are in Köln (Cologne), Germany, in our last full day in the country of my mother’s ancestors. It’s my second visit — the first was in 1984, when the Berlin Wall still stood. I’ve been back to Berlin on this trip, and then to Nordrhein-Westfalen, the state in…

  • Returning to Germany

    Returning to Germany

    Memories of Berlin, some of them unpleasant, as I prepare to return to Germany for the first time since 1984.

  • Everyday life, half a world away

    Memories of everyday life in Germany, in the summer of 1984.

  • Keystone XR308

    A retro review: the frankly lousy Keystone XR308 110 camera, with pictures I made with mine from 1984-1986.

  • Wanted by the FBI

    A story of the time I was wanted by the FBI.

  • Captured: Inside the Olympic stadium

    Down the Road is on hiatus, returning Monday, 26 September. I’m rerunning old posts in the meantime. I spent the summer of 1984 in Germany on an exchange trip with other Hoosier high-school German students. While the trip’s purpose was to immerse us in the German language and culture, we did travel around Germany a little.…

  • Everyday life, half a world away

    I’ve written at length this week about the big things that affected me in Germany. I’ve saved the best for last: the everyday family life I enjoyed. Ulrich (OOL-rick) and Irene (ee-RAY-nuh) were my host parents, and Peter (PAY-ter) and Ulrike (ool-REE-kuh) my teenaged host brother and sister. They lived what I see now was…

  • Wanted by the FBI

    On my flight to Germany in the summer of 1984, engine trouble forced us to land in Düsseldorf rather than in Frankfurt as planned. Because Düsseldorf expected no international flights that day, nobody was working in customs. My passport went unstamped, and I waltzed into Germany uncounted. How very un-German. Several weeks later, my group…

  • It happened at the Wall

    Germany was still divided in 1984. We could not know that in five years the Cold War would end, marked dramatically on our televisions by video of East Germans spilling over the Berlin Wall and through its checkpoints. We had all seen photos of it in our history books, of course, and maybe even in…

  • Gleich aus Deutschland zurück, 30 Jahre her

    I spent my 16th summer in Germany. I was in an intensive language-immersion program through Indiana University that gave me a stunning command of the German language. I came away so fluent that even though I’ve had little call to speak German in 25 years and have forgotten a lot of vocabulary, when I encounter a native German speaker…

  • Captured: Kölner Dom

    I spent the summer of 1984 in Germany on an exchange program with other Indiana high-school students. We spent a lot of our time in intensive language instruction, but we also traveled the country. One of our trips was to Cologne, where we toured the great Cologne Cathedral. The locals call it der Kölner Dom. The cathedral…

  • Captured: You are now leaving West Berlin

    It was hard to go far in Berlin in 1984 without the Wall hemming you in or blocking your way. My tour group followed it across the heart of the city to the Brandenburg Gate, which in those days stood just inside East Berlin. The white railing was the actual border between east and west;…