After 150 entries in this blog, it occurs to me that we don't really know each other, Dear Reader.
Since realizing my dementia has me staring Death in the face, I thought of writing my memoirs, and since I am sharing this portion of my life with you, why not share it all?
First, a few words about my style of writing:
1. You may see some words capitalized which English grammar rules do not require
2. You may read some "slang" terms, and by that I don't mean "curse-words", I mean words which mimic the way I speak if I were actually speaking to you. For example: "wanna" for "want to". (Of course you may see the "salty" slang as well)
3. I may slip from one "person" to another (1st to 3rd for example)
4. I may use my native language (German) where I deem it appropriate. In that case, I will provide a translation for you, if the word isn't obvious ("Gesundheit" would be such a word. Literally translated, it means simply, health, and further, in Germany, it's an abbreviated way of saying "Good health to you!")
5. I will have no one but myself to proofread what I write, so all sentence structure, spelling, etc. mistakes will be my own. Since I majored in English, I will try my best to keep these to a minimum.
6. I will be honest, sometimes brutally so. John 8:32: "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
7. There will be no emoticons, nor will there be "substitute" emoticons such as *S* or *LOL*
8. My memoirs will be written as "chapters" or "installments", and will not run consecutively
9. There will be music. I am a musician, a writer and a poet and it is part of who I am. I forgot who said it, but there's an old saw which goes something like this: "I suffered for my art. Now it's your turn!"
10. And finally, there may be "edits", just in case I forget something. In that case, I will reprint that segment using the word "edited"
Before I begin, let me just state that since beginning this blog, it has been therapy, it has been painful (yes, to the point of tears, sometimes), but most of all it has been revealing, forcing me to take a long hard look at the soul which lives inside the person known as Arthur William "Bill" Craig.....
...... who was born December 31st, 1949 in Karlsruhe, Germany to an American Father, William Arthur Craig, and a German Mother, Anita Helene Kühn (pronounced "Q-en").
I was delivered by my grandfather, Robert Willi Kühn, who, I have to assume, had done this kind of thing before.
As one might surmise I was what was called an "Army Brat", and my family were "nomads", travelling all over Germany - wherever my Father was stationed, post World War II.
My earliest memories begin at age 5, living in a tiny apartment at Litzelau Strasse 26, in Knielingen, a kind of "suburb" of Karlsruhe. We lived at the end of the street with the family Kohler: Herbert, Anni and their two daughters, Ilona and Marion. To the best of my recollection, Herbert worked as a miner and Anni was a "housewife".
Herbert loved and played Fussball (soccer) and was considered a very fine Goaltender, although I am not sure if he ever played professionally with the Karlsruhe team.
Ilona, Marion and I became very close playmates, and it would be unusual indeed to see one of us without the other two.
My childhood memories are kinda "spotty" but what I do remember, I remember fondly and in great detail, so let's begin with one of my favorite memories: Christmas.
A German Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, and traditionally the family attends evening church services, and after a delicious meal (including goose) presents are exchanged.
These presents aren't delivered by Santa Claus (Der Weihnachtsmann), but by The Christ Child.
Now, you can look all over the net and do a search on that word, but suffice it to say that the Christ Child is no one but Jesus in his childhood years.
While Sankt Nikolaus ("St. Nicholas") does represent Christmas as he does here, it is the Christ Child who mysteriously brings the presents and lays them under the tree while the family is at worship.
Note: I don't really want to get into an argument with any of you about Santa, or the Christ Child, okay? Tbis is MY story told from MY point of view.
The Christmas "season" doesn't last as long in Germany as it does here in the US, and to me, that's good. If you ever get the chance to visit my homeland, I hope that you may do so during this season, because a German Christmas is truly magical, what with the colorful "Kristkindlmarkts" (literally translated as the "Christ Child Markets", but known popularly by this term to describe the little booths from which vendors sell their arts and crafts, delicious foods and my personal favorite: Glühwein (mulled wine).
So ends Chapter One.
Please remember the shelter pets! Feed 'em and vote!