Sunday, June 14, 2009

Who Are You? Chapter 4:"More High Jinx"

There was very little "continuity" in my young life.

I had a "here and gone again" Dad, and a mother who did the best she could to raise me though she was very ill (anemic) much of the time.

Let me write as much as I know about my Mom, so you can get to know her better too, okay, because to know me you are going to need to know her, since she and I were pretty much alone and inseparable during those years.

At age 14 Anita ran away from home along with her sister Johanna. These were the WWII years and they ran from East to West Germany, where they both went to work in a munitions factory making bombs.

Why did they run away from home? They were two of 10 children born to Willi and Helene Kühn (pronounce it "Q-en", 'cause you can't make that fluted noise which produces the ü umlaut) and my German grandfather ("Opa") was a tyrant who stayed drunk when he wasn't working in the coal mines of Zeitz, East Germany.

I found out in my adult years that my Opa Willi also escaped to the West, but not for the same reasons that my Mom and her sister did. He escaped because he was about to be arrested for brutally beating one of my aunts, Renate ("Re-nah-tuh"). The "story" which was told me, was that my Oma and Opa were separated by the Berlin Wall, and it wasn't until I was 45 that I found out otherwise.

So, I'll take you quickly back to Chapter 3 during which time I lived with my Oma, and there was no Opa - and that is why: he had hit the "dusty trail", the coward.

Here's my Opa. He is in uniform because even though they were civilians, miners were treated as military:

Follow me closely now, dear Reader, because you and I are about to enter some very murky and fog-surrounded water. That means what I remember is going to come in "fits and starts", as it were, but I will do my best to guide you through.

You should also know (as do I) that we are "out of sequence" and that you're walking though a "rough draft" with me. That can't be helped, unfortunately, because I never know from one day to the next what I will remember. I suppose this will all be re-structured later.....

World War II ended officially on August 8th, 1945, which means Anita and Johanna were in the West at that time, since I was born 4 years later, and that means she met my Dad sometime during those years. It also means she was 25 years of age when she had me. My dad was 32.

One of my prize possessions is a letter Anita wrote to her future mother and father in law about her "Billy" (as she called him in those days), how much she loved him and how much she looked forward to living in "Amerika" and raising a family.

That letter is in my safe deposit box as I write this, but I am going to scan and share a part of it with you, Dear Reader, stay tuned.

Not so much for what the the words say, but how they were written!
My mother had exquisite penmanship, and it is very evident in her style of writing. It must have taken her hours to write that letter to the "Promised Land".

She, too, was very creative with her words and her imagination, and I know she passed that trait on to me.

This is a picture of my Mother at 18.......

And here's my aunt Johanna, holding yours truly:

Here's the beautiful Christa (known by all her devotees as "Die Schwartze Rose" (Dee Schwart-tsah Rosah - "The Black Rose") whose escapades were mentioned in Chapter 3.

And here's my Dad:


Are you getting the notion that the cute little bundle Johanna is holding would in just a few short years turn into a beggar, a thief and a pimp?

You'd be right, and we might as well add one more name to the list: Bastard.

Yes, I was born "out of wedlock" as were many children during those post-war years.

I will write more about this in a later chapter, but I remembered being quite indignant at not being invited to my parent's wedding!

I suspect once you finish with this chronicle, you, Dear Reader, are going to say to yourself, "Well, shit! No wonder he turned out like this!"

And I suspect you'd be right.

Here's a tune I remembered being played a lot in those days. Kinda fits, dont you think?

And I'm still "pimpin'" fer the critters! Remembet to click to feed and then click to vote (enter Paulding Humane in the recipients' box, Georgia as the state, and then vote. Gotta write that animal's name in the box to confirm as well, okay?

The Animal Rescue Site

Thanks and have a great week!


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