60 Years Ago Today

Thursday August 7, 1952:

We were up early for breakfast for a quick jaunt around Passau. We were due to leave at 9 a.m. We took advantage of our situation for more baths. And we sure made good use of the bathroom while it was open. Mrs. Rogers brought up the rear in the bath brigade. Our room was the best one we’ve had in a long time. Then we had a continental breakfast with eggs in the hotel. It was most delicious.

Then we raced through Passau. We went down to the Danube River where we could see the three forks of the river. These three rivers were called the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz. We crossed the bridge which was being repaired, climbed up the other side, and strolled along the beautiful bank on the opposite side. We flocked down through the narrow streets where flowers were peeping out from the windows and the roads were paved with cobblestones. This was one of the oldest cities we’ve seen. It was quaint and charming.

Soon after we walked up the river to a bigger bridge farther down. It was a greater distance than we realized. Finally, I reached it and snapped some pictures from the bridge. I buzzed across it by half walking and half running past some churches on cathedral square.

We wound back and forth in search of the hotel. We stopped to inquire along the way, because we thought we might save time that way. There were little narrow streets and almost no sidewalks. Finally we sighted the EES Club and square, so we were not lost any more. Luckily just as we rounded one corner the bus emerged from around the other corner. We climbed on and the group decided we had not used up our five minute leeway so we didn’t have to pay a fine for being late.
The bus drove us back to where we had been a little while before. We looked in one of the small cathedrals and then headed up to the big Baroque cathedral that was supposed to contain the largest organ in the world. I bought two wallets for a song in a leather store on the way back to the bus. The bus wasn’t there but a man standing on the corner directed us to it.

Now we’re off to Regensburg, Germany. I napped most of the way even past Walhalla but I saw a picture of it later. We reached Hotel Gruener Kranz and we got the bags down. Unfortunately, I was one of the last ones up to my room. It had two wash basins, blue curtains, deep plush sofa, and red plush ropes as stair railings. We’re on the top floor, but thank heaven for the lift [elevator].

After settling in the room we headed for American Express. The hotel man marked the way on our map and off we went. We easily found the right buildings, but had to search for the right door. Thankfully I received a letter from mom. Carol, who was on the trail of a camera, received a letter from her friend Howard Peterson stationed here in Regensburg.

We went with an officer to make arrangements to get on the military base. He took LO, Carol and I out in his little car. It turned out that Howard was on kitchen duty in the mess office which was in town. While we waited for him to come back in order to get the afternoon off, he fed us apple pie, old milk, and showed us around the kitchen. Instead of the traditional cafeteria style the soldiers were served by German KP waiters, dining in style.

Later we stopped at the Post PX, then hopped on a GI bus with a German driver to Barstow PX, a big department store. I was so tempted to buy it out but I didn’t have any money or place to put it. LO and Carol tried to find cameras, but couldn’t find what they wanted. I settled for toothpaste, an American magazine for Alice, and a book about Amsterdam.

At the library I met one of the saints who spoke English fairly well. There were lots of books of all kinds with a nice place to read them, but she told us patrons were sparse. I enjoyed waiting with her. The saints were few in numbers here. She told us about a district conference in Regensburg the Sunday after we leave.

Ione and I jumped on a trolley to go downtown for a look at the local merchandise. We made a quick stop by the hotel to leave the letters we had picked up for Alice because Alice wasn’t feeling well. She is feeling better and we went back out for more shopping.

Along the way we saw one of the largest Gothic cathedrals and we poked our noses in to see the interior. The architecture was pure Gothic I would say. Across the street we found a good percentage of the mob gobbling up the merchandise in a little china shop. The shop carried Dresden, Brummell, and Rosenthal china. I finally succumbed to some silver ice dealies. After shopping we stopped at a post office next door to buy five air mail letters. That was one way to make sure you write letters when the costs were prepaid ahead of time. I picked up a suitcase for 12.13 marks on the way home. I hope it lasts until I get home.

We had dinner in the hotel surrounded by flowers and lamps. From the menu I decided on the goulash for a change instead of wiener schnitzel. The district president and his wife were there and we got the opportunity to meet them.

After dinner we were off to see our first German movie, Primarinnen, a love story. Thankfully we were able to understand the dialogue and the man gave us the best seats for the cheapest priced tickets. Later after everyone left the theater except a few of us, the workers cleaned the floor and sprayed the air. Just playing around the usherettes tried to lock the manager out from the front exit.

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