60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 13 August 1952:

All of us had breakfast on the house this morning. The hotel had made this offer for all of us. Our breakfast consisted of cold milk, rolls, and jam. Then we were off at 8 a.m. but we didn’t get too far. The bus was sick with a gasket or something of the sort. American Express came to our aid and we’re back in Heidelberg. We had to report back at 9 a.m. to get the good word on how long the repairs will take.

L.O. and I dashed through the quaint streets of Heidelberg looking for Haus zum Ritter which was the oldest mansion. After help from several of the natives we found it right across the street from the Holy Ghost Church. We curiously ventured to the church to see how it had been divided. We walked down to the river and then wandered back through several other churches. There was a big red sandstone building past the library known as St. Peter’s Church or Peterskirche, which had cloisters. Then we went off window shopping until 9:00 a.m.

American Express gave us news that the bus would hopefully be ready at 2 p.m. I decided to make an excursion to the top of Konigstuhl, the highest point on the mountain. We stopped at a shoe shop on the way. Alice’s purse and my sandals received a nice polish. We wandered all over searching for the funicular.

Then we climbed the dark stairs to the top of a tower. Too bad it was a hazy day. On the way down we stopped at the castle to look for Helen’s lost glasses. And we talked to a cute German guide and learned the German word for cloister which was oterskirke. We also met some Spanish women.
We stopped in the university bibliotek reading room where there were a collection of manuscripts, original charter and registration, Luther’s manuscript, Goethe writings, and papyrus. There were manuscripts from Persia, India, Greek and Arabic as well. The founder of the university was Heinrich. We caught sight of a chimney sweep on our way back. Then we had dinner at a snack bar with the rest of the mob. There was a bearded man from the day before that was here again. He doesn’t look like an American to me.

Finally, we where back at the bus at 2 p.m. and it was ready and waiting. Yea! We were finally off to Frankfurt. Kids, who were late, were charged for being late today. They were burned up cause they didn’t charge yesterday for being late.

Still we made good time to Frankfurt and arrived about 3:30 p.m. We stopped at American Express and I received a letter from Mom and a letter from Twila. Mom sent me a clipping of President McKay’s European tour report.

Next we reached Hotel Eden Am Zoo which was a new hotel built by the Marshall Plan near the zoo. My room 204 sat behind the main hotel in a separate building. It was comfortable and we each had a little card with a map of the city inside.

Alice called her cousin who then invited Alice, Betty Lou, and me out for dinner and a bath. We caught a special cab which cost 90 cents or $1 in script. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jonas and family had a beautiful apartment and a German maid. What a delicious dinner and wonderful bath! We just got finished in time to walk over to a church through a big park and Forben buildings that had been taken over by the U.S. Forces. They hadn’t been bombed in World War II. The maid accompanied us on our walk. When I looked ahead there was a nice chapel and a big crowd waiting for us to give our program.

During our program our septet got started on the wrong foot. We didn’t get our pitch, but we pulled through okay. Several numbers seemed to have a little difficulty, but all in all it turned out okay, I guess. We had to change it from the night before because there was no room on the stage for the dances. So we left them out. An extra talk by Henry was added and the Italy deal was changed to a poem instead of a song. There was a big visiting fest afterwards.

Later we visited the mission home and it was the biggest and nicest we had seen. Mrs. Cannon took us on a tour and everything was spotless. I took a quick look at the guest room where President McKay had stayed. Then we ate some homemade candy and President Cannon took us down to see the mailing room plus some other rooms. We arrived at home about midnight or thereabouts. And I couldn’t decide which bed to sleep in.

60 Years Ago Today

Tuesday, 12 August 1952:

In the morning I had jam and a roll for breakfast in the room as we got an early start for Heidelberg. Nevertheless, I succumbed to some delicious rolls in the bakery down the street. I was saving them for my 10 a.m. hunger pangs. I was privileged to sit in the front seat today.

Flowers from our program at Nuremberg were stuck in the window to adorn our bus.
There was a baseball game just before we came into Heidelberg. It was next to the big airfield that had lots of new planes. We made good time today and arrived about noon. No one seemed to know where our hotel was so we found American Express first. As Nelda and Carol met a friend from the boat I checked for mail just for kicks. No luck, no letters for me today!

All the kids were kind of scattered by the time we were ready to go to the hotel. A young pretty German girl came to guide us to our hotel. She stopped at Bahnhof to see if someone else could take us but no one was there. So she took us to our room across the river to Hotel Evangelisches Studentenheim. It was kind of a student dormitory that looked like it used to be someone’s home. Our nice clean room had a bookcase, straw tick, sheet blanket, comforter, and running cold water.

Elder Cummings and Elder Jensen Fillmore met us in a snack bar across the river and off the square for lunch. I ate stuffed peppers, salad, cottage cheese and pineapple, plus banana royal for dessert. We had spent almost all of the script we had left. L.O. had 10 cents and I had $1.20 left.

We window shopped down to Union Plaza to meet the bus. I met a German fellow, who had been a prisoner of war in El Paso. He had a dress making business in Berlin and was trying to move it to Heidelberg or America.

Dr. Watkins came puffing down. They had forgotten us so he had come back to get us. I mistakenly drank from kein trinkwasser on the way to the funicular, a cable railway. We rode the funicular up to the castle. Another guide met us at the castle gate and gave us a personal tour to catch up.

Heidelberg Castle was beautiful. There was a chapel, a large beer barrel which looked like a great big vat, and more. A flower show was going as well. I discovered many varieties of flowers such as foxtail, cockscombs and unusual flowers that I can’t remember. My guidebook has more information.

Our tour continued to the University of Heidelberg where there were once 18 fraternities. The fraternities were stopped for social reasons before the war, but were starting to resume again. It’ll be a fight to see whether they will stay. We moved onto the university library which has millions of volumes and a collection of troubadour songs.

The university was founded in 1386, refounded in 1803 and a new university building erected in 1926. Today there were 2,500 Americans here who may study through the branch of the University of Maryland. A lecture was being held in the Great Hall, so we couldn’t go in. But, I peeked through a key hole to sneak a quick look.

Since 1711 the university has been hosting concerts, lectures, and celebrations. Four paintings on the ceiling symbolized four areas that the university was founded on: law, medicine, philosophy, and Protestant Theology. Currently there were between 4,000-5,000 enrolled students. We visited what was called the Student Prison where miscreant students were kept before World War I. It had been preserved as it was with pictures the prisoners had painted all over the walls. The ceiling was written on with candle smoke.

Next on the tour was the Holy Ghost Church with high Gothic windows. It was the oldest building in Heidelberg. The church was divided with half for the Catholics and half for the Protestants. Soon after that there was a Hercules statue, story of students with green paint, and Heidelberg City Hall from the 1700’s. Some of the old houses were rebuilt with stones from the castle. Then we observed a place where in 1814, the German writer and artist, Goethe, stayed for a few months when he visited Heidelberg. Interestingly Mrs. Kate Averhohm, our guide, had written a book on philosophy.

The next stop on the tour was the Red Ox Inn, a famous old place, which had signatures carved all over the tables. Old pictures and relics added to the ambiance. They also had photos here of the Student Prison we saw at the University of Heidelberg. Then on to the monument of Robert Bunsen who discovered the bunsen burner and using spectrum analysis. As the tour came to an end we left our guide at American Express. She had been one of our best guides.

Finally, our bus hurried back to Studenttenheim for a quick freshen up before practice. We were scheduled to leave for practice at 5:45 p.m. Several kids such as Pat and Hermine were late, but there were no charges today. I guess we’re not charging for being late anymore. Yea!

At the Amerika Haus there was a big recreation room so we moved the piano down from the stage and set up seats on one end just like the bus for dress rehearsal. Girls were in capris, hats and bags. Dr. Rogers and Mrs. Hansen gave the prayer, Betty Page was the emcee. Then came the practice numbers. We sang Home on the Range followed by Guten Abend, Gut Nacht, as a septet.

There were song and dance numbers for Paris, Italy, song and dance numbers by Joyce. Mrs. Rogers did the Switzerland piece and Bev followed with a Salzburg Bavarian dance. Followed by Dr. Watkins and the chorus. It was a small crowd but they seemed to enjoy it. We sure had fun doing it.

Some of the people took us to the snack bar after and treated us to hamburgers and malts. We walked home with a serviceman from Payson who had been on a mission in Mexico. There was a beautiful half moon over the edge of the mountains with the Neckar River below. O’ Heidelberg you were really a beautiful sight at night.

Irene had the key to the room, so Alene, Carol and Lucy were locked out of their room. So we had a party in our room until Irene came home about 1 a.m. just as I was turning out the lights and putting my head on my pillow. I gazed at the beautiful moon shining through my window as I fell asleep.