Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Garmisch in Spring (1976)

It seemed in the early to mid-1970s, I never lost a moment, I slept a scarce five hours a night, and only one with a makeup structure of iron cold dead sleep, and that had to settle me down, like it or not. I was always anxious, on the move, more energy than ten-beavers building dams.  I had visited Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Switzerland, while stationed in Germany between 1970, and 1976, and now Garmisch was now on my list. Garmisch-partekirchen, it was where the 1936 winter Olympics took place, a quaint little village that dated to about 1200 A.D., and during WWII, it served as a major German hospital for German troops.  In the 13th Century, it was ruled by prince-bishops of Freising; and it was next to Austria, and the highest mountains in Germany, to which was Zugspitze. 

       It was on a long weekend holiday, I stopped Cody’s reading lesson, and I had given him dimes for every page he could read without a mistake, Shawn, the other twin boy, never seemed to need assistance with his reading skills. Matter of fact, in an international test, he scored 93%, for his age level in aptitude.
       I had intentions of selling my car, but I had it fixed instead, and wanted to make one last trip while in Germany, it was early spring of 1976, and Garmisch, Germany was my selection. And so I put aside my laundry money, Cody’s reading for dimes, and filled up the gas tank in the car, a 1967, VW, dark green,   filled a leather bag with traveling clothes for the whole family a suitcase older than Methuselah, and put one item of clothes in it for each of the boys, myself, Zaneta, my youngest child born in Frankfurt Germany, a year prior and off we went: wife stock and wheelbarrow of a car.
       Garmisch was only a few hundred miles away, it was a resort area in the sierras. I had on long underwear and a dark sweatshirt, a car full of groceries. We barely made it up a few mountains to the Township of Garmisch, but by noon we had: even having a few times to push the car when it stalled, then back up those last few gradations; it appeared to me, the effort would kill the motor and we’d end up walking, but fate would not have it that way, thank God.  
       After settling in our hotel and having a meal we ended up walking the hilly countryside in Garmisch that afternoon, which was a long weekend, I think the Fourth of July.
       There was no snow on the ground, so the skiing was over for the season, and most of the hotels were half rate, and most were half empty. Shawn in one hand, Cody with a thump in his mouth, on the other side of me, we climbed the hillside. When Cody got tired of his thumb, then it fell back into my hand, Shawn’s hand never left mine, and it was as if we were two peas in a pod.
       The hills were green, and the path up the hill was of laid cobblestone,   and alongside was a wooden fence, fencing in a cow meadow.  And Cody and Shawn fit right into the countryside with the Germans, blond hair, colorful eyes, milky white skin, and strong bones, their grandfather from their mother’s side being of German stock.
       The meadow glowed, all around the boys they were luscious in the midst of this enchanting beautiful countryside.
       We had stopped alongside the fence, Cody had spotted a cow with a big bell around its neck, and I think he wanted to dingdong that bell, he had endless energy like me. I had little patience with chance things, and Cody ran under the fence to the cow and Shawn followed him, quicker than a jackrabbit, —and it scared me a bit but I let it be, and Cody jumped back, and Shawn froze in place. The cow was so huge likened to an elephant, thus came a young boy above ten years old, ran up to the boys spoke in a German dialect, I could understand some of his words, I made them out to be, “Don’t fear the cow, he’s friendly, he’s my cow…” thus again, I left well enough alone lest I  doom the moment of fun running after the boys, and bring more unease into the situation than need be, and the boy, the German lad, looked at me, and smiled, we talked some, with expressible connotations, more so  than pure language: the boys for all intent could have been a lost relative.
        The boy kind of bowed and marveled knowing that they, or we were beyond the deliberate creation of any language, and understood one another. And I expressed the underlie beauty of the landscape, and the boy beamed and ran off, and Shawn and Cody, had now, and forevermore, penetrated the German culture.

       That evening at the bar-restaurant, a fiddler and his son were singing and playing a tune, I had ordered a beer for myself, and some sandwiches for the boys, and coke, and they felt so free and connected, having cleared their mind of the day, serenely joined the fiddler with his son, and danced to the melody being played. It was delightful to see them both untroubled by the realities and grievances of adult life, this evening they had their say, and the last word was theirs.
No: 1065/5-20-2014 / Reedited 10-2016