Take 1948. Please. So it was the big news in 1948 that Joe Stalin blocks Berlin. Now what? American antiques legends thrill us with their exploits, win, lose or draw. Jesse James wins. For a while. The latter Sir Walter Raleigh, the little pirate and his crew both end up dead by their own side. Benjamin Franklin's son joins the British and accept a post in New Jersey while George Washington and his men lack proper shoes in the forest and not one soul comes to their aid for many long months.
No Valley Forge airlift all that long winter, while the British paid coins in the neighborhood trying to roust them out. Some times in the moments of mighty nations did the fates of now three hundred million human beings hang by such threads. So in that sense the people of Berlin in 1948 were more fortunate than the ragged soldiers huddled about a smoking fire with what rabbit and squirrel their almost out of muskets could bring to the table. Well, the log once you brush the snow off, there is always the ice to sit upon.
The men might mutter, if only we had trousers with no holes. Ah such was life in the mostly volunteer American Army. In contrast the Mongol soldier in October 1961 at the Gates to Berlin turned his impassive stare at me, and found me such amusement that the only time I saw a Mongol soldier show emotion, come to think of it, was when He motioned to his buddy who wore the same furry cap with the large red star and also carried a machine gun, as if...Hey, watch this guy crinch. I bet he will almost pisshmself. Watch.
And with a gleaming smile the Soviet Mongol soldier I will always think of Genghis turned his body slightly, but then his machine gun directly into my face, perhaps five feet away, him on the platform on the other side of the train glass. I do recall that urge to make use of a washroom became utterly urgent and yet I next I did not have permission to put my hand and ask if there was a washroom facility nearby. Nyet. I sat, my bride sat sitting over looking at this. I recall her very low soft voice saying of every window on this train they would pick you.
No words came to mind in my defense. Beside, I had no breath to reply. I may have nodded my head but it was surely an unprovocative move if I did manage that. The train made bumps, he was disappointed, lost interest, placed his machine gun back around his shoulder- they have a strap so when not in attack or defense mode they can walk freely with their hand free to handle any lesser issue, such as beating someone with the Billy club they pull out. They proceed down the walkway and we shunt and bump our way through the only north western train entry opening from Hamburg to Berlin.
As that gray dark ages fades it is like Shangri La: your new scene opens and as you pass through the Berlin Wall, 1961 Berlin was as if passing into Disney from a dark ages Dark Forest swamp. I said it is San Francisco with Volkswagons! Such positive energy! For the first time in days, at least hours my bride nodded her pretty little head at something I said. We were in West Berlin, and as we came to the end of the train station, we could see the nearby spire of that still bombed church in downtown Berlin.
That church has now been built on at the back for church services, butremains as is forever as a park, as an eternal reminder to them of the effects of attacking your neighbors. What goes around. Boy and it can come back more than twice. Take 1948 West Berlin. Please. But on the Ku Dam, their main and now very exclusive shopping street in the middle of the city not affected by the wall, was marvellous. Kurfurstendam had a sign in a travel agency window I noticed our first morning in town. Day Tours of East Berlin. Oh my goodness: my bride went white.
I was transfixed. My bride looked at me. She didn't need to say a word, although a few times she did say if I die my father will be so angry with you. He will never forgive you. I vowed I would die saving her first, but it never got that bad. Thanks for America and GI soldiers who could have been all named Joe. So in spite of all my apparent efforts otherwise, we survived our folly, showed our wimpy flag before it was created. We did not even have the Canadian flag when I think of it. Hm, we are that new on earth.
But it was there in us that red Canadian maple leaf and we did not yet have the design for years. But Joe Canuck, his hesitant and wiser bride, GI Joes saw Ivan the bear push Genghis who khan do as he wishes when he is in town. Glare 8 hours, drink vodka 8 hours, make love to your pony all the glorious night long. Are you almost finished in there, Walter? Good grief. Yes dear, be right out. Fell asleep. What again. Walter you should really see the doctor. Too many shells have gone off. Yes dear. Tomorrow. That will be another day.
Yes it will. And a much better one. And that is all the news for tonight. God bless you and good night. Walter, did you put the cat out? Yes dear. Good night. When the town crier is yawning, you know all is well, hear ye, hear ye. Time to come home, Joe.
Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure politics, wise use and mis use of power and protective love at