Friday, June 26, 2009

Leif's Third Home - Kalb Army Housing Area - Fuerth, Germany - Summer 1977 to Summer 1980

In the summer of 1977, we moved from Charlottesville, Virginia to Fuerth, Germany, which is right next to Nurnberg. When we first got to Europe, we took time to travel to Norway using Eurail passes and visited cousins there. Then we spent a month living the the old Bavarian American Hotel, near the train station, while we waited for quarters on base. We finally got a three bedroom first floor apartment in a building like the one in the background of this photo. I evidently never thought it was either attractive enough or interesting enough to photograph. The building in this photo is actually the one across the huge parade field that the kids used as a playground. We had a balcony on the side facing the playground and although it was quite a ways off the ground, even on the first floor, Peter A. could lower himself off of it.

Leif had friend in the neighborhood, particularly Katie, another two-year-old in the next building. He "married" her when they were not quite three years old. The year that we lived in the Nurnberg area, we went on many Volksmarches (hikes on marked trails, for which we got medals after walking 10 kilometers; other medals were given to those who walked 20 or 30 kilometers), visited the zoo, several wonderful museums, the castle, other parts of southern Germany, and the wonderful Kristkindlmarkt by on the square with the Frauenkirche at Christmas time.

Leif went to a Montesorri preschool during that year, and it was there that his teacher said she felt he wasn't getting anything out of it because he was always off puttering around by himself, seemingly not paying any attention, but when she did an assessment, she was astonished to find out he was way ahead of the rest of the kids, could repeat things verbatim, and understood and had learned everything.

This is another place we can no longer go back to, at least not in the form it was when we lived there. In about 1994 it was one of the U.S. military areas that was returned to the German government and since then it has been changed. Many of the community facilities such as the movie theater have been torn down and the apartment buildings have been renovated. I don't know what happened to the school where Peter A. attended third grade.

I don't think Leif would have remembered this place, either, but it was a full year. This photo was taken in February 1978 when he was three years old. There is a lot of dreary, cloudy weather in Germany in the winter.

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