Working at Camp King Oberursel in the mid-1980s

On one of the ‘Camp King Open House’ events, I ran into Lale, whom I had met in 1998, when both our sons were at the same kindergarten. At the time of the event, she told me of her employment at Camp King in the 90s. So this is her little story about how she got the job and what working there meant for civilians.

Q: You have German and American citizenship, I assume. Was it easier getting a job in Camp King with an American passport?
 
A: Actually, I only have American citizenship, because dual citizenship for Germany and the USA was not possible then (*Lale was born on U.S. soil, so the U.S. Government does not recognize dual citizenship with Germany). When we moved to Germany, my stepfather took a job with the army in Offenbach, and that’s how we got an ID card with privileges. When he returned to the USA in 1981, we had to turn in our ID cards. We were still able to enter the the military camp as long as another soldier would sign us in. We had to present our passports, nevertheless.
 
Q: When and in what position did you work at Camp King?

 

A: I was part of the cleaning staff for the military base. My favorite place to work was the gym. I was even once nominated “Employee of the Month” (Lale added, “a thorough cleaning goes a long way”, while laughing). This award made me proud in the sense of my work being appreciated. Once I was even asked to clean the top-secret underground offices. I only cleared the bins in the company of an MP. We had to leave the building immediately after that.
I can’t quite remember how long I worked there. It was only a temporary solution until I could find permanent employment. I worked there sometime in 1984.

 

Q: During your time at Camp King in 1984, what are your most memorable moments?

 

A: Oh, the fun times we had (snickering). At the former Disco ‘La Soiree’ in the Vorstadt (today: Bärenarkaden shopping center), we used to party and sometimes went back to the base to party a little bit more. Ela’s Stübchen was also a popular spot. A lot of friendships developed during that time, some in a romantic way.
Years later, in the early 90s… there was one scary moment when I saw G.I.s walking the Camp King fence with their machine pistols. This could have been the time of the Kosovo war. The soldiers, usually always friendly, were under some stress during that time. I tried to stay away from that fence as far as possible on my way to the then nearest U-Bahn station ‘Kupferhammerweg’.
It must have been during that time that leaving camp became more restricted – no entry between 2 – 5am.
Some went out nevertheless and then we just partied till 5am, when the gates opened again.

 

Q: In those years you mentioned, 1984 to early 90s, did you live close to Camp King? Did you hear the daily reveille calls? Some German neighbors found this annoying.
 
A: Unfortunately, I can’t remember this. Our apartment was facing the Feldberg Mountain, and so it was relatively quiet. But I do remember loudspeakers all over the camp. There were also announcements made throughout the day, but I can’t remember about what.
 
Q: You had mentioned a plain building near the tennis courts? Was this a special place?
 
A: Right between the tennis courts and the motor park, there was this square building, made of cement, and I believe it housed the computer server and all the equipment. Once I had to cover my colleague’s shift and my task was to clean the bins and this had to be carried out in the presence of a civil servant.
Thanks, Lale, for sharing this with us.
Ela’s Stübchen in the Henchenstraße has been closed for a few years. I was there once, it might have been 2010, and then it was called the Schnitzel Haus by some friends.

The Naming of Alfred-Lechter-Straße in Oberursel

This is the first one in a new series of exploring street names around Oberursel. Some of our streets are named after distinguished individuals, in commemoration of that person who lived or worked in Oberursel.

The first one is Doctor Alfred Lechler. The Alfred-Lechler-Straße is located behind the campus of Frankfurt International School (FIS) and runs up into the wooded area to the Klinik Hohe Mark.

Dr.med. Alfred Lechter (1887 – 1971) was the first chief physician at the Klinik Hohe Mark (Oberursel), a clinic specializing in psychiatry, psychotherapy, and trauma therapy.

Alfred-Lechter-Straße

Places to Visit in the Alsace Region: Mittelbergheim

Riquewihr, Alsace

Riquewihr, Alsace

If you leave Oberursel (Taunus) early in the morning, you can make it to Straßbourg within two hours. From there, via bee line, it is only another 30 km to Mittelbergheim.

On LinkedIn, I found Jean Paul Krebs’s blog post Alsace Wine Route: open wine cellars in Mittelbergheim.

Thanks to his photos, plans have been made to visit the Alsace again this summer. We probably won’t be there when the wine cellars are open, but it is still worth a visit. It has been described as a charming little town, perched on a limestone hill and sheltered by vineyards.

This photo is from our last trip to the Alsace, which took us to Riquewihr in October 2014, where we had a very nice vacation rental apartment (my review).

I do not obtain any free services or products in exchange for promoting anything here. This is just to let you know about things I’ve learned that has made travel better, more comfortable, and more fun.

London in March

We stopped by Southwark Cathedral (formerly St. Saviour’s parish), where Shakespeare’s younger brother, Edmond, is buried. His burial place is marked by a ledger stone in the choir area.

Church

From the Thames River looking at the Gherkin.

London and the Gherkin

 

IMG_3195

Tower Bridge, London

Around Camden

Chalk Farm Road in Camden

Dressed for cool days in London, we came in winter clothing. We had sunny days, and after the first afternoon, we left our warm clothing in the suitcase. The young man in the photo was the reason for our visit.

On the London Bridge

Regent’s Canal in London

If you need to get away from London’s bustling streets, then a leisurely walk along the Regent’s Canal is a good counter measure. This was in late March, and spring had just turned the corner.

Regent's Canal

Regent’s Canal

Yes, we wondered who inhabits the villas perched on the other side of the canal.

Villa along Regent's Canal

 

Regent's Canal 2

 

Boat on Regent's Canal

Here we left the Regent’s Canal on the northern end. With its benches along the way, empty boats passing by, a few ducks here and there, it is quite an oasis amidst this lively city.

Regents Canal