Mainberg Castle in the 1960s

Thanks to Russell Satterthwait, a blog reader and former U.S. soldier stationed in Schweinfurt/Germany during the Cold War years, is here to share some of his memories and photos.

This is what Russell had to say:

The year of the photographs is 1965. I was wandering in the high hills between Mainberg and Schonungen with a couple of Army buddies. Like you, we were suddenly confronted by a herd of sheep, in the midst of which was a tall gaunt sheepherder attired in a slouched waterproof hat and matching shoulder to ankle oilskin slicker and shepherds crook. He murmered “Gruss Gott”, then disappeared as swiftly as he had materialized like an apparition from a nineteenth century novel.

Further along the path, I came to a stone wall with an open doorway. I stepped in and said to my buddies, “would you look at this?”. We felt we had stepped into a Grimm fairytale castle. These are the photos I took.

Castle Mainberg in 1965

The sheepherder Russell refers to comes from a recent post (December 2011) about the same topic, A Shepherd tending his Flock. It is quite amazing to drive through this area of Germany and see this relic from the past.

The Outhouse, a Relic from the Sixties

This outhouse, sitting in the court yard of my parents’ old house, caught my eye the other day. I had been sitting across from it, on the stairs leading to the house door, when I noticed a beautiful spider web in its window.

This tiny window had served as a vent, but was never of much use anyway. Main street  farms were built in the shape of a horseshoe, therefore not much wind would be coming through. Usually one lacked privacy anyway as  one had hundreds of flies buzzing by for company. We had no toilet paper then and had to use newspaper. Then came in-door plumbing in 1963 and a proper flush toilet was installed inside our home. But with nine people sharing one toilet, the older family members occasionally still used the outhouse at times, during all four seasons.

Outhouse on a German farm

spider heaven

It has been said 80% of the world’s population still lives in such substandard housing conditions.