Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kentucky Morn'

A morning photo from the back deck of my mother in law's house in Campbellsville, KY.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vacations At The Platterhoff Hotel - Garmisch Germany

As a military brat (read dependent of career military man) I was very fortunate to travel a lot. Most of my childhood until age 11 was spent in Italy and Germany. We did a lot of traveling and one of our more common destinations was Garmisch and Berchtesgarden in the Bavarian Alps. The U.S. military had several places that had been converted into hotels for both officers and enlisted men and their families. One of those places was the Platterhoff Hotel later renamed the General Walker Hotel in the mountains of Obersalzberg.

This one time retreat of the Nazi elite had survived WWII although heavily damaged in bombing raid. The area was eventually rebuilt and in the late 50's through the late 90's and served as an R and R stop off for American troops and their families.

As a kid the place was both great and eerie at the same time. Wide open views of the German Alps were seen from virtually every spot in the hotel. But at the same time the hotel sat under the shadow of the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's mountain hideway. Walking down the long corridors with antlers mounted the entire length definitely gave the place an old world "huntsman" feel. At night you could sit on the terrace and see lightening off in the distance. Looking down over the ledge were the ruins of the SS barracks.

One of my memories is of an old Bavarian zither player in the restaurant who would sit a full large bottle of beer on his head and play his zither while rocking back and forth. Why that has stuck in my head after all these years is beyond me. I have found a few photos online of the Platterhoff Hotel which are included here. They came from www.USArmyGermany.com and www.ThirdReichRuins.com

I will have to dig deep in our footlocker of memories and see what I can find to scan in and show here.





Listening To

My favorite all time song just came on. You will probably think I am crazy but the song is also the soundtrack for my favorite movie. Lulu is singing "To Sir With Love"

This song brings back some very very serious memories of my childhood living in Italy and Germany.

Monday, July 14, 2008

When Air Travel Had Class

What has happened to air travel? What I really mean to say is what has happened to air travelers? Putting aside all the added security procedures at airports, I wonder what has happened to the experience of traveling by airline.

I remember as a child flying from New York to Milan on a TWA 707 - To this day, almost 45 years later I can remember the people dressed in suits and ties and dresses. Men and women dressed up when they took to the skies. It was a special event. I suppose air travel has become so commonplace that we take for granted. I recently took a trip to Las Vegas and on the return trip I sat behind a young man in sweat pants, flip flots and a t-shirt. It just didn't seem right. It seems like more and more when you look around the airport you see people who looked like they just rolled out of bed.

How about an "air travel dress code"? Men in suites and tie. Women in dresses with pearl necklace and white gloves. HHHMMmmmmmmmmmmm I know I know. Just dreaming.

In my opinion TWA was the pinnacle of class in air travel.




Listening To

Listening to SKYFM on WinAmp Oldies 50's 60's and 70's

Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks. Brings back some serious high school memories.....