Monday, August 22, 2011

How did I get here?? (Back to the beginning)

The year was 1957. I married this wonderful American man named Marcus. Marc was an officer and a pilot in the 37th Engineers corps stationed in Wolfgang by Hanau in Germany. I accidentally met Marc in the Officer Club doing inventory for my Father who, at the time, was the GM for the Club. I was 20 years old. That evening after I got home the Bartender called and said there were two Officers who wanted my phone number and if he could give it to them. I said no way. After that, every time I went on Post and saw Marc (at the time I did not know his name) he would wave and say hello.

Three weeks before Christmas 1956 the German Lions Club had set up sales tables in the Basketball Auditorium on Post and they needed a translator. My Father requested that I go and translate for the American soldiers, officers and enlisted men who were shopping for their families in the United States. Well, Marc asked for some help in choosing a pipe for his father, even though he spoke German quite well. I thought he was cute and had a great personality but still I was not interested.

A few weeks later, family friends invited me to dinner at the Officers Club. Our friend was trying to set me up with a date - let me call him Jon - but I said, “No. He is the kind of guy who flies from flower to flower and I have no interest in that.” Later that evening Marc walked in. Looking at him, I said to our friend, “If there is one guy I would go out with, it would be him.”

Two weeks later, our friend Mrs. Hansen had a dinner party in her home and had invited Marc. Later that evening, he requested to take me home. In front of Marc, Mrs. Hansen said to me, “Be sure he does not take advantage of you.”  Well he was so shy that I almost took advantage of him!

Marc asked me to dinner at the Officer Club in Frankfurt the next day. He was very attentive and European. (Yes there is a difference in the behavior of men.) One can say I fell in love with Marc during this evening. My Grandmother, who was visiting from East Germany, had waited up for me. I told her that I was going to marry Marcus for I knew that night he was the one.

My Father was not pleased. In Germany in those days, at least in my family, you had to introduce your date to your parents away from home, either in a Restaurant or CafĂ©.  I guess there is an exception to every rule. You guessed it: Marc showed up at our door in full uniform. I was stunned - especially since I had told him not to come to my home until it was acceptable. Needless to say, I did not ask him in. Instead, we stood in the foyer talking. He had come to ask me to go to the Globetrotters the following Friday.

Marc’s visit was during dinner and I stayed away from the table so long that my Father came to the door. You have to realize that my father was from the old school and very stern and proper. As my father stood there, I was dying a slow death and did not want to be embarrassed. For several minutes there was no conversation except for when Marc introduced himself as First Lieutenant Marcus Holland.

In the silence, my father kept looking at Marc and then at me before he said, “Why are you not asking this young man in?” I was stunned. My Father had never invited a date to our home unless he had met him first for coffee or dinner outside our home. Once everyone was seated and dinner proceeded with Marc at the table, he and my father   became fast buddies. To this day it amuses me when I think about it. The evening turned out to be fun. 

We had a whirlwind courtship and married a few months later. We married in a German Civil service and in the American Chapel in Wolfgang. Marc did not understand why I did not want to be married in a German Church. To this day, I really do not know why other than it just did not seem right. The Chapel was intimate.

(This was the very beginning of coming to America)

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