The final six weeks of Dad’s fellowship took us over more mileage than any preceding similar period according to Dad’s notes. We traveled a total of 12,000 miles in the Volkswagen bug—camping through Germany, then south to Italy, on to Spain, France, Geneva, Brussels, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and …I know I’m missing a few things.
The truth is, I want to get through Dad’s fellowship so the total trip will be included in the 40 years of stories that I give to him on his birthday this Sunday. He has been asking for months, “When are we going to finish the fellowship…?!”
Brussels deserves a special mention on at least two counts. For one, the World’s Fair was there in ’58. Dad said John became part of an exhibit when he got tired of carrying him while watching a contemporary furniture exhibit. No sooner had he laid him down to rest when he heard voices muttering, “Look at those Americans.They put a live child in their exhibit!”
And secondly regarding Brussels, we lost Ed.
Dad said he gave us all clear instructions, “Now you kids stay with us. If we lose you in the World’s Fair, we’ll never find you!” Within the first hour, Ed was missing. Apparently, we were walking along a boulevard that curved. Ed followed the curve while the rest of us went straight. Pretty soon someone was saying, “Where’s Eddie?”
Not with us.
Mom and Dad did find him two hours later.
Ed’s story was that first a man with banana peels found him, (a litter clean-up man) and he took him to a policeman who only spoke French.
“Of course it may have been any other language but to Eddie it was French,” Dad said.
Ed’s story continued on. A man came along who spoke English and told him to go with the French speaking policeman.
“We finally found out where we should go to find a lost child,” Dad said, “when we heard an announcement over the loud-speaker—in four different languages—that all parents with lost children should report to such and such a place. So that’s where we went and there we found Eddie with a toy in each hand, three stewardesses trying to comfort him.
“They said they’d never find me if I got lost!” He was crying to them with big tears in his eyes.
Well, we did find him and then it was on to Amsterdam, Holland where there were windmills and wooden shoes.
My wooden shoes were red. I loved the color but I still remember sliding my feet into those hard things…the rub against the bone on my arch, but also the wonderful tapping sound they made on the streets.
They were great for walking on the cobbled streets and also served well as toy shovels in the dirt.
They were magical wooden shoes.
So many rich stories within this one story. I’m eager to read more.
I so look forward to your stories great writing so enjoyable, Wish dad a a Very Happy Birthday.
Joyce, your table cloth story-stitching tradition blew me away. I couldn’t seem to find a way to comment on the post. I cannot imagine what it’s like to unfold that precious work of art each year. Must take your breath away. It did mine. Simply Lovely!
I will JoAnn! Thanks for your encouragement. Means so much to me!
happy early birthday to your dad
Awww Sophoxymoria, I will! !