A good Saturday morning to everyone.

It’s been three days straight. Morning, noon, and evening the barrage continued. In front of green screens each news station parked their weather-weenie of the hour.

The snow storm of the century was on its way. Zinzinnati was abuzz.

Finally Marcia too bought into the hype and dashed off to the grocery store. All the carts were in use. The place was packed and even a fire brigade was loading up on bread and milk.

Marcia bought some soy-milk and a little plastic box of raspberries. One can never have enough of the basics.

Then the snows came; probably an inch, maybe an inch and a half.

The treated streets remained glistening black. The yellow glow of our sulfur street lights made the snow covered grass seem like a monster dog had come through.

“The light made the snowballs look yellow. Or at least I hoped that was the cause.” ~ Gary D. Schmidt, The Wednesday Wars

On our corner of Chaos and Mayhem it’s a winter wonderland — sort of.

A fun project – A week or two ago I did a little organizing. Moving an old photo album had some loose photos drop out (remember when you’d actually have to get film developed and then place the results in an album? – these were of that variety).

In fact these were old black and white, very grainy, small photos from around the mid-1940s.

One was of [articular interest. It shows my parents in a convertible car, top down, and a 4-ish year old Dirk looking over the back seat.


Now, I’d been told about a story about wartime Holland and a car my parents owned. Prior to the war my dad purchased a red convertible car. The war and the German invasion happened and so my dad garaged his car.

Finally, when the Nazis came to confiscate the car he told them some cockamamie story that the car was owned by Swiss friends who then left it with him for safekeeping. He told that they took a train back to Switzerland to escape the fighting. We did have friends in Switzerland and they confirmed the story. Bottom line, the Nazi’s left the car alone throughout the war (the Nazi’s were big on following rules).

Fast forward to late Spring 1945 and the Canadians liberated Enschede.

I am told that during the last few weeks a Canadian flyer/paratrooper – Warren Gemaiker, from Calgary Alberta, Canada – had come down somewhere east of us in German held territory. Apparently he’d been able to be smuggled back towards now Canadian freed Holland. Reaching our town of Enschede the underground network couldn’t guarantee safe passage due to the heavy fighting further west. Anyway, he took shelter in our home for a week or two or three (not sure exactly how long).

Immediately after the Canadians freed Enschede from its occupation Gemaiker reported back to his command. A day or two later as a token of appreciation he returned with some supplies – toothbrushes, soap, and this is huge, a Jerry can of gasoline and a new car battery.

Now, with fresh gas and a battery and some tinkering it meant that my dad’s car was the very first privately owned car on the road in all of Enschede! My dad loved that story and told it to me several times over.

Personally I have a faint memory of a red car.

Now the question I; what exactly was that car?

It’s amazing when right there at your fingertips you have resources. In my case it was auto buffs and engineering brothers-in-law Donn and Paul. They went to work. Ideas were floated and a flurry of back-and-forth messaged ensued.

Finally an answer. We’re all in accord with the result. It would most likely appear that my dad owned a Stoewer. Probably a 1930 model

A Stoewer?

What’s a Stoewer? Apparently a fairly well made vehicle manufactured by a thriving Polish company. It disappeared after the war when the Russians took over Poland. They stripped the Stoewer factory of all of its machinery and shipped it to mother Russia.

A dinner in three parts – Our neighborhood’s annual Progressive Dinner was held last weekend. The weather cooperated, Sixty to seventy convivial folk gathered. Lots of talk. Lots of catching up. Warm homes. Great food. House number one only 5 houses away was the stage for appetizers. A block away we had dinner – soups and chilies. Then, two blocks away it was coffee and mouthwatering deserts till the wee hours.

DSCF2520      DSCF2522      DSCF2523      DSCF2526

This whole event makes our neighborhood a real community. Another reason why we love this place.

Now the downside. From five-thirty till midnight I did not sit down. I did not walk, I stood. When I woke up it was 3:00 am and both of my calves were cramping like crazy. In fact, I got out of bed, placed my back against the bedroom wall, and pushed my feet flat to the floor. Finally this nonsense ceased.

Next morning Marcia said that she too had leg cramps.

Next year I’ll be certain to sit a while at each stop. So there!

Fini – Schools were closed twice this week and this Opa was pressed into service. We’ll see what next week brings. Don’t get me wrong, I love being “pressed into service”.

Make it a great week everyone, stay safe.



Leave a Reply