We are now in the Air over Toronto and heading across the Atlantic!! Actually I believe that technically that is incorrect. I expect we will head to Newfoundland and Labrador where the trans-oceanic Air Traffic Control Centre exists. And from there we will proceed across the Atlantic.
I will now digress! As we are reliving history, I thought I would add some of OUR (history of Stan and Lois) Stan joined the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) in 1955. I took my basic training in St John’s PQ, Clinton, ON and Camp Borden ON. Shortly after joining the RCAF I met Lois and we married in March of 1956. We were transferred to Winnipeg MB. In Sep of 1956 we were transferred to 4 (F) Wing in Baden Soellingen Germany. WE took the train from Winnipeg to Quebec City where we boarded the SS Scythia, a 19,000 ton ship, and sailed to Southampton England. We spent a brief period in England, and followed by flying to Germany. I flew in a military aircraft, Lois by normal carrier. (That is another story which I will not get into?? Lol)
We first lived in Baden Baden, a town famous for its healthy baths. It also had a Casino and many things to attract tourists. We then moved to Hugelsheim, Rastatt which was much closer to the Air Force Base. Hugelsheim was a very small village close to the Rhine River; in fact we could see the Rhine River from our bedroom window. Out of that same window we could also see; in fact sometimes we thought we could touch the wings of the F86E Aircraft as they made their Fighter Approach to the runway which was about 500 meters from our bedroom window.
Two of our children were born while we lived in Hugelsheim. Conditions at that time in Germany were pretty rough but one thing which was not rough, was the harmonious relationship that developed between our Family and the Braun Family. Frau Braun was our Landlady. She became “Omah” to our children (Grandma) and we shared many good times, many enjoyable Dinners at their table.
What I am about to share with you will be no surprise to many > OR perhaps it will. Gasoline cost us 10cents a gallon which is exactly what we paid for cigarettes!! A “26er”, that is a 26 ounce bottle of liquor cost $1.65, and a 40 ouncer cost $2.40. A movie cost 35 cents and we took our own popcorn!! Saturday Night Dances at the Mess were free, and included a Dinner!! Beer was 5 cents a glass and liquor I cannot remember???
All of that is nostalgia > but we have to remember that our income was NOT THAT GREAT!! WE did however have sufficient funds to travel. We visited the World’s Fair in Brussels in 1958, taking along one of our Landlady’s daughters. I cannot help myself; I must tell you this story! On the way home to Hugelsheim, our 1953 Hillman Minx quit!! We were travelling with friends who had a station wagon >> AND A ROPE! Before I continue, I must tell you this happened on the Autobahn!! We affixed the rope to the front of the Hillman > and continued our trip homeward!! NOW GET THIS! True!! We are charging down the autobahn and Lois says to me. STAN: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? What I was doing was trying to pass the guy in front of me >> the guy that was in fact towing me???? Undoubtedly I had “snoozed”; that is one time it was good to have your wife fell you how to drive! See license plate; begins with an A > it was AF-4007 which indicated Air Force, 4 Wing, and this plate was the 4th assigned in 4 Wing. (Not to me; from the original owner) Other pic is of the Atomium, the symbol of the Brussels Fair. Click to explode the pix.
MONEY: For the first two years of our posting, 1956 to 1958, we used American Script > exactly like Monopoly Money and Canadian Tire Money. We were paid in “Monopoly Money”. We used it at all Bases, Canadian and American. The Americans could shop at our Bases; and we could shop at theirs. Their grocery stores were superior > but our “PX” held a great deal of appeal for many Americans. The local merchants too, accepted the Script > but it was ILLEGAL. While on the subject of money, one American $ was worth 4 marks, 20 phennings. WE had a Bank of Montreal on the Base, 4 (F) Wing. And we had a grocery store, a hospital, and a “PX”. A “PX” is where you bought all sorts of “goodies”, jewelry, dry good etc. Shuffler Stan Prime also lived in Hugelsheim. Stan will play in Midland, on the Canadian West Team.
Next article, I will give you a brief summary of our BRIEF TOUR of Paris. We did it between Noon and Five o-clock > a quickie for sure!!
Stan and Lois 2014 06 03 23:15 local.