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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

KS - Geneva

The date was either the 21st or the 22nd of April 1962 and we were generally following a Shell touring guide of Northern Italy – still contained in my file – showing tourist information sites and giving travel phrases in six languages. We went through Milano and on toward the mountains to get into Switzerland. The passes were still closed due to snow and we had to back track to go through a tunnel. This was a railroad tunnel and to get through we had to pay the fare, drive up on a flat bed train car and ride this through the mountains.

After getting off the railroad car, we still had a bit of a journey through the mountains to get to Geneva and there was plenty of snow along the roadway. We stopped to make some photos and when I stepped off the road into the snow, I sank up to my backside. That was chilly to say the least, considering I was not really dressed for that – nor expecting it.

One of the photos taken along this route showed us heating a can of soup with a container of Sterno – a sign that we were nearly out of money. We just pulled off the side of the road and cranked up our small heat source for a bite to eat. These were our emergency rations; we were probably starting to miss army chow by that time.

A receipt dated 23 April 1962 indicated that I stopped in a bank in Geneva to exchange some currency from one type to another more usable kind. This city was situated on a large beautiful lake. We toured the area for a while and eventually headed back to Paris. Our leave was until the 25th, but if memory serves, I believe we got back at least a day early. As much as I was letting the military bug me, it was still good to get back into my regular army bunk.

This bunk, with my wall and footlocker, was my own little corner of the world for most of the whole time I was over there. If memory serves, it was an eight-man room and my space was in the right far corner next to the windows. When getting into bed, I never un-tucked my covers, but slid in from the top and slept like a caterpillar in its cocoon.

I always slept well, but it was a wonder, considering the bruising I was giving my conscience. Why did it seem to take so many scars to gain even a small amount of wisdom? This included some lessons that had to be relearned on several occasions.

TBC – ec


Blogger thebeloved said...

I continue to enjoy your stories and your anecdotes. Thanks!

5/09/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr Eddie ~~ You certainly got around and saw a lot of different places during the war. I smiled at you being pleased to be back to your army bunk. Thanks for comments, and it is a sad fact that we hear far more bad news than good. Take care, Merle.

5/10/2006 03:51:00 AM  
Blogger itsboopchile said...

Hi, I just have to thank you for your prayers. It is a comfort to know you and others are praying for us
So, thank you and may God richly bless you in all you do.
And that includes your family!!!

Thanks, Betty G

5/10/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

thebeloved - Thanks for reading and commenting - it helps.

merle - One of the basic human needs is for security and I guess that bunk was a symbol of mine.

boopchile - My hope is that you and yours will be OK according to God's will. ec

5/10/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I remember many years ago when my ex-wife was doing a paper for college and asked me—the one with the historical and poetic mind versus her scientific and mathematical mind—what I could tell her about Calvin’s Geneva. As I remember it, I ended my tale of 16th Century Geneva—called “The Protestant Rome”—and its religious laws and bigotry and executions of Roman Catholics and Anabaptists and other “heretics”—with the words: “It may have been a nice city, but I wouldn’t have wanted to live there.”

5/10/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - I do agree with "It may have been a nice city, but I wouldn't have wanted to live there". This would include the 16th century, 1962 or even today. ec

5/12/2006 12:02:00 PM  

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