Memories of Frankfurt Elementary #1: Compilation: 1946-1995

When Frankfurt Elementary School in Frankfurt, Germany closed in 1995, the staff compiled a booklet of memories. AOSHS is very fortunate to have a copy of this booklet. The school was open from 1946 to 1995.

Jennifer Nelson

1979-81 Student

Upon hearing that Frankfurt Elementary School was closing its doors this year, I felt that a tribute needed to be paid to all the teachers of F.E.S.#1. So, on behalf of all the former students, I am writing this. I feel that some of my fondest memories of my school years were in the very building that is being closed. But it is not the building that I would like to pay tribute, rather the teachers. In many ways I feel that this is a long overdue celebration—A celebration of learning which was truly inspired by the teachers of F.E.S. #1!

Frankfurt Elementary was special because of Miss Berry, who helped me learn my times tables so that when I got to Miss Ebbert’s 5th grade class, Professor Math (the highest and hardest of all 5th grade challenges—so went the rumors on the playground) was not impossible. F.E.S. was special because the very day I arrived, which was in mid-October 1979, Mr. Smith invited me to join the fall production of Wizard of Oz. F.E.S. was special because in 5th grade I got to invent my own space rocket and drop it off the fire escape. (This was legal then.) F.E.S. was special because I got to participate in the Wild Cat Press; in the 5th grade I got to go to Wegscheide where I won the last place in a compass game. I still don’t know which way is North . . . but I’m still looking! F.E.S. was special because in 6th grade Ms. Haynes helped me learn to play recorder after school; Mr. Bushemi called my mother to make sure I was alright as he noticed I was having a bad day.

The list goes on and on. I challenge anyone of you to find an elementary school where the students can honestly reflect upon such positive learning experiences. But I suppose the greatest testimony of the affect my teachers had on my life is the fact that I now stand in front of a classroom aiming to affect my students’ lives as my teachers affected mine. All of you, in some way, have helped us, your former students, to grow into what we are today. Your interest in us, your dedication, and your belief in our abilities have inspired us to reach our goals. There is a saying that suggests “If you can read this, that a teacher.” But to all of you, I can do more than that, so thank you.

Jolly (Jolan) Boehm

Speech given at the closing Ceremony for Frankfurt Elementary School, May, 18, 1995

I am a retired Host Nation teacher. I started to work at Frankfurt Elementary School in 1960. Another retired Host Nation teacher, Erika Rothe, started to work with DoDDS in 1946. The first DoDDS school started in September 1946, with 68 students from grades 1-6 and kindergarten in the Fuerstenberger school. This school was in the middle of the compound. At the time the compound was fenced in from Adickes Alle, Dornbush, up to Grueneburg Park. The children were taken by buses to the school from the compound, from Hoechst and Bad Homburg. The students went for lunch to Abrams building which at that time was called the IG Farben building. Later, the school was enlarged with the Elizabethen Schule, and a cafeteria was installed in the basement. Students from K-8 were in this school.

When the new housing areas of Platen, Huegel and Von Steuben were built, a new school was also built. This was Frankfurt Elementary School. At that time Frankfurt Elementary was the modern school in Frankfurt. In September 1953, this school opened its doors to students K-8. The children walked to school from nearby housing areas and were transported by buses from Oberursel, Bad Homburg, Hoechst, Fischstein and Roedelheim. We had a large cafeteria, where the children and teachers had a hot lunch. In 1953, the Atterberry School was also opened.

In 1961, I planted an oak tree in front of the school for German-American friendship. Just as the oak tree was growing, so was the friendship growing. We had close connections with German schools and many interesting exchanges took place.

Now as the school will be closed and as many of you will be going back to the United States, and many of you will be transferred to a new school; we hope you will take back fond memories of Frankfurt and Germany. We wish you all the very best for your future.

Personal Comments

If you had worked in a school for 28 years, you would have experienced many interesting incidents and, of course, some funny stories, too!

  1. The children often asked me if I was in Frankfurt during the war. When I told them that I came to Germany after the war and that I came from Hungary, so many times I noticed surprised expressions on their faces, and some of the little ones asked me, “Were you really hungry, Frau Boehm?”
  2. Once in a first-grade class, we had just finished the unit “Farben” colors. They had a little test; they had to color flowers on their pages. Everybody was working eagerly. All of a sudden, little Johnny tip-toed over to me and asked, “Frau Boehm, what is gelb? Could you just whisper it in my ear?” In the back row, a cute little boy just suddenly shouted out “Don’t you know, gelb is yellow!”
  3. Many years ago, during Thanksgiving vacation, I changed the color of my hair. Coming back to school on Monday as a blonde. The children in all classes expressed their like or dislike of it. Again, in the first-grade class, the children were surprised to see me with a different color hair. Little Mike asked, while the other still argued about the color they liked, if he could do something. I said yes and he came up immediately with his chair, climbed on it, then pulled on my hair and announced loudly, “It’s not a wig!” Of course, everybody was laughing because it was so funny.

Kay (Katherine) Jones

1954-55 3rd grade teacher

I arrived at F.E.S. on the ribbon-cutting day, August 27, 1955 after one year in Erlangen, Germany. As I was conversing with Mary Hoague, I asked her, “How long have you been in Frankfurt?” She answered, “Four year.” My reaction, “Four years!!!” At that stage of my overseas career, it seemed a long time. Later our paths crossed again, when both of us taught in London and in the OEA organization. We both laugh at that astonishing “Four years!” I retired in June 1987 after 33 years overseas, two in Germany, two in Paris, two in Japan, and 27 in England.

Dottie Guthrie

1978-95 5th and 6th grade teacher

In 1978 I left F.E.S. #2, because of declining population and transferred to F.E.S. #1. Q-4 became home for about 8 years. You learned to adapt to the Q’s and dress according to the season. Heavy shoes and sweaters were great for winter. You also learned to adjust to the noise on the playground on one side and the, often used, German soccer fields on the other. While teaching 6th grade I teamed with Tom Mosesso and Corrine Strand. Both were great teammates. We even had our own tulip field in a little plot of ground behind the Q’s. The tulips continue to bloom.

A most memorable time was the 6th grade train trip to Trier, when Trier was celebrating 2000 years of civilization. Approximately 230 students went on this trip, organized by Diane Patrick. Other 6th grade teachers present at the time were Al Biagas, Vince Buscemi, Audre Haynes and Julie ???, who had been a student in my 6th grade class in Ramstein in 1970-71.

When F.E.S. became a K-5 school, I moved into the building and began teaching 5th grade in room 230. It was a pleasant change, being warm, having hallways and “facilities” nearby. I was fortunate to continue team teaching with Lawrence Morta, Mary Fran Clune and Jan Pressley.

Thanks to Paul Tremi, F.E.S.’s Zoo Coordinator, for giving me Buster, the guinea pig. What a delight! He spoke to me every morning as soon as I closed the refrigerator door. The children took great care of him. Buster is in the 1995 class picture. And believe it or not – Kathy McCarthy told her kindergarten class that I was her mother, and they believed her!

Klar Rolf

1970-95 Host Nation Teacher

When I started as a Host Nation Teacher in 1970, I didn’t know what a ‘gerbil’ was. So I thought my English was poor when I first came into a 6th grade class and some of the students came up to me with a sad voice and said the gerbil had died in the classroom. I was confused because I thought it was a student or another person in the school. Things got solved when the students showed me the picture of the gerbil in a book. I taught them the German word, Springmaus.

Christina Shiver and Kenny Price

1969-73 Students

This an abridged letter that was written by Christina.

I remember trips to London and Sweden with Dean Smith and Lacey Ebert and a group of kids…I remember taffy pulls and marigold sales (for Mother’s Day) as fund raisers. We were able to attend “Hansel and Gretal” in the Alte Opera. I remember working on the Wildcat Press, writing crossword puzzles, Lacey Ebbert winning the Freedom Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence; and my blunder in front of the school when I introduced the Fifth Army Corps, and pronounced it “corpse”.

I never realized until I went back stateside, just how much the teachers at Frankfurt ES taught us. The kids my age in the states had never been exposed to other cultures and languages and many had never traveled outside of their state. The classes were too easy stateside, compared to what seemed to be a much more structured environment in the military schools overseas.

We remember especially those teachers: Dean Smith, Lacey Ebbert, Frau Rothe, Frau Rissler, Ms. Orlowske, Ms. Luci, Ms. Gavin, Marsha Burt, Jim Gardner, Mr. Aliano and Mr. Birdell.

My husband reminds me that one of the best parts of being at Frankfurt ES was going to Wegsheide– the peppermint tea with every meal, sleeping in a room with 50 other kids, walking in the woods, finding fireflies, and singing around the campfire at night. Doing this with American and German kids was good!

Does anyone remember the production “The Wizard of Oz?” (1972) My dad helped build the yellow brick road, and I played Glenda, the good witch of the North. I knocked off my crown with my wand on opening night, one of the munchkins picked it up.

We’ll miss you all, and hope our son has as much fun in school as we did.

Kerry Ambrose

1972 Student

I am a Frankfurt ES #1 alumni (6th) grade. I am the daughter of a now retired physician and, like 99.99% of your former students, have spent a good deal to my life packing up, leaving friends and family, and “starting all over”. I am often jealous of my friends who have grown up with the people they care about, their schools and teachers, and their old haunts all easily accessible- in short, people with a “home town”. Instead, however, I have been given the opportunity to experience many different people and places in my life. From preschool to graduate school, I have attended nine different learning institutions with countless numbers of educators. When I look back at FES, it is among the best and certainly the source of many lovely memories.

DoDDS teachers and staff members are given an extraordinary task, that of providing a quality learning environment for children living in sometimes extremely dysfunctional families with a very different lifestyle. You did a terrific of meeting that challenge. My parents and younger sister will attest to the fact that we had first-rate teachers, and as what used to be called “gifted” children, we were always challenged by our classroom and extracurricular activities. In addition, there was never a problem with the school or with our teachers if my parents wanted to take Megan and me out of school for a vacation, so we could take advantage of living in Europe. My parents still consider that one of the wonders of FES, next to Dean Smith’s after-work-on-Fridays wine parties.

I have to thank three people in particular for specific happiness at FES #1. The first is Vincent Buscemi, who was my 6th grade teacher. Two months before the end of the school year, I was hospitalized for five weeks because of an infection in my hip. In many cases, I may have had a problem finishing 6th grade. Instead, Mr. Buscemi went out of his way, as did other teachers, to keep me up to speed with my class. I was able to return the last weeks of school and enter the 7th grade the next year. I will always be grateful for his kindness.

My second thanks goes to Lacy Ebbert, who I still consider to be the “best of the best” when it comes to teachers. She inspired me to desire to teach, but, unfortunately, I do not have the patience that Miss Ebbert has with children, so I am not a teacher today. She helped reinforce my love of reading and writing, and Where the Red Fern Grows which she read to her class each year, is still one of my favorite books. Then there was Wegscheide! What fun! Through the years she has been a friend and role model and now I’m sure she’s a wonderful citrus grower in California!

My third thanks must go to Dean Smith who, in the three years I was a student at FES, challenged me to enter essay and oratory contests, gave me the opportunity to be a stage manager more that once, (probably because of my dismal acting and singing abilities), and opened other doors for me through travel, arts, visits with German friends, and miscellaneous other activities. When I returned to FES for a visit during my junior year in college, he handed me a paint brush and put me to work on the set of “The Wizard of Oz! Like Lacey, he has been a wonderful friend to me many years now, and an inspiration to me, although our visits are few and far between. Finally, I would like to thank all the past and present faculty and staff members of FES for successfully meeting the challenge of providing an outstanding learning environment for American children overseas. I will never forget the “Qs” out back, the plays and musicals, the T-shirts and daffodils. Strasse, the little German town downstairs, Wegschiede, the Brothers Grimm field day and Kristkindlmarkt.

Laura Stenson Lyons

1970s Social Worker

The fondest memory is of my son, Kobie’s explanation to his classmates of his mother’s role as school social worker. Kobie is now a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. His is going to the Sorbonne in France and Yale in the fall. He used to tell his classmates, “My mom will getcha!” Also, when he was learning anatomy from Ms. Eva Evans, he asked me why the female had nothing where the male genitals are. He has since discovered the answer.

I also have fond memories of Judy Kerr as a role model and friend to all of us.

Kris Maxwell

1987-1994 Teacher

Well, the master fire starter in her first probationary year at FES! She almost sets room 114 on fire with donut oil. Makes a REAL good impression in her first year! In her third year, a mysterious fire burns the room between Q-10 and Q-12. Let’s see…did I set room 124 on fire too? Lots of special memories with the “kindergarten gang” and in my last year at FES with Marie Rush, Vivian Curry, Terry Boronni and Edith Mulling.

Doreen Jankovich

Teacher, 3rd through 6th grades, Special Education

There are so many memories of my time at F.E.S. between 1987-1991 that I could write a book. I do know one thing, the good memories far out-weighed any bad memories. As I look back on my bad memories, they now seem comical in nature. My arrival time in Frankfurt somehow was mixed up and no one was there to greet me. I was near panic when I recalled the words of my interviewer, “There will be lots of little tests along the way – you’ve got to show them you’re flexible.” So, I did. I was picked up after a three hour wait (in a very warm library) and brought to F.E.S. to meet Dr. Bresell. Had I not waited; I would have remained more alert. As it was, I was sinking fast, due to jet lag. I struggled mightily to stay awake during my first interview with my principal and while nodding off and on, I heard my first words of greeting from Sherry Templeton, EPM. “E-w-w-w . . . this one doesn’t look like she’s going to make it! “

Somehow, even though the Auto-Messe was going on, they found me a small room. Small is an understatement! I could lie on the bed and not open my suitcase, or open my suitcase and stand up, but I couldn’t do both. Martha Powers-Nosal rescued me and booked Mary Fran Clune and I into the Holiday Inn at Main Taunus Zentrum. We spent 77 wonderful days at that hotel. There I learned the hard way, that even if you call from the lobby of a hotel, they charge you triple. That was my first hundred-dollar ten-minute phone call, and last!

I have never in my life had to be so dependent on others for so much, so after three days into my stay at the hotel, I decided to catch the train into Frankfurt. I caught an “IC” train, whose speed scared me half to death. You know that vacuum swishing sound when two trains pass each other, I grabbed the person sitting next to me thinking this was the end! When the train finally stopped, I had no idea where I was. I just saw high ceilings and lots of glass. I thought I was in France. I called the school number, hoping someone would know where I was. The person on the other end of the line tried to stem her laughter, but the dam broke and she and whoever else was there, laughed hysterically. So much for independence!

Mary Fran and I decided to shop at the Zentrum one day and had to cross several roads and railings to get there. Only after we had done this several times, did we realize that we were crossing the autobahn. We had misinterpreted the honking and waves as friendly gestures.

Settling into a school routine took the greatest amount of flexibility I could muster. I was put outside, the first few days in the Q next to Meg’s. No desks, no materials, and told to hang out there. I was moved a few more times, until I landed upstairs in the fifth-grade wing. I called it my eagle’s nest, because I had a great view of the playground, Q’s and the 3rd and 4th grade wings. Once I had a classroom and students, life seemed better.

I was inspired by Dr. Bresell’s language skills to study German at the Volksaschuler for Auslanders. While learning German, I had another language to learn. . . military language. I recall dragging my laundry from building to building, trying to locate the laundromat. DMP next to the XYZ . . . finally I walked into a building, tossed my bag down, and said I wasn’t leaving until somebody told me in plain English, how to find the laundromat. Luckily for me, it was a Social Service/Counseling Center. I guess they recognized a person on the edge, a lot quicker than most.

There are also overpowering memories of kindness bestowed upon me from the staff of F.E.S. I was still wearing summer clothes in October, because I couldn’t get my hold baggage. Audrey Haynes gave me a jacket and a coat to keep me warm. She said she was tired of watching me shiver. Meg and Martha took me to an ENT German doctor for my ear infection. Cindy and Bernd helped me read the want ads for an apartment. I learned the local ling so well in that area, that when I inquired in German about this or that, I was greeted with rapid fire German responses. (Sometimes a little knowledge can go too far.) Joy and Barbara helped introduce me to great coffee shops, and were there to help me join ADAC when my car blew up its radiator. Sue and Ceil showed m a charming Italian place to eat, not far from school. Elizabeth, Barbara D. and Doris always shared words of wisdom. John would spoil me by making me coffee every morning and if I became too busy, would bring it to me. Such tender, simple acts really touched my heart. Cindy, Paul and Bonnie always had great stories to tell, and kept me laughing. Lawrence helped me buy some great rugs. Cheryl Guffy, secretary and fellow Nebraskan, was always there for me. Also, Bobbie and Chip Grammer, and Kris Maxwell who were there in my final weeks at Frankfurt.

I remember Herr Klar’s fun filled bicycle trips; traveling adventures with many staff member; Nancy and Egypt; dancing at a Polish disco; ski trips with Becky and others; Russia, Turkey and chipping away at the Berlin Wall.

The toughest memory was working under the extra security of the Kuwaiti war. The staff really kept thing going for the students and community under great duress. We had to keep an even keel and provide support and continuity for all during that stressful year, with little or no recognition for the efforts.

The most amazing memory was when we had a fire drill and we cleared the building in less than three minutes, only to go back and see real smoke pouring out of the kindergarten room. Fifteen hundred students, all safe and out of the building in less than three minutes. That has to be a record.

The most fun filled memories – holding Cindy Lee’s luggage for ransom, which we turned into quite a lesson. A first I believe for F.E.S., was putting together “The Mother of All Flea Markets”. One huge yard sale for F.E.S. staff to get rid of their excess treasures. It was great, although think I bought more than I sold.

As an elected leader for the Association, I worked with some excellent leadership. Dr. Nancy Bresell and Ardelle Hamilton, both very different leaders, and both very supportive in their own ways. I enjoyed Mike Diekmann and his sense of humor; Lee for his gentle ways and his precision reviewing of the evaluation process. I know I’ve not mentioned everyone by name, but suffice it to say, the staff at F.E.S. was the cream of the crop. They were selected for their true talents to serve the military community and have left an indelible mark on my heart.

Sheryl J. Brown

1990-92 2nd grade teacher

My most interesting experience while teaching at Frankfurt ES was during the Gulf War. All of us living and working overseas were concerned but the administration at the school did a very good job of easing some of our fears. Foremost in my mind was that my husband would have to go to Saudi, Arabia, leaving me there with three children. I can now say that I was not as concerned because working at FES I had established rapport with the faculty and staff and felt very close to them. Usually something good comes from a serious situation. My daughter, Dawn Brown, was interviewed by Mike Wallace of “Sixty Minutes”, concerning security at the school and how the children felt about the war going on. Our family back in the states got to see the program and were relieved that we were doing well. Dawn was thrilled to receive a signed autograph from Mr. Wallace, as well as a video copy of the program.

I am presently teaching with the Sierra Vista School System in Arizona. My husband is stationed at Ft. Huachuca. I often talk about my wonderful experiences teaching overseas. I have some good memories to last a long, long time.

Pat Mossop Siria

1985-1995 1st,2nd & 4th grade teacher

My fondest memory of Frankfurt ES is the stationing of troops in our schools during the Gulf War. I had a ball! Soldiers were constantly in my room, giving aid, of course. I had more dates than I could handle. Two infantrymen, from Baumholder, even fought over me. Then, in 1991. I got married. I remember Ardell standing in the front of the gym, welcoming everyone back, then saying “Do you know that Pat Mossop is getting married today?”

I think the scam of the century was the way Jackie Arrington and I team taught. We managed to go from first to second to fourth together. In the first and fourth, our classrooms were directly across the hall from each other, and that’s usually where you could find us, in the hall gabbing, I mean planning.

Jeri Smith Gormley

1967-70 4th grade teacher

It was a great three years teaching at Frankfurt ES #1. The staff was friendly, and the students were interested in learning. We went on many fun and interesting field trips. Our trip to Mainz, boat trip to Rudelsheim and train to Frankfurt, then streetcar back to school in time for the bus, was always one of the highlights for a day trip.

Frankfurt has very fond memories for me. Teaching with a great group of teachers, from many different states. We had a wide variety of innovative ideas. We were also a community and took trips together and had fun social activities.

Janna Smart

1989-95 School Psychologist

During the six years I have been at Frankfurt ES I have had the opportunity to work with many fascinating students. Their responses to test questions, whether correct or not, always revealed interesting information. One little boy, when asked, “What countries border the United States?” responded in a thick drawl, “Canada and Texas”. Another favorite was a little girl with big, brown eyes, who, when asked, “Who discovered America?” thought for a moment and in all sincerity, said, “God”.

One of my favorite questions was of a personal nature, “What do you like best about school?” Many children would quickly respond with, “My teacher!”. Usually these were students who were struggling in school and not achieving academic success. It would have been easy for them to be disinterested in school. Yet they had wonderful teachers who cared enough, and reached out enough, that school was a positive experience for them.

So for all those students who never told you, a special thanks to each of you for making a difference in children’s lives. That’s why you are such a great group to work with!

Edith Mulling

19 -93 K and 1st grade teacher

In my kindergarten class some years ago, there were two little boys whose names began with “D”. They became good friends and where one was you could find the other. One day, not long after the beginning of school, when returning to the classroom, I noticed they had not come into the room. The children said they went to the bathroom, so I checked there. Then I sent children to the playground to check. No “D” and “D”! The office staff was called in, then the MPs. I was frantic! The MPs found them across the street at “D’s” home. This was not the only incident. They continued to run away from time to time until the middle of the year, but they could always be found in “D’s” stairwell. In 20 years of teaching, this is the only time I had truant kindergartners.

Manuel (Manny) S. Figueroa


Some of my memories while teaching at Frankfurt ES are for me, some of the most unforgettable chapters of my life. Playing Santa Claus and Dracula while turning my classroom into Santa’s Dreamland and Dracula’s House were just “super”. The smile on the children’s faces were a precious reward for decorating my classroom for various holidays. Another unforgettable experience was whenever I drove Ms. Jessops’s, “Go Cart”. I was very reluctant at first, and was afraid she might be offended by my asking to “play with it”. She turned out to be more than a beautiful friend, by saying “Sure, go ahead”. After a long, hard day, I would go to her room and borrow it. My fellow colleagues were also “super people” and would smile and shake their heads whey they saw me riding down the hall blowing the horn. This, of course, would make me feel more relaxed and at ease. If it bothered anyone, they sure did not show it, and, of course, Ms. Lucy was great about it. I love them all.

Faye Abrell

1946-47 4th grade teacher and Principal for 2 weeks

There are many interesting incidents that first year, some enjoyable, a few difficult. We walked to I. G. Farben Building for meals, except by bus with the children for lunch. The potholes in the streets and no lights were difficult. I wrote home to have more flashlights sent for fear one would not work. However, soon there were lights and some help with sidewalks. The parents invited teachers to have dinner at their homes, once for each student.

One mother shared this story. She said soon after they moved into their house, their son came in one evening to report, “Can’t understand a work those German kids next door say, but they laugh just like we do!” Our students soon learned German taught in my particular class by an Estonian woman refugee, on period a day. I was busy preparing future lessons so I might travel some on long weekends. The German lady who would have taught me, found I hadn’t time to study, but would show me spots in Frankfurt I could take my class or go with us on trips. I was glad to pay her and though it is my belief we should learn the country’s language; in this case, I was able to travel places I wouldn’t have been able to.

Erika was our school secretary. We have kept in touch every year since 1946-47. She is a wonderful friend. Also, I got to know Dr. Bentler, Professor and a person who saved thing from the bombing of the Goethe Museum. He was a curator of the museum and had spoken at Indiana University. I came back to Germany in 1967 and saw it rebuilt. I traveled by U-Rail to some countries I hadn’t seen and some I had.

In 1947 I went to Wiesbaden and Stuttgart to visit friends by letters of introduction from my friends at Indiana University. It was a little difficult to meet German people then. When I took oranges donated by colleagues at breakfast to the lady in Stuttgart, she said, “I’ll save them for my grandchildren, they haven’t seen oranges.” She took me for a walk in her apartment area, and as we passed a house, she said, “That was our home!” It was occupied by military personnel. But her voice indicated no bitterness. I observed this in people I got to know. They seemed to feel they were “taken in” by Hitler.

Now I have told you much more than you wanted to know. I’ll be glad if you sort our something you need. You see there are not many of us 1945-47 people living now. I was 35 then and I’m 86 now. I almost turned down my superintendent’s suggestion to apply. Some wise friends, a physician and a minister, urged me on. Then I found seventy-five had applied from this three state area and nine were selected, three from Indiana. I have never regretted my decision.

Vicent J. Buscemi

1974-88 6th grade teacher

I spent many years at Frankfurt ES, all of them in Q-6. I remember my “annual” year when the classroom housed a guinea pig, a rabbit and an undisciplined gerbil. The latter bit several students and had to be placed under observation for ten days. It died on the eleventh day, and I feared that rabies shots would be in order. Fortunately, the gerbil was not infected. Never again did a four-legged creature reside in my classroom.

I remember the Q-6 roof. Yes, the leaking roof which overcame repeated repairs. The odd part was that it leaked in different places on different days. Thus, I was constantly rearranging desks to accommodate the pans that had to be strategically placed around the room.

I remember being sandwiched between the noise of the soccer field and the noise of the playground; the “wild” cats that lived in the Q’s; the many trips to the main building to run dittos, use the restroom and phone parents. I remember the extreme temperature changes of the Q and how much I miss Q-6.

I have pleasant memories of the people with whom I shared my years at Frankfurt Elementary. I wish you all happiness on whatever path you take from Frankfurt.

Dr. Candace Ransing

1986-87 Principal

In preparing for the renovation of the facility, teachers were asked to clear all personal property out of their rooms and we had been directed by the Superintendent to clear all personal refrigerators out of the building. On this particular Friday afternoon, as Charlie Palmer assisted a certain teacher with the removal of her refrigerator by the staircase near the office, another group of teachers were carrying one up the staircase at the other end of the building. I would venture to guess that some of those refrigerators made four roundtrips that afternoon.

After all was said and done, we had a good laugh and the refrigerator remained.

Meg Richards

1983-90 Special Education Teacher

I remember one cute little child telling me not to go into the bathroom. “There’s a Libyan in there.” Indeed, it was an American Army personnel positioned in the upstairs bathroom. There had been threats against Americans and he was there to protect school children and personnel.
Once, in downtown Frankfurt, a very healthy-sized sixth grader decided she could go no further on a field trip. She would have to be carried by an older brother of one of her classmates, a very good looking 18 or 19-year-old. This must have been her reasoning. She was so disappointed when we put her in a taxi with a parent volunteer and sent her back to school. It was a great field trip anyway.
I remember the many fine people I was privileged to work with; humorous, hard=working and dedicated. My time in Frankfurt will remain ever important to me.

Catherine Brauns

1960-85 Special Education Teacher

I come from Boston, Massachusetts. I didn’t come to Europe to teach in DoDDS schools, as most of the other teachers did. I was married in August 1958; my husband is a German national, whom I met while he was a student at Harvard. We had a very romantic time together and decided to get married. I would go with him to Germany where he had an administrative position with the German Postal service. We were living in Frankfurt and one day I heard on AFN that the hospital wanted a teacher for their special children. I applied and was accepted. We held classes at first in the hospital, 5 days a week, morning only. I enjoyed the teaching very much and the children seemed to be happy.

Then, in late 1959, great changes took place. The school administration’s highest level, was contacted by an incoming officer with a handicapped daughter. He asked, “What do the schools have for my daughter?” Wheels began to move and when classes began after Christmas vacation, special education classes were offered in Frankfurt ES and even in the junior high. This was the beginning of Special Education in the DoDDS worldwide.

I had one of the first special education classes in January 1960. I had two groups of children, for one=half day each. In those days, these children were labeled “trainable”. I had this teaching assignment for about two to three years, and then I had a new group, “educable” children. I had these types of classes for many years until I retired in August 1985.

I enjoyed by years at Frankfurt ES and am sad to see the school close. I will always remember and cherish the friends I made at FES #1.

Mary Nell Kuhlo

1980-82 4th grade teacher

I enjoyed working at Frankfurt ES #1 very much. I remember a united faculty which is something I’ve always looked back on with fondness. Chris Mitchell kept the ball in the teachers’ court. She was and remains quite an inspirational person. Hers was the voice to be reckoned with. She helped all of us with her insight and leadership. Jane Ohlson dressed as a clown. The kids had no idea who she was. She had administrative leave and walked around in the library all day doing “clown” things.

Gertrude C. Reihle

1958-67 Frankfurt ES #1 Principal

At this time, I do not remember anything “funny”, but do remember the many friends made while working in the Department of Defense schools. I enjoyed my work and opportunities for travel in Europe, Africa and Asia. I now have a grandniece with the Peace Corps located in Botswana, South Africa. She is working there as a teacher of English. The Department of Defense is also closing bases here in the USA, but probably not here in Grand Forks.

Mrs. Barbara McCrindle Hayes

1987-89 Kindergarten Teacher

One Friday afternoon in February, 1989. Frankfurt ES teachers boarded a bus at the school and headed to Paris where we stayed at the Atlantic Hotel. It was a great Valentine weekend trip with the usual sight-seeing, shopping, eating and much merriment. Our return to Frankfurt on Monday afternoon was delayed several hours due to problems with the bus. It was only as it began to get dark and teachers were attempting to turn overhead lights for reading that we discovered the bus had NO lights! Eventually, we joined and followed closely behind another bus bound for Germany. Upon learning of our predicament, a car of American stayed behind our bus. Needless to say, we were a bunch of wide-awake teachers all the way back home.

The two years I was at Frankfurt ES were by far the best of my teaching career. I began in 1959 and am still teaching.

Tom Conlon

1970s 4th to 6th grade student

We moved to Frankfurt from St. Paul, MN, March 1970. The teachers I had were Ms. Lang, 4th grade English; Ms. Randall, 5th grade homeroom; Ms. Gann, 4th grade math; Ms. Ebbert, 5th grade math; Ms. Parker, 6th grade Language Arts; Ms. Hinshaw and Ms. Hermes, 6th grade math; plus two others whose names I forgot.

I remember the scratched dark brown marble floors and olive-green walls; when the Q-1 to Q-8 Quonset huts were first built where I spent my 6th grade years in Q-7 with Ms. Parker. The library was our cafeteria at the time. My fondest memories were in 6th grade when our entire class took a week long field trip to the German camp known as Wegsheide, close to Bad Orb. Also, many recesses spent on the playground particularly on the see-saws which were my favorite. We tried to bounce the other person as high as we could; talked about the girls we liked; and this is where many friendships were built. Today, the obstacle course replaces the see-saws. I also remember being elected 6th grade classroom student council representative, even though I didn’t want the job!

Thank you, Frankfurt ES #1 Wildcats, for the fond lifelong memories! It’ll always be a special part of my life!

Lacey Ebbert

1965-93 3rd and 5th grade teacher

Wildcat Press, deadlines to meet
Our moment of triumph when AFN we beat.

The Mock Political Convention; electoral voting,
An American election we were noting.

Bicycle safety, learning each rule,
Earning our flags for Traffic School.

Boarding all the busses, all in fine fettle;
We’d booked the whole opera for “Hansel and Gretel”

Our winning letters to Valley, Forge, PA
The Freedoms Foundation Award, an exciting day!

Taking the class, always at night-
Frankfurt Christmas Market, a delight!
Keeping a bomb bag, coping with wars,
Barbed wire and sandbags; guards at the doors.

Valentine tulips, a big undertaking –
The hard-working group, proud of their money making.

Wegscheide each spring, I’ll always remember –
Planning and anticipation began in September.

Many things come to mind thinking back through the years.
Memories of students, their joys and their tears.

Memories of colleagues, and many a friend.
How strange that our school had now to come to its end!

Ardelle Hamilton

1989-93 Principal

I will always have fond memories of Frankfurt ES. My four years at Frankfurt, working with so many wonderful people, was a very rewarding experience and one that I will not forget.

Frankfurt Elementary has such a wonderful past. There were so many exciting and unique happenings. We all recall Desert Storm, the 24-hour guards in the building, the barbed wire fence, the sand bags, and the constant security check. Everyone took this in stride and education continued within the walls of FES. There was the fire in the kindergarten building when everyone asked to help and make the best of a scary event. Everyone did, and again education continued within the walls of FES. There were the joyous moments of the wonderful assemblies and the “Broadway Productions” put on by Dean Smith with lots of help from members of the staff. There was the extravaganza on election day orchestrated by Paul Tremel. The red, white and blue were certainly in evidence on this prestigious occasion. I must say that I have not called Bill Clinton at home since that time! We were privileged and honored to have a site visit from the Blue Ribbon Committee for Elementary Schools. We were proud of FES and knew that we were #1.

I will always remember the runner in the German park in his G-string. On a cold winter day, if the sun was out, you could be sure that our German friend would be in the park. I loved the comments from the dismayed to the unbelievers. It was interesting how many teachers wanted changes to that side of the building the following year. Then there was the bathroom patrol. Every Monday morning, a complete list of all that was wrong in the bathrooms would be waiting for Mike Diekmann, AP. I always knew when Mike had seen the list because I would hear a shriek!

There were the joys, the sorrows of losing friends, the long-term illnesses, the fellowship, and the collegiality of all. It did not matter the time of day, nor the day of the week, but you always knew that each and everyone on the staff cared and that the very best would be given to the students. FES was #1 and will always remain #1 in my thoughts and fond memories. I salute each and everyone who has been a part of FES. You have fought the good fight and you have won! Congratulations on touching the future and seeing that education continued within the walls of FES!

Martha Moran


After accepting employment with DoDDS we were told what would happen upon our arrival in Frankfurt: 1. Our furniture would be packed and moved for us prior to our departure. 2. All of the things I would need for the first week of school were to be packed and labeled separately, as that box would accompany me on the flight over. School shoes and all materials I would need right away were the things I was told to include in that box. 3. We would be met by a sponsoring family with a care who would help us through the red tape and get us settled in a hotel that would be provided. ALL WRONG but #1. We were met instead by Jan Hansen who was filling in for a principal who had been transferred to another school. She was very helpful and had 16 other new teachers to deal with on an emergency basis. She introduced us to a kindly art teacher who agreed to get us processed so we would have that all-important I.D.

Forty hours after leaving our comfortable farm home in Illinois we had completed all forms and had our IDs. I remember at one point in our journey about the military complex, the art teacher handed me a stack of sandwiches and I said, “What is this for?” I was really exhausted. It was then he told us there was no hotel reserved for us and we would have to find one ourselves. We drove up and down streets until he finally found a vacancy and left us. We had everything but German money which created a bit of a problem when the dinner hour rolled around. A soldier directed us to a restaurant that would take American dollars. The next day we discovered we were a good mile and a half from the school with no transportation and no way to get food without another long hike.

By the next day, I had walked so much my feet and legs were badly swollen. I had to tell Jan to either get a sponsor with a car as promised, or get a replacement for me. Enter Frankie and Vashi, who literally saved our lives, and we remain friends today. One teacher did leave us a note under the school door and went home the day before school opened.

Before Labor Day we had found a small apartment just two blocks from school and furnished it with borrowed government furniture until the scheduled arrival of ours in November. Before the weekend, I had to stay home to get the phone connected, and to my complete surprise my furniture was delivered! It was a little too much for the apartment to hold and when I called the furniture office to come right away to pick up the borrowed furniture, I thought the girl fainted. Even after I told her it was all piled on the balcony and rain was predicted. She told me that was just impossible. I would have to go to the office and complete paperwork to even begin the process that would take weeks to complete. I still wonder what they dis or will do with all the “paperwork”.

With enough furniture to completely furnish two apartments piled in one, Connie and Majel came to my rescue and asked me to join them on a Labor Day weekend trip to Switzerland, and just abandon the apartment. They were still living in hotels. It was November when my school shoes and the first week of school readiness material arrived. If Jack hadn’t been so sick, I would have been like Frankie and Chris Mitchell. I really look back on those two years as two of the most interesting and rewarding of my career.

Erika and Kurt Rothe

1946-60 Secretary to the Principal
1960-86 Host Nation Teacher

Frankfurt ES 1946-86 – a time of ups and downs – but on a day like this, I do want to omit the downs, and only list the “ups”. Our school started September 1946 and we were located in a compound area. We had 68 students, grade 1-6. The teachers were: Grade 1, Mary Cook; Grade 2, Erin Stubblefield; Grade 3, Kathryn MacRae; Grade 4, Faye Abrel; Grade 5, Catherine Wagner and Grade 6, Marie Cote. There were two German secretaries. Erin Stubblefield was Acting Principal until Principal Irene Thomas arrived in November.

The building was old, with large windows and heavy entrance doors. During this winter, these doors stood open and the halls were very drafty. We did not like these drafty halls, so we wrote signs and put them on the outside doors. Catherine Wagner’s class went to the playground; they read our signs and laughed and laughed. Catherine came to our office and said, “If you give us an ax we will ‘smash’ them!” Our signs read, “PLEASE SMASH THE DOOR!” They were quickly changed to “PLEASE SLAM THE DOOR”. From that day on, I had a dictionary on my desk. By the way, I’m still corresponding with Catherine and Faye.

After 1960 I was a third grade German teacher. A new student had arrived and one of the students introduced him to me. We started out question and answer time:

Wie heist Du?        What is your name?
Wie alt bist Du?     How old are you?
Wo wohnst Du?     Where do you live?

One student acted as translator. The new student very willingly answered the question up to the last one. No response, absolute silence. The children named all housing area-all the buses-no answer. One of the students said, “Frau Rothe, he was on our bus.” He only shook his head. So, we continued class. When I left the class, he followed me into the hall. With tears, he said, “I live in Bad Homburg. Is there a good Homburg?” My next lesson was devoted to explaining what a special city it was with the word “Bad” in front of it. This time he was proud to announce that he lived in Bad Homburg.

Joan Dudziak, a fourth-grade teacher was teaching culture. Before I came to her class, the students listened to records, The Nutcracker Suite, Mozart, Beethoven, etc. I taught German Monday through Thursday and Friday was our culture day. So, I prepared a lesson on Beethoven. I had shown a film strip, and they were all eyes and ears. Joan and I were very pleased.

The next Friday they had written their reports, and Joan said, “James has written a fine report; could he read it to the class?” James was not too smart, but he loved the fine arts. “of course,” I said. So he came up and read his report, but he pronounced the name so differently, when he had finished, I said, “James, may I see your report. You have done such a fine job!” When he presented it to me, James had named him, Mr. Paytoven. Well, I think Mr. Paytoven would have been very pleased with James and his wonderful report.

Myra M. Holloway

1988-91 3rd grade teacher

When I began teaching at FES, I was a brand-new teacher with little experience. I will always be grateful to the MANY super teachers who took me under their wings, guided, nurtured and equipped me. Although our paths have taken us in many directions, I cherish my friendships made at FES.

Cindy Lee

1986-1994 5th grade teacher, Enrichment teacher, 1st grade teacher (The Killer!)

In 1987-88 I was going on a trip, a ski trip, I think. My luggage was held hostage by a terrorist faction of the Republic of Yemen. I sent a student to Doreen Jankorick’s room to pick up my bag, and another messenger returned with the terrorists’ demands. They had our fifth grader hostage! We took their messenger hostage and demanded return of our messenger and the bags. The notes and demands went back and forth all day. In the end, justice was served.

In January, 1987 I spotted Dorothy Dubois at a faculty meeting in the media center. I hadn’t seen her before and asked if she was newly hired. Someone told me she had been at the school about 5 years or so.

I remember Jan Holczer yelling in the fifth-grade hallway, looking for John Kipp’s coffee at 7:45. Real agonizing cries when John had a sign on his door that he was not at school.

Judy Kerr

1972-75 Counselor


In the 70s there was an annual faculty Thanksgiving meal held in the school cafeteria the weekend before the official holiday. The turkeys were purchased from the social fund and prepared by some of the faculty members. The remaining faculty members volunteered to prepare side dishes. The even was always well attended. It afforded us the opportunity to sample many culinary specialties of the diverse regions we represented in an aura of fellowship in our home away from home. Although very eloquent in tone and preparation, there was a concession made for the clean-up committee, the use of paper plates and cups. Well, some paper cups were used. There was an outcry from one of our organizers and a connoisseur of fine wines, Dean Smith. He said that it was defaming of fine German wine to be served in anything but glass. Thus, began the Thanksgiving tradition of renting wine glasses from the officers’ club for this faculty feast.


Pat Parsons, an assistant principal in the early 70s began a tradition of a dog in attendance at Frankfurt ES #1. Her white poodle was a constant quiet presence in her office. Boy Maynard’s schnauzer, Herr Schmidt, was a regular visitor in the mid to late 70s. When I visited Frankfurt in the summer of 1994, I found that Joy Griffith was continuing this tradition with her yorkie spending the day in her third-grade classroom.


Dean Smith can be credited with organizing many of the bicentennial activities at FES #1. He did this along with the support and collaborative thinking of Herb Templeton, principal. It was realized that the 1200 children in attendance at the time were missing a significant historical moment by not being stateside in 1976. The staff made a concerted effort to fill this gap for themselves and their students. Two of my keepsakes from this event are a faculty cookbook with a faculty picture on the front and a red, white, and blue commemorative tee shirt. The wearing of this shirt by the staff was frequently encouraged by Dean in a show of spirit for the occasion.

Diane Mitton


It would be wonderful to see everyone again and reminisce about the “old days” at Platen. They were good years and it is sad to think of it all coming to an end. It was a great staff to work with and friendships were made that still endure. Your note sent me to remembering events, places, frustrations and pleasures, but mostly people. I wonder where many of you are, and what you are doing.

I remember the telephone incident, all $1100.00 of it! I remember moving the library from the fifth-grade wing to the cafeteria. Many of the staff pitched in to help paint the room before we moved in. Vince was covered with paint, from head to toe. Then we laid all those green squares of carpet and Joy’s little dog ran right in and christened it!

But I think the event I remember must vividly was the time I was “interrogated” by CID and came close to being arrested as a terrorist. I was stopped by the military police not far from school because my plate number had somehow got onto a stolen car list. But I wasn’t told this right away. When my registration had a color listed that was different from the actual color of the car, they became suspicious and checked the photos of known terrorists and thought they had a match! In no time at all, I had MP cars in front, behind, and beside me, with lights flashing and radios humming. MPs were looking in the windows; I was told to put my hands on the wheel and keep them there. When I asked what the problem was, I was told I’d find out soon enough. They were excited, and I began to get a little nervous. After a bit, a CID agent arrived, flashed his badge and began asking me all sorts of questions. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I began to feel guilty and probably acted it. When I said I worked at Platen Elementary School, he asked for the name of the secretary and the principal. I was so nervous; all I could remember was Carol and Herb. I could not tell him their last names. Eventually he talked by radio to someone who called the school and I suppose they were able to identify me. After about forty minutes, it seemed like hours, the agent apologized and said I’d understand when I saw the photograph of the woman, they thought I might be. I saw the photograph of the woman they I might be. There certainly was a resemblance. Those young MPs were so disappointed, I almost felt sorry for them-almost! I had to get new plates and have my registration changed. I learned that I would make a very poor spy or terrorist and that I should stay out of the way of MPs!

There are lots of memories, and those of you who have been there so long and have seen so many changes, will now have the sad memory of the closing chapter to all to all of the others. But, its been a grand adventure, hasn’t it? One to remember. I hope there are more great adventures still in store for all of you.

Maryann D. Quarterman

1988-94 Kindergarten Teacher

The Frankfurt Elementary School PTA sent eight delegates and nine children to the European Congress for American, Parents, Teachers and Students, ECAPTS in May 1990 for the annual conference. The Frankfurt ES delegates arrived in Willigen, Germany, the site of the convention, ready for an actively involved experience. Every meeting or workshop was attended by at least one member of our delegation. We put five of seven resolutions on the floor and spoke eloquently on all of them. All five resolutions passed. Our children were also the major part of the children’s program at the closing banquet. FES was well represented and will always be remembered for this wonderful showing. We won the award that year for having the largest PTA membership for a large school, thanks to the overwhelming support of our students and parents. The large membership award was repeated every year, except for this year of closure and drawdown, for which we are forgiven.

Joy Griffith

1970-1995 3rd grade teacher

I was teaching the proper care of teeth to my third graders. We had the dentist visit us with her microscope and we had scraped some plaque off our teeth for microscopic examination. In order that all children understood the word plaque, I defined it often as a sticky material made up of germs. After class that day, one of my boys who had a special liking for our school nurse, ran into her office all excited about his health lesson saying, “Guess what is happening to our teeth? THE GERMANS ARE CRAWLING ALL OVER OUR TEETH!”

Lee D. Hunt

1990-1993 Assistant Principal

What I remember about my years at Frankfurt ES, was just how friendly the staff was and just how skilled they were in the area of instruction. My memories are vivid about the “family feeling tone” in the school while I was privileged to be there.

Jo Ann Farnham

1987-91 2nd grade teacher

I remember back in 1987 my excitement at having the opportunity to live in Germany for four years. I was anxious to learn the language, explore all the cultural opportunities, and travel as much as possible. But all that excitement still couldn’t match how thrilled I was when I was hired by DoDDS! It was my first “real” teaching job, and I like to look back and think I did a pretty good job. It was the most challenging job I ever held, and also the most rewarding.

I remember each of those four classes like yesterday; the individual personalities of the students, the different events and projects for the school year; the helpfulness and support of the many wonderful parents and staff. Most of all, I remember how, so far away from family, Frankfurt ES BECAME my family! I wish I could be there for the closing ceremony, and wish everyone there the best for wherever the future takes them. A special hello to Patricia Mossop, Katherine Crane, Nancy Dotson and Bridget Gallagher. We may be oceans and miles apart, but you each hold a very special place in my heart.

Sue Marron

1974-95 1st and 3rd Grade

On arrival in Frankfurt I was exhausted! I had left Los Angeles thirty-six hours before and due to mechanical failure, our departure from McGuire Air Base was even further off schedule. When they said, “Women and children should board the plane first”, one soldier asked if I wanted to adopt him. By the time we got off I had a date with a tank mechanic but no address to give him. I really wondered what I was getting into.

I was taken to a hotel in Wiesbaden for ‘processing’ which I can’t recall to this day! Judy Kerr, school counselor, picked me up and drove me to Frankfurt. My initial impression was of a population that should all be ticketed for illegal parking. (Now I have come to appreciate the ‘creative parking’ of the local citizens.) To let you know how “out of it” I was, Judy said, “Now Sue, we need to get you and ID card.” I replied, “Why?” Little did I know that in the military community you were not a person without this precious possession.

Maxine Borgman let me sleep on a mattress on the floor of her BOQ until I could move into mine, the following day. Two unusual greetings awaited me: one, a small sack with towel, wash cloth and soap from the local ladies’ club and a pronouncement from my neighbor across the had that the last resident of my apartment had been evicted for loud sex. Aghast, not knowing how to reply, I merely whispered that I would hold it down. I really wondered what I was getting into.

Several days later, Judy said, “Sue, do you remember that other young teacher we met in Wiesbaden?” Assuring her that I did, Judy went on to relate how her principal had picked her up and driven her to the new school. Being very unimpressed, she told him that she had no intentions of working in such a building. She called daddy and flew home the next day. I came from a very poor family. I had to stay! I was unimpressed from the first, too. The insides of the school looked even worse. The hallways were light green up two-thirds of the sides with the rest and the ceiling being white. All very dirty.

My classroom had little or nothing in it. The materials there were from a teacher who had died on the job. I asked the gal in the neighboring room (beautifully decorated) where to get tables and rugs, etc. She nearly took off my head yelling shrilly that all this was her own property. To this day I marvel how anyone who looks like a read Madonna can act like a shew. Easy? I really wondered what was I getting into.

A supply sergeant in the basement” Yes, we had one. It was rather intriguing, but most unhelpful because he was there only several hours a day. If you needed red construction paper at the wrong time, too bad! At the end of every school year all the books were trucked downstairs into this cavern. To reach it you had to go out the door of what is now the downstairs workroom and go down two flights of stairs. I remember going down the outside steps carefully so as not to slip on the ice and snow. One year we couldn’t order red construction paper because it wasn’t in the BOSS catalog. We painted white paper red and cut out santas and valentines. Never say that only the parking is creative in Frankfurt! But you really wonder what you’ve gotten into.

The years pass and you make friends. You no longer see the dirt on the walls. When you think back you remember the faces of those who have come to mean so much to you. We remember standing in the rain and snow through bomb scares with fourteen hundred children. We remember the wonderful Hispanic group who tried to give us a luncheon for Cinco de Mayo and only got to the third grade by the time the buses arrived for dismissal. We remember the kids complaining and gagging when they had to take the fluoride swish. We remember Ceil Schlosser, our nurse, who would organize the mother volunteers to ‘pump’ this delightful mixture into little cups. Faithfully, pumping away week in and out. We remember learning German as our kids received lessons from our Host Nation teachers. Many of us never got beyond this level, but we are good at Kinder-Deutsch! We remember the trips by bus, U-bahn and train. Everyone went to the Christmas market! We would only lose a few participants, occasionally. We remember Bob Maynard, school counselor, organizing trips for the staff to Colmar, France; Brugges, Belgium; and Prague, Czechoslovakia. We remember all the different bosses we’ve had through the years. All the personalities that could so affect our lives. People we loved, people we’ve tolerated and people we were planning to bump off!

We remember nice Mr. Simmang’s and Gary Jones’ funeral masses at the Catholic chapel. We remember Jim Hughes’ service at the hospital chapel. We remember Margette Fosters’ memorial service in Gelnhausen and Jane Ohlsen’s in Babenhausen.

We remember waiting for the cleaning contractor to get name tags for his employees who often ‘ripped us off’. Sometimes we didn’t care, because they lived on life’s edge. (We knew they would never get a name tag and they never did. The real poor are quite anonymous.) We remember wondering; when would our book order come in; when would we hear about our retroactive pay (because DoDDS never had us on the right salary schedule); when would we have to come back in August (It always seemed earlier every year.).

We remember the flag raising ceremonies that Dean Smith would organize. We remember Karen, the toy lady, who would sell us Christmas and Easter ornaments in the teachers’ lounge. We remember fighting the roaches, never sure who’d won. We remember Herr Klar and his basketball teams, the German lessons for the faculty and teaching his students chess. We remember coming to work the day after “Desert Storm” began to find a machine gun emplacement by the front door! We remember watching the of the Frankfurt Tower brick by brick during recess duty. We remember our wonderful musicals turned out regularly by Dean Smith and Barbara Michalski. They’d make it look easy and it wasn’t! Who could forget Paul Tremi bawling us out at faculty meetings because not enough people had volunteered to coordinate the Science Fair. “Come on people,” he’d say. “I can’t do it alone.” No, none of us, did it alone. We had each other. Some stayed so shortly that we don’t remember their names. Others, like Chris Mitchell, Frankie Mahtaney and Lacey Ebbert seemed always to have been there.

So as the names and faces pass in review, we utter a brief prayer, “Thank you God; for getting us into it!”

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