Murph, Timothy: Böblingen, Germany

We arrived at Panzer Kaserne in Böeblingen Germany in January 1961, after my Dad was transferred there from Fort Sill…we lived on the economy for the first year, January 1961 to spring 1962, when quarters became available for us on post…I started school in the 1st grade in the 1962-1963 school year…up until that time I had been an only child, and had spent all my time with only my Mom up until then…she had taught me how to read, write and do arithmetic, and I already loved reading…I was not looking forward to going to school at all, no matter how much my Mom and Dad played it up for me…on the morning of the first day of school, my Mom and I walked to Böeblingen Elementary, as we didn’t have a car in those days…when we arrived, Mom and I made our way through the mass of crying, chattering, giggling children and Moms, and found our way to my room…I don’t remember my teachers name, but I remember her being nice to me as she tried to coax me away from Mom…there were also a couple of teacher assistants in my room, one a nice German lady…as I remember, Böeblingen Elementary School was located in a multi-story building on post, previously used by the German Army during WWII, as were all buildings on post…I remember the hallways and rooms being bright and cheerful, and there was lots of activity and noise, with all the kids showing up for school that morning…I was very apprehensive, and did not want to be left there…I remember crying, begging and the feeling of desperation as I realized that Mom was leaving and I was staying…she finally slipped away, leaving me in the hands of one of the teacher assistants…I was shown to my desk, and to my cubby…after a few minutes, I found my way to the door of the classroom, and out I went, down the hallway and out the main door…I made a beeline to my Dad’s company area, and the motor pool where his office workplace was located, where I had hung out with him many times…I think I made it to my Dad’s office before Mom had made it home…Dad and his men thought it was pretty funny, me escaping from my first day of school…Dad called Mom after she arrived at home, and told her what had happened…Dad walked me back to school, with me begging him to let me stay with him…he delivered me back to school and into the hands of my teacher and her assistants…I made it through the rest of the day, and each day got easier afterwards…I found that I truly liked going to school at Böeblingen Elementary…my favorite part of school was learning German language from our German teachers assistant…we made 2-3 field trips that first year, one to a nearby castle that had a fun garden with a water feature, another to a big bakery, and another to the Stuttgart Christkindlmarkt…Böeblingen Elementary turned out to be a great place to spend my first two years of school…the other kids that lived in our housing area and I walked to school each day, played together after school and on weekends, and became a pretty close knit group…my baby sister came along the following year in November 1963, eleven days before President Kennedy was assassinated, and we moved back to the US in May 1964…at my Dad’s next posting at US Military Academy West Point, we lived in Highland Falls New York and I attended a non-DOD school for my 3rd and 4th grades…it was nowhere near as good as Böeblingen Elementary, and I found myself comparing all the schools I attended afterwards to Böeblingen Elementary…🙂

Tell Us Your Story

We'd love to hear from everyone who worked and lived overseas either as a student or an educator.

Share Your Memories
Share This: