Well, as for my “dormie experience” . . .my dad was stationed at Bindlach, a small base that housed an entire squadron. As I remember it, we had a survival rate of three minutes (and that was a generous estimate as were so close to the Czech border). The nearest high school was 53 km north at Nurnberg. Monday morning, we would get up at 4am and catch the bus to Nurnberg at 6 something. It was almost a two-hour drive and we arrive in time to put our suitcases in the back of the dorm and run to the cafeteria for breakfast then to our first class. We lived right on campus. At the time the place still looked pretty good.
The dorm was divided in half with the common areas in the middle and a game room. The kitchen was on the girls’ side and the boys on the opposite. We had four counselors or house parents. I recall study hall in the evenings, and constant signing in and out of the dormitory. They tried to keep a close watch on all of us. I also remember some special field trips to the Opera House and free nights out. A tour to Nurnberg and the Christmas market. I enjoyed these- because I was so impressed with the history. The locals were always kind to me and I did try to keep up with the language and their customs.
By the time Friday rolled around we would be packed, sheets changed and luggage in the back room then sign out and off to school for the day’s classes. At the final bell, we would run back to the dorm, pick up our luggage and board the bus to our various bases.
Mostly, we had to share our room with one or two others. By the time I was a senior and the population of the dorm was low that year, I got the privilege of a single room on the first floor.
Dormies were a community to themselves. Living at school did allow me to participate in after school activities, drama and choir were my favs. We were close to the Foodland and officers club and several blocks from the PX. There were several kasernes in the area and military quarters for dependents in the neighborhood.
I also remember that all the dances, at least the majority of them, were formal. I and my sister became quite the seamstresses, and what beautiful gowns we would make.
There were plenty of rowdy things that went on. I recall one year some one streaking, and I think some drug issues too. If anything went wrong in the neighborhoods, the dormitory students would be blamed, even if we were not around.
What more would you like to know? I would not trade the experience for anything.
I can tell you the one time the school had a fire and we were all dismissed from classes that day. My folks happened to be in Nurnberg for something. My sister and I decided to go down to the PX and do some shopping. We were in the card section having a good time, laughing at the cards, and behind us we heard “What are you doing here?” We jumped; cards went flying! You guessed it; it was mom. “Wait till your father sees you!” We talked so fast – “but mom, the school had a fire, honest it did!” You should have seen the look on dad’s face, too. So perplexed and ready to scold. He finally dismissed it by saying, we probably started it.
Originally an Instant Memory from Operation Footlocker, a part of Military Brats of America.