More Germany – Days of Old

I went to Kindergarten in the small town of Bad Koenigshofen. My Kindergarten days didn’t last long. During the class Easter egg hunt I was the only one who couldn’t find any eggs. The teacher then took me by the hand and hinted strongly that I should look up at the top of the curtain rod and of course, there was an egg. But being a loser – the only one not to find an egg – took all the fun out of the hunt and I was in tears. Having to be shown where to look for the last available Easter egg took away what was left of my self-esteem and I bawled so much they had to call my mother to take me home. I never went back. Not an auspicious start to my education. It’s my only memory of what went on in the brick building on the right side of the photo below.

img293Bordering the town square was Cafe Heintz where, on very special occasions, I was allowed to accompany my parents for a cup of hot chocolate and a bite of their piece of cake. Next to this hotel/restaurant was the Salamander shoe store where the famous Mr. Bata’s shoes were sold.

img133aMy aunt lived in an apartment above the shoe store and I remember being allowed to watch the visiting high wire artists from her window one day. They had a cable strung up from the hotel side of the square to the town hall on the other side. Tightrope walkers with long poles for balance made their way across, high above the town square. The highlight was when a man rode a bicycle across the cable to the other side. The photo below must have been taken by my father in about 1952.

img498Would you want someone clutching at your shoulders when you were trying to stay balanced on a tightrope? There had to be a lot of trust among this group.

28 thoughts on “More Germany – Days of Old

  1. I would definitely not want someone clinging to me as I tried to balance on that tightrope! Yikes!

    Reading about your Easter Egg hunt was so sad. What a shame your only memory of Kindergarten was such a painful one. Did the kids tease you in class about not finding any eggs? I just wonder why you became so distraught. Hmm…kids can be quite cruel so it wouldn’t surprise me if they gave you a bad time.

    On the bright side, lovely photos in this story. 🙂

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  2. I don’t remember the kids teasing me but it was my own competitive nature. It wasn’t that I wanted to find the most eggs. I just wanted to find ONE, and my pride really suffered when I was the only one who couldn’t find a blinkin’ egg. Taking me by the hand like I was a baby and “showing” me the egg just made me feel more like I couldn’t do anything for myself. Those poor nuns (yes, it was a Catholic Kindergarten even though we weren’t Catholic) couldn’t win. I’m sure they were glad to be rid of me. I still get nervous about Easter egg hunts.

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  3. Tightrope walkers are crazy! My mom taught in a one-room schoolhouse. Her first year of teaching, she boiled and colored eggs and hid them for the younger students. The big boys (probably 15 and 16 year old farm boys) took them all. My mom said she sat at her desk and burst into tears, whereupon the big boys put all the eggs back for the little kids to find.

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    • Ha ha. No, I love seeing Easter eggs. I used to love putting designs on them and colouring them as a child. I just don’t like to go hunting for them. But I’m like you about the heights. No way I’d get up there and try to tippy toe across a wire just to prove that I could get to the other side. I’m not that lacking in self-esteem anymore (after that Easter egg hunt), that I need to prove myself on a tightrope.

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  4. Awww Anneli, you poor thing. Had you ever been on an Easter Egg hunt before? Or was this all news to you? Bless you. Big retrospective hugs! And I remember Salamander. You used to get a comic with every pair of shoes bought, except I’ve forgotten now what the little adorable hero was called. Great post, really enjoyed it. x

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    • To be honest, I don’t remember if my mom used to do Easter egg hunts before that time. If she did, they were much less traumatic. Who would think that a silly thing like an Easter egg hunt could be so upsetting? What a wimp I was! Glad it brought back some Salamander memories for you.

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      • A wimp? For being upset at not having found an Easter Egg at the top of a curtain rod? No. What a preposterous place to hide an egg. You were six! Curtain rods quite literally don’t feature on the horizon when you’re six. 🙂 Yes, those Salamander memories… I wish I could remember the name of the creature though. #GettingOld XX

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  5. I felt so sorry for little Annelchen, not finding her egg by herself. But I am sure you would find them all now. It was just to new to you then. I hope you don´t need a shrink because of this egg-happening in your tender age! But as I know you, I doubt this a lot.
    Nice old pictures, they remind me of my youth and also how old I have grown. By the way, I always hated Bata-shoes – they never fit my feet and usually the left one was a different size than the right one. Till today I wouldn´t put one of my foot into a Bata shoe.
    Thanks for sharing this very sad little story about a little girl getting so upset. Just forget it now!

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  6. That doesn’t surprise me about the shoes. The different sizes. This is what happens when you live in outlying areas – you get the leftovers. This happened to me when we lived in the Charlottes and I ordered shoes from Sears. They sent an “almost matching pair.” I guess they thought I’d be so desperate as to keep them. Wrong!

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  7. Great post! The wire walkers reminds me of that children’s picture book where he teaches the girl to walk a tightrope. Ugh, what’s it called?!

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    • Exactly! This is what I’m finding. Photos tell so much and trigger so many links in our brain. This is why people sit and bore other people with their photo albums – because it brings back so many memories to relive in our mind.

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  8. Hallo, liebe Annelie,
    ich würde nicht mal alleine auf einem Hochseil stehen wollen. Schon gar nicht, wenn mich einer an der Schulter festhält. 🙂

    Das war aber kein schönes Ostererlebnis im Kindergarten.

    Ich finde es sehr interessant, wenn du über Deutschland schreibst. 🙂

    Liebe Grüße,
    Martina

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