Category Archives: Reminiscence

Ode to Dad

Dad, it must be about forty years ago that you tried to let us participate in your experience of reading the “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. This was, I believe, your first venture into the world of spiritual awakening.

And I did not understand – and laughed.

Sure, I have the excuse that I was young, but I am an old soul and should have understood if I would have just listened.

I also know that I have used you. I remember that one time when I wanted to have a stand for my slide projector but was too lazy to build it myself. I had a clear vision of what and how I wanted it to be. But I came to you pretending ignorance and asked your advise. Then steered you so that you came to exactly what I wanted. You were so happy that I took your advise that you then built it for me. I know you had the feeling that you needed to show me your worth, but I used that shamelessly and I can’t say that I am proud of succeeding.

When I used my control then, I was cocky about my abilities but I promise that has changed radically.

Now I see that it was you who allowed me to grow up without worries. That gave me the opportunity to develop the ability to manipulate and control. I sure hope that this was not the only ability that I developed. I am grateful for that opportunity – – now.

Now I am reading Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi” myself and I finally understand why you were eager to share your feelings with us.

Time is of no significance – so, finally, I can listen to you and tell you what 40 years ago I was not able to do – – – COOL!

A Blast from the Past – My First Maerklin Train Set

The holidays sometimes give us the opportunity to dig a bit into the past by looking into some old photo albums. In doing so I got reminded of my good old Maerklin trains that I had when I was a little kid. On my trip down memory lane I dug out those old pictures and came even up with some pre-Maerklin documents.

Doesn’t seem that long ago and now I have my successor already older than I was in these pictures. I guess I will have to equip him with some trains of his own. What would be even better – Hello Universe, this is a request! – if I would manage to get my old trains back over here from a friend – Hello Hermann – who has kept them faithfully for so many years but whom I don’t seem to be able to reach any more. But maybe this year he will answer our Christmas mail – just maybe.

The following images first show the pre-Maerklin era, then the early Maerklin and the nearly complete set. I am missing the last phase of the Maerklin era though. After the last image a train station had been added, but I only have the pictures of that in my mind and no mean (yet) to get it out on the internet.

Ritalin and Parenting

While driving down the 101 here in Los Angeles I noticed the following sign…

Ritalin and Parenting

… and it made me think.

NO – Come on! There is no such sign in Los Angeles – – – yet!

But you can find bad surprises in places where they are really surprising – – huh?

Anyways, I want to tell about an old friend of mine. A friend I had hung out with during the last year of high school and most of the college days, and I thought we really knew each other well.

Me moving to the US of A interrupted that friendship somewhat, but meeting each other after both our divorces and a few year of hardly hearing from each other, the spark was there again immediately and we could talk as if no time had passed when we met on one of my visits to Germany.

But I went back to California, we both got married again and had kids – OK, our wifes had. Then it was his time to visit us here with the whole family.

During on of our long talks he told me that his daughter had become so difficult in school that she was now on ritalin. That blew my mind! I mean I hear all those bad stories about our school kids being drugged into obedience but I had never met any such kid. I guess because my reality is so that this stuff does not enter it. But then the only first degree of separation person to introduce me to ritalin is my old best buddy from the college days.

I guess our realities did develop into different directions. Even though I don’t really think in his case it was a replacement for parenting because he was and is a loving father. He must have gotten some really bad information, and that’s the danger of it, that if you are not actively looking for the correct information and trust ‘experts’ you might be traveling down the wrong path.

I know how that is!

Golden Gate Bridge

A friend just told me about his trip to San Francisco. He mentioned that he went over the Golden Gate bridge twice and this reminded me of my first trip to SF.

Many many years ago I had been somewhere at the beach north of Santa Monica to enjoy the sunset. The night before I had had a conversation with my then room mate regarding spontaneous and unplanned actions, and so, when it was time to head back from the beach I remembered that conversation and just went the other way…

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California

… and was in SF at one am. Had some food at a Dennis – Always Open, you know – talked to a Texan, was very proud that I understood what he said and then drove over the golden gate bridge before dawn, looked over the bay from Sausalito, drove once more over the bridge during sunrise and headed back to LA.

Was an interesting trip back because my good old ’79 Ford LTD Station Wagon (white) started to make trouble, used a lot of gas and I finally found some little leak of fuel at the gas pump. looked like I had lost a little screw there and so I just put a little plug in there and got home OK.

Found out the day after that I had been very lucky – there was no screw missing, but instead it was a safety hole to drain the gas in case the membrane of the gas pump was broken. By plugging that whole I had flooded the crank case with gas – oops! Could have easily blown up the whole engine – but then again, guess I had decided not to do that, didn’t I?

Funny how these little, insignificant events can come alive again.