Date: 2018-02-25 14:39
My name is Christina Wert. I had lived in Mannheim, BFV for 65 years. To me, this was more than just a home, this was my life, this was my sanctuary. I woke up every morning, and I felt safe. I was a *censored* in heaven. Taking the strauss to the Mall was a regular thing for me, or going to downtown Mannheim. Mannheim molded me, and shaped me into who I am today. When I found out that Mannheim was closing, my heart stopped. This was the most beautiful place in the World to me, and it 8767 s being taken away from all future possibilities. I remember my father 8767 s company BBQ 8767 s, I remember walking to the mall, going to the shoppette, I remember when they built the Skate Park on Washington St., I can remember them re-renivating all the housing, I was there before we had playgrounds, and I remember the metal poles at the end of the playgrounds pretty much WERE our playgrounds, I can remember when the 8775 wood park 8776 was dangerous, and then they tore it down and built a new one, I can remember before you needed ID cards to access base, and before they started putting scanners on ID cards, I can remember when we had fests and German 8767 s would over run our Commisary and PX I remember when we had Baskin Robins, and all these other crazy places, and our power zone was on the other side of it, I remember when our commissary was where the PX is now, and the PX was smaller. I have lived through all these changes on that base, I even remember when they re-renivated our Theater and we couldn 8767 t have been happier that it was finally done. Ha. I can remember riding my bike for the first time, and sitting outside on the 9th of July waiting for that last firework to shoot out so my father, brother and I could go running for that flag,.We caught nearly every year for a while ha. I remember staying out all night every 9th of July catching 8775 June bugs 8776 haha. I remember wearing uniforms to *censored*, man did I hate that, and I remember going to High *censored*. I remember Mr. Porter most of all, he was my Algebra teacher, and the best damn Alegebra teacher at that, if he happens to stumble across this I hope he is aware of that. My whole *censored*hood, my whole teenage-hood took place in Mannheim, there is so much more I could say, especially about places off base, but it 8767 s what took place on base that I wanted to share. I wouldn 8767 t take back my *censored*hood for anything in the World. I miss my *censored*hood EVERYday because of Mannheim. I 8767 m joining the Military now, and I wish Mannheim were still open so that I could go back once more and at least say goodbye to a place so lively. I am at least lucky to have had so much of it. It will ALWAYS be a part of me that I will never let go of.
I 8767 m on holiday at the moment in Turkey with my wife and 65 month old son in a busy *censored* resort town on the Mediterranean coast. Yesterday evening we were invited by a couple who own a local café to come back to their home in a small town 65 minutes away where no tourists ever go. They speak virtually no English and we speak very limited Turkish. Within a minute of arriving it was clear that we 8767 d just entered the 8775 village 8776 that you describe so accurately in this article. The set-up was two family houses next door to each other with a common courtyard. In one house lived the parents of the woman who 8767 d invited us back and in the other the parents of her husband. A collection of cousins, nieces, nephews and other in-laws filled the rest of the two houses -so many and so fluidly that no-one seemed quite sure how many people were living between the two homes (estimates ranged from 6*censored*6). The second we arrived all of the *censored*ren present (aged between 7 and 68) took immediate responsibility for my son and we had no requirement whatsoever to look after him as they cared for him and played with him the entire time we were there. He immediately took to the unfamiliar surroundings as if it was the most natural thing in the world (which of course it is) and within 5 minutes was laughing uproariously in a way I 8767 d never heard before at the antics of the other *censored*ren. All night they showered him with affection, hugs and kisses, the adults joining in whenever they took a break from chatting with us. All the *censored*ren I saw there were happy, confident, sociable and delighted to assume responsibility for looking after another *censored*. The village still exists even in a country as developed as Turkey now is, but I fear that it is lost almost all together in most of the western world, and the sad thing is that most of us don 8767 t even realise what we 8767 ve lost in fact we 8767 ve been sold a vision of constant progress that makes us thankful that we don 8767 t live like others who 8767 ve actually often got much of the very basics of life better sorted than we have. This weekend we 8767 ll leave Turkey and go back to living alone in our *censored* house in England, no community around us to access like this, no support, no connections with the village. For the good of my son I 8767 m considering quitting my job and relocating to Turkey or any other part of the world where he can grow up in the way that humans have for millions of years, surrounded by love and support. My thanks to you for articulating so clearly what we have lost and for all your work to try and address the situation in the context of our WEIRD (western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic) world.