Baader-Meinhof….Coincidence or Conspiracy?

The first chapter of my Reminiscing Series…

The summer between 6th and 7th grade (1972) a terrorist group called The Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion or RAF) went on a terrorist bombing spree across West Germany.  The press dubbed them The Baader-Meinhof Gang after two of its main “members”, lovers Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof.  I can’t really say what their main gripe was, because, well, they were crazy terrorist urban guerrillas, and to try to understand them would be a waste of time.  Let’s simplify it by saying they hated the post-Nazi German government, the U.S. involvement in the Viet Nam war, and capitalism.   What’s mainly remarkable about this group is that they lasted from the mid-60’s to the mid-80’s, with much drama, and not insignificant support at times.

I don’t want to give them any more attention than that.  I do want to tell you about my impression of that summer.  One of the bombings took place at Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, where 2 U.S. service members were killed.  We would move to Heidelberg a few years later, but that summer we lived at Warner Barracks in Bamberg, Germany, where my father commanded the 3/35 Armor Battalion.  It was a turbulent time anyway, with soldiers being drafted and trained for the war in Viet Nam, race riots, and rampant drug use, all in our little community.  Nancy White picked a real fistfight with me on my first day as the new girl in 6th grade…my first and last physical fight with someone who was not a family member.  It was, at times, a rough place to be an adolescent.

But that summer, after the bombing in Heidelberg I believe, the alarm when out to all the military installations that this gang was now attacking U.S. Military installations.  Overnight we had armed guards parading up and down the sidewalk of the houses on “Snob Hill” (named because the highest ranking officers lived there), 24 hours a day.  As a pre-teen with 3 older sisters, we were mainly concerned with how cute the soldiers might be, and each shift change had us coyly looking out the window or “just happening” to need to cross the street to tell our friends something super important.  I can’t recall being scared.  It was mainly just exciting, which I am sure is due to my mellow mother, who always maintained her sanity in the midst of any crisis.  I seem to recall that the General’s kids had to be driven to school, but that would mean school either got out in June, or I’m not remembering it very well.  Or they had to go to summer school.  Hee Hee.  Too bad for them.

All of the mothers on the block set up a schedule to provide refreshments to the dreamy soldiers.  In our house we baked quite a bit anyway, and had a great time when our turn came around.  We made sandwiches, cookies, cakes, brownies and lemonade and put it all out on a card table on our carport.  It was quite the social occasion as I recall, when neighbors dropped by to see what we had to offer.  And “Oh my, that looks good.  Let me just have a taste.”  Or that could have just been my chubby 11 year old self.  I just remember eating really well.

I don’t recall how long the guards lasted or why they finally stopped.  It could have been a couple of days or even a month, but eventually they stopped guarding us, some of the gang was captured, life went back to normal, and Nancy White and I were civil to each other in 7th grade.

As a footnote, you may experience the Baader-Meinhof Syndrome, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, or Plate Of Shrimp after reading this blog.   Tell me if you do, and is it a coincidence or a conspiracy?

Footnote # 2:  If I end up in a CIA interrogation room for writing this, we will know Edward Snowden was on to something.

Have I got a story for you…

I have a friend who says nice things to me like “I love it when people first meet you.  You’re so quiet, and then when they get to know you they discover how funny you are”.  A few months ago she said “You have led such an interesting life.  I love hearing your stories of growing up”.  Me?? Interesting life?  That’s why she’s my friend, but she’s right.  Because we all come from different backgrounds, someone else’s unique experience will usually seem interesting to the person who didn’t live it.  I mean, she grew up in Colorado!!  She learned to ski at the same time she learned to walk!  She can walk into a grocery store and run into someone she went to high school with.  She gets to spend holidays with her parents without jumping on a plane.  That’s heaven to me. She recklessly rode her Ninja motorcycle all over campus in college.

I also have a friend who grew up on a farm in South Dakota.  Those stories?  Well, let’s just say Catholic girls have nothing on farm girls.  She talks about the family in her hometown who owned “the store”.  She can drive in blinding snow with nooo problem.  She knows how to plant a garden, and cook things from it.  What?  She is always ready to host a crowd, even if they are staying overnight.

My fiance B. grew up in the DC house LBJ vacated when he became Vice President.  J. Edgar Hoover lived on his street. B. was a long haired hippy who played in bands growing up, and Hoover refused to get out of his car if any long hairs were on the street.  He would sit in his limo for hours until they left because he was so paranoid.  One neighbor trained his dog to do his business on Hoover’s Astroturf lawn.

The point is, we all have a story to tell, and I have started reminiscing about some of mine.  From the Baader-Meinhof gang that caused armed guards to walk up and down the street outside our house, to date night at the Playboy Club in 1978, to ballroom dancing with cadets at West Point, I do have some stories, and welcome any of yours if you would like to guest blog.  Stay tuned….

Dippy Eggs

I work from home, and after my first cup of coffee, I typically make some eggs.  I believe if I had to eat just one food for the rest of my life, it would be eggs.  Or popcorn.  Or eggs.  I love eggs made all ways, but I really love soft-boiled eggs with buttered toast “soldiers”.  DSCF0313

I thought I was being super cool and frugal by buying these Polish-made egg cups on eBay for the steal price of $3.99…


only to discover that American hens, with their couch potato ways, lay much bigger eggs than their Polish strolling counterparts.  Now the eggs sort of perch atop the cup.  I still need to get a teeny spoon, too, to scoop out ALL the goodness.   BTW, that bread?  Ezekial Genesiss 1:29 Sprouted Whole Grain and Seed bread.  THREE grams of dietary fiber.  You’re welcome.

Yelping On The Plains

As a Yelp Elite, I get lots of opportunities to attend outings with other lovely Yelpers, where we get to experience a bit of culture, eat some food, and drink some drinks.

Yesterday we rode out east to the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, Colorado to attend Yelp’s Harvest Hoopla!


The Plains is a 1000 acre (and 9000 additional acres 30 miles further east) outdoor education facility, where kids of all ages can learn a bit about the 19th century prairie settlers, the Cheyenne Indians, and all kinds of prairie wildlife.  It started in 1949 to educate farmers in farming and ranching techniques to avoid another dust bowl disaster.  It is now an educational non-profit, funded by private donations. The best part?  It’s FREE!  They do have programs that will charge a nominal fee, such as guided nature walks, bird watching , and constellation programs.  The site also hosts a farm to table dinner each season, where the chefs use cooking techniques of the era.  But for 6 days a week you can stroll the grounds at no charge, for as long as it’s open.


The grounds are just lovely, in a windblown, Little House On The Prairie sort of way.  You could spend all day out here, listening to the prairie dogs warning each other of your presence (did you know their yips have adjectives?),

checking out the sod houses…


or the one room schoolhouse….


petting the big cows, chasing chickens, or viewing the reptiles in the prairie house.  Want to ride your bike?  Come on out, and avoid the crowds on the metro bike paths.  With 1000 acres to explore, there’s a good chance you will have some privacy.

This is an especially great place for kids to run around and get some fresh air, and learn something in the process.

Our event was hosted by Big City Burrito, Dry Dock Brewing and Dry Soda.  Yummy!


Welcome to my blog!  I hope to keep in touch with family and friends old and new, near and far, and will strive to educate and entertain along the way.

It’s fitting that my first blog post is the first day of ski season in Colorado.  I love snow, and judging from the giddy “first chair” crazies at Arapahoe Basin today, I’m not the only one.  If you don’t live here, you should know that while a couple of places do start making snow early in the season, most ski areas don’t open until around Thanksgiving, and some not until mid-December.  That’s fine with me.  I’m usually enjoying Autumn things like pumpkins and turning leaves, and am not quite ready for the snow any earlier than that.

Today was a beautiful Fall Day, all sunshine and a little breezy.  I stayed in all day setting up this blog to celebrate.  🙂