Saturday, Nov. 9, was the 30th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Wall.
Patricia Newman, of Port Hudson, was there:
"When East Germany announced the opening of the Berlin Wall, I was working as a teacher at the U.S. military base near Vilseck, Germany.
"Two other teachers and I decided to join this historic event and celebration. Within two days after the announcement, we boarded the first train allowed to travel from Munich through the East German countryside to Berlin.
"When we got to the Berlin Wall, entrepreneurs were already selling pickaxes to chip away your own souvenir and East German flags to wrap your 'piece of history' in.
"As I was standing by the very first opening large enough for a person to cross through, an East German guard stuck his head through. At that moment, an American naval officer spontaneously walked up to shake his hand.
"I snapped a photo of this incredible 'East greets West' moment. I joined the duo and got an 'East' kiss on the left cheek and a 'West' kiss on the right.
"I crossed through the hole into East Berlin and climbed to the top of the wall to join hundreds of people dancing and celebrating this momentous event that was unimaginable just days before.
"Later, we went back to sit on top of the wall at night. In the quiet dark of the night, thoughts of the wall’s unimaginable human tragedy seemed surreal.
"While there, a 19-year-old East German guard passed and said, 'Three days ago, I would have shot you there.' His one burning question about America was, 'What is Disneyland really like?'”
The deer were amused
Leonard Dodd adds to our "Time Change Confusion" file:
"Almost every deer hunter sets feeders to go off in the morning after daylight and in the afternoon about an hour or so before dark.
"I couldn’t convince my fellow hunters that if the feeders were feeding at one hour before dark, they would still be feeding one hour before dark if we just left them alone. But they insisted that because of the time change we had to reprogram all the feeders."
Earning their stripes
Jim O'Hare, of Metairie, has the long-awaited last word on armadillos:
"A number of years ago, before my retirement, I was driving on a business trip from New Orleans to Monroe.
"I do not remember the road I was on at the time, but I do remember it had new white stripes on the right side.
"As I was driving, I came upon a dead armadillo with a white stripe over its back. Five minutes later, I found another armadillo who also had a stripe.
"Some animals get no respect. …"
Dept. of Corrections
Ronnie Stutes, our unpaid fact checker, says a reader's statement that the space program was responsible for Tang and aluminum foil is not correct:
"The General Foods ads of the 1960s helped foster the myth about Tang in space. But aluminum foil was introduced in 1910!"
But according to the website for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, space travel DID help bring us (or improve) a number of important things, among them camera phones, scratch-resistant lenses, CAT scans, LEDs, foil blankets, advanced water purification systems, the Dustbuster lightweight vacuum, ear thermometers, wireless headsets, memory foam, artificial limbs, the computer mouse and the portable computer.
Special People Dept.
Laurie and Russ Kercher, of Mandeville, celebrate their 57th anniversary Monday, Nov. 11.
P.J. Bourgeois, of Opelousas, tells this sad travel story:
"My wife and I recently returned from a vacation to a strange and interesting place.
"While there, we took pictures and had them made into slides. I even brought home several restaurant menus that listed no boudin, crawfish étouffée or dirty rice.
"We invited all our friends to our house, where I planned to show the slides and give a detailed lecture about our trip.
"Imagine my surprise when I found that our friends were not interested in seeing the slides or hearing my lecture about our trip to north Louisiana."