Funny Things from Yesterday: Mama, look what they’ve done to your baby boy

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Robert N. Tidwell, Sr.

Two weeks ago, we had a celebration meeting for a time of remembering the twinning of the cities of Frankweiler, Germany and Cullman, Alabama. We had a large crowd, thanks to The Cullman Tribune for the great promotion of a front page photo of the 47 visitors and Cullman residents.

There was one little elderly lady (Blanka Grosshans) from Frankweiler who had never been outside her village. Her first trip out of town was to Cullman. On our next trip to Frankweiler, she gave a beautiful picture of her home area to Rudene and me. Unfortunately, before we made our next trip to Frankweiler she had passed away.

Richard and Hannalore Nerding and their son, Jurgen, are a very nice family we met on our first trip for the twinning. They took care of us while we were there.

They stayed with us on their trip over here.

Since this story is about Jurgen, we will shift our attention to him. He was very polite, obedient and respectful of his parents. He enjoyed his trip to Cullman very much. Being a friendly boy, he made friends with some of the children about his age and spent the night with one of the boys, Jay Fuller.

On Saturday, before our visitors left on Sunday, we took a group of them to Chattanooga to see the battlefield and the view from Lookout Mountain. We arrived about lunchtime, so we stopped at a little hamburger drive-in at the foot of the mountain. After eating his sandwich, Jurgen decided he wanted some ice cream.  Since he spoke a little English (which he learned in school) he decided that he could order the ice cream himself without using a translator.

The German word for ice cream is “eis” (sounds like “ice”), so Jurgen went to the window of the drive-in and ordered “eis.” The girl fixed him a cup of ice and put a lid on it. She handed him the cup and charged him a nickel. Jurgen thought that he had made a good buy and as he was walking back to where the rest of us were seated, he pulled the lid off of his ice cream cup. Jurgen’s eyes got as big as the lid on the cup, his mouth fell open and surprise, unbelief and dismay immediately covered his face.

He came running to his mother, hollering, “MAMA, MAMA,” and began speaking German really fast. If we had been able to understand him, I’m sure he would have been saying a line of the old country song, “Mama, look what they’ve done to your baby boy.”

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