PS duPont Class of '59

Wilmington, Delaware

Jürgen Thewes Annual Thanksgiving Wishes

Dear Former Classmates,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Edeltraud and I do hope that you all are in the best of health and that you will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with your families and friends. It is your most important holiday, we understand, and on this occasion most of you will be able to return home. Have a wonderful family reunion and happy hours.

55 years ago, when I was hosted by the Harry C. Watson family during my AFS exchange year, we had been invited by the Watsons’ relatives on a farm in Maryland where we enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving meal. I hadn’t experienced anything like that, and I hadn’t tasted meat of a turkey at all. The turkey was a real big one, its meat and stuffing just delicious. Even today I’m very grateful for that Thanksgiving holiday. In 1993 when we visited the United States for the second time I succeeded in finding that farm again. 34 years had gone by. However, Doug Watson’s uncle recognised me at once. He looked at me and instinctively said ‘Oh, you were the boy staying with the Watsons!’ An unforgettable moment in my life. By those relatives we learned where to find my former host brother Doug Watson and his sisters, Nancy and Gail. Already in 1992 we had searched for them, but without success. In 1993, just a day before we had to leave the United States again, Edeltraud and I met Gail and her husband Don for the first time after that long period of time. What a wonderful reunion! And that’s the reason we returned every year. Of course, we had met Trudy and my second host mother, Mrs. Anne Said, in 1992 already.

This year was an extremely busy one: A lot of friends celebrated their 70th birthday, our nephew Thomas married and had an unforgettable wedding celebration. Our niece Sabine acquired a new home pretty close to us. Our travel highlights were not only trips to Austria to live at our second home for a while, but we also experienced new forms of traveling. A combined flight and cruise led us to the Canary Islands and to Madeira. Aboard a gigantic cruise liner with 1800 passengers we started at Tenerife, were taken to Funchal on Madeira, then back to the Canary Islands. It turned out to be excursions into the world of volcanoes. After docking, buses took us into the interior of the island to watch gigantic craters or calderas. Lovely vegetation was everywhere, banana trees, all sorts of flowers and fruit. We enjoyed the cruise ship AIDAsol — nice, our cabin, and very nice hours aboard. 8 days of highly interesting sightseeing and decent weather.

Meanwhile, I’m in charge of our former teacher’s wife. That takes a lot of time and requires continuous administrative work. Fortunately, a former schoolmate and I try to manage the heritage.

At his end of May, we started for another trip to southern Italy. This time it was a combined flight and bus trip to Bari on the Adriatic Sea from where we were taken to Alberobello in Puglia (name of the province situated in the ‘heel’ of Italy). That small town is world heritage because of special kind of houses. They are built in a circle by stone plates without any mortar. Their roofs are cones (false vaults). In former times you might have considered them pretty primitive, but today they are tourist attractions. We then started for exploration of the province which is famous for its millions of olive trees. You may find walnut, cherry and almond trees as well. As to the highlights of that country, we visited wonderful cathedrals and castles. One of the outstanding monuments was Castel del Monte, an octagon which had been erected by Emperor Frederick II of Suebia in the 13th century. Having been placed on a hill, it is overlooking the landscape for about 20 miles. Not less impressive were the Romanesque cathedrals with outstanding sculptural works. I should have had much more time for photographing, but today you ask yourself ‘What for are you doing this?’

Well, during July and October we went down south to Austria again. There we enjoyed ‘Indian summer’. But the trip is quite a distance (725 miles) not to be covered in one day any longer; i. e., you have to stay some place for the night. We are always happy after our return not having been involved in long traffic jams or even accidents.

At home it’s time for clearing up our garden. That takes a lot of time, and the weather is not favourable right now. To summarize, I’ve got little time to do some writing. I do regret that I’m not able to constantly keep up contact with you.

Finally, Edeltraud and I want to send you ‘Season’s Greetings’ and all good wishes for the year to come. Perhaps we’ll make it for the 55th class reunion next year. We do hope to see you then.

With our warmest regards,

E. + J.Thewes


November 26, 2013 Posted by | 55th Reunion, General, Thanksgiving, What's Doing Now | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Dear Friends and Classmates,

Happy Thanksgiving for all of you and your families. Enjoy the great festivity! Edeltraud and I send you cordial greetings. We do hope that you are in good health, and particular good wishes for those who are not well at the moment. We imagine that you’ll have great family reunions. May it be a great day with fairly decent weather.

As to us: We had a year of changing health. Edeltraud is complaining about her ankle joint fracture; even after one and a half year she still is having therapy. Walking for a long time is not possible, but she is trying to improve this.

We had to stays at Carinthia, Austria, this summer; however, both times weather changed at half-time. We had rain and cold. On August 30th snow had fallen down to 5,400 ft. The temperature sank down to 40° F.

This year’s highlight was my 70th birthday. Edeltraud gave me a surprise party with 40 of my friends. I hadn’t had any idea that that would happen, because I had mentioned before not to celebrate this date at all. My friends gave me money for a special trip of our choice. So we learned of a readers’ trip organized by our local newspaper: 4 days former Breslau ( Polish: Wroclaw ) in Silesia (which had been a German province until the end of WW II; it had been the wheat producer of the German Reich). Edeltraud was born there, so was her mother. In 1974 – in times of the Cold War – we had had a chance to visit the former capital of Lower Silesia with my parents-in-law to find out whether there were any remains of their Breslau flat. They had to realize that their former house had been destroyed during the siege of Breslau by the Red Army in the beginning of 1945. A week ago we didn’t even find the rest of German houses across the street we had noticed in 1974. The only remaining building we found was Edeltraud’s mother’s school building. The positive experience: Wroclaw has been re-erected with remarkable churches and buildings. There are 120,000 students among a population of appr. 640,000.

Our two days’ stay was topped by a wonderful performance of Verdi’s opera ‘La Traviata’. We had a Polish guide who had studied German. He gave us a lot of useful information about the developement of Silesia after WW II and led us to the most important sights. An excusion to former Schweidnitz (Swidnica) gave us an impression of the beauty of the country with its mountain chains.
Edeltraud was reminded of many fairy-tales and stories her grandmother had told her after the war. Finally, it was a trip into our past, and we are encouraged to learn more about the history of Silesia. By the way, several of my former colleagues have their origine in Silesia,too.
To summarize our experience: It was a great trip with nice people on the bus, and we might go to Silesia on our own one day. The distance was 440 miles. We made them in about 10 hours ( breaks included).

We wish you a wonderful Season anmd the very best for 2011. We’ll be thinking of all of you on Thanksgiving Day.

Cordial greetings

Edeltraud and Juergen Thewes

November 25, 2010 Posted by | General, Holiday Wishes, Thanksgiving, What's Doing Now | Leave a comment