~~ continued ~~
The bronze statue in this photograph (found not far from the train station) depicts a true Oberstein character, Mr. B. de Lorenzo, an Italian immigrant who for more years than one can remember, pushed his ice cream cart from his home in the Wasenstrasse to the Market Square and sold ice cream.  The best "Eis" this side of paradise!!!!  I still remember him from when I was a child, when it was a great day indeed when mom or dad anted up a 'Groschen" (10-penny coin) for some of this heavenly confection.  Day-in day-out, rain or shine, there was grouchy old 'Bede' (as people called him) selling his ice cream in summer and roasted chestnuts and sugared almonds during the winter months.  When he died in the seventies, surely a piece of old Oberstein died with him.  You can't pick up a book about Oberstein (well, not one written by a REAL Obersteiner :), without coming across the following little story (of which I have little doubt that it really happened):
THE LATEST FASHION:  B. de Lorenzo was known as a bit of a, shall we say, 'frugal' kind of person.  With a bit of a temper.  One day he and his pushcart returned home from a hard day of peddling his wares at the Market Square.  Tired and hungry for sure, and probably more than a little bit crabby.  So what's the first thing he sees?  Of all things -- his wife, modelling a new hat.  In his view, quite ridiculous and even more, a very unnecessary expense. "What in the world is that strange thing on your head??" he demands to know.  "Well, dear, it's the latest fashion."  Whereupon Bede grabs the hat from his long-suffering Missus' head, throws it in the woodburning stove, watches for a moment as the haute couture goes up in flames, before he gleefully calls to his wife, "Listen, just listen how the lastest fashion crackles!"
One can't stray too far south, south-west of the City of Oberstein without coming across one of these (or similiar) signs.  And they mean it.  After WWII, a large area of land was cleared for the military boys and girls to hold their exercises.  There are some public roads leading through the area, shortcuts to towns on the other side, but you're not permitted to stop and leave your vehicle, and they're closed during exercises. Many small towns fell victim to this land usage for wargames.  It is a sad sight indeed, the ruins of towns, houses where family once dwelled, reduced to rubble by target practice.  The military 'graciously' permits former occupants and their descendants to gather there from time to time for memorial services.  I live pretty close to an airport now (planes coming in to land at Eppley Airfield circle overhead), but the noise is nothing compared to the thunder of military aircrafts (day and night).  Maybe it didn't help that the subdivision wher I grew up was built on top of a hill, directly in some flightpath or other (it's not that far from Hanau).  As children, we found it of course quite exciting to catch glimpses of parachuters sailing through the air.  And as with everything, one just about got used to the sound of gun- and canonfire, day and night for days or even weeks on end, and the incessant rumble of tanks and military convoys through the valley.
Both photos on this page copyright Wolfgang Sauer
used with kind permission

MARGIN:  The Church in the Rocks, ca. 1860
This page is dedicated to the memory of:
Page design and text copyright Valkyrie Grant
Entrance Page
Industry (Gems & Jewelry), Museums An Oberstein Original and the Danger Zone The Legend of the Church in the Rocks
Autumn Memories A Family Picture Album Dedication to My Mother Guestbook
A Sweet German Tradition: The "Schultuete" A German Christmas Remembered The Brandenbug Gate, Midnight, 12/31/99 to 01/01/00 HOME