Memories of my childhood on the continent of Europe.
From 1982ish to July of 1989 I lived overseas. My parents were not military, but civilian workers who for some reason decided to move their family across the pond for the kind of idyllic suburban drone-ary that would have been just as easy to find in any number of military communities within driving distance to our home in California. Here are four memories.
1. “Coming to America” The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders 1983 – Iraklion Air Base AAFES movie theater – Crete, Greece
The USO and remote military bases go together like chicken and french fries–not well, but hey you gets what you gets. And what you gets apparently is a movie theater packed with soldiers, stay-at-home-moms and elementary school children watching the PG-13 pom pom shaking of what looked to be the bench warmer roster of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The day glo costumes and the bad moves effortlessly surpassed the selection of Neil Diamond’s America as the cheesy aspect of the show.
2. “Camping while black” Road Trip through the Alps 1985 – Various European Locations
My father decided to take my family along with two cousins on a Clark Griswald like trip though every knickknack, Hummel and hell factory that would support RV travel. When we weren’t parked precariously close to a STEEP death drop, we were being asked to park our RV on the outskirts of cute Swiss towns as to not stink up the place with our embarrassing Americanness. I remember the only music seemed to be Lisa Lisa’s “Can You Feel The Beat” and some kids in a train station line dancing to “Sir Duke”. That actually was the highlight of the trip. One asked me if I knew Stevie Wonder personally. I lied and said he was my uncle.
3. “Mozart’s House is Next to McD’s!!!” Visiting Mozart’s House 1985 – Salzburg, Austria.
We were already Mozart’d out by the time we rolled into this town. What with all the “Rock Me Amadeus” and the bitterness of Tom Hulce not winning any major acting awards for his performance, this was not exactly one of my finer sight-seeing moments. And really, the only thing I really seem to recall is the proximity of the McD’s, which served beer and soggy fries. Years later, on another episode entitled “A Very Austrian Xmas” we circled the “Van Trapp” house like nine hundred times because our driver was lost or possibly intoxicated. This is also located in Salzburg. (kinda)
4. “A view to a thrill” Recreating a Duran Duran Video in Paris 1986 – Paris, France
I could lie and said I faithfully recreated many scenes of this delicious video while touring the Eiffel Tower, but really I was just a sullen teenager and my pouty John Taylor looks were merely coincidental.