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Charlie Battery - 1959 - 1969

Site News - WINTER 2011





Cutting It Close

or the casual observer this newsletter has not made the Fall Quarter deadline. However, for the astronomically pure the December solstice, or the beginning of winter, will occur in the northern hemisphere at 05:30 UTC on December 22, 2011. I think I missed it anyway, oh well.

So, now that I have found a way to fully justify my procrastination and tardiness, I can get on the with this rather abbreviated newsletter.

A Moment of Explanation

I decided from the beginning that I wanted, along with all of your help, to tell our story. To me, that meant that the site had to have some sort of logical progression to it. I won't go into every area, but in the Barracks Area for example, I tried to show an approach down the road to the to the area, going to the main gate, then down the barracks road, and to the left to the motor pool, etc.

So, as all of you provided new images I found that they began to fill in the gaps to that narrative, which could make that logical progression even more detailed. Now that can be quite labor intensive, but I think that it makes for a better visual story, because it will help us old guys to remember, and also there are going to be those site visitors that were not members of our experience, which helps them to more easily understand the story.

Now that I have made a short story long, what I am saying is I don't just tack on new images at the back of an area. I insert them in their contextual place, which means that you are going to have to do more work to find those new image. Yes I know... Life is hard enough, but this is for your own good, trust me...!

New Materials and Documentation

Recently while rummaging around in an old art materials storage box looking for drawing pencils, I discovered over 100 black and white Charlie Battery negatives that I thought were long ago lost.

I was both surprised and elated to find them, because I found a some interesting and unique photos, including a picture of the front of the motor pool, which has been one of the missing pieces to the site.

I don't have a slide or negative scanner, so I had to take them to a photography studio that I work with to have them scanned into digital high resolution images, which is rather expensive. So I was only able to afford 15 new images for now and I have placed them in their proper areas and they can be identified by the animated image that flashes “New” in the upper left hand corner of each image section.

Construction Images

Our friend Thomas Schulz, from Heilbronn, has provided us with even more new images of the base construction. I have expanded the existing Construction PDF to 7 new images, and added another Construction PDF with 3 more images, which bring our construction images up to a total of 10 very unique new photographs documenting the sites construction. And, as usual, they can be found in the “Archives Section” on page one.

Thomas has also provided us with a two architects drafted site plan. One is very clear and easy to read, and is the one that I would like to use. However, for some unknown reason, I am told that we cannot use it. The other one is fuzzy and hard to read, and the layout is a bit more unclear. Maybe in the future, if I beg, grovel, plead, and hold my breath, and any other tactic I can think of, we will be allowed to use it on the website. In any case, we thank you Thomas for you contribution to our unit history.

Time Traveling

This past Fall Lionel and Marsha Gonzales, along with friends, traveled to Germany and visited the Charlie Battery area. While visiting the Gastahaus Traube the owner made a call and suprised Lionel with a special treat. He, and only he, was permitted to visit the Schloss Stocksberg meeting the owner. The Schloss has been purchased by a private owner who is now engaged in restoring this wonderful piece of history to its grand and elegant original state.

For me the castle was love at first site. I have always been fascinated with medieval art and architecture, including castles and gothic cathedrals. At that young age I had neither the academic or historical knowledge to fully appreciate them. I just felt them on a gut level, and it was only later, with study, that I am fully able to appreciate these incredible accomplishments.

The first architects were the Master Stonemasons, and what they achieved both visually and technically for the times, is almost beyond comprehension. The “Flying Buttress” was a masterstroke of genius that enabled incredible heights, with walls of stained glass and tracery that created magical illuminated inner spaces.

I personally am so pleased to know that “Our Schloss” is receiving the “Tender Loving Care” (TLC), it so justly deserves. I wonder if the Blacksmith Shop (Schmiede Werkstatt) is still intact. Wouldn't that be a magical place to visit. It would be special for me to see, because I studied under a Master Blacksmith and had a blacksmith shop in the Seattle Area for a while. You can view images of my shop by “Clicking Here”, but that is another story.

The Schloss was always on our horizon and part of our daily life, and for many of us, like the “Gasthaus in the Woods”, it will always evoke pleasant memories with good friends.

Reunion Section

The website has been coming together in pieces at a time, much like the Space Station in orbit around the earth. Now it's time for the Reunion module to be constructed and launched into the Charlie Battery Orbit. Because I am not able to make the reunions I need the help of everyone to send me their photographs, their own personal accounts and experiences, and suggestions regarding how it should be assembled.

I would also appreciate someone writing a description that would be placed on the preface page, similar to the IFC page one, or Our Neighborhood page_1. That way we would have a firsthand account by someone who was there. Basically, it would include: the special ceremonies, events, entertainment, as well as how well Lionel Gonzales did on the golf course, including his handicap. So, if we can get that section accomplished early this coming year, I think we would all have a sense of completion.

I would prefer people sending me actual photographs. That way I can scan them into digital high resolution images for nice clear viewing. Give me a call and we can talk about it.

This Year

Well, it's been some year...! Wasn't last New Years Eve just a short time ago, and now here comes another one... I guess time goes by when you're having fun...! Thank you for all of your support, it has taken all of us to make this project happen.

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