Remembering Anna Jane....
Dear Laurie and Jenn,
Our friendship all begun with a Pen Friend Letter from your mother to my brother Jean. If I remember well this was an initiative from an international youth organization which tried via high schools to have students from both sides of the ocean to exchange information concerning ways of life in their country.
As my brother had stopped high school studies in order to take over later our father’s butcher shop, it was up to me to reply in his name.
Those were my first contacts with your mother. I must have been around 16 at that time. We first met in person the year Anna Jane had her extra year in Wales.
She visited me and my Family that same year (1957 or 58). I showed her around our country. I think at that moment Warren was not in view yet!
We kept corresponding at least once a year, and to my shame it took me sometimes into April before I replied. But I never missed one. Anna Jane’s letters came all for Christmas.
Our next contact was in 1970 at Westtown, Pennsylvania. This was when I came to North Carolina to work during 3 months for my company. It was around Halloween. This was the first time I learned about trick or treat. I remember Jenn being dressed as a pumpkin and we ate carrot pie.
In between on one of my business trips to the States, you (the 4 of you) picked me up in the middle of nowhere at 4 o’clock in the morning in a hotel, guarded by armed security men, and we headed for Nantucket. This was my first time on this beautiful island, which your parents loved so much. We toured the whole Island and spent quite some time at the harbor.
For the sabbatical year (after 12 years of teaching) of your father, we were able to give back some of the hospitality, which I had received. You have toured through Europe and we hosted you in Luxembourg. This must have been when Jenn was around 3 years old. You must still remember the castle you slept in in Germany.
Then when our son Robert studied in Washington DC for a year, we (Gaby my wife, René and Marianne) visited your parents in Nantucket, the same period when we met Laurie in NY. We enjoyed our stay very much and we explored the island with the help of your parents. During that period Anna Jane had also arranged for us to visit her mother in Frederick.
We will remember Anna Jane always as a friendly, optimistic, gentle and helpful person.