Apr 01-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: April: Apr 01-04
TIMBER !!!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by David Antikainen (and Photoshop!)

Toivo from Toivola on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:18 am:

Wah!! Bet this throws a monkeywrench in the annual "Fourth of July, Gay Parade" this year. For folks not familiar with the area, Gay, is a big little town up north here in the U.P.

Happy April Fool's Day!

Here's a refresher on the history of April Fool's Day here at Pasty Central: We had a couple rough years with "Hans the Hacker", when he translated the entire site into German. As if that wasn't enough, the following year he turned all the images upside down. Then Charlie set a trap for old "Hans" and caught him in the act, with a program to make all the Pasty Cam pictures burn away, like the map on the old Bonanza TV show. Since then "Han's" has been behaving himself - - I sure hope he isn't lurking somewhere in the background today just waiting to pounce on us!

Special thanks to David Antikainen for allowing us to abuse a shot from his super Pasty Cam Guest Album ! And thanks to Mary Drew who took the morning off to go put a prop under that big chimney!
By Dick Barclay, Troll Land on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:29 am:

Maybe you could have towed it around the point to Copper Harbor to launch fireworks from on the 4th?

By ABGMan on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:30 am:

Good morning to all!


By maijaMI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:40 am:

Humor saves us all. Thanks to everyone @ pasty cam for the balance presented. Happy April Fools' Day to all who can laugh at themselves!

By jody, MI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:41 am:

Happy April Fool's Day!!! Great shot to start this day of practical jokes with!

By Toivo from Toivola on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:51 am:

Oh no !! Hans the Hacker is up to his old tricks. No sooner did we get today's Pasty Cam published, and it started to rain down pasty-girls in my browser - -

Stop Hans! Yer makin' me hungry!

By Rice Lake Gary on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:56 am:

ABGMAN, Get to work

By Pat,WI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 07:20 am:


Hi Vern, it's been a lone time. Hope you are doing well!
Yes I am Chucks brother and he lives in Clarkston, MI. E-mail me and I can send you his E-mail address.

Pat, WI

By Alfred on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 07:31 am:

I'm number eight!!

By uper1 on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 07:39 am:

Yah, eh, dat was a heck of a party at the Gay Bar last nite. We told Heikki to stay off the stack but he doesn't listen very well!!!

By Mary Lou on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 07:40 am:

Hans......Guten tag!!....Ich bien Deutch, auck!..Haben sie familie hier??.. so viele Deutch im Keweenaw.........wiedersein

By Homer / Springfield on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 07:42 am:

So many pastys,....mmmmmmmmmmmm.

By IM, ekiM on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 08:05 am:

,haW yloH
?ydaerla 1 lirpA ti sI

By Jack in CT on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 08:11 am:

One pasty picture makes me a little hungry but dozens of them floating across my screen? I already started on my lunch!

By Rice Lake Alison on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 08:13 am:

Happy Birthday Anson! You are MY favorite April Fools Joke!!!

By Snowboy on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 08:31 am:

Whoopie Ding, I'm no 15, What a feeling.

By Deb on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 09:03 am:

I love it! Thanks for the April 1st giggle!

By Dave, Laurium on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 09:06 am:

Geeezzz Lou-eeezzz!! Someone broke my picture. Is nothing sacred?? Haven't seen anything lean that far to the right since I met Rush Limbaugh!! Now that's a thought for April Fool's Day! :,O

By Your Friends! on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 09:11 am:

Happy Birthday Steve Kneebone!!

By Kate, CA on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 09:28 am:

HAHAHAHAHAHA....that was cute!

Hey Dave, loved your comment about Rush!!! (speaking of April Fools )

By john, chicagoland on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 09:40 am:

you played right into my fear of the elements reclaiming the
modern human history of the keweenaw.


a gag charity to 'save the gay smokestack' would have completed
the joke.

By Vanessa Calumet on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 09:43 am:

Is the floating pasty girl really necessary??? PLEASE!!!!!! THAT ISN'T FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!

*cry*... I'm not coming to this site ever again.


By Mary Drew taking a break from propping the chimney on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:01 am:

Oh no....you have got to check out Eric Sharp's, Outdoor column today in the Detroit Free Press: State moves to protect pasty crop.
Looks like it's time for us Pasty lovers to rebel! If you don't want to buy the license, you can always order fresh U.P. Pasties, right here!! :->

By Troll, Lower, MI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:04 am:

Happy birthday (or would have been) to my father-in-law.... nice man but you'd think being born on April 1st he would have had a sense of humor,,,well, at least his son has thank goodness!!! He's been married to me for 27 years. Happy B-Day Frank-- which would have turned 79 today! Love, your favorite son and daughter-in-law

By Troll, Lwr, MI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:06 am:

That "raining" pasty girl is making me dizzy!!

By VHarju on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:15 am:

Pat, WI
My email address is
v_harju@yahoo.com there is an underscore between v and harju it would only show up as a space.

Best, Vern

By vaalea on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:16 am:

Who is that pasty girl, anyway?

Hyvaa ruokahalua!

By m, wa on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:21 am:

?he ,yzarc

By Carole on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:35 am:

Read Eric Sharps column on "State moves to protect pasty CROP". what a laugh, and none too soon with all the other depressing news in the papers and on TV.

By finlander, painesdale on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:46 am:

Re: Dave -

If one were to look at the opposite side of the photo it would be leaning as far to the left as Kerry!! Well not quite as far to the left as Kerry but quite far indeed! Happy April Fools Day to all.

By Dave, Laurium on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:50 am:

finlander... Never looked at it that way, but the way Kerry changes his mind day to day, he could be on either side..... :,)

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 11:31 am:

Well, for those who read my comments about this Smokestack, you're probably wondering what I have to say. First of all, 911 had to be called to do CPR on me! Not really, but I yelled to my wife, "OH NO! COME QUICK!" I almost started to cry, and then I saw the April Fools thing. You got me... AND GOOD! This was cruel and rotten! AND I LOVED IT! :)

By Doug the Troll, Wixom, MI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 11:41 am:

Glad dem little birch trees are dere to catch dat big stak. But will they hold up? Dat I do not know. Happy Fools day to all.

By Ernie on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 11:55 am:

Hey der,

Holy wha...What happened ta da Gay Smokestack? It’s lookin’ a little limp dere taday, hey?

By Dave, Laurium on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 11:55 am:

We could have a Gay Pasty Picnic Day down there, tie a couple a big ropes to the stack, then pull it back up the way it belongs...

By Jon, Ypsilanti on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 11:56 am:

Alex - don't feel bad that got me too!!!!!

By UP Flatlander on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 11:56 am:

Pretty clever photo,just like the leaning tower of Pisa over in sunny Italy. Who knows, it could become famous as the leaning gay chimney, or smokestack or something.

By Fool today on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 12:04 pm:

Looks like a giant cannon, must be the UP's defense
system! Boom, out shoots a giant pasty (from Bigfoot's
freezer) towards Canada!

By uper1 on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 12:09 pm:

Yeh, that's the Yooper's "WPD", weapons of pasty destruction!!

By Scott, Grand Rapids MI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 12:13 pm:

Checked the Soo Locks cam this noon to see if anything was going on. Never knew I'd come up with photographic evidence that submarines DO ply the Great Lakes! (hee hee hee)

By Lee, Mi on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 12:14 pm:

I think the Gay Bar Trivia team took their partying a little too hardy last night! They broke the stack!

By Lorelei on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 12:14 pm:

Now that was funny!

By Fran,Ga on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 12:21 pm:

Alex,I knew seeing that smokestack falling over would about give you a heart attack!! I admit it startled me too. Was relieved to remember that it was April Fool'sDay.

Today I remember with love,my brother Norbert Spellich who passed away on this day 5 yrs ago. I sure do miss him. He was a good brother and loved to help people.

By Audrey, San Jose, CA on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 12:28 pm:

What a funny way to start my day... the raining Pasty girl and amusing, silly conversation! Thanks!

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 12:35 pm:

Just some information for those who care... I wanted to send it to everyone here, because I care about YOU!

KFC has been a part of our American traditions for many years. Many people, day in and day out, eat at KFC religiously. Do they really know what they are eating? During a recent study of KFC done at the University of New Hampshire, they found some very upsetting facts.

First of all, has anybody noticed that just recently, the company has changed their name? Kentucky Fried Chicken has become KFC. Does anybody know why? We thought the real reason was because of the "FRIED" food issue. It's not. The reason why they call it KFC is because they cannot use the word chicken anymore. Why? KFC does not use real chickens. They actually use genetically manipulated organisms.

These so called "chickens" are kept alive by tubes inserted into their bodies to pump blood and nutrients throughout their structure. They have no beaks, no feathers, and no feet. Their bone structure is dramatically shrunk to get more meat out of them. This is great for KFC because they do not have to pay so much for their production costs. There is no more plucking of the feathers or the removal of the beaks and feet.

The government has told them to change all of their menus so they do not say chicken anywhere. If you look closely you will notice this. Listen to their commercials, I guarantee you will not see or hear the word chicken. I find this matter to be very disturbing. I hope people will start to realize this and let other people know.

Please forward this message to as many people as you can. Together we can make KFC start using real chicken again.


Alex Tiensivu

P.S. Look at today’s date... Does April 1st mean ANYTHING to you?


By Audrey, San Jose, CA on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 01:06 pm:


By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 01:11 pm:

Mary Drew:
Thank you so very much for the article by Nan Kuivanen on the ice floe incident. You certainly are an asset to this site.

By SLD, MI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 01:15 pm:

Alex in Georgia - You definitely got me, and during lunch too. Happy April Fool's Day.

By Rose - Channahon, IL on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 01:26 pm:

Yep, you got me too! I couldn't wait to call my husband in to look at the Gay chimmney stack!

By TLK, Downstate MI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 01:45 pm:

That was a good one. I was really fooled for a minute there. I would have really missed that landmark on the way out to Marv's Camp.

By Dizzy on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 01:53 pm:

You guys are so funny! Happy April Fool's day to all!

That Pasty girl is looking like a screensaver! And making me hungry, too!

By SDinSB on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 02:03 pm:

It would be fun if we had pac man gobbling up those little pastys the little girl is holding. He could become larger the more pastys he eats.

By EAH on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 02:11 pm:

Remember how all you kids would get quiet as we got near to Gay while driving out there? Everybody was watching closely so they could be the first to yell, "I see the Gay smokestack!!"

By m, wa on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 02:26 pm:

Aw, shoot, I feel stupid now! All day I've been wondering why in all the 20 years I lived in the UP, I've never seen it! Good one!
Happy April Fool's Day!

Alex in GA: very delightful splurge on testtube chicken...

By uper1 on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 02:39 pm:

SDinSB.....Yeh, then when he gobbles up enough of them, he could explodes pasty stuff all over the screen....especially the ketchup and baga's..

By AP1-04 on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 03:31 pm:

I think the Gay Smokestack just got word that the Supreme Court of Massachusetts had ruled its marriage was annulled.

By Mike R. New Berlin WI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 04:03 pm:

Here's what a woman where I work did to her little darlins last April 1.
I've been asked, as a public service, to remind people of the very important holiday we're celebrating tomorrow. April 1st....a chance to torture your children, and get away with it. It's something you can all fondly chuckle about for years (OK, they may factor this in when they are selecting the home to put you in when you've lost the ability to care for yourself, but isn't a moment of fun worth any long-time risks?).
Last year, I made it look as if we'd had a power outage (I unplugged, then replugged in anything with an LCD display, so they'd be flashing, and set all the other clocks back 2 hours). At 5:30, I ran around the house shaking children awake exclaiming things like..., "You guys! We overslept! We must have lost power! It's 7:30. We have to leave in 15 minutes." I must say, I've never seen my children move that fast in the morning. By the time they came running downstairs, half dressed, wet hair, frantically looking for shoes and backpacks, it was about "7:50". I of course, was still in my pajamas, sitting on the sofa, calmly leafing through a magazine. At about this point, my eldest wanders by the Time Warner box (those, you can't really set to a wrong time, can you?)....which reads 5:50 am. :) "Wait, what time is it?", she asks. I respond, "What day is it?". The truth begins to dawn. I announce, "April Fools Day!". They yelled at me for 20 minutes while I got ready in a leisurely fashion; then we all went out to breakfast. They are still mad at me. So, my mission was accomplished! Fortunately, they will be at their Father's house tomorrow, so I should be safe from retribution.

By danbury; germany on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 04:10 pm:

LOrL, AP1-04! U hit the nail.
That left aside, I may be Hans, but I'm not responsible for the pasty grrl - unfortunately, I am no hacker.
I guess Mary Lou wasn't talking to me, either.
Wonder how many of us (= men named Hans) are on this site?

By silly goose on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 04:15 pm:

probably more than those named feet

By danbury on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 04:18 pm:

Having read the german page, I admit you had me by the leg. Though I must say, it appears this Hans has been away from germany a long time ... :)

By maijaMI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 05:16 pm:

Absolutely hysterical great fun! And I agree: AP1-04 wins the prize. Toivo, you sly fox, you know you set this all up! Hope people keep posting today. (if I can take it) Where's Wheatman? And Dave, Laurium: oh yeah!

By Puzzle Gal on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 05:22 pm:

I think you prankin' pasty cammers will probably enjoy this page: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/aprilfool2.html.

I remember well the bumper spaghetti crop of '57 ...

By dave s wisc on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 05:31 pm:

I don't get it...
is there not a big stack there????
Or is it that it leans in a different direction?

By KE, Mi on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:34 pm:

It's going through some rather intriguing contortions as well--to see what i mean, compare the base of the smokestack with the base of the tree it's falling in front of.
Silly is good (in moderation of course), but one day out of an entire year dedicated to fun and laughter really isn't sufficient. I propose adding a second day. In November, maybe--say the Wednesday after the first Monday. Unless somebody can come up with a better date.

Ps. Wonderful site. If i get my pick of where i'm going to live, it'll be back up there.

By Marissa - MI/ WI on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 06:59 pm:

I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the Gay Smokestack tilted! Then, I realized it was a joke for April Fool's Day. What can I say -- I am a blonde.

I liked the raining pasty cam girls. I thought it was pop up ads--innovative!

(Hans: Toi! Toi! Toi! Das war genial! Ich habe Ihre Arbeit von vorigen Jahren angeschaut. Sie haben ja Recht, dass pasty.com nur von den finnischen und englaendischen Einsiedlern beinflusst ist. Ich habe gar keine deutsche Abstammung. Aber ich stimme mit Ihnen trotzdem ein. Es waere ja interesant von anderen Kulturen, die in dem Keweenaw eingesiedelt haben, zu lernen. Was werden Sie naechstes Jahr zu diesem website antun?)

By NMU,alumni on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 07:43 pm:

Sittin in bar, tippin a jar, in Gay!
Wish I was there right now!

By Beverly on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 07:43 pm:

I think that Fool Today and Uper 1 were both at the Gay bar last night. Sure could use some of that debris from that giant cannon that shoots weapons of pasty destruction. Very typical of a couple of guys, sitting at the bar, trying to figure out the best joke of the day. That was a good belly laugh! :)

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 08:06 pm:

Just couldn't let the day end without showing the un-doctored view of David's photo:

The real thing

By the way, John Schneiderhan and I saw the Gay Smokestack today... from the radar building on Mt. Horace Greeley. We were working on the wireless Internet link which will be hitting Brockway and bouncing down into Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor. Hopefully later this spring we can get the signal over to Gay and LacLabelle as well .

What a beautiful sunny day up at the old base! I had not been there since Keweenaw Academy closed. It was sad to see the workshops, dorms and classrooms vacant. There are still a few families which live in the neigborhood there.

John snapped a few pictures from the top of Building 152, the old radar dome structure. Perhaps he can send some to Mary Drew for use on the Pasty Cam. The view is spectacular.
By RD, Iowa on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 08:16 pm:

Mary did a fine job propping the chimney back up.

By mjg Lake Linden on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 08:51 pm:

ABGMAN AND Gary from Rice Lake: Get to work. YOur resting on your laurals long enough. Love
Aunt Mary

By Mary Drew back at Pasty Central on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:02 pm:

Thanks, RD, Iowa! wink!

By Scott, Wi. on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:12 pm:

So many pastys so little time........

How many carbs in them?

By Mary Lou on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:14 pm:

All is right with world!!!...The smokestack is back in place to welcome all Gayites back home in time for them to attend Lake Linden's all class reunion....over the 4th weekend.....see you there!!!!...........PS:... MARY DREW.. your great-grandfather. John Phlugi, came to the Copper Country about 1881... from Switzerland with my grandfather, Anselm Studer,...they were best-friends.. 21 yr old GERMAN speaking young men from Nunnigen and Brietenbach, Solothurn, Switzerland..a very beautiful area 15 miles south of Basel....

By Fred on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:37 pm:

Congrats Michigan Wolverines!! NIT Champs...Go Blue!

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:39 pm:

Wow, Mary Lou....thanks for the info! I didn't know that...I knew he was from Switzerland (making me 1/4 Swiss), but wasn't aware of the circumstances of his arrival here!

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 10:52 pm:

Scott in WI: Believe me... If you're counting carbs, stop when you get to the pasties. They are so good, that if they contained 10 days worth of carbs, I'd STILL eat them! :)

Today has been such a great day here... I've been in and out a million times and the comments are SO funny... Loved the one who said he didn't get it... Was there a stack, or is it tilted the wrong way! ROFL!

This is the best Website on the entire Internet. I've never seen anything else come close.

By Mary Lou on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 11:02 pm:

Mary Drew......I have been to the Phlugi family home in Nunnigen, Solothurn Switzerland...it was named "Heuslimut"(sp) and I recently gave John Phlugi's GERMAN prayer book (which was in my grandfather's collection) to your cousin, Eileen Wiita. Both your great-grandfather and my grandfather were devout young men.... I know Anselm had been discharged from the Swiss army in 1881 and I guess John had been as well...

By Ken and Mimi from da UP on Thursday, April 1, 2004 - 11:22 pm:

What a day on the pastycam!! Loved the pasty pickin' story. HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY to all!

By danbury; germany on Friday, April 2, 2004 - 04:36 am:

15 mls south of Basel? Nice area. Hey, that's more or less around the corner, just 55 mls from where I live. Pasty.cam sure has farspread roots, then.

By Mary Lou on Friday, April 2, 2004 - 09:26 am:

danbury;germany....Guten Tag!!....My family name, Studer, is very common in Switzerland. I remember staying at an old hotel by the Basel train station owned by a family with the name Studer. My cousin Heidi Marti, in Brietenbach introduced me to the village clerk, Heinrick Studer....I loved the country....my grandfather came to Copper Harbor Michigan as a young stonemason...first to Copper Falls to build foundations for the new mining town then to the Quincy,(1884) where he was hired by my great-grandfather Johann Jos. Fretter...his first job was to build the powder-house in Ripley. He said" I should have stayed in Switzerland because the stone here is so hard to work with. The mountains in the Basel area are part of the Jura range (I think) and it is where he learned his trade. He married Johann's daughter who came here wih her family from Heinsburg, West Phalia, Germany...in the Saurland (from the most beautiful area I have ever seen) when she was 17 yrs old....I think the romance blossemed because they could talk to each other.....

By danbury; germany on Friday, April 2, 2004 - 05:05 pm:

Good Morning Mary Lou! (00:05 am here)
Enjoyed reading about your ancestors.
While I do not know anyone named Studer, not quite being in Switzerland myself, names like Breitenbach (Brietenbach?) sure do sound familiar, as does the Basel trainstation, both the swiss and the german (yes, there are two). I do not know what kind of stone you got UP there, but I figure after the Jura carbonite, about anything will seem harder work. (Is it granite?)
Reading I notice how easy it is to forget where one's people came from - my own ancestors hail from several areas in former german provinces in what is nowadays poland.
On the other hand, I have absolutely no relatives in the US - just friends (in NH.)
By the way, when you say, the Sauerland is the most beautiful you've ever seen - does that mean this certain part of germany is even more beautiful than the UP? ;)

By Mary Lou on Friday, April 2, 2004 - 11:43 pm:

danbury:germany...very good to hear from you. Perhaps a geologist could tell us what type of stone would have been available at the Quincy mine site for the stonemasons to work with. I understand it is the base of an ancient volcano that erupted millions of years ago.... The Sauerland was especially beautiful because of the architecture.......It is a ski area so the land is very much like this area but the homes are very old with beautiful old lettering on the large cross beams. We had an adventure trying to find Heinsburg, .....because there are two towns by the same name in West Phalia.... and we went to the wrong one..The first Heinburg was in an industrial area. We went to a local guesthouse and met some wonderful folks. One fellow had been a German prisoner of war here in the United States. He worked on a farm and loved it and he was treated well by the farmers. He was so kind to us. His daughter was an English teacher and she got a map and folks in the bar all got together and directed us to the correct Heinsburg. It is next to the village of Oberhunden, where my grandmother grew up.....It was such a lovely area and I remember a beautiful guesthouse I think it was named "Unter dem LINDEN"...... my German grandmother lived her life in Lake LINDEN, Michigan....I know she missed her homeland and longed to see it again but never was able to go "home"....to the beautiful Sauerland

By danbury; germany on Saturday, April 3, 2004 - 01:51 am:

Good Morning Mary Lou!
I study forestry, and recently during a reorganization of the university, the faculty of geology was integrated into ours, so - well, next semester starts in two weeks, but somebody ought to know.
I understand it might have been irritating to find the place you were looking for, only to find you hadn't, but still - imagine looking for a place named Neustadt (= Newtown) - whole lot of those all over the country. I know at least three people from Neustadt - three different places, though.
"Unter den Linden" is a wellknown name to me, too - not as a guesthouse, but as the globally known main boulevard in my hometown Berlin - before WWII and the GDR.
While none of my people ever was PoW in the US, my parental grandfather was such in frankonia for a short time. As he told the story, one day the commander came by and recognized his name, having been told about by a jewish doctor who made it to america before things got too ugly. This doc and my granddad had known each other, even were friends, a fact that now released my granddad from the camp and got him a permit of passage to his family in the Harz (mountainous area in the center of germany.
So, while your grandmother couldn't make it, you did - I'd bet she would have loved for you to see her homecountry. Right?
I apologize for any incorrectness of language, grammar and use of words that might cause irritations while reading - I admit I lack practice, and I don't care too much about additional lessons. Never had trouble while being in the US or UK, though.

By Mary Lou on Saturday, April 3, 2004 - 12:44 pm:

danbury;germany...Good Day and Thank you. First of all, you do a wonderful job writing in English!!..I understand most young folks study English in your schools. You mention you are a forestry student (& geology)...do you know about our Michigan Technological University???...located here in Houghton, Michigan?? It specializes in both fields. Maybe someday you can visit the campus...and meet some YOOPERS!!......I am glad to learn your grandfather was released as a POW...I understand the German folks suffered greatly as well as all the others during the WW l & ll. My beloved grandmother had to send two sons (my father and uncle) to war against her beloved homeland during WW1.......( I saw a large memorial dedicated to the young men from Oberhunden, her hometown, who last their lives in battle during the wars..maybe cousins....all so sad)...My Uncle-in law, Arthur Houlkonen, from Nisula (here in the UP) was captured during the "Battle of the Bulge". A German guard helped him to find food to eat and he survived while many did not...........I find that the there are many similarities between our countries...our cultures & values...

By danbury; germany on Sunday, April 4, 2004 - 04:28 am:

Good day to you, Mary Lou.
I tried to mail you since I think we've used enough space on pasty.cam, but for some reason the server of my provider wouldn't load this early in the morning.
One clarification: while the faculties were united, I'm forestry only. And I of course know about MTU - it's mentioned quite often on pasty.cam, right? :)
Actually, I was considering not university, but some kind of internship in the USA, but due to personal reasons, I'll have to finish asap. But then, some day I'll be over, for vacation that is, and then I might be able to see the UP myself, meeting Yoopers and, of course, have a pasty. This will not happen within the next few years, anyway. :(
While I was until now lucky enough never to be involved in a war myself as yet, it is my understanding that all folks involved suffer - no matter wich side they're on.
I must say, however, that unfortunately I am not familiar with the term "Battle of the Bulge" - don't mean to be pushy, but if you know more, exact location, e.g., I'd appreciate -
I've heard tell, and read, that soldiers of any side have more in common than between them - guess same goes for the people. Read also, perhaps here someday, that during WWI, one day, might have been christmas, soldiers along a ca. 300-mile-strech of the western front joined in playing soccer and stuff, german, english, french, belgium - for several days, actually. Interesting, huh?
One question, just in case there is need. Would you mind terribly if I'd mail instead of post should need arise? It somehow feels weird to me to keep posting, and they're rather lengthy posts. Just say so if you mind.
Have a nice day.

By Mary Lou on Sunday, April 4, 2004 - 09:35 am:

Hans...Danbury"Germany....I think many Yoopers on Pasty.com would find this exchange to be interesting!!!!..I hope a veteran of WWll or a historian will come on to better describe the "Battle of the Bulge"......this is what I understand:.....it was near the end of the war, it was in December near to Christmas, the "Bulge", I think. describes a region of Belgium. The German army captued a large number of our troops. It was one of our largest battles during the war. My husband's uncle, Art Hulkonen of Nisula,was one of the prisoners and a friend of mine, Russel Lee, of Escanaba also was captured that day. Germany had no food or services for their own people and life for the POWs was very difficult!!.....

By Bob Brown, Alabama on Sunday, April 4, 2004 - 02:12 pm:

Danbury and MaryLou:
The So-called battle of the Bulge is very well documented in the US WWII history. It would probably be less publicized in the German history since it occured at the end of a long and difficult war. It is true that the winners write most of the history. [We yoopers living in Alabama know this from the great War between the States 1861-1865]. The theory of the last great battle was an attempt by the Germans to amass a very large army of veterans and many Tiger tanks (which were individually more heavily armored than the American tanks)and to make a drive across Luxembourg and Belgium to take the port at Antwerp. the drive was launched by Gen. Von Runstedt with 20 divisions on Dec 16. It has a valiant, last ditch effort, but the Panzers were short of fuel and the supply problems for the Germans were very difficult. The Allies in turn dominated the air. The attacks started in bad weather and large advances took place, creating a deep penetration into the Allied lines..called the "Bulge". It caught the Allied troops off-guard since many of the veterans were being relieved by replacements for Christmas. The famous incident at Bastogne took place during this drive. Bastogne was surrounded and German commander demanded their surrender. IT was manned by the 82nd Airbourne whose commander replied "Nuts". The translation created some problems for the Germans. The Drive reached to a point near Dinant in Belgium before stalling due to the superior logistics of the Allied armies. The entire battle lasted about 30 days.

By danbury; germany on Sunday, April 4, 2004 - 02:23 pm:

Good evening,Mary Lou.
Ok. Point taken. So, now I'll put the rest I wanted to say in answer to your last post in here.
Many folks have english as first foreign language at school, but there are also many that take up russian or french, or else. There are big differences in th quality of the lessons, too. I was fortunate enough to have my first english lessons in 4th grade, we had a special room for learning pronounciation, and additionally, our parents liked to travel, so I had to use it.

As to the "Bulge", I could not come up with information about that yet. Perhaps someone else?
I know there were several "Kesselschlachten" (means troops were completely surrounded by opposite troops) during WWII, but I thought the worst battles of WWII, western front, were on the retreat. Might have been during the "Ardennen-Attack"?

I can't comprehend how it must have been to be a POW - only that it must have been worse for your husbands uncle and your friend in general than for let's say a german soldier to be captured by american troops. Guess the chance to survive was lower in a country ravaged by war than on the other side of the atlantic. I take it however that both made it through. Do hope so, anyhow.

After re-reading, the american farmer taking care of the german POW, or the german guard helping the GIs, really seems to be some kind of a kindred spirit no matter where. Think that's something to be kept in mind.

Further, I must admit that your last remark about finding similarities between our countries struck me as, well, kind of, er, surprising, perhaps. Because I for myself recently tended to feel that we are in fact rather different.
But I admit that to a large extent, values and, depending on which part of the US we're talking about, culture really are not that different.
I just tend to think that the conclusions we draw are not necessarily the same.
Which is of course part of the attraction.

An afterthought: We had american professors as guests at the university last summer. While talking, we found even the particular definitions of "culture" to be different!

This is not necessarily all I wanted to say, and perhaps not as well put as I'll want it when it's posted for good. Do please keep in mind, if necessary, that I do not intend to be offensive. That would either show that my use of language is not good enough, or that we are, after all, different to some extent.

By Mary Lou on Sunday, April 4, 2004 - 03:47 pm:

Bob Brown. Alabama and Hans, Danbury; Germany..Thank you both so much for the fine lesson in American-German history.....my point about culture and values was that in many ways we are similar......for example: #1..I read somewhere that more Americans claim German-American nationality then any other;#2... English & German come from the same "tree of language"#3..Germans & Americans are, generally, honest, hardworking, family oriented folks & most are Christian with similar values.....we both love to have fun, and who doesn't love beer and bratwurst & polka music???......hopefully what divides us is in the past...forever!! I am very proud of my German family!!

By M on Sunday, April 4, 2004 - 04:06 pm:

Danbury: What is the German definition of culture? Was wuerden die Deutschen als Kultur nennen? Ich finde, dass eine Kultur aus verschiedene Teile besteht, bsw. die Religion, die Tradition, die Geschichte, und die Abstammung. Es gibt natuerlich auch eine andere Beschreibung von Kultur, und zwar die Kunst eines Folkes. Ich interessiere mich, wie Sie eine Kultur beschreiben wuerden.

(Ich verbrachte 2 Jahre im Ausland: ein Monat in Duisburg (1992), ein Jahr in Leipzig als Austauschschuelerin (1992 - 1993) und ein Jahr in Wien als Studentin (1996 - 1997).)

Es ist schon 7 Jahre her, seitdem ich im Ausland war. Hoffentlich koennen Sie mich doch verstehen.

By danbury; germany on Sunday, April 4, 2004 - 05:43 pm:

Na aber ausgezeichnet, M! :)

Seems like I was still working over my post while the answers were rolling in - thank you, Bob from Alabama! I knew about the nuts incident, but not where and when it took place. Rumor has it that it was seriously considered to send some!

Here's to you, Mary Lou: Three points taken! Although there are people who say that english is derived from the saxonian dialect - an opinion I never could quite share, especially since I like english, whereas saxonian has an unpleasant ring to it due to personal reasons.
A little sidekick: In northern germany, people talk "Plattdeutsch". This dialect is so similar to others around the north sea (?) that people from coastal regions of norway, denmark, germany, netherlands, england and scotland might understand each other without learning the actual language. Also, the english plural "-s" (like, folks) is being used in parts of northern germany.
And I never knew about your first point - though I believe there was once a vote in american history about wether english or german should be the language of choice. Would be interesting to know what would have happened.
I'm afraid I also have to add one little catch: I, being a german, do not like beer - a fact that has caused great irritation on occasion! That triviality aside, I especially agree about the fun part - and share your hope, although I'm afraid not that soon - depending on the circumstances. Or levels. I do not give too much about the talk of governments when I can deal with people directly. But no matter what happens, we can always keep at it, right? Like discussing german-american (or american-german) history on pasty.cam.
Oh, and I do agree on the third point.

M: Appears to me that your understanding of culture is pretty much german, so to speak. Whereas I'd put the art of a particular people into the mix, too. As a translation of the above post: M said, religion, tradition, history, and descent, eg, make culture. I add art, in every context, written, build, composed, painted etc., and probably something like values - eg, neutrality has become part of the helvetian culture. But since this might interfere with politics, it might change with policies.

Unlike that, our guests defined culture as the way people dealt with each other, and their environment in every sense. In my understanding, that's part of ones culture, but far from being the whole thing.

One fun part, at the very end: In the spring of '93, in the process of selling some real estate my mother had inherited in the wake of '89 I travelled to Leipzig on several occasions - funny to think our paths might have crossed.

By M on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 08:18 pm:

Danbury: My definition of culture is from my anthropology class in college. :-) - M.

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