circa the old days.
Niederlinxweiler, outside St. Wendel, Saarland, DE
(updated September 2014)
Seven years after my travels I still look back at my visit to NLX fondly, particularly one story which I hope I'm not repeating. This story was told to me by Willie Wolflinger, the longtime neighbor of the Jakob Neu farmhouse, nicknamed the Fox House for reasons unknown. When Willie was young, about 8 years or so, he remembers my great grandfather, Karl, visiting from America. His family referred to him as the American Fox, a reference to his brother Jakob's "Fox House". As a young boy he was very excited to hear about America. We're talking early 1900s. Willie told me "I remember getting to stay up later than usual which was very exciting... to stay up with the adults and listen to them talk. I was sitting by my father's side at this very ox-cart wheel table we're sitting at now. The American Fox was telling stories about how big everything in America was. The streets were wider. The buildings taller. The opportunities vast. America sounded magical to me. Then my father spoke and said something which made me very proud. He said "yes Karl, but....(and points at
the PROTESTANT church
a big full moon overhead)...the moon is the same size there as it is here." There was a moment of silence as the wisdom set in. Then the Fox spoke: "No, we must be closer, even the moon is bigger in America."
What a wonderful story that would've been lost to time if not for good fortune, the traveller spirit, and the help of Hertmut Schiffler!
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