Photo: A George
In the fall of 1977 I was a freshman , and I was also a founding member of the Munich Rugby Football Club, which was not at all affiliated with the university. As Rugby is a physically demanding game, I embarked on a modest conditioning regime. I would rise around 5:30 and meet friend and classmate Bill Tellman, who lived in Bouvier Hall. We would bring gym bags with a change of clothes and our schoolbooks and make for Perlacher Forst, the woods nearby McGraw Kaserne. We’d leave the bags at a hidden spot and then go for a run through the forest, usually for about a half hour or so.
After running through those lovely woods ( sometimes taking the Par Cours course, more often just running at random), we would collect our bags and make our way to the Harlaching Hallenbad , the large indoor pool not far from McGraw. There we’d swim for about a half hour or so and then lie on the heated stone benches for a while…after which, a shower and then a walk back to the Kaserne.
This left us about an hour before class, so we would then go to Building 7, which wore many hats for McGraw Kaserne. Mainly, it was the home to AAFES- Europe’s headquarters. It also had a few “spooky” outfits up on the 5th floor ( the 3855th Security Detachment being one) and was also home to the Community Club. Also housed in Building 7 was the late, much-lamented Keller, site of untold merriment and depravity. Happily, it was also home to the small Kantine (the larger Kantine being near the Motor Pool on the other side of the base.) Peter Maag, a James Caan look- a -like, and his lovely brunette wife, Inge, ran the small Kantine. After our morning exertions, Bill and I would repair to the Kantine before heading to class. I’d usually get a pair of Wieners, Kartoffelsalat ,a pretzel, and a beer, followed by another beer. Sometimes I’d get the spicier Depreziner sausages, and on Tuesdays, I’d spring for the Weisswurst.
So, after a morning’s run and swim, we would fortify ourselves for class with a hearty German breakfast and a liter of beer. It would now be about 10 minutes before 9 o’clock. Bill and I would walk past the Snack Bar, Bowling Alley, gymnasium, auto repair shop, and library and enter the university…a few minutes later we’d be listening to Murielle Odle discourse about King Lear mad on the heath, or Pirandello or maybe J. Alfred Prufrock.
The forest, swimming, sausage, beer, literature, friendship…all before 9:30…a lovely introduction to college for this former New Jersey resident.
Chris Collins, 1977 – 1980, From the book, Noch Eins!