My last eight month of army duty was served in West Germany in 1963 when East and West was still divided and occupied. The normal tour was almost three years so it made sense to have one's own transportation.
I decided to see if I could get away without owning a personal car even though our missile base was in a rural area,
I was off duty one day but in uniform when a small German car with three burly guys stopped and offered me a ride which I accepted without realizing that only three other countries who were World War Two allies could legally operate in West Germany. The U.S., France, England and Russia
These guys had long coats and beaver style caps, spoke no English and their car had special license plates, They let me and my secret clearance off in front of my base.
As I entered our guard was staring at me with a quite startled look on his face for the three guys who had given me a ride were Soviet Officers who had the same right to snoop and cruise around West Germany as the U.S. due to WWII agreements.
I then recalled a picture which hung on my wall when I was little of two children crossing a broken bridge as a winged lady watched and felt like one of those kids again..
© 2003 albert vallone - 4/5/16