Goodbye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface: The (old) Long and (new) Short Of It All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thank you! I thought this one was also interesting. The seemingly smaller/younger deer in this bunch has its ears back/down and is looking like it is pissed. Shortly after this photo was taken, it struck at the larger deer with its hoof and I am wondering, "What was that all about?"

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  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Restoring Another, Potentially Interesting Picture: I've spent a good number of days restoring this badly faded old slide pic. The shot was taken very near the Berlin Wall in the no-man's land of a bombed out section of the city. I was able to safely take the picture by virtue of having several American soldiers in a jeep with a 50 caliber machine gun pointed at the communist east German guard tower that had their sights on me. They probably wouldn't have shot at me but did have a reputation for being a little trigger happy.

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    What I found interesting is that this looked like an old wooden, sandbagged gun bunker facing off against a hardened tower on the other side of the wall. Also, it was the only non-concrete bunker I had seen anywhere along the wall, both in and outside of the city. To this day, I am thinking it was something other than what it looked like - a deception of sorts. Notice the odd small bit of concrete footing on the structure. There were many deceptions at that time as this was at the height of the cold war.
  3. goosecreek

    goosecreek Ashes ashes all fall down Supporter

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    The deer shots would make great puzzles.
  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I spent most of today restoring two pictures associated with the above bunker photo and then found the street view today of that area I photographed back in 1965. The first picture below shows the soldiers with their jeep stopped in front of the bunker shown above. The street behind the wall in Soviet East Berlin is Niederkirchnerstrasse/Zimmerstrasse (the name changes at the intersection).

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    Looking in the other direction, you can see that I am on the corner of Wilhelmstrasse and Niederkirchnerstrasse/Zimmerstrasse at what was once a Soviet zone checkpoint that was later walled off.

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    The exact spot of the structure I was standing on is located at coordinates 52.507350, 13.385930. There is a building at this spot now. Several of the buildings across the street are still standing, as is a small, memorial portion of the wall lining the south side of Niederkirchnerstrasse. You can see it in the street view. The bunker was somewhere near 52.507107, 13.387119.

    One block east was the famous Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstrasse.
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  5. zookster

    zookster Chupacabra

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    Fascinating!
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  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thank you, I think. I looked up how to make jigsaw puzzles - the part about preparing the pic. I think I'd rather spend that kind of time on posting here and riding.
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  7. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Photos of a world gone mad. (Not the Deer)
  8. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    John; as far as making jigsaw puzzles out of photographs; there are several sites on the 'net where you join (free) and can make puzzles from your pictures and play them on the site or choose from the multi thousands already there. They give options of piece cut shapes and numbers. I do several puzzles every day for relaxation. One of the sites I like and use is TheJigsawPuzzles.com To make it a bit more challenging I usually choose "square" as my preferred cut which makes all the pieces the same size and square. No doing the edges first LOL.
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  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Look At Checkpoint Charlie: Checkpoint C was perhaps one of the most interesting places in mid-1960s Berlin. It was the main gateway between communist East Germany (i.e., the GDR) and West Berlin. The checkpoint was located at the intersection of Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße. Below are two, newly restored photographs I took standing at coordinates 52.507582, 13.390287. I had just come back into the allied zone after a sanctioned and unpleasant foray into the Soviet zone with some other Americans. Coming back through the wall, the first thing you saw was the welcome sight of the allied checkpoint, shown below.

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    At virtually any time of the day or night there were a good number of people hanging around on both sides of Friedrichstraße near this checkpoint. I was led to believe they were usually some combination of relatives (of those living or working in the soviet zone), tourists, newsmen (waiting for something to happen), spies, attaches, locals and the few who'd passed in or out of the zone. I and the people I was with were very happy to be out of the soviet zone. It was lifeless, colorless, dingy, depressing and still had many earmarks of the war that ended 20 years earlier. Below is the restored picture looking back at the gate I had just come through.

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    There are several things of note about this checkpoint.
    1. Checkpoint C was the only place the East Germans (i.e., the Soviets in reality) would allow diplomats, military personnel and foreign visitors to go through.
    2. It was the site of several daring escapes.
    3. The checkpoint was used for prisoner swaps.
    4. The checkpoint was the scene of a major, dangerous showdown between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. Russia had whole lot of tanks in East Berlin and even more staged in rail yards around the city. Berlin was totally surrounded by and within the soviet zone and the Russians wanted us gone. As it turned out in the end, they left first when wall came down.
  10. drklynoon

    drklynoon Been here awhile

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    One of the prettiest pictures I have ever seen. Great shot sir. just wow.
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  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thank you, sir! Sometimes you get lucky with a shot by being at the right place at the right time. Most times in the fall, you can't hardly see that abandoned church for all the people milling around.
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  12. fredgreen

    fredgreen Beer drinkin Bluenoser

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    Great stories from historic times
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  13. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Long timer Supporter

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    I ordered a puzzle for the family to bring on vacation. I forget where, but I simply uploaded a photo and paid. The kids really enjoyed it! This is Douglas, and yes, he is sitting in a Stop & Shop basket (don't ask).

    IMG_2281.jpg
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Checkpoint Charlie and WWIII: Fortunately, we've not seen WWIII (yet) but it came close to happening at the checkpoint I went through some years later. Such events can bring poignancy to the places you pass through in life. Such was this place, as shown in this newly restored photo:

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    In October of 1961, a series of events led to American tanks being in a head-to-head standoff with Soviet tanks at the intersection above (i.e., Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße. The fuse was lit for a fight.

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    The crisis was averted when the Kennedy brothers' relation with a KGB spy provided a conduit for more direct communications with Khrushchev. It should be noted that the less-than-brilliant Kennedy boys fancied themselves as James Bond types who dipped their pens into mob and KGB ink. Kennedy got the poorer end of the deal as the Soviets continued to build up their tank presence in and around Berlin, dreaming of pushing the allies out. The tank buildup was there to see if you knew where to look and happened by them when no Volkspolizei (VoPo) were in your train car at the moment (photos were a no-nope-better not type of activity in certain places).

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    As a result, every president from Kennedy up through Carter seemed to worry about the Russians pouring into Berlin and through the Fulda Gap. Policies changed after Carter, the Berlin wall came down, the tanks left and we now have a unified Germany. The tanks shown above can now be seen in museums, as can the story of Checkpoint Charlie and OSS/CIA spy tunnels under the wall.

    You can find many tanks, including Russian T55, at the American Heritage Museum. I found this one in the wild some time back. I don't remember whose it is.

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  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Restored Pic Of A Ride Of Yore: Having just restored this previously unseen, one-off pic, I can't remember where it was taken. Definitely in Germany, Austria or German speaking area.

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    Anyway, the photo shows what appears to be a well-kept Gasthof with a Ratskeller next door. Maybe Heidelberg Altstadt?
  16. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    That old European architecture just floors me!
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  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    It Was Nothing: It seemed like something at the time. I was looking out the window of my hotel room in Paris for first and last time and took the (now-restored) picture below. We'd no sooner checked in and gone to our rooms when the manager let it be known he thought we were "merde" and threw us out. Almost out of money and no place to sleep seemed like a big deal at the time but it wasn't. The problem was solved by hot-bunking one very cheap motel room under the name of someone not American.

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    I have always assumed we were thrown out because Americans were not well like in Paris at the time. Most of the rest of the country was very friendly but the Paris climate seemed to be some unholy mixture of the attitudes of de Gaulle, Sartre, Napoleon, Buffon and Roger with an extra dose of haughtiness and anger thrown in. I remember asking why we were thrown out. The response was, "It was nothing."

    I think this hotel was on the Boulevard de Clichy or Rochechouart but don't remember for sure. Regardless, it was an adventure during which I developed an affinity for French onion soup like the kind you could get at the old vendors' market.
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  18. zookster

    zookster Chupacabra

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    @popscycle really enjoying these "look back" pictures. Gives a nice perspective.
  19. black 8

    black 8 Long timer

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    +1
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  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Scheiße nicht auf die Hunde: That's what I told them and in no uncertain terms. The ingredients were all there for some real trouble. The train was stopped before switching engines and proceeding to border control. The WC, which has a straight shot down onto the tracks, was not be used when stopped. Gun carrying guards would be checking papers and running dogs under the train cars. Several oversexed, wet-behind-the-ears, male American students were anxious to show some girls how funny and brave (i.e., stupid) they could be. When the guard actions to come were explained to them, they started getting inspired. You could see the wheels turning. The teacher accompanying them looked worried and confused.

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    Their brilliant plan was going to be one of waiting in the WC and then christen the dog when it went by underneath. They were going to show those commie bastards a thing or two. Aside from solving the type of math trajectory problems once handled by the Norden bombsight (which would have been interesting), there was the issue of what the VoPos might do to them if they tried. These walking containers of testosterone initially had a little difficulty understanding that the judicial behavior they were used to didn't apply here, so I was quite blunt. "Don't shit on the dogs! If you do, they'll haul your stupid ass straight to prison or worse and I can guarantee you will NOT be impressing anyone by demonstrating how dumb you are." The train proceeded into Berlin without incident that I know of.
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