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The first stand to of the NMMI Alumni Association European Chapter took place on July 2nd, 2005, in the small town of Alf on the Mosel River, about half way between Trier and Koblenz, Germany. The alumni in attendence included, in order of class, George Mendoza (JCX 66), Michael Parker (JCG 73), Daniel LaChance (JCG 80), Jeffrey Storch (JCG 84), Mark Hatlie (JCG 86), and Ramon Salas (JCG 99). Almost everyone brought family or friends along for a total of 14 adults and 7 children.
Those of us who spent the night, did so in the Mosel-Hotel Bellevue right by the river (visible on the photo above right behind the front white van), where we were treated to excellent and flexible service at very reasonable prices. That is also where our Stand To started, with former cadets and their families trickling in between 12:00 and 14:00 for great traditional German food.
The main event was a boat ride from 14:00 to 17:30 provided by the Dieter Schwaab's Personenschifffahrt Zellerland Alf. Check them out if you're looking for a fun short trip through the beautiful central Mosel area.
To get a larger view of any of these pictures, just click on the thumbnail.
|We boarded at Alf, right in front of the hotel. The ship took us up and down a stretch of the river around the Marienburg castle. The region is also home to the Schwarze Katz or "Black Cat" Mosel wine, and we had plenty of that. Peter Weis of the local winery named after his father, Franz Josef Weis (a family business for over 200 years) provided us with a wine tasting. The photograph shows his shop, located in the wine-growing town of Zell. He took us through six of his own "Black Cat" wines on board the boat and several alums took boxes of his fine products home with them after the boat ride.|
|Here Daniel LaChance and his friend Karen enjoy the beautiful Mosel landscape.|
|Ramon Salas out on the back of the boat with other guests.|
|Danny Salas (with hat), Ramon Salas' father, was along for the trip. Here he is talking to Jeffrey Storch.|
|Ramon's mother-in-law, Diane, is holding his son Anthony (JCG 2023).|
|Niklas, Katharina and Susanne Hatlie with the town of Alf in the background.|
|George Mendoza enjoying the trip. George was kind enough to formally thank me at lunch for organizing the event. While I made the arrangements for the boat ride and hotel, the whole idea of the Mosel was his. George was instrumental in getting in touch with the alums who showed up. He has been our official contact with the alumni association stateside and did all of the work "recruiting" participants. I guess you could say, I brought the glass and he filled it with fine wine.|
|George's wife Susan was having just as much trouble as I was understanding all the military lingo.|
|Here is Peter Weis giving some of his expert advice on how to read a wine label.|
|Michael Parker trying the "Black Cat"...|
|...and giving his considered opinion.|
|Jeffrey Storch also enjoyed the fine "Black Cat" wine.|
|Peter brought along enough for himself as well!|
|Here I am taking part in this bit of German culture.|
|Michael and I enjoy a moment of inter-class solidarity. Notice that I still have my cadet belt buckle, freshly polished (but only in front) for the first time in years.|
|These cadets did quite a job on Herr Weis's wine supply.|
|A bunch of kids came along. Here are, left to right, Anthony Salas, his sister Alissa, Katharina Hatlie, Erin, Tara and Brandon Storch.|
|Missing from that picture was Niklas Hatlie, who was now sleeping in mommy's arms.|
|The girls on the trip all wore pink socks!|
|Here is a shot of a photographer who took some photos of us for a local promotion. If we can get some of those photos, we will post them here.|
That night, several of us enjoyed the local Sommerfest in the town of Alf.
|Jeff and his son Brandon raging to the music...|
|The highlight of the evening was no doubt the synchronized dancing of the local Baachspautzer Girls.|
|Latin text music. Wild stuff!|
|The show wasn't for us, of course. Here, the people of Alf enjoy the show.|
|The Baachspautzer Girls got their name from the Baachspautzer, which means "creek spitter" in the local lingo. Here is a picture of the creek spitter statue in Alf. It goes back to a local tradition, whereby the men used to stop at the creek after church on Sunday morning and spit chewing tobacco.|
All in all, it was a great time.
Contact / Impressum:
Mark R. Hatlie (ViSdM)
info @ hatlie.de