Monday, March 15, 2010
My friend Max was a sailor with he Merchant Navy until 1952. For 12 years he traveled the world delivering goods ranging from popcorn for India to sea salt for Japan. (I asked about the sea salt, since Japan is an island surrounded by a salty ocean. He said that the sea salt was cheaper to be collected and processed in the middle east than Japan.)
But then Max left the Merchant Navy and signed up with the regular army. He was eventually sent to Germany which was enjoying a boon in industry and agriculture, mainly due to the Marshall Plan. Of course NATO was a young organization with a large contingent of soldiers in Germany, including Canadians, and Max was among them. The German citizens were encouraged to befriend the soldiers living among them, and the soldiers were, in turn, encouraged to befriend the citizens. Many soldiers brought toys and candy for the German children. Max gave some candy to one child who invited him to her home for supper with her family. He had to decline the invitation for that evening but asked to come the next night. It was agreed, and the next night he was having supper with that family. The family included a very pretty 18 year old girl named Krystal...who eventually became Mrs. Max.