After a year in Wurzburg we moved to Darmstadt and when I say we it was the Rotchfords, the Lancaster and us. We immediately checked in with the Girl Scout Neighborhood chairman to see what positions she had open. Pauline moved up to a Junior Girl Scout troop, where Kristie and Maria were placed. Meanwhile Lupe and I stayed at the Brownie level as co-leaders as Carmen’s troop leaders. Holan was too young for Girl Scouts, but she attended all the meetings and activities of the troops. Lupe, Fred, Steve and I supported Pauline with the Junior Troop which kept us active with Kristie and Maria.
Along with the troop I served on the Neighborhood service unit. We had meetings every month to solve problems troops and leaders were having with girls, parents or the military community. We over saw the calendar and cookie sales on the military installations and managed the financials of the Neighborhood and troops.
Working with the Girl Scouts opened up working with other organizations on the military installations. I never started out with the desire or the idea that I wanted to become so involved with the community. My “professional volunteer career” took off without me realizing what was happening. I received a certificate from the Two Star General for my overall service in the community.
Being on a school advisory council was not something I every thought about doing and can’t remember why I ran to be on it. At any rate, I served on the council for the elementary school. This was the year Holan was in kindergarten. Her first semester teacher enlisted me to do art projects for the classroom. I spent time after school using the projector creating very large drawings for different lessons. The one I really loved doing was the Dinosaurs. I spent hours coloring the large drawings and found it very relaxing. While coloring, I would watch AFN TV, or listen to AFN radio or our reel-to-reel player. At this time, we only had one TV station and one radio station, with limited hours.
Our friends, Bill and Wanda Zvanut, from 1972 at Fort Bliss TX were stationed in Darmstadt also. After Fort Bliss, we had all gone to Germany for a three year tour. We then got out of the Army returning to KY and the Zvanuts were stationed for Ft. Campbell. Anyway, Wanda was the President of the Darmstadt Community Service Association. She needed someone to coordinate the ACS Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Baskets for family needing assistance. This was a whole new experience that I learned a lot from and did an extensive after action report to help the next person with the project.
Steve was a battery commander so there were lots of “duties” that came to me as the commander’s wife. I was responsible for getting the wives together once a month for a battery coffee group. If a wife had a problem I was there to help her. There were Hail and Farewells to attend and because we were located in the same town with the command group all of their functions had to be attended. I was also a member of the Officer Wives Club, attending monthly luncheons and helping with their yearly fund raiser bazaar. Fred was working at the command group so Lupe and I were able to attend the functions together and work together with OWC.
While we were at Ft. Bliss I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course. Since we didn’t have American bakeries in Germany, I sold cakes for birthdays and some military functions. Other times I made cake for Steve to take to the office.
Unfortunately, I only have a couple of pictures of cakes I made. For the General’s birthday I decorated it with trees made from candles, a path with foot prints of him and his dog running down the path. It was such a neat cake I really wish I had a picture of it. I did receive a very nice thank you from the General.
A couple were getting married in the unit so I made a small wedding cake for them. We didn’t have a bride and groom topper so I used a bell for the top and decorated the tiers with her choice of pink roses. (I loved the German Lace curtains we had in our dining room)
The German American Club had a huge party to celebrate their 30th Anniversary. It took days of planning and and lots of prep to get the cake baked, decorated and assembled. I did get paid for this cake!