paul albers and i correspond. we are of similar age, we share similar interests, and we both hold to the same opinion about getting older: it sucks, but, it beats the alternatives. he was bemoaning his inability to grow a decent beard, even though he is very german. i suggested that perhaps he wasn't as "german" as he thought.
i got this response from paul, and every time i read it, i enjoy it more. i asked him if i could publish it here, and he said, in essence, go ahead and do your worst. he asked only that i run it through the spell checker, and he asked if i also had a grammar checker. i said yes, to the spell checker, and noted that there seemed to be about 330,000,000 "grammar checkers" associated w/ blogging. just like nipples, everyone has at least two opinions on matters of grammar.
well, without further comment, here is paul alber's letter, for posterity.--
Well, here is the family history. The Albers came from Alsace Lorraine. Every time a war was fought that area changed hands. The “final” time was after WW2 when the French took it over. It switched from French to German depending on who won which war. I was told by my brother and dad that 5 brothers fled to the U.S. because they did not want to join and fight in the latest war. All five arrived in NY, but alas only four left. One brother disappeared and was never found. So when asked when two Albers meet are we related? The answer is, “probably.” When we came back from the U.K. we signed up with a Dr. Albers not far from the house. The doc and I swapped stories and came close to closing the loop, but never quite got there.When WW1 broke out, Dad enlisted to go and fight and before he could board a troop ship he contracted that mysterious flu that killed so many people and he died.1918. Now, if you do not believe that story stay tuned because I can top it.Mom’s maiden name was Ungehuer. Can’t get more German than that. You probably know how it translates but if you don’t watch The Longest Day based on a book by Cornelius Ryan. Great book, great movie. Any way I digress. In the movie Rommel is strolling down the beach talking to his minions and speaking in German with subtitles. As it plays out one can hear Ungehuer and the first time I watched it the translation jumped out at me. Rommel is telling his staff that a MONSTER is across the water. My brother was right. Mom’s maiden name does translate to monster. Ungehuer (if I am spelling this correctly) does translate to monster. Now again you can’t get more German than that.As far as my dad dying in WW1 he was pronounced dead by the Army and they tied the shipping tag around his big toe. His brother,my Uncle Joe, refused to believe the diagnosis. As the story goes Uncle Joe took out a half pint of whisky and poured it down his throat. Dad came up coughing. He was discharged from the Army and lived happily ever after. When he died in the 60’s my brother came in to the possession of the tag.So, no Arrows, Tomahawks and I have taken no scalps and can hang with the best of them in picking them up full and putting them down empty. Scots excluded.