Saturday, March 09, 2013

Remembering Hess... When we walked in Fields of Gold

Think for a moment; do you remember a place that no longer exists?  Some may recall a house or a store or tavern or the like, but I'm speaking about something bigger...  an Air Station and American community.

Hessisch-Oldendorf Air Station, or Hess, was a plot of ground on the north slope of a saxon hillside, about 25 miles southwest of Hanover in what was then, West Germany.  It was far removed from the "Little America" that existed in places like Ramstein-Kaiserslautern or Frankfurt.  It was populated by what I've referred to as the "truck driving  air force" people who worked on fog-shrouded mountains and trained in the mud for a conflict that mercifully never happened.  It was a place where your boots were bloused and Air  Force blue was a rare sight.

For all that Hess was, today it is a fading memory in the minds of most.  The facility was closed in 1990 and now outside of it's street grid, few artifacts exist pointing  to its existence.  There are young adults in the town who have lived their entire lives without hearing the rumble of M-35s lumbering down Lang Strasse.  What they do know, they've learned from parents or older family members who lived with, worked or played with, or possibly even loved the young Americans who were posted to their town. For those of us who were there though, it was the time of our lives.

Hess is gone, but it will live on as long as we remember it.  For me now, Memories of Hess conjure up the imagery in Sting's "Fields of Gold".



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more!!! My dad was stationed there when I was in 6-8th grade and those years were without a shadow of a doubt the times of my life. I am still close to the friends I made there...they are my lifelong friends. We have had several reunions and it's like not a single day has passed in all these years. When I want to "escape" I think of Hess. Stacey Krieger 1981-1984