Archive for April, 2009

Post Cards from Our Youth

While visiting my mother this Easter Sunday, my siblings and I came upon a box of postcards which various family members had written and/or received while we lived in Switzerland between 1955 and 1961.

The first is from my brother Jeff, written to my parents. My brother and I were Swiss Boy Scouts(Eclaireurs Suisse). The program was run entirely by the scouts-no parental involvement. On longer camping trips we were accompanied by a young man in his early twenties-who also served in the Swiss Army.
Jeff was 12 or 13 at the time and I was 2 years younger.
Dear Family,
Yesterday we climbed a mountain which took about 6 hours round trip.We walked on snow and almost everybody got their

feet wet but me. We went swimming in a

shallow mountain pool full of freezing water. I swam naked. I stood naked in some snow. It was neat. I got your cards. Love Jeff.

Untold in the card was the fact that climbing the mountain(11,000 feet high) we had to climb down a snow cliff on ropes. The ropes didn’t quite reach the bottom of the precipice so we had to let go and slide the last 50 feet and were hopefully snagged by two of the older scouts who had climbing expertise and and descended a steep rock face.
When we read the various postcards even my practically mute mother laughed.