Re: Latinisms: did you find anything useful?

Carl W. Conrad (
08 Sep 96 18:48:25 EDT

At 5:48 PM -0500 9/8/96, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>> Whenever I see those initials, I think of the old DDR; I was once a
>> Mitfahrer stopped at a checkpoint on the highway from Munich to
>> Berlin. When I offered my passport to the young lady Vopo, she was
>> shocked:"Sind Sie denn wirklich Amerikaner?" In those days, most
>> Americans either flew in or out or took the military train to Berlin.
>When was that? I lived in West Berlin from 1988 to 1990, and in East Berlin from
>1990 to 1995. When I first lived in West Berlin, if I took a train to West
>Germany, they would stop the train before coming into the West, and inspect it
>with searchlights and dogs, with people carrying machine guns standing by in
>case anyone was discovered. I found that a little disagreeable. They were still
>a little surprised to see Americans then, but it wasn't a big deal anymore. I
>was in a Baptist church in East Berlin, where one person had been jailed, many
>had been denied the opportunity to go to college or get good jobs, and several
>had had significant confrontations with the Stasi (the East German secret

You are clearly no babe in arms, but when I tell you how long ago it was, you'll be shocked indeed. This was the spring of 1957: the Berlin wall had not even been built yet. I was on a Fulbright to the University of Munich, and I was visiting a friend in Berlin who had the previous year had a Fulbright to Tulane in New Orleans, where I had been an undergraduate. He took me all over East Berlin without trouble and we went to the Opera in East Berlin (saw COSI FAN TUTTE), all this at the marvelous exchange rate of DM 4.2 to $1, and east marks equivalent to west marks.

>> I'm glad that division is over with; my driver said, "I just hope I live
>> long enough to be able to drive anywhere in Germany without having to
>> show a passport."
>And now you can drive through most of Europe without showing a passport. My
>passport was just about full in 1992, but it isn't that much fuller now. Of
>course, Yugoslavia is now farther away than ever...
>> I haven't checked BDR--I haven't even checked BDF. Just beginning a new
>> semester and spending far too much time even responding to e-mail
>Well, since a lot of that time is probably spent responding to *my* e-mail, I'm
>very grateful! There's no rush, I'd just be interested in knowing what you find
>any time you get around to it.

I will let you know.

>> watching a marvelous string of Cardinal victories that we hope may lead to
>> a pennant and WS after a long drought.
>Now *that* I'm not taking any responsibility for (even if I *do* lead a hard
>life!). Right now, most of my time is spent with a chainsaw trying to clean up
>after Hurricane Fran, which hit us pretty hard here in Durham, NC. In real life
>I help people learn how to program object oriented databases and chase after my
>wife, two kids, and three dogs, so Greek is taking a hefty chunk out of my spare
>time right now...but I'm really enjoying it.

Well, I don't envy you. I didn't know you were at Durham (most e-addresses, unless they are at universities, are not very informative about place of origin). I spent the summer in Yancey County, up in the corner adjacent to TN (Johnson City area) and VA (Bristol area), in the Blue Ridge mountains about 3 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We're going to be retiring there. We spent the Christmas of 1994 down there when our water system went down -- had to have the reservoir at the spring re-dug and new lines from reservoir to house laid. For a week we had no indoor plumbing (and the outhouse had been torn down back about 1970, when the indoor plumbing was first installed); so although we had electricity, we nevertheless had the strange feeling of "camping out indoors." I notice that all of North Carolina was declared a disaster area; we've been in touch with my wife's kinfolk in Yancey County; they do speak of torrential rains and mountain streams flooding.

Enough already, Regards, c