Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pictures from Nikki Cooper Flag ceremony

Here are some pictures from the flag raising ceremony, sent to me by Nikki Cooper (UK). Thanks Nikki.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Raising the Flags

My journal entry for Sunday July 7th 1986 is very short. "Today lots of Lions and other people came to the camp. One camper representing each country raised their country's flag. there are 23 countries here. Lots of speeches in Italian." I have lots of pictures and can see a bit of who represented each country. As far as I can see, the flag raiser from the USA, tall Tommy, Austria Markus, Belgium Caroline, Canada Sandra, Denmark Tine, Egypt little Tarek, Finland Jaakko, France Carole, Germany Guido, Greece Sotiris, Great Britain Nikki, Ireland Stephan, Iceland?? Israel ??, Italy ?? Norway?? Netherlands?? Portugal??, Sweden Karl, Switzerland ?? Turkey?? Sorry, there were so many people there and I my pictures are only of the first half of the line. Anyone who has any info to fill in let me know and I will update the list.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Peter Mitterhofer -- Austria

The next person listed in the phone book is Peter Mitterhofer. If I Google him, I get a million different entries about Peter Mitterhofer who invented the typwriter. So, I have looked at the first 10 pages of entries there and even after narrowing the search have given up...for now. I got the pleasure of meeting up with Peter in Vienna. He along with Markus Maurer and his wife, met Bernhard and me at a restaurant. It was a lot of fun. We did not talk so much about the Campo trip since wives/husband/girlfriend would have been bored.
I did talk to Peter a lot at the camp. He has a lot of self confidence and is a lot of fun. Here are a couple of pictures of him at the camp. One is outside the museum of Stelle stones in Poggibonsi. The other picture is of him next to the bus with Vicki Bottini (USA wearing ths sunglasses) and Sandra Benninger(Canada). I will not post any picture of him on stage unless he gives me permission. I am not sure he wants his boss to see them.
Do you remember that the 4 boys did a "dance" for us at the talent show? If I get in touch with Peter in the next few days and he says it is ok, I will publish some pictures of the dance.

ok, let's hear from you!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Saturday July 6, 1986

In my journal, I have the entry as follows. It is a very personaly entry and I have no idea what everyone else was doing -- probably playing Thumper at Ponte Vecchio.

Here is what I wrote: "today after breakfast I took a long walk with Annie (France). We went up into the mountains. It rained on us all day. The area looked very poor but was very beautiful. I will remember these walks well. Annie is from a mountainous area in France and so knew a lot of things. She found a source for us to drink from. It was just a trickle of water along a rocky wall. There was a bit of a dip in the stones, as if this was used as a drinking area or well. She said that it was safe. We went along a path which led under a house. The stables with very smelly animals were on the ground level and the house was on top the stables.
The house was on both sides of the road. There was an archway through the house so that you could continue up the path. The road was very rough and full of large stones. I wonder how they get around? It must be only by foot.

Later that day, it was still raining so we played card games with Richard (Turkey), Alain (France) and Annie. Richard taught us a Turkish card game where you had to yell when you put your card down. It was very funny. We played war and then 21. I tried to say 21 in French and they all laughed at my pitiful accent. We played ping-pong for a while and the storm got worse. We kept having black-outs. It did not bother us. We just stayed where we were and played again when the lights came back on. We just sat around laughed and talked about what life was like back home. It was a wonderful night. "

Now that I have lived in Austria for a while, I know that having the stable under the house was a very common practice. But then it was really something new for me. I was very lucky to have found Annie as a friend. She like to hike and she knew her was around the mountains.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

aMazing Markus Maurer

Markus Maurer from Krems, Austria is the next on the list. He is the blonde man in the center of the picture above. The two Tommys from the USA are also in the picture. They called this the "Spicoli" look. Markus is dressed like the character from the movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Too funny. I did not spend much time with Markus at the camp. But he was a lot of fun and liked to be a bit of a rebel. I got to meet up with him in 1997 or 1998, he and his wife met us at a restaurant in Vienna. I looked him up in the phone book and there are several listing for a Markus Maurer, so I will have to try tracking him down again.

Well, this is a terrible start. Of the 3 campers I mentioned, I don't have any good stories to tell. I hope that someone posts some comments soon. I have found some of the "lost" campers. Some of them had email and the rest I am sending note.

Remember, you can click on the pictures in the blog to enlarge them. Ciao!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ponte Vecchio, Pizza Man and Thumper

As I said, my journal is a bit mixed up. I am not sure which day was which. For the 5th of July 1986 I have this entry.

"I played volleyball with Annie (France), Alain (France) and Richard (Turkey). It was really fun. Alain looks a bit like Sean Penn. He is so funny. Well, after that, Annie and I played soccer, then we went for an exploration of some of the mountains.

That night Tom and Tom (Americans), Rolf (Holland) and Caroline (Belgium) and I went to town. We drank and played quarters. Went to one small bar and played a trick on one of the people there. You place the coasters like a cross on the table one in the center, above and below, one left and right. then you ask the person to point to a card while your back is turned. Then when you turn around, you must guess which card the other player pointed to. If he guesses correctly, the loser must buy you a drink. So while Tom sat with his back to the italian man, Rolf was standing beside the Italian. Rolf had a drink in his hand and a coaster on his hand too. So when Tom turned back to look at the table. Rolf would put his drink down on the coaster to tip Tom off as to the correct location. The man never knew. We won lots of free drinks from the poor man. They did it so well. I was impressed.They could not have had time to practice a lot, Tom and Rolf had just met.

We showed them how to play quarters. The italian man was good at that. We then left that bar and went to Ponte Vecchio restaurant overlooking the river. There were other people from the camp there already. We taught the owner how to play the drinking game "thumper". The owner and his brother got so drunk! We all did. When we got back to the camp, there was a party going on. Wine, Danish beer, asti. We drank and danced and then I hit the sack."
It sounds like at first I was the marathon girl playing one sport after another. July in Italy is rather warm, remember. Then marathon drinking. It was rather like that. We did a lot of walking, soccer and such. Then lots of drinking in the evening.

Here is a picture of the owner of the Ponte Vecchio Restaurant. Pizza Man! He knows "what's the name of the game?" He drank those huge beers in liter mugs. How did he survive those 2 weeks with us? I have an album of pictures and things. One of the things I saved was this label of Giraf beer. It is Danish. I don't know why I saved it. I am not a beer drinker, never was. I switched to mixed drinks long ago. I remember Tom from the States trying to get some kind of mixed drink, I think a Tequila sunrise or something crazy. They mixed something together for him, it was expensive and disgusting tasting.

Ok, I do happen to have a life other than campo blogging, so I can't promise to be able to post every day. I will spend some time now telling people about the blog so we can get some more comments going. Ciao!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Our Dedicated DJ -Georg Weihs

The next in our Campo Italia phone book, is Georg Weihs, from Austria. He and Alexander Trockenbacher (see the posting below) are from the same town, St. Johann in Tirol. When I made the buzzbook for everyone (many years ago), he and Alexander both responded. I have no idea where he is now. I did find someone with that name on the internet and sent that Georg an email. Let's see if I found him. Damn, I could work for CSI, but where to live, Miami, Vegas, NYC??? Anyway, back to the stroll down memory lane. Georg. For some reason, every picture I have of him, he is in profile. So I picked the best one to post here. I can remember that he was our DJ. In the bus, he had a supply of music with him and played it there. Then when we had our little dance parties at the camp, he also supplied some for that. Again, I did not hang out with him at all. There were over 60 campo members, it would have been impossible to get to know everyone well in just two weeks. Some were shy, some did not speak English all that well, whatever the reason, I only got to know some of the campers briefly. What is your favorite Georg memory? Because of him, I got to know the songs of Falco. In ths States, they did not play him much. Like Vienna Calling. I heard it for the first time on the bus. Thanks Georg.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

First Impressions

The arrival. I remember the trip to the camp well. We flew on the 3rd of July. We had to go through New York and that year the Statue of Liberty had been renovated and would reopen in 2 days time. So the airport was very busy. Somehow our tickets got messed up and I ended up sitting in a different part of the plane. Cheryl, Angie and Vicki were together towards the back. I was next to a freelance reporter headed to Florence for a fashion show. She was nice. Gave me lots of travel tips.
Thank goodness for Cheryl's cousins who live outside of Milan. They met us and drove us to their house for lunch and then drove us to the camp. It was a long drive for them. We were 4 girls who spoke little Italian and who had never been out of the US before. That would make a good movie.
The first camper we met was Sheila from Germany. She is the blonde in the white dress in the photo above. She was so nice and made us feel like we were among friends. She showed us the way to the town and around the camp grounds. We walked back and forth into town trying to make a call to let our parents know we got there all right. There were 79 participants 20 of which were from Italy and did not stay there the whole time. So 61 people sleeping at the camp for sure. 59 foreigners and then Francesco and Elena, the camp councellors. Amazing.

The first official day of the camp was July 4th. But not everyone was there. On the 5th of July, a representative of each country got on the stage and told something about his or her country. I was sick about half way through this presentation and snuck off to my bed to sleep off the jet lag. Sorry. I did stay for some of it. I have no idea who represented the US? Leslie, was it you?

What was your welcome to the camp like? How did you get to the camp? Did anyone meet you? do you remember who was the first camper you met? What were your first impressions?

I can still remember my bed. My cot. I was closest to the window, so some of my t-shirts got eaten by moths! Beth Linn, another American was across from me. I don't remember if we got assigned rooms. I think so. Who else was in my room? Do you remember who originally was bunked up with you?

I think that I was so naive and so impressionable. It was a like a fairy tale just to be there, that even the things that were bad, were some how acceptable, I took it as part of the whole adventure. (like the cold showers!! Try shaving your legs in ice water. ) I can't remember some things. I did keep a travel journal but did not write every day. A lot of my journal was written well after the fact. Too bad. Anyone else keep a journal? You can fill in my blanks or correct where I went wrong.

This is a picture of Alain from France sitting on my bed, writing in my address book. I still have it. A bit worse for wear. But still there.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Alexander Trockenbacher --Austria

I am not sure how I want to progress with this thing. I thought I would give my memories of the different campers and of the days the days' events. I have the telephone book that we got at the end of the camp. I will simply go through it and write what I remember about each person and if you remember anything else or want to comment, please do. I hope that this blog will not be a one person show. Please comment! If you are in contact with anyone from the camp, pass the news along. Ok, first on my list. Austria. Alexander Trockenbacher. Here is his picture from 1986. I have not had any contact with him, but I should try, now that I too live in Austria. We did not hang out at the camp and I know who he is when I look at him but sorry to say don't have many memories. He was often with his buddy, Georg. He is from St. Johann in Tirol, a big ski area. I wonder if he still lives in that area.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Musical Memories

I'd like to burn a CD with music from our Campo Experience. We listened to a lot of music over those weeks. Do you have a song that brings back a certain memory? Let me know. I was thinking of Falco, that we played a lot in the Bus. Play that Funk Music was playing as we went into the first disco we visited. Ma La Notte by Renzo Arbore was played a lot when we had our little parties that the camp. Let's Go to Bed by the Cure was also played at the disco by the beach. Ok, please send me your ideas.

Back to Bagnone

Welcome to the newly created blog for Campo Italia members from 1986's Lion's camp in Bagnone, Italy. I hope that this will be a good forum to talk about old times, re-meet friends, discuss current projects and lay future plans. I will try to contact the old members to let them know this exists. Pass it on and I hope to hear from you soon. Ciao!