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2009 Summer Solstice
Join our Sharkhunters Group for this great time in Germany.

This was an experiment - to take a small group to be at the compound of MANFRED ROEDER (1517-LIFE-1990) for this special celebration.  We announced that we could take only nine people - and we had nine people signed on for the "Patrol" but one Member lost a fight with a rattlesnake, so he and his lady could not join us.  No, thanks God, he was not bitten but he broke his leg jumping over a low wall getting away from the snake so seven Members participated in this experimental "Patrol".  Was it a success?  Take a look.

We begin in Frankfurt/Main where we met up at our host hotel.  Below are some random photos shot by MARK KUBA (7306-2008) and it gives a nice look to our beginning.  We added something REALLY special to this skyline at the end of our "Patrol" but you will see that later.  We also note in the first photo - they SURE love their beer in Germany!

 
     
 
     
 

Above left - Sharkhunters founder and President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) gets directions from the desk.
Above right - Professor REN╔E von WÍRDE (887-C-1988) and MARILYN TIMMS (5516-1998) in the lobby.

Here is what REN╔E told us after she returned from this great "Patrol":
"What a great experience!  I hope our Members realize that only with Sharkhunters can they live and re-live history in so many ways.  Keep up the good work.  We need you."

During the drive to our destination, we took care of our growling stomachs with a great lunch in this little town (below)

 
we see that this building is 250 years
older than the USA!
 


MARK KUBA (7306-2008) checks the street signs.  MARK had this to say after our "Patrol":
"What a trip!  I enjoyed it sooooo much."

         
 

We have arrived at our destination and are greeted by our host, MANFRED.  There will be many guests here in a few days, so the guys get their rooms in the house (right) while the women got rooms in the other house (below right).

 
         
   
         

Before the festivities begin in a couple days, we tour the house and below is what we see.
   
         

The first two are the emblem of the group - the three torches stand for truth, honor and honesty.  The other three are paintings by MANFRED.  The first is of Herman Arminius, the German who led the revolt against the Romans resulting in the annihilation of three legions in the Teuterburg Woods two thousand years ago.  Next is Gro▀admiral Karl D÷nitz and the one on the right is his father, a Russian translator in Berlin during the war.

     

Then began the debacle at the flagpole.  The old hoist rope had broken and a new one was here to replace it.  Problem - who is going to climb the 80 foot high flagpole to run it through the new pulley?  It was decided to gently lower the pole, attach the rope and raise the pole to its original position.  Well, it sounded like a good idea but nobody informed the flagpole of this wonderful plan.

         
   


Above left - lots of supervisors; we need a victim.......sorry, I mean we need a VOLUNTEER!
Above center - Our 'volunteer' attaches a line as high as possible and the other end to a farm tractor.
Above right - When the retaining bolt was removed, this heavy oak pole just crashed down, dragging the tractor with it.

All's well that ends well..................does anyone believe that?

 
     

Okay, the new rope and pulley are attached and with the tractor pulling hard, the pole is up and in place - more or less.
Above left - again............lots of supervisors at this 'goat rodeo';
Above right - with much grunting and straining of Phillip's muscles, the flagpole is in place and secure.

 

The first full day we were here, we walked to the top of a hill for the beautiful scenic overlook seen here.  MANFRED was a little 'under the weather' this day so COOPER and Dr. RIGOLF HENNIG (6919-2004) give him an assist.

 
     

Dr. CHARLES ELLIS (7324-LIFE-2008) and
DIETER FUNK (7368-2008)
get in the picture.
 
Our Sharkhunters group is having a great time!
 
Then we set out, again on foot, to visit the 'Heiligestein'(Holy Stone) not far away.  The tower we just left is in the background.    
 
     
     
 

We are told that the bride traditionally jumps off this rock and the groom must catch her.  We are also told that this cuts down on he number of fat brides and weak grooms.  We were not told what happens if the groom drops his bride, but we can imagine it is not a good omen...........  MANFRED's daughters participated in this tradition - successfully, we are told.

  The above were activities primarily for our Members, to show
the area and traditions.  Now it is time for the celebration.
     
 
the beginning; and the girl had a beautiful singing voice.
naturally, there was great food as Dr. XXXXX
 (7392-2008)
and his wife enjoy the soup.
   
 
     
 

Our host joins us - and can

 

you believe this good looking lady is a PhD?

More guests are arriving - and who doesn't love blue-eyed blond Nordic beauty?  After more really great food, the entire group of about 85 people moved outside for ceremonies.  

Professor Dr. REN╔E has even more to say about the "Patrol":
"I just wanted to again express my excitement at being at the Solstice.  It was simply thrilling, and an uplifting experience as well.  Again, I met some wonderful and interesting people.  I am already looking forward to next year!"

     
 
     
 


After the Flag raising ceremony, the main point was the awarding of a very special medal to MANFRED.  This is the Order of Teutonic Loyalty with Oak Leaf, seen below left here.  COOPER was the one who affixed the medal on MANFRED in a most impressive ceremony.

The group then marched to the open field where the bonfire was stacked and it was set alight with powerful speeches.

 


TROY STROTHER (7255-2007) reported that he had a fantastic time and his most vivid memory of this "Patrol" was the bonfire in Germany.  He said that it was a fantastic event and he was happy to see that it was a multi-national event with people from the USA, the UK as well as Germany and Austria.

................the music continued until well after dark.

 
The next day was a sad one, as we had to say our farewells to our host,
to old friends and to new friends we just met.
   
     
 
     
 


Even more comments from RENE╔ who emailed:
"I had a fantastic time!  Best memory of the 'Patrol' probably was TORSTEN's speech at the bonfire and definitely MANFRED's welcome to us.  I think I already said how much I appreciated everything but I might also add that only with Sharkhunters could we have had this kind of reception and welcome."

But our adventure isn't quite finished.  Take a look at the photos below - what do you see?

 

We were back in Frankfurt/Main for our last evening together and as we walked to the restaurant, there was an unusual droning sound in the sky and MARK took these photos.  Can you recognize 'Alte Tante JU'..............the JU-52 tri-motor airliner?  This is the 1936 JU-52 airliner that was restored by Lufthansa about twenty years ago and used as a sales tool.

COOPER remembered this very plane, as in 1989 he was invited to join a small VIP group to ride on this plane when she was in Florida.  What a trip into history for him back in 1989 and what a treat for our group in 2009.

Yes, indeed it was a huge success and count on coming with us to Germany for the Summer Solstice next year.  It will be even better!

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A very sad and tragic note - RENE╔ was planning to be with us again at our 2010 Summer Solstice.  It was not to be.  She was stricken with an aggressive and fast spreading cancer and within months, our beloved RENE╔ was gone.  God rest you RENE╔.