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Charlie Battery - 1959 - 1969

Scenes of Our Local Neighborhood

- Click Here For Larger Image -Schloss Stocksberg

I guess a primary reason why being in Germany, and specifically the area around the kaserne was exciting to me, was and actually still is, the span of history one can sense and see that permeates the mind and landscape.

The incredible leap of time, from stone age to the present, is mind boggling to me. The land has been worked for thousands of years, and along with the countless generations of people that have come and gone, it all simply seems timeless and eternal.

So I guess being in that agricultural environment and having a beautiful well kept castle on one's horizon where one could visit and ponder on a warm summer evening was a magical experience... I loved it...! And looking up at the Schloss Stocksberg from down below in the village of Stockheim, with the sweep of vineyards flowing across the hillsides was a very storybook image.

Visions of medieval knights on their mighty steeds, with all their pageantry, clopping down the dirt road towards the castle gates would come to mind. And Wine festivals after the harvest season celebrating the end of a spring and summers very hard work like in a Pieter Brueghel painting of the 1500's.

Maybe being from a country that places little value on it's history continually tearing it down, without a sense of continuity, had something to do with it. And maybe the need to belong to that greater sense of time and place did as well.

- Click Here For Larger Image -The Main Gate At Schloss Stocksberg - 1966

Image by Tom Hodges - Montana - 1965-1967

Image Use Policy

- Click Here For Larger Image -Bob Norkol Pondering The Meaning of Life Over Ein Bier

One item we always had with us while out and away from the kaserne was our trusty cameras. Oh... and a good bottle of beer of course, and the beer was definitely wunderbar...!

I am taking the picture and I'm guessing the hund is probably looking at either Neil Watson, or Marion Naeger. Out in the open air on a warm summer evening was a pleasant and relaxing time.

Bob Norkol is from Michigan, and was one of the crewman chosen to take part in the live round firing exercise at the Fort Bliss, McGregor Range.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Perimeter Wall/Guard Tower - With Stockheim In The Background

I love this image. There is so much to learn from it.

First, is the Medieval Architecture and the work of the highly skilled stone masons, and actually at that time the Master Stone Mason was the architect.

The decorative elements, like around the top of the guard tower, as well as the basic stone work of the outer perimeter wall are well crafted and still in excellent condition. And the primary stone base and the stone wall of the schloss site are in tact and skillfully worked.

Second, is the background landscape, which fortunately, is in a remarkably good focus illustrating wonderful patterns, textures, and a variety of perspectives.

Just to the left of the guard tower passed the trees is Saint Ulrich's Church. It was first built in 1536 as a parish church and was later sold the the Order of Teutonic Knights in 1541.

The various patterns of field colors and lineal flows visually illustrates the undulating nature of the terrain, with those lines flowing down to meet each other in their various perspectives as the land flattens out on the valley floor.

- Click Here For Larger Image -The Sweep of Vineyards From The Schloss Stocksberg

- Click Here For Larger Image -Stockheim And The Vineyard Arch From The Schloss Stocksberg

This image clearly illustrates the vineyard/village relationship. Also shown is the beautiful Vineyard Arch Gate, which is the formal entrance to the vineyards. It is just a bit lower right from the center of the image Or, if you take the road that enters from the bottom left of the image and follow it diagonally around that little knoll your eye will take you right to it.

You can view a very nicely done close-up of this arch taken recently by our friend in Germany, you have a great photographic eye Herbert, thank you...! So Click Here and travel through our new state of the art instant worm-hole to be taken directly to the image... Hold on to your hat...!

Also, if you look over that knoll that is center left in the background I think you will see Brackenheim. By following the diagonal upper roof lines of Stockheim starting at Saint Ulrich's Kirchen that goes out of town up and around the wooded forest on the far left one would be on the road to Haberschlacht, which puts that small village directly on a course to Brackenheim.

And by the way, does anyone have any pictures of Brackenheim? That would be a great addition to the site.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Stockheim In The Grip of Mid-Winter

I get this sense of houses huddling together like penguins in the long Antarctic night huddling together to keep warm.

That's a normal winter in our neighborhood

- Click Here For Larger Image -The Village Of Stockheim

The name Stockheim points to an existing home, or “heim” on a slash, or clear-cut forest area, as “stock is defined as stump”, and is first mentioned in documents as far back as the Fifth Century. It is believed that the Lords of Stock are of the families who first settled that original residence on the clear cut land.

The Stock Mountain Home, which with the family name of Stocks, and “berg defined as mountain”, results in the name of the Schloss Stocksberg.

- Click Here For Larger Image -The print to the left, from the 15th century, gives one an idea of the origin of the area. The first Schloss was constructed more on the valley floor and they later chose to build up on the hill at its current location. In 1525 the schloss was destroyed by a peasant insurrection and by 1530 commissions were made to begin reconstruction, which resulted in the basic site as it exists today. Be sure to click it to view a larger image. A good overall illustration of the schloss site from Stockheim can be seen, so please Click Here to view that image.

In comparing the both the print and the pop-up image to the right in this section, one can see that the basic layouts are not much different from each other, despite the span of 5 to 6 hundred years.

Stockheim's coat of arms feature two of the most important community focal points, it's vineyards and Saint Ulrich's church. It's interesting that again in both pop-ups, Saint Ulrich's Church features prominently in village importance. As seen in the graphic the black cross on the white background is the symbol of the Order of the Teutonic Knights who bought the church, and the tool illustrated is the knife used to harvest the grapes.

So much time and so much history. The ever repeating patterns of existing and living by the seasonal rhythms of nature, providing continuity that is the essence of human kind in time immemorial

- Click Here For Larger Image -Path From The Barracks To The Schloss Down To Stockheim

The path from the schloss wanders down through the vineyards, then flattens out and passes through a beautiful orchard.

The time of year was mid spring and the blossoms of the fruit trees were beginning to form, filling the senses with a visual beautify and sweet fragrances in the air.

And after the icy lock of winters grip, the warming spring weather and the renewal of life was welcomed and very appreciated.

- Click Here For Larger Image -Downtown Stockheim - 1960

The villages around the kaserne were very basic and fundamental. Although there might be flower window boxes on some of the houses, for the most part there was almost no decoration or enhancement. The houses came right out to road and with cars coming within a foot or two of the structures.

I could not tell the age of the structures, which of course, very in age. It would be interesting to know what year the oldest house was built.