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Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
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December 10, 1997     Cloverdale Reveille
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December 10, 1997
 

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December 10, 1997, Cloverdale Reveille, Page 9 ies march into Holland -freedom! zs the ninth part era continuing series written by Michael van der Boon at the A u tobiography rriting Workshop be- the Cloverdale Senior Center Tuesdays 1:15-3:45 pro. This class is taught by Scott and is free. Presented by the Santa Rosa College Seniors&apos; Program, the class always new participants. van der Boon retired in March of this and was the former owner of Van der Boon Co. in Healdsburg. He and his wife Ingrid in Cloverdale for six years and have a and two sons who live in the area. Van was born in Holland. , Part IX van der Boon was early May 1945. I was ten years old. family and I were living at my grandpar- home, my mother's parents, since we the bombing raid earlier. had spent five long years under Nazi and had just survived the long known as the "hungerwmter" of '44. thousand people died m the provmc- North and South Holland that winter. )le were starving and dying like flies, no no light, no food. Nazis had carted off what little food been, to Germany, m retaliation for of Dutch underground fighters south, where they were helping the the Rhine River. The end of a long bloody war was near. Lg of May 4 we were just sitting to a meager meal, consisting of tulip sugar beets and grass clippings, since was all there was left, when we heard the of far-off explosions. I peeked the planks, that my grandfather had iin front of the windows and saw German unwinding what looked like cables. they doing Dad?" I said. are probably getting ready to blow and important buildings," was the Dad had heard that the Allies were the city. Needless to say, nobody that night. We all sat around, fully talking with breathless excitement, things to come. The following day is one ever forget. It came with deafen- explosions, as the retreating Germans blowing up the bridges and buildings, my dad had said. the sounds grew dimmer and far- 'away, which gave us the hope, that free- soon be a fact. We went through a few hours of unforgettable pressure and fear, not knowmg if the Germans were still around and would resist and fight, and at the same time lookmg out for the first liberators. By noon an eerie and unreal silence had come over the city, nobody moved and hardly a sound was heard. My father and grandfather fmally couldn't stand it any longer and decid- ed to go out to the street to take a look. I begged them to take me alone and my father, over my mother's objections, finally gave m. As we were standmg m the empty streets, people were slowly commg out of their houses and from behind ruins and bar- ricades. On a few balconies, the Dutch flags, were unfurled and displayed, this gesture m itself took a lot of courage. Durmg the past five years it had been abso- lutely forbidden to own or display our nation- al flag. What a feeling of pride and pleasure to see the red, white and blue. I noticed it brought tears of joy to the eyes of many, including my Dad and Grandpa. After holding their emo- tions m check for so long, most could not contain themselves. It was now 6 pm. All of a sudden, two Canadian vehicles, known as brencarriers, a very fast, small type of tank, came down the street, to the welcoming roar of the crowd, that had now formed, but to our disappoint- ment, they suddenly turned around, waved and left. Again it became quiet. People were standing around, talking, hurriedly and m hushed tones, they were still apprehensive, because a few Germans soldiers could still be seen there and there, some on roof tops, mak- ing us believe they might be sharpshooters. "Very soon, we will again be free, son," my father said, his voice breaking with emotion, "some day you will realize, just how precious that is." An uneasy silence and feeling of anticipation fell over the crowd, by now it was early evening. People had become a bit rest- less and impatient and some had returned to their homes. Suddenly a hush fell over the crowd. From m the distance came, ever so family, the chink- chink sound of tanks and we knew, it was the time of deliverance, the ultimate moment was here at last. Mingled m with sounds of tanks, trucks, jeeps and other military vehicles, we could also hear a strange kind of music, which turned out to be the Scottish Highlanders and their bagpipes. All of a sudden the streets were full of Canadian and English tanks, fol- lowed later by American troops. We couldn't believe our eyes and ears. My grandfather ran to get the rest of the family, so they would not miss this momentous occasion. Behind the blown-up buildings, German snipers were still being hunted, by members of the underground forces; nobody thought of danger at that moment, as we rushed towards our liberators, yelling and crying. My Dad and I climbed on top of one of the tanks and hugged and kissed the soldiers. The huge tanks, like great mildewed monsters, reach- ing to the second floor of the houses, whirred and clanked down the narrow roads. Little khaki colored jeeps scurried m between the hundreds of large trucks and amphibious cars. Every car had the white star emblem of the evasion painted on its sides and top, so it could be seen from the air. Together they formed a dizzy stream of green and white- this was the liberation Army! From everywhere people appeared, un- washed, and very skinny looking. They crawled like rats out of the rums, fell m mortar holes full of rainwater, in their haste to hug and shake the hands of the soldiers. The happmess was uncontrollable, there was smgmg and dancmg all around. We felt like screammg for joy. I wanted to embrace every- one out of sheer happmess and ecstasy. To think that all these Allies had come to Europe to liberate us. It was a fantastic display of power that eclipsed the German Army's drab, shabby uniform, stolen bikes with wooden wheels and cars fueled by coal. Our whole family joined the throngs of boisterous people dancing hand m hand m ever larger growing circles. We sang the Dutch National Anthem and songs like: "It's a long way to Tipparary" and "Yankee Doo- dle Dandy". We kissed and hugged and car- ded on throughout the night. For hours the masses were bey,nd themselves with joy, there were unforgettable scenes of emotion and satisfaction. The soldiers, especially the Americans, were very free with passmg out chocolate, chewmg gum and cigarettes. It was the first time m my life I tasted chocolate, it was like heaven. They also passed out white bread, which was devoured instantly by the hungry crowds. I brought home a chunk of bread with butter on it and gave it to my mother. She thanked me, turned around, sat down and cried for a long time. The next day we all went downtown to the Queen's Palace, as more and more troops filled the streets. It was all so exciting. How often had I dreamed of this moment. How often had I imagined myself meeting Amer icans for the first time. I wondered why they mtrigued me. Was it the way I had seen them in the movies? Or was it because they were un- known? I had never before seen a real live American. Nor had I ever seen any of those Canadians, for that matter. In the beginning. it was difficult for us to identify the different nationalities and their uniforms. The Allied soldiers and officers looked clean and healthy. Not having seen healthy people m a long time, I kept staring at them. They seemed to me to be the real Super-Race rather than the Nazis which Hitler had tried to create. The tall men in their Eisenhower jackets - God, they looked great! We had to get accustomed to a new way of living and the perspective, that everything would become better, but it took a long time before my fears of being oppressed and being under the gun, were banished to the past. It is good at times to remember the past and be thankful for today, to live in this great country. The powerful United States of Amer- ica could have, after liberating Europe, occu- pied us, as was done later m Eastern Europe by the Russians. Instead, they gave us life and liberty, so we now could pursue happiness. The Cowardly Lion (Sharon Martin), Dorothy (Elaine Girion), and the Tin Woodman (Jim Plaisted) are off to see the "Wizard," in the upcoming Actors' Theater for Children's production of The Wizard of Oz. Photo by D.J. Stanley. Wizard of Oz at Jefferson School They are off to see the wizard-that Wonderful Wizard of Oz, m Actor's Theater for Children's fall production of Frank L.' Baum's classic American fairytale, the Wizard of Oz, at Jefferson School, Friday, January 9 at 7:30 pro. Tickets are available m advance at the school during regular business hours for $1, and are limited to the amount of seating. The show will last an hour and ten minutes. Tickets to the play are great stocking stuffers for kids and the actors are available for photos with the children after the show for $2 a photo. The Wizard of Oz (based on the novel by Frank L. Baum) is a fantasy play for children of all ages, and tells the tale of Dorothy and her famous friends, the scarecrow, the tin woodman and the coward- ly lion. In keeping the 1939 film tradition, the play begins with costumes and sets m the sepia tones of Kansas, and then changes to vivid color when Dorothy arrives in Munchkin Land. Come and enjoy the magic of live theater when Dorothy and her friends travel the yellow brick road to the Emerald City of Oz and this fairytale comes true.., on stage. CLOVERDALE Phil Cann will help you with any lock-out situation, 24 hours a day. Cloverdale Lock & Key otfem 24 hour emergency service Phil Cann is available 24 hours a day, plus he's closer and cheaper than other locksmiths m the area. He can pick locks, service locks, make and sell keys of all kinds--automotive, commercial and residen- tial. He can help you out of any lock-out situation. Just call 894-5625 or 894-LOCK for fast service. Phil has lived m Cloverdale for about 40 years. Before buying Cloverdale Lock and Key he was the superintendent of Public Works for Cloverdale. P m Scheduled Workshops Book, Craft & Stationery Supplies Acid Free Paper, Stickers, Design Edge Scissors Adhesives, Die Cuts  Templates & Stencils Albums Specialty Pens & Pencils Craft Punches Idea Books & Magazines N. 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