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     Saturday, August 2nd, 1964. The Five Beats would be playing at Gasthaus Schroder that night. I was actually staying in a barracks at Todendorf, and buying my meals at the tiny cafeteria in the local PX. I knew the Five Beats would be playing at Gasthaus Schroder that night, and I wanted to see them, as much to show them I had survived as to wish them future success. A married sailor who'd just come off watch was preparing to leave for the weekend, and I asked him if he could drop me off at Gasthaus Schroder. He was planning to leave immediately, which meant I'd be at the Gasthaus before lunch. Would they be open? I didn't know. I'd never been there that early in the day, but it was warm and sunny, and worst case, I'd sit outside until they opened. In fact, I was just too late for breakfast. It was a Saturday, and the campgrounds was full. I didn't know there was a camp grounds, but that explained all the HH (Hansastadt Hamburg) license plates I'd noticed parked outside on evenings when I'd played there. It was approximately 90 miles to Hamburg, at least a 90 minute drive, and our shows ended at 3:00 a.m., which meant that if someone planned to drive back to Hamburg after the last set, they wouldn't get home until some time after 4:30 Sunday morning.
     Ernst-Gunther was still asleep, but his sister let me in , showed me to the dining room, and said she'd wake him. I asked her not to. He'd need to sleep as long as he could, because he ran the place from 4:00 in the afternoon until 3:30 iSunday morning. She said she'd send in one of the kitchen girls who were cleqning up after seerving breakfast to campers), and said if I could wait a half hor, she'd be ready to serve lunch. I thanked her, and would thank her again on this page, but I've forgotten her name. My lunch was more like a three course dinner, and just abouth the time I finished, a young couple entered the otherwise empty dining room and smiling happily, made a beeline to my table. The yyoung man Hubert aked, "Ist Platz noch Frei?" which is the proper way to ask if I am expecting other guests, or may they join me., "Bitte,: I answered, happy for the company. I don't remember if they were newly-weds on their honeymoon, orsimply young lovers who loved camping, but what they were was flushed with excitement to be allowed to sit and talk to the (former) Twistsensation. They were happy to see me up and about, albeit with crutches, asked if I'd be singing that night. (I honestly didn't know, but if the band allowed it, I'd give it my best shot. They sat and talked with me for more than an hour, and I was sorry to see them go, but they had to get back to their campsite to get ready for the show. As they left, we shook hands (common coming or going in thatpart of the world), and wished me a most sincere speedy recovery. Thinking back on it, I suspect half the conversation was about America, and the rest was about what it was like to be a "superstar," (their word, not mine.) They stayed with me for a bit over an hour, and when they went back to their campsite, the cheerful dinng room became suddenly lonely, even with a regular parade of young ladies from the kitchen who kept coming to ask if I needed anything. And reminding me that everything was "on the house," courtesy of Ernst Gunther. They seemed particularly proud of that English expression, and I must admit, it lifted my spirits every time they said it.
     At showtime, I was seated at the table immediately below the stage, and on the left side, from my point of view. After the first set, I was introduced and invited to sing a few songs. The audience went wild. I was helped up onto the stage, and suspect I started with the popular Ray Charles hit, "What'd I Say?" And if I sang another soig immediately after, it was most likely "Heartbreak Hotel." I sat through the first set and performed early in the second, but by the time I got back to my table, my ankle was aching and I was exhausted, so during the break, I begged a ride back to Todendorf where I called it a night. The following monday I received this birthday card via Deutsche Bundespost, and I present it here because it still warms my heart and brings back nenories of Hubert and his bride, Regina, who kept me company and spared me what might otherwise had become a long, lonely afternoon. So here's to the both of you. Thank you, and may you always be as friendly, happy, and loving as you are in my memory.