Manure and other things of importance....
Our family lived in the Village of Binsfeld. Our house was newer and had a coal stove that had
to be started and stoked through out the day to keep
us warm in the winter. No closets, but base provided wardrobe's to hang our
clothes. The cinder block home was not plastered on the outside - it was just a
HUGE cinder block, 2 story building. BUT it was one of the nicer homes and was
on the edge of town.
On 3 sides of us were corn or wheat fields (depending on that year's crop) and
on the other side was German gasthaus (bar). The
owner of the gasthaus was a real NAZI. Boy, did he
hate us living next door to his gasthaus which was
also his family's home. I used to think, what a creep, but in 1964, WWII had
only been over 19 years. Who knows what hell he went through and why he hated
Americans. But there was no doubt in my mind that he did though he was the only
one I remember who was so obvious about it at the time.
What I do remember, is all manure piles outside the front of every house. Most
villagers kept a few cows, chickens and pigs and the manure had to go
somewhere. And right out the front door was where they piled it in Binsfeld, in little holding areas that were blocked in to
contain the manure.
Worse, they would use the manure as fertilizer on the corn and wheat fields. I
don't know if these crops were for human consumption or not, but in the summer
they would spread the stuff all over the fields. And, if they didn't have
enough, they would literally dip into the local sewage system and haul human
waste out into the fields and spread that. GOD FORBID
they spread this concoction and it didn't rain for a few weeks, in the middle
WOW! It stunk to high heaven.
I thought it could get no worse, but then when you visited France, Belgium,
etc. you saw the same thing. I loved the standup toilets I saw for women in
France. You know the ones I mean? They had footprints embedded in the floor in
the urinal so women could hike up their skirts, place their feet firmly on the
embedded footprints (and assuming the urinator was
anatomically correct)let loose with a stream of urine, properly directed to the
opening to contain it.
I always wanted to know how did this do this if they were wearing undergarments?
Pigs and Eyeballs
At the end of the street one of the farmers took 2 pigs, trussed them up and
hung them from their rear legs on hooks in the front of his house which also
was on the main drag through the Village of Binsfeld.
I would have been in 8th grade, attending Spangdahlem
The farmer had a cylindrical device in which he inserted a single bullet. It
had some type of spring action because he cocked it; held it against the pig's
head and fired the bullet directly into pig's brain. The squeal was
indescribable but thankfully brief.
He then took a razor knife of some sort; slit the throat and huge amounts of
blood poured into buckets. HUGE AMOUNTS!
After collecting as much of the blood as he could - he proceeded to gut the
animal with the entrails failing out onto the pavement directly in front of his
house. I then watched as he did the same to the other pig.
When I watch the TV shows
BONES or one of the CSI shows, I wince when they do autoposy
scenes even though everything is staged and fake. But for some reason I was
able to stand there and watch the farmer the whole time.
I have no idea why, but after the farmer was done, he got a glass jar and put
the eyes in the jar which he handed to me. He spoke German so except for the
casual thank you, no words were exchanged between us.
Next day, I took them to school and showed the eyes to everyone. I have no idea
why I thought that was something I should do, but I did.
The street the farmer's house was on was the MAIN road through Binsfeld. Just like the Germans had no problem with piles
of manure just outside their front doors, they obviously had no problem with
butchering pigs in the front of their houses, out in the open.
I still have no idea how I could stand there the entire time and watch? And
were the pigs eyes my reward for being an attentive