7 Part I: Squelched, How I Lost My Voice We worked five and one half days a week. After work, our evenings were ours to do as we wished. My fellow postal Army buddies and I recognized that we were fortunate to be living peacefully in the heart of Europe. The day I arrived in Augsburg, I looked out the window and spot- ted across the street the local disco, called the Rumpel Kammer (“junk house”), which I soon learned was off limits to GIs. The noise of this joint on the weekends reminded us of the fun we were missing back home with our girlfriends. Looking out the window and a block down the street from the Rumpel Kammer, I saw a German gasthaus , which wasn’t off limits to GIs. It wasn’t long after I started frequenting this pub that I met Lisa Bremer. Lisa was recently divorced from an American military officer and was looking for a little fun to wriggle her way out of boredom and loneliness. Well, she found it. She became my girlfriend, my big sister, and my mother all in one nice package. Often after a few beers, I would ride along with her in her car to make the trip to the outskirts of town to sleep overnight in a little garden shack no larger than 125 square feet. The one room was outfitted with a small table and two chairs, a little sink, and a tiny bed that allowed two people to snuggle. What else was needed? In the mornings, it was easy to get dressed and go back to work. We wore the same Army fatigues, so even though those fatigues from the night before might be a little wrinkled, who cared? I wasn’t out of uniform. Lisa was 36 years old when we met, I was 20, and to this day many decades later we are still connected as friends. She looked after me while I lived down the street from her apartment. She bought a car for me and my Army buddies, and my buds and I drove all over Bavaria. At the end of each month, she would always make sure that I had money for a little gas, liters of beer, and a ticket or two to the flicks at the PX. Most importantly, she always invited me to her family dinners on Bismarckstrasse, two blocks from the Kaserne. I obliged. I was one lucky guy; few of my Army buddies had a German home to call their own. While serving on active military duty in Europe, I traveled extensively. I took over eight weeks of real vacation and lived life to the fullest.