Bellermannstraße 4: Rice, Tobacco, & Potato Soup
Opening the shop door to Mrs Stenzel's store was accompanied by small chimes. Usually by entering, and the sounding of the chimes, a raspy “good day” was followed. Mrs Stenzel possessed a cockatoo that would mimic greetings.
I remember very well that Aunt Cilli was there the first time I visited Mrs Stenzel's store, you had to overcome a large step to the store door, symbolizing the step I took to embarrassingly introduce myself. She would suddenly have a big kid with her. Accordingly the stocky, chubby woman Stenzel learned, whose movements were always a bit slow, whom always searched for her glasses, my name, and the explanation for the sudden togetherness between me and the cockatoo, aptly named: “Jacky”
I soon found myself seeking autonomy by buying and bringing my father his cigars.
Obviously, I have tried to understand my admiration for my father, my father however made it clear that what he was doing was not something I would be able to do.
“It takes muscles my son!”
To further drive the point home, he occasionally pointed out to a “cheater”, the sausage peddler was standing on the Prinzerallee, right next to the cinema “crystal palace”
“So? What do you notice?”
“Do you not see what's different about him?”
So I turned around curiously. Indeed. His sandwich stand was not held up by him, but by a stick that kept his sandwich stand up. The stick was positioned in such a way that he could easily turn to a customer, and turn back again in such a fluid motion that the stick would be there to support him again.
“Do you see now Hans? He's cheating”
It became clear to me that he was lacking in muscle.
I did not realize yet however, what secretive plans my Father with his son and heir, everything he could possibly do to make his son “big and strong.” Still, I had no idea that one plan would literally fall into the water. Next EPISODE..
By Hans Horn
Translated by Florian Schmidt
This is the fourth of a six piece biography from Hans Horn, in which he recounts his distant childhood memories in Bellermanstrasse. I'm happy to translate his work and offer it to the public, due to the lovely story that it is. Hans Horn sadly, passed away in 2012 from skin cancer at the age of 83, and we are remembering him through this translated work.