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.

Saturdays was when all events were leading up to the preparation of a spicy potato soup. Maggi was familiar to me. The luncheon would start once my father came home from work at the AEG in Brunnenstrasse, because he would always bring the most important ingredient; Wurst. The man I silently admired ever since I found out one day which revealed where he got the Wurst when I went with Aunt Cilli to meet her father, where it was purchased at in Badstrasse, between the Gruentaler and Behmstrasse, protected from rain in the driveway of a wide door entrance. For hours he'd drag his “kiosk” around hanging over his neck, opened the left or right lid asked kindly by the desire and nimbly into the pockets to change money.

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?”

The meat product in this "Maxen" which looked more something frail as a sausage, but looked older than those near the S-Bahn station Gesundbrunnen. But were also to my fathers tastes, but the question already came to me after we were several steps away from them.

“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. 

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