Sunday, August 25, 2013

Berlin Germany 2013

This year's Waddell and Reed Crest meeting was in Berlin.  Berlin is a very interesting city.  Lots of modern history and an ancient side as well.  The final days of WWII were fought in Berlin.  Hitler died in his secret bunker here.  The Germans seem ashamed of the Nazis and Hitler.  The old Gestapo Headquarters is in ruins and there is a memorial to the rise of the Nazis and Hitler.  It is called the Topagraphy of Terror.  It is not at all flatering to Hitler or the Nazis.  There are no Nazi flags or symbols.  No pictures of Hitler any bigger than an 8x10.  His bunker, where he died, is unmarked.  In fact it is a parking lot.  You have to have someone tell you about it to know.

The rise of the Berlin Wall literally separated families overnight.  What a terrible time for those people.  Now that the wall is down.  There is a lot of building and rebuilding going on.  In fact in spite of what the American Media tells us about Europe, Germany and especially Berlin seem to be booming.
This is the Potsdamer Platz.  In the olden days of Berlin this was the center of all the action in the town.  After WWII and the Berlin Wall it was no-mans-land and vacant on the East German side of the wall.  Today it is new high rise hotels, shops, apartments and offices.

This is the National Gallery of Art

Inside the Pergamon Museum

This is the Brandenburg Gate.  It was built in 1789 and was one of many gates in the wall that surrounded the city.  It is the only remaining gate today.  Napolian sole the chariot and horses on top.  It was returned after his fall from power.  This is the site where President Regan made his famous speach to "Tear down this wall"

In the middle of Berlin is the Teirgarten.  They call it a big park but it seems more like an urban forest.  It is over 200 acres and has 10 miles of walking and biking trails.  In the 1600s it was a hunting reserve for the local rulers.

Just down from the Brandenburg Gate and not too far from the bunker where Hitler died is the new (2005) Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  It has 2711 cement pillars of various hieghts.  People are free to wander through the pillars and the undulating site they seem to disappear, symbolizing what happened to the Jews.  Underneath the site is a mueseum that traces the disappearance of various Jewish families during the war.

On Sunday we attended church.  It is just a branch and they meet in the instute building.  The German Saints love to sing and the Hymns were sung in beautiful harmony.  They had translation services in English for us

Our friends the Bennetts from SLC outside the Olympic Stadium (1936).  This is where Hitler wanted to showcase Arian Superiority.  Too bad for him a Black Man from the United States named Jesse Owens won a record number of Gold Medals in Track and Field.

Jesse Owens was a hero and celebrity in Germany.  He represented the under-dog and was loved by the Berliners.  Too bad that back home he was given the cold shoulder by President Roosevelt.

This is the German Parliment Building.  It is called the Reichstag.  A lot of our pictures of the Berlin skyline were taken from the roof.

This is Check Point Charlie along what used to be the Berlin Wall.  Next to it is an interesting mueseum documenting many of the various attempts to Escape East Germany and flee to the West.

Dinner with our friends the Millers.  We have gone all over the world with these two.

One of the Cathedrals on the Gendarmenamart Square.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Smith Creek Encampment

To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the LDS church and Scouting the 11 Stakes and Northern Nevada and North Eastern California had an emcampment at Smith Creek Nevada.  It is 50 miles outside of Austin which is basically in the middle of no where.  My favorite place

They had about 600 boys and leaders, lots of activities, and fun.  I was glad to get to hang out with them for a couple of days.

Ruby Marshes Summer Camp

One of my favorite places on earth is the Ruby Marshes.  It is in Eastern Nevada close to Elko.  It was settled by Mormon Pioneers and is little changed for the last 100 years.  It is open, quiet, wild, starkly beautiful and peaceful.  The two LDS stakes in Elko and the Ely Stake decided to conduct their own Summer Camp out here. 

As Council Commissioner, I took advantage to spend three days visiting the camp.  I told the boys Bayden Powell stories at one of their campfires.  I met with the Bishops and leaders and generally just wandered around.  They had about 200 boys and leaders at the camp.  It was well run and looked like a great program.  I was happy to have the excuse to go out and visit.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fourth of July at Lake Tahoe

Every fourth year we get our condo at Lake Tahoe.  This year we had the Lindstroms and McFaddens join us.
Grace showing off some mad hula hoop skills in the Village.

We took a hike into the newly open Van Sickle Bi-State Park.

Jesse did pretty good on the hike for just giving birth two weeks ago.

This hike was just the right distance for most of us.

Next we went Fishing.

Action shot.

Everyone caught a fish.  (Grant caught two)

Kevin, Grant and Eden enjoy a video game.

Me and JJ aboard our Lake Tahoe cruise on the Dixie.

Still look like newly weds.

Which is more lovely?  Marla or Emerald Bay

We had a picnic on the beach to watch the fireworks.

Grace on the trampoline