This project is in its third year & there is a lot to discover about its process. Posting the classified a month out has proved important. I’ve also learned to take each response with a grain of salt. The responses fade quickly with each correspondence leaving few maintaining contact. Keeping alternate plans is key as this year’s original stranger stood me up & as it turned out for the best. Instead of meeting with him, I visited my dad that day & later having the opportunity to share in a remarkable conversation with M.M. Full disclosure – Having no other options I decided to meet with a lady I’d once been introduced to long ago but never talked with. Without further comment I present my third birthday stranger!
I walked into the restaurant & began to relax when a hostess offered to seat me. As I replied a woman walked over & introduced herself. Conversation opened before we were led to our table. M’s open book personality immediately captured & held my attention as she told me about her life & the life of her family.
Germany’s surrender in May 1945 brought to a close World War II, leaving M’s captured aunt abandoned near the Austrian border. Uncertainty about her location did not discourage her aunt from traversing roughly 200 miles over the course of four months. Her return to Bamberg, Germany was not a return to life as before, though.