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Youth and America II

But youth also brought us a different America. Subculture, skateboarding, punk. And we realized: USA was not only Disney, NBA, P-EX and. USA was also: Ramones, Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys (the enumeration could be done, depending on your style and socialization, of course also with Wu-Tang-Clan or Public Enemy or others). And of course Lee Hollis with the Spermbirds – from Kaiserslautern, but a real Yank. And at the latest the Wipers show a depth and a disruption that refutes every America stereotype.

And we looked up the philosopher with experience in America again: The often superficial friendship does not have to be seen as bad. The act of friendliness, an interest and be it at first played, can produce something, can carry on. One is thus brought to an expression, enters into a relationship with others and can thus determine oneself as an individual. Somehow we were allowed to remain America fans.

America was a ticket and many wanted to go. Still in the late nineties. Maybe everything took a little longer in the Wetterau (Martin Büsser writes that it was actually over by the end of the 80s, beginning of the 90s. But who cared about that ten years later, there was no such internet to keep the history under your nose). If a US band came to Bad Nauheim for a visit, the place was packed. The Masons, no one really remembers this band, nor did anyone know them before, came all the way from Wichita, Kansas, across the ocean, brought noisy garage punk, hung their beef skulls over the drums and the youth of the Wetterau swung up and let their hips gyrate. According to Franz Dobler, Wetterau, have you ever heard anything better? I don't know. But what we did know: why Elvis once made the arduous journey from Bremerhaven to Bad Nauheim to serve in a real barracks and not as a showman. Why he largely renounced the privileges offered to him in order to come to the Wetterau. There have always been America fans here.

As the Yanks left one by one, it became quieter and quieter. Today there are no more Amis. Today Elvis greets us from a strange statue in the middle of a traffic circle (here I would like to have a video that goes around the statue 2-3 times), to one side of which once stretched the Ray Barracks and to the other side of which once was a wicked nightclub. Last, when the Yanks were still there, run by a figure who called himself Angel, and not without good reason. Such people, gladly called original, which there are probably in each of these middle cities and with which one wonders, what they actually make so. But you also don't want to know more precisely. We have all suffered from the fact that the Yanks set up camp there and stayed for decades. The flair of Friedberg's old town has lived from this, the collection of somewhat different bars, clubs, burger stores (no, not the ones like they open everywhere today, more real than tasty), has saved the old town from suffocating in a collection of historicity and decay. Friedberg may be prettier today, but is also more small town


We had a last evening with GIs in the magazine in the old town. The landlord, Norbert, an original as only the Wetterau can produce him, ran the pub with aplomb. The Yanks, what did they look like? No idea. In my memory: shaved heads, jeans, white T-shirts. That evening, there was none of the harshness that sometimes came across during wartime operations. We had fun, the host poured the drinks, and when the coordination began to weaken and the language became tougher and faster at the same time, we were ready for a lesson in Spoonfight. We had a good fight, we tried hard, we hit hard, but only softly. There was no other way. Spoonfight is about hitting your opponent on the head with the spoon in your mouth. As hard as possible. It remained a gentle caress, if the spoon did not simply fall to the ground. And so he stands there, the America fan. Wants to be part of it, wants to be there and doesn't notice how someone else is standing behind him, swinging the spoon with full force. We had bumps the next day.

In the meantime, the Panzerstrasse above Ockstadt is driven by Schicki-Micki brigades from the Vordertaunus, who are on their way to drill on the golf course in their modern variants of the Wehrmacht bucket trucks, the SUVs (Hermann L. Gremliza).

Is that what you need, Wetterau? I'd take them again, the Yanks.