In the late 1970s and early 1980s, roughly my kindergarten through fourth grade years, my family lived in a military housing complex outside of Heidelberg, West Germany, known as Patrick Henry Village. There was at least one other major housing center in the area, Mark Twain Village, but this blog attempts to tell some of the stories of PHV, its host city of Heidelberg, and the surrounding area.
While looking up information on my old stomping grounds, I found myself lingering on the Google Maps image of Patrick Henry Village, which you can see here. It probably doesn’t look like much to the average viewer, but to me it was a treasure trove of stories and experiences. It seemed that almost every inch of the place evoked some memory, and I spent a long time scrolling back and forth, zooming in and out, and remembering. As time went on I found myself wanting to record some of these stories and experiences, and finally I realized that a blog would be the perfect format.
The plan is to jot down these memories in non-chronological order and paint a picture of what it was like for a young boy growing up in an American compound in a foreign nation, and how for us kids it was much more than just an apartment complex for soldiers and their families stationed overseas. I’m guessing that many of the wild locations and adventures revealed in these blogs may have been secrets long-kept by the schoolchildren of PHV…a sort of Neverland that went undiscovered by the mothers and fathers stationed there.
If you also spent part of your childhood in PHV, or if you were stationed there as an adult, hopefully these blog entries will inspire memories of your own which I’d love to hear in the comment sections. I know there are more of you out there, I’ve caught hints and whispers of you as I’ve done some internet research on the area. And if you’ve never been to PHV, never been to Germany, or never had any association with the US military, then my hope is that these stories will still entertain and trigger pleasant memories of your own personal Neverland.