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.


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  1. Christopher Wilson

    It’s so great to have found this site on PHV. I lived in the Heidelberg area from 1972 to 1976. We first lived in Wiesloch on the economy. I went to 3rd grade at MTV Elementary. We later moved to PHV, 31-D Alamo Circle. 4th grade with Ms. Philipps, 5th grade with Ms. Hammond and 6th grade with Ms Smith. So many great memories. The yearly carnival was so much fun. Getting to go to the Strauss by the teen club on special occasions for lunch. Crawling under the fence to get to Lizard Hill and pick Blackberries. Sneaking out the back gate in the Officers housing area to ride out bikes to Eppleheim. Our sixth grade ski week to Austria was a blast. Our building on 2 occasions got evacuated because of bomb scares, very terrifying. I have visit PHV a few times since we moved back to California. My sister’s husband was stationed there for 2 years and I got to visit them for Christmas 1987. Everything looked so much smaller than when I lived there. I love reading all of your posts.Wish I knew where all my old friends are.

    • Barry Finch

      Hi Christopher–we must have been in the 5th grade together–I was in Ms. Hammond’s class for 5th grade the year before the Middle School opened–and did a few months there before we PCS’d back to the States. We moved back to Heidelberg in August 1978 so I was at HMS for 8th, then HHS for 9-11.

      Somewhere I have a class photo from Ms. Hammond’s class.

      • Christopher Wilson

        I was in Ms Hammomd’s class 1974-75, 2 years before the Middle school opened. I was in Ms. Smith’s 6th grade class 1975-76. I moved back to the states April of 1976 and would of started at the new Middle School in 7th grade.

    • Hi, Chris. I graduated from HHS in ’77. Elaine Stewart back then😊

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