Last night, I lay in bad reading. The window was open, letting in cool night air. At some point, I noticed what sounded like detonations in the distance. I paused in my reading—bringing me back to the present from 17th Germany—to think what the noise could be.
I recalled that the Museum Festival on the banks of the Main River is closing, with. A favorable wind carried the sound of traditional fireworks marking the end from Frankfurt, 20 kilometers away
I could not help thinking that the sound reminded me of wartime bombardment—aerial or artillery. I tried to imagine citizens of this village over 60 years ago, lying awake and hearing the sounds of Allied bombardment of Frankfurt and neighboring targets. It must surely have been disturbing—not the celebration that explosive fireworks convey. Did they fear the end of their country’s foolhardy attempt to right the wrongs of an unjust treaty? Were they happy to live in a farm village, uninteresting to military planners? It must surely have been only women, children, and old men listening to those unwelcome and frightening sounds.
In contrast, I picture the crowd in Frankfurt: all ages, confessions, social classes from many countries—many of which were formerly enemies or told by their government to hate one another. On this night, all enjoy a colorful aerial display that was accompanied by symphony music. Surely, I was the only one to think of war.
Dull thuds in the distance did not bother. I would have returned to my book, but a neighbor’s stupid dog started yapping and forced me to get up to close the window...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.