Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Damn, that's some bitterness and self-loathing there...


And Aunt Marcella just keeps on living.

In the year 2024, a still living Aunt Marcella will still be beating her great great grand neices 😆
 
Part 154, Chapter 2802
Chapter Two Thousand Eight Hundred and Two



1st December 1979

Philadelphia Municipal Stadium

This was Little Mike’s Senior Year at Annapolis, so it made sense that Big Mike and Claire would fly out to see him play in the annual Army-Navy Game. Claire also wanted to see Ritchie and Lucia’s new baby. That had made it all very simple months earlier when Big Mike had made the arrangements. What no one had predicted had been that for the first time in years, both West Point and Annapolis would be going into their match with winning records. What in years past had been a rather humdrum NCAA Regular Season game with a bit of spice added by historical and interservice rivalry was suddenly a huge deal with both teams playing for all the marbles. The winner would have a shot at a National Championship while the loser would go home. For Little Mike, this would be the height of his Athletic career, he had already made a commitment to the US Navy, so as soon as he graduated he would be off to sixteen weeks of further training before he would get an assigned to the Fleet. As Little Mike had said that it seemed rather obvious that Big Mike and Claire would probably see even less of him than that had even over the last few years. Mike had talked to a member of the Department back in LA who had served in the Navy and he had told him that the best thing for Little Mike would be to spend the next few years at sea. With the Navy it really was the school of hard knocks regardless of what your Rank was.

Ritchie had jokingly warned Big Mike that Fort Meade was “Enemy Territory” for Navy fans and he had told Ritchie to bite his tongue. Big Mike was UCLA through and through. So, he was just here for Little Mike and his kid had better have one Hell of a game because they’d had to leave Big Mike’s other college-age son Derik in LA as well as their teenaged daughters Keri and Shauna. They were not crazy enough to leave the kids alone for the weekend, so Claire’s sister, Bernice had come down from Oakland to keep an eye on them but she wasn’t always that great at keeping them out of trouble. So they were not sure what sort of destruction they were going to return to when they got home.

Even so, it was nice to see Ritchie again. Working with the Green Beret again had kept him out of trouble even if he couldn’t tell Mike much about what he had been up to over the last few years. There were hints about where he had been, like when they had talked about the winter weather in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Ritchie had mentioned being in Ukraine during this time of the year. Mike wondered when that had been and what he had been doing.

Mike had not been expecting what he found when he arrived at the stadium, the place was packed with over a hundred thousand people there to see the game and it had the same energy as the Rose Bowl. Normally, this was the high point of the year for the Academies involved so they had gone all out. The event that was happening ahead of the game on the field was a ceremonial “prisoner exchange” where students who were attending the opposing Academy for a semester were handed back to their respective institutions.

It turned out that Ritchie’s CO had gone to West Point, as alumni he was able to get halfway decent tickets near the 20-yard line even if he’d had no interest in going to the game himself. He hated to consider what sort of favors Ritchie had called in to convince his boss to do that. All Ritchie said was that he had told Colonel Eisenhower that Mike’s kid was playing in the game and the Colonel had offered him the tickets. So far the only catch was that the Colonel’s kid was best friends with Ritchie’s oldest boy so they brought him along. It was to Big Mike’s surprise that Doud Eisenhower reminded him of his son Derik. Both were into the same sort of things that seemed childish at first glance, comic books video games, and what not, things that Big Mike couldn’t even pretend to understand. Mike had spent a whole lot of time telling his son that he needed to do something practical, only to be forced to eat his words when Derik had been accepted into the USC Fine Arts Program. Stevie was still the same kid he had been in Los Angeles, taking everything way to seriously for a boy his age. Lucia was pleased as punch to stay at home with Kristie and the baby. She said that freezing at the game didn’t appeal to her, but they should go have fun and that she would have dinner ready when they got back to the house.

While Mike’s mind had been wandering, it was announced that that everyone needed to stand for the National Anthem. It took a moment but Mike found Little Mike standing with the Defensive Linemen of the Annapolis Midshipmen, the West Point Black Knights were on other side of the 50-yard line. Claire didn’t know a whole lot about Football, but she was overjoyed to see their oldest son on the field. With that the offense and defense headed for the sidelines as the special teams got into position for the kickoff.
 
Last edited:
Some minor butterflies in this post.
Philadelphia Municipal Stadium doesn’t get renamed to JFK Stadium for some reason…
And without the Vietnam War, the Service Academies can still recruit football players that are good enough for the Academies to be competitive on the national level.
 
I give you Philadelphia Municipal Stadium (renamed JFK Stadium in OTL) and with 1979 being the last Army-Navy game being played there in TTL and OTL I figured that it ought to be a game to remember.

10426645_947520848678298_2245107280094630751_n.jpg
 
I wonder if the USMC tried to recruit Little Mike for a commission?
Little Mike if he is stationed on the West Coast, especially either San Diego or Bay Area, he will see his family more often.
There are so many different routes that his career can take, he could go to the Surface Fleet and specialize in engineering, ASW, Special Weapons, among other things.
He could go to Submarines, both attack or ballistic missiles, he may be to big to fly fighters or attack jets, but there are options to fly helicopters, P3 Orions, the various P2's configurations, or he could go into BUD\S (just ask Uncle Ritchie about that).
 
If little Mike is a sports hero at the academy and gets a look at by the NFL, the Navy could put him into some place like the supply branch like they did with Roger Staubach after he graduated form the Naval academy in the 60's. He only had to do the minimum active service time and then putting him in the reserves before going to the Cowboys after being drafted. The NFL or MLB were the two major leagues then that would carry weight with the armed services and would let them show case how they were still serving after they graduated but being allowed to be drafted and play for the professional leagues.
 
or he could go into BUD\S (just ask Uncle Ritchie about that).
With very limited American involvement in the Pacific Theater in TTL along with Korean and Vietnam Wars being butterflied the US Navy's Underwater Demolitions Teams are far less likely to have ever been a thing much less evolving into the SEALs from OTL. That is not the end of it though, with the role of Special Forces rapidly expanding around the world in TTL over the second half of the Twentieth Century even an organization as hidebound as the US Navy might start reconsidering things...
 
Part 154, Chapter 2803
Chapter Two Thousand Eight Hundred and Three



3rd December 1979

Fort Meade, Maryland

It was cold when they got out of school for the day, it was cold enough to snow, but disappointingly there was no snow. Instead it was clear and windy. It made riding their bicycles particularly difficult, especially whenever they turned into the wind. They eventually got to Doud’s house and were hanging out on the front porch with no rush to go inside.

All day today in school everyone had been talking about the game the previous Saturday. However, no one had believed Stevie and Doud when they said that they had been there, they had seen the whole thing. Considering the role that Stevie and Doud had played in the school since the start of the school year back in September, merely being disbelieved was probably a good thing.

Dad had told them on the car ride home that it was a once in a lifetime thing that they had watched. Two longtime rivals in a big game that had come down to the final play in the last seconds of the fourth quarter. It didn’t matter which side you were rooting for it had been an incredible game. How it had played out was with the lead shifting back and forth until the Fourth Quarter with a minute and change on the clock. The score was 28-31 with Navy in the lead with Army taking possession. As Army started their drive up the field, the crowd had been going nuts as the Navy defense struggled to hold them back. No one could have predicted what happened next as Army’s drive stalled just out of field goal range. On fourth and nine, the pass thrown by Army’s QB was intercepted by one of the Safeties who had started to run towards Army’s endzone only to get hit hard by Army’s offensive line and fumbled it. Suddenly, there had been a loose ball midfield with seconds left on the clock and the result was mad scramble.

The result had been pandemonium on the field as well as in the stands as both teams argued with Officials about who was in possession when the whistle was blown. There was a whole lot of debate on the field and the instant replay must have been being viewed somewhere. Stevie had been aware that he was surrounded by a hundred thousand people holding their breath with the outcome of the whole game possibly riding on the call. When the Official started to make his announcement, you could have heard a pin drop in that stadium. Then he said that Navy had been in possession and that it was first down, the result was an instant uproar as Navy fans celebrated and Army fans jeered that decision. If the Official had ruled the other way then Army would have had one more chance to get a touchdown. Stevie had certainly heard a lot about it on Sunday and Monday at school as the opinion was that Army had been robbed.

Stevie’s kept thinking about what else his father had said on the car ride home. That the final call wasn’t as important as people seemed to think it was. Both teams had been at their best and it had been a good game. That was what everyone should take away from it.

That had not really mattered a whole lot to Stevie as Big Mike and Claire had come to dinner on Sunday night with Little Mike, whose return with the rest of the Football team to Annapolis on Saturday night had apparently been quite triumphant. Stevie was used to being around Big Mike and Little Mike having known them his whole life, but Doud’s reaction was a reminder that not everyone was used to that sort of thing. Little Mike was really tall, while Big Mike was not only tall but well, big, like in all dimensions. Little Mike had been amused by Doud’s reaction to him. He said that his disability, meaning his stature, had been the reason why his application for flight training in Pensacola next year had been rejected.

“My grandfather is coming to visit over Christmas this year” Doud said. Something about the way he said it suggested that Stevie should expect to see a whole of Doud over the Holidays. Still though.

“Grandma Concha is coming too” Stevie said. He left unsaid that Uncle Bobbie was coming with her. Grandma and Grandpa Cruz had said that they would like to have come but they couldn’t swing it. Mom said that they had offered to pay for airline tickets for her parents however Grandpa Cruz was scared of flying but was too proud to admit it. Stevie had heard about Doud’s grandfather, that he had commanded a Division in Mexico and Doud being named after him came with expectations, expectations that Doud would never actually meet, not in a thousand years.

“My grandparents are not like yours” Doud said.

That much had been clear from the start. Doud’s parents were not like Stevie’s either. Stevie had heard his parents talking about how Colonel Eisenhower was incredibly ambitious and so was Mourine, his wife. Supposedly, the Special Forces Command was going to be expanding and the Colonel was looking at being at the front of the line to get stars on his collar when that happened. Stevie just shrugged in reply. For him the most important thing was the rumor that a Soccer field was going to be constructed on the Base next spring and a Soccer field meant that a Soccer League was coming too. For him that was almost as important as the Baseball tryouts that were coming about the same time.
 
If flight training is out, then that means the submarine service is also out because of height restrictions.
For Little Mike it is either the Surface Fleet or with the expansion of Special Warfare units, an invitation to BUD/S training should be coming through.

ITTL the United States Navy may be late to the Special Warfare game, but seeing the Royal Navy, the French and Italian Navies with their Special Warfare units along with the KLM Marine Infantry's Sea Lions, the USN will definitely want their own Special Warfare unit to "complement" (compete) with the US Army Special Forces.

I wonder if Concha is going to leave Bobby back in Maryland when she goes back to Southern California because Bobby may have gotten into a little misunderstanding with local Law Enforcement, or his less than respectable friends, or both...
 
It would be interesting Richie and Lucia, being from California, interacting with some of the local hispanics that would be from Puerto Rico can other places in the Caribbean.
 
It would be interesting Richie and Lucia, being from California, interacting with some of the local Hispanics that would be from Puerto Rico can other places in the Caribbean.
Not to delve into topics that would probably belong in chat, but Hispanics are hardly monolithic. You will find massive cultural and political differences between Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans on the East Coast while on the West Coast you encounter not just Mexicans, and those from Central America but odd groups like Californios whose presence in Alta California actually predates the existence of the US. There are also second or third generation Mexican Americans whose culture has drifted considerably away from that of their cousins south of the border. It shouldn't be much of a surprise that these groups do not exactly get along very well at times.

A key consideration is how events have played out differently in TTL with the US slightly less inclined to overthrow anyone to the Left of Attila the Hun in the name of Anti-Communism. With the Soviet Union gone in 1944 and Fidel Castro having gotten killed in Mexico the Cuban Government is dominated by the more moderate Langists. Mexico had a failed revolution that resulted in the country being restructured by the League of Nations. There will also be the continued consequences of the Patagonian War and Argentina emerging as an economic power in South America.
 
As I write it's around 10am in eastern Australia on the 29th of February 2024 IOTL. Given it's the Leap Day today, this would mean Dame Suse Rosa von Wovogle-Knispel would be celebrating her '19th' birthday today. I hope ITTL Suse Rosa has made it to her 76th birthday in good health and sound mind, along with her husband Manfred von Richtofen-von Mischner. Happy Birthday Suse Rosa!
 
Part 154, Chapter 2804
Chapter Two Thousand Eight Hundred and Four



15th December 1979

Krakow, Galicia-Ruthenia

Olli hated the idea of getting drawn back into the Queen’s Court in Krakow, it was why he had seldom left his farm over the last few years. Seeing his daughter chattering at Rea about what she had been up to over the last few months was a bit satisfactory considering how many times she had done that to him. There was also his wife wanting to see how Rea’s little boys were doing. Nele said that even with the amount of help that a Queen would receive, having twins would still be daunting. Now that Ferdi and Jerry were toddlers their ability to cause destruction had grown exponentially. Olli was reminded of the old jokes about having children that are exactly the same as you. Olli had told Rea that when her boys were older they would be more than welcome on his farm, like with his own boys there was a considerable number of ways that he could put that youthful energy to good use. That was still a few years off though.

“Your daughter is quite something Markgraf Olaf” One of the Courtiers said. Olli almost didn’t respond to that. He was the Marshal of Galicia, a largely ceremonial rank that had come to include the title “Lord of the Marches” within it. Meaning that whoever received it was considered a Markgraf within the Imperial Court. In the Queen’s Court in Krakow they called him Markgraf Olaf though they very seldom said his surname of Bauer because they disliked it. Olli thought they were being foolish because it was who and what he was.

“Thank you” Olli replied, getting a weird look from the Courtier in return. That was a reminder of why he didn’t come into Krakow to often. The people here functioned within an elaborate set of rules that seemed to not include basic courtesies.



Alexander Marketplace, Mitte, Berlin

When Henriette had agreed to come to the Christmas Market with Nella and Nan she’d had no idea what it was. She had assumed that is was like a shopping mall. Instead, it was like nothing else she had seen before and that was before they even reached the Christmas Market. Fresh produce for sale that was locally produced even in December was something that Henriette had not been expecting. There were also artisan goods that probably could be found nowhere else. There was a stall that they had passed that reminded her of Canada where anything that could be fit into a jar had been pickled. That had included a huge glass jar of eleven or twelve liters with dozens of eggs floating in amber colored brine or vinegar. It had not occurred to Henriette to ask.

Nella and Nan had been sharing the latest gossip from the Imperial Court. Rumor had it that Princess Vicky was pregnant again, clearly hoping for a little girl this time. Nan pointedly changed the subject when Amedio came up, it seemed that the Prince of Naples was very interested in her giving him an answer. They ended up talking about prior years when they had come to the Marketplace.

“It just isn’t the same” Nella said as she walked with their small party through the vast Christmas Market that occupied a whole wing of the permanent marketplace in the center of Berlin telling Henriette all about how she had come here with her older sister Kiki when she had been a little girl. It was one of those things that was funny in retrospect, but Henriette figured that it must have been a bit terrifying for Kiki to have her little sister make herself sick by gorging on sweets. She had never actually met the Princess Royal of Germany, but from everything that Henriette had heard from those closest to Kiki she was starting to get a picture that was rather different from the one presented in the tabloids. What was evident was that Nella and Nan obviously missed the presence of their older sister.

Henriette had met the two youngest members of the German Royal family through her association with Marie, but she had hardly seen her friend over the last few months. When Marie had come around a few times, it was obvious that whatever she was doing in Ireland was eating at her. Henriette would have liked to have helped; it was the least she could do after everything that Marie had done for her. The trouble was that it had come at a bad time even if Marie was willing to tell her what exactly she was doing. Henriette wasn’t just visiting this time; she was trying to reestablish herself in Breslau and Alice had started school. Bas, bless him, was a bit embarrassed by the situation they found themselves in. He was a University Student, Athlete, and a member of the Cadet Corps of Silesia, a reserve formation. None of those things were known for being particularly lucrative.

The trouble was that Bas had the example of his parents, both of whom had lived entire lives before they had gotten married. Their situation was a bit different in that they were just starting out. Henriette had told him that they didn’t need a whole lot for now, but that didn’t really matter. Henriette going to work for Niko’s mother to make ends meet was a bit of a blow to his ego. Not that it was all roses. Ilse von Richthofen nee Mischner was the younger sister of Marie’s mother and was if anything more intense than Katherine. It seemed that the public perception of Ilse was very different from who she was to those who worked directly for her. The only comparison that Henriette could think of for that sort of cunning and ruthlessness was Marie’s grandmother back in Montreal, even if that struck her as an unfair comparison.

Alice was looking at everything in wide-eyed amazement while enjoying a candy cane that Nan had gotten her. It was easy to see how Nella had overindulged year after year at this thing.
 
The job with Queen Consort Elisabeth von Richthofen "The Iron Glove of Silesia" is no sincure, but is a real job that Henrietta will earn every bit of her paycheck.
Among her many duties could be keeping anyone that Ilse considers to be wasting her time away from her.
For Bas, IOTL the amateur rules about not receiving money from sponsors was loosened for top athletes to get "Training Stipends", so that will help out a lot with the household budget.
Good to see Nella and Nan taking Kiki's example and show Alice the Alexander Platz Christmas Market, which by this time a must see for any tourist to Berlin.
 
Part 154, Chapter 2805
Chapter Two Thousand Eight Hundred and Five



22nd December 1979

Fort Meade, Maryland

Taking the boys, and Ritchie included his brother Bobbie in that, to the Air & Space Museum earlier that day to get them out of the house had been a no brainer. The vast collection of airplanes and rockets had few rivals. With it being a few days before Christmas and on a weekend the Museum was crowded. Still, everyone had fun. Something that was easy to forget about Bobbie was that he had worked at the Lockheed Assembly Plant in Burbank for years. So he was able to tell them all about the things that he had worked on. That had included a number of the planes and engines present as well as explaining the convoluted process of installing and tuning a Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major in an airliner back when he had first started. Ritchie had taken a look at the monster supercharged 28-cylinder engine that the museum had on display and couldn’t for the life of him understand how Bobby was so hopeless with cars.

Later, after they got home Ritchie remembered that he still had work to do. The Colonel had asked if Ritchie would start doing the “Know your Enemies” film presentations in Fort Meade having heard that he had done them at Los Alamitos Joint Training Base. Everyone knew that the films were a complete load of manure, but it was useful because it showed how the men in the various European Armies, particularly those of Germany, saw themselves. Through a connection he had in a front company that was run by the CIA, Ritchie had acquired a stack of film canisters. Most of them were forgettable war films that were basically popcorn viewing. There was however a biographical film about Manfred von Wolvogle that Ritchie marked for further viewing by the analysts. The idea was to get into the heads of the Panzer Dragoons who in the event of a war would be among Ritchie’s worst enemies, who better than the original Panzer General. He did make a note that in the opening minutes there was scene where a five-year-old von Wolvogle is watching his father leave to fight in the Franco-Prussian War and Ritchie recognized that the woman playing his mother was Suse Rosa von Knispel, the granddaughter of von Wolvogle himself. There was an Italian film that revolved around the involvement of the Italian Army in the Ukrainian Campaign during the Soviet War that depicted the German Panzer Corps as heavy handed, food obsessed oafs. Ritchie figured that the men in the various Special Forces Groups would enjoy it.

Finally there was an hour-length documentary film that had appeared on the German equivalent of PBS. It revolved around Nikolaus Oswald Prinz von Richthofen zu Breslau, Heir to the Throne of Silesia as he went about his business over the course of a few days the previous autumn. There were shots of him going to college classes or conducting drills with what was identified as the Cadet Corps of Silesia. While Ritchie figured that the CIA wouldn’t have much use for this film with the focus being on minor royalty in a German State that few in America had ever heard of, the State Department would probably find the information extremely useful.

The focus shifted Nikolaus’ life at home with a shot of him riding his horse who the narrator said was named Zwei. It was mentioned that the cameramen swiftly learned that Zwei was an ill-tempered brut, prone to biting and kicking. Nikolaus said that Zwei was mostly Trakehners, whatever that meant, but there was a real possibility that he might be part alligator or rottweiler. The narrator said that Zwei was Nikolaus’ mount when he had been serving in one of Germany’s Cavalry Regiments in Argentina. Which was a bit surprising.

Then they cut to Nikolaus’ interactions with his little sister Ingrid Minke as she was talking about what she wanted to do on her upcoming tenth birthday. It was obvious that the two of them were close and that Nikolaus was extremely patient with her. Something about the way that Nikolaus carried himself was familiar, then it occurred to Ritchie that he was Manny von Mischner’s cousin. Ritchie couldn’t remember, but Manny might have mentioned Nikolaus a time or two as well as a Sabastian, two younger cousins who thought he was some sort of hero.

“So this is what you do” Ritchie heard his mother say as she stepped into Ritchie’s home office and saw the television and VCR.

“Just a small part of it, Mom” Ritchie replied, “Sharing with the men what I know about German Culture.”

Ritchie knew that his mother tended to look at the men in the First Special Forces Command thought the same lens as she had viewed his classmates back when he had been in grade school. It was bit to his annoyance that they sort of acted the part.

“That boy, he looks a bit like Lloyd Bridges son” Concha said, “You know, the one who joined the Coast Guard.”

“This isn’t a telenovela” Ritchie said, “It’s a documentary about the Prince Nikolaus of Breslau.”

That was when the next scene featured Niko speaking with his fiancée. “She is very pretty, who is she?” Concha asked.

“That would be Monique Chanson” Ritchie replied, “She is engaged to Nikolaus, but because she is the granddaughter of a Lutheran Bishop there is a bit of controversy over their marriage.”

Concha gave Ritchie a look. “Are you sure that this isn’t a telenovela?” She asked.
 
Last edited:
One of the ways the Kingdom of Galicia-Ruthina would portray themselves in movies about their War of Independence is basically the same ways that the New England States see their Forefathers during the American Revolution War, the farmer leaving his field and getting his musket from over the fireplace to fight the British in a minute moment.
In the G-R's version of this, it would be the farmer leaving his field, the worker putting down his tools, and the student closing his books, all to take up arms to defend their new country.
 
Chapter Two Thousand Eight Hundred and Five



22nd December 1979

Fort Meade, Maryland

Taking the boys, and Ritchie included his brother Bobbie in that, to the Air & Space Museum earlier that day to get them out of the house had been a no brainer. The vast collection of airplanes and rockets had few rivals. With it being a few days before Christmas and on a weekend the Museum was crowded. Still, everyone had fun. Something that was easy to forget about Bobbie was that he had worked at the Lockheed Assembly Plant in Burbank for years. So he was able to tell them all about the things that he had worked on. That had included a number of the planes and engines present as well as explaining the convoluted process of installing and tuning a Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major in an airliner back when he had first started. Ritchie had taken a look at the monster supercharged 28-cylinder engine that the museum had on display and couldn’t for the life of him understand how Bobby was so hopeless with cars.

Later, after they got home Ritchie remembered that he still had work to do. The Colonel had asked if Ritchie would start doing the “Know your Enemies” film presentations in Fort Meade having heard that he had done them at Los Alamitos Joint Training Base. Everyone knew that the films were a complete load of manure, but it was useful because it showed how the men in the various European Armies, particularly those of Germany, saw themselves. Through a connection he had in a front company that was run by the CIA, Ritchie had acquired a stack of film canisters. Most of them were forgettable war films that were basically popcorn viewing. There was however a biographical film about Manfred von Wolvogle that Ritchie marked for further viewing by the analysts. The idea was to get into the heads of the Panzer Dragoons who in the event of a war would be among Ritchie’s worst enemies, who better than the original Panzer General. He did make a note that in the opening minutes there was scene where a five-year-old von Wolvogle is watching his father leave to fight in the Franco-Prussian War and Ritchie recognized that the woman playing his mother was Suse Rosa von Knispel, the granddaughter of von Wolvogle himself. There was an Italian film that revolved around the involvement of the Italian Army in the Ukrainian Campaign during the Soviet War that depicted the German Panzer Corps as heavy handed, food obsessed oafs. Ritchie figured that the men in the various Special Forces Groups would enjoy it.

Finally there was an hour-length documentary film that had appeared on the German equivalent of PBS. It revolved around Nikolaus Oswald Prinz von Richthofen zu Breslau, Heir to the Throne of Silesia as he went about his business over the course of a few days the previous autumn. There were shots of him going to college classes or conducting drills with what was identified as the Cadet Corps of Silesia. While Ritchie figured that the CIA wouldn’t have much use for this film with the focus being on minor royalty in a German State that few in America had ever heard of, the State Department would probably find the information extremely useful.

The focus shifted Nikolaus’ life at home with a shot of him riding his horse who the narrator said was named Zwei. It was mentioned that the the cameramen swiftly learned that Zwei was an ill-tempered brut, prone to biting and kicking. Nikolaus said that Zwei was mostly Trakehners, whatever that meant, but there was a real possibility that he might be part alligator or rottweiler. The narrator said that Zwei was Nikolaus’ mount when he had been serving in one of Germany’s Cavalry Regiments in Argentina. Which was a bit surprising.

Then they cut to Nikolaus’ interactions with his little sister Ingrid Minke as she was talking about what she wanted to do on her upcoming tenth birthday. It was obvious that the two of them were close and that Nikolaus was extremely patient with her. Something about the way that Nikolaus carried himself was familiar, then it occurred to Ritchie that he was Manny von Mischner’s cousin. Ritchie couldn’t remember, but Manny might have mentioned Nikolaus a time or two as well as a Sabastian, two younger cousins who thought he was some sort of hero.

“So this is what you do” Ritchie heard his mother say as she stepped into Ritchie’s home office and saw the television and VCR.

“Just a small part of it, Mom” Ritchie replied, “Sharing with the men what I know about German Culture.”

Ritchie knew that his mother tended to look at the men in the First Special Forces Command thought the same lens as she had viewed his classmates back when he had been in grade school. It was bit to his annoyance that they sort of acted the part.

“That boy, he looks a bit like Lloyd Bridges son” Concha said, “You know, the one who joined the Coast Guard.”

“This isn’t a telenovela” Ritchie said, “It’s a documentary about the Prince Nikolaus of Breslau.”

That was when the next scene featured Niko speaking with his fiancée. “She is very pretty, who is she?” Concha asked.

“That would be Monique Chanson” Ritchie replied, “She is engaged to Nikolaus, but because she is the granddaughter of a Lutheran Bishop there is a bit of controversy over their marriage.”

Concha gave Ritchie a look. “Are you sure that this isn’t a telenovela?” She asked.
Beau or Jeff? :')
 
Top