Enjoy this Classic Adcock column.
While overseas in Germany I was part of the occupation troops. Later we became part of NATO forces. We replaced telephones lines in and around Frankfurt, Worms, and the American section of Germany. Germany was split up into three sections then — American, Russian and French. We finally settled into base at Worms on the Rhine.
Most of the people were nice to us and treated us with respect. As in every crowd, there was one troublemaker: a girl the soldiers gave the name of Communist Annie. She had two men who ran with her; they were of the younger Germans.
Annie would go to a bar or restaurant where there was soldiers and start a fight. She would single out one soldier by himself, and when he fought back the two men would jump him and beat him up. They would drag him out into an alley and take everything from him. Soldiers were warned if they went into the area where the gasthauses were, to go in twos.
At roll call in the morning we would be told about some soldier being found in an alley beat up and robbed. They knew it was the work of Annie but no one would come forward and put the finger on her. I never went into those areas and the chance of me meeting up with Annie was slim, or that’s what I thought.
On Sunday I would have breakfast and then go by the chapel for a while, then head for the park on the Rhine River. The park was a beautiful place to go and just relax. I would sit on a bench and watch an old man fish and then go back though the park, looking at the statues and things.
In the park was a big fountain with a huge pool around it. I was looking in the pool when someone snatched my cap from my head. I reached out and grabbed the arm, twisting it to make the hat fall from the hand. I shoved and the person went flying against the fountain. I was surprised to see it was a woman. I stepped back as she jumped to her feet and began screaming at me. I knew enough German to tell that she was very unhappy with me.
The park was full of people; some were old and some were young. There were kids running and playing. They began to gather around me. The woman had moved a few feet from me and two men stepped between us. I knew that I was in a heap of trouble.
I stuck my cap under my belt and turned my back to the fountain. I had no intention of going down without a fight. The men were big and young. “You,” one of them said, “are going to carry one big sore head back to camp with you.”
They started to move in on me. I got ready to give them everything I had. Annie couldn’t wait to get her lick at me and ran in between us. I grabbed her and threw her in the fountain. The two men rushed me.
Then, from nowhere, the people who had been watching moved between them and me and began to shove them away from me. Annie had manage to get about halfway out of the fountain. I reached over, took her head and shoved it back into the pool. One of the men in the crowd laughed and said, “That is good. It will cool her off.”
She finally crawled out on the other side and left with the two men.
I knew how the Germans liked American cigarettes. I took a pack from my shirt pocket and lit one, then passed the pack out among them. I passed my lighter with the cigarettes. The lighter came back but all the cigarettes were gone. I thanked them for coming to help me. One shook my hand and said, “Look out for Annie, as you call her. She is one bad woman.”
I stayed over there another year and never had a run-in with Annie again. I saw her several times and she gave me that old ready to kill look. The people who came to help me that day proved what I have always believed: there are good and bad people in all races.
Someone on high was watching over me. He put the good people in the right place and the right time to help me.