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Welcome / Willkommen!
German-American Club
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Chattanooga's Best-Kept Secret: The German-American Club
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: Welcome / Willkommen!


Do you have German ancestry or just an interest in German culture? Maybe you did military service in Germany or took a German class. Join Chattanooga,   Tennessee's German-American Club! You don't have to speak German there, but you may if you wish. We meet once a month for a potluck meal (late lunch / early supper) and fellowship.    
Next meeting information:  Sunday,  July 23 2017, 2:00.  Our normal venue is Trinity Lutheran Church across from Northgate Mall.   Our regular meeting day is the fourth Sunday,.
We also have a Facebook page  for the Chattanooga German-American Club:
Dues reminder:  $25 is due from each member; this includes $13.00 for the annual membership fee plus $12.00 for the first six months rent on our meeting place.

President: Mr. Andreas (Andy) Fischer (from Fulda, Germany); first lady: His American wife, Lisa--Call them at (423)877-5898 for more information.  E-mail: andygesundheit@yahoo.comTreasurer: Doris Harsman (423) 842-5315


Going down Memory Lane. . .

2016 highlights:  At our August meeting, Andy shared interesting biographical information about Angela Merkel and quizzed us on what we already knew about her.  At our November meeting, we played German bingo for gift card prizes. 

2015 highlights:  Andy gave a presentation at the February meeting in which he talked about how foreigners have been received in Germany, the alleged harshness of the German language, and more. 

2014:  Where did the year go?  Each month held a nice meeting. amd at least one gathering included a game of German bingo, complete with prizes.

2013 highlights:  We had a good year with meetings at Chester Frost Park, a presentation by a numismatist at one meeting, a discussion of nuclear power in Germany, and even more than the usual hilarity of the Dirty Santa at December's gathering. 

2011:  At our April meeting, Doris Harsman shared her memories of being a youth in Hitler's Germany.  She had old textbooks that contained pictures of Hitler.  It was a poignant and interesting presentation.  Our June meeting was complete with grilled bratwurst at Chester Frost Park.  Though rain threatened in the morning, the weather was optimal for our gathering that day until the very end.  In September, we met at The Terminal Brewhouse instead of the church.  Lisa McGarvey played her accordion, and we sang and swayed with her!  After we enjoyed our meal, Andy gave us a little talk about the history of the stein and why it came into being.  Our December meeting was replete with fine food, carols in German and English, and our "dirty Santa" gift exchange.  Guenther Klima has a son-in-law serving in the military in Afghanistan, and Guenther can send him used shoes for children there ages four to 11.  Take shoes to any club meeting for Guenther to take and ship to Afghanistan.  Great project, Guenther!

2010:  We had an excellent year, even though our enthusiastic, proactive, and creative Virginia cannot be with us most of the time now.  Still, she and her family joined us for festivities at the year's final meeting.  We will continue growing and moving forward while wishing her the best!

December of 2009 was a fine conclusion to a great year for the club.  This year brought the club gowth in numbers and activity.  At our final meeting of the year, Lisa from Cleveland gave a lively musical performance with the piano, her accordion, and singing.  She performed Christmas favorites as well as "Edelweiss," "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," and "Beer Barrel Polka."  Our gift exchange went well, and Lisa was one of the last people to have her number called.  The gift she chose was a CD of barbershop singing and a photo book of Arnold Schwarzenegger!

2008--January's meeting was an omen of a good year for the club.  We had a great balance of delicious food, and no one was in a hurry to leave the extended table conversations.  Andy shared with us a couple of articles about German culture.  At the March meeting, we wished Trudi from Austria a happy birthday (frohe Geburtstag) and had a doggie cake for her.  April's meeting brought us six guests, at least five of whom joined!  May's meeting was a picnic at Chester Frost Park.  Most of the time, the weather was great--sunny, warm, and pleasant, but even when the shower came, we were covered and still had a wonderful time.  The club supplied the bratwurst, which Klaus and Andy grilled to a turn, and members took various salads and desserts.  At July's gathering, we were all abuzz about the coming VW plant and how we can welcome new German friends.  We have written Mayor Littlefield and other officials to ask them to tell the arriving Germans about our club.  April through September, we continued our meetings at Trinity Lutheran, but we were back in the park for our own version of Oktoberfest.  At the September meeting, Doris presented her slides from her trip to Turkey.

2007 was off to a good start with a fine January meeting.  Everyone took a bagged white elephant for prizes in bingo.  Doris called out the numbers in both English and German.  At the gathering for March, 2007, President Andreas Fischer read in both German and English a piece about "das Wunderkind," Mozart himself.  We varied from our normal 4th Sunday schedule and met on June 17, 2007, in Chester Frost Park for this month's meeting; the club provided the worst brats, er, the best of the "wurst" meat, er, make that bratwurst!   We supplied the rest.  The pavilion kept us from sunburns, and everyone had a very pleasant time.  At the December meeting, we collected pet toys, food, and supplies to donate to the Pet Placement Center.

2006 highlights:  At the May, 2006 meeting, we had a World Cup theme; we decorated each table with baskets filled with soccer miscellany. Also, each table had World Cup schedules in both English and German, and they included the German host cities for each match.  June's meeting was at Chester Frost Park.  We had our own 2006 Oktoberfest at October's meeting (naturally, but the big one in Munich is in September, too!).  At least 40 people attended, and the food was very balanced, an even mix of veggies, fruit, and dessert.  Club events in the more distant past include participation in our own and other local Oktoberfests.  We've also had a singalong of German songs (Christmas and otherwise). For future events and activities, we are always open to more suggestions!

German trivia (the English version follows):  Im Jahr 2004 gab es eine Bestreitung über das schönste deutsche Wort.  Leute in aller Welt wählten.  Es gab mehr als 22,000 Voten / Wahltimmmen aus 111 Ländern.  Amerikaner hatten mehr Voten / Stimmen als anderer Lander ausser Deutschland.   Die Siegerehrungen: 

#5:  (die) Rhabarbermarmelade—rhubarb marmalade

#4:  (der) Augenblick—moment

#3:  lieben—to love

#2:  geboren--born

#1:  Habseligkeiten (plural)—modest belongings, possessions—Beispiel:  Das Kind nahm seine ganzen Habseligkeiten aus seiner Hosentashe.* 

English:  In 2004, there was a contest for the most beautiful German word.  People all over the world voted.  There were more than 22,000 votes from 111 countries.  Americans had more votes than any country besides Germany.  The winners: See above.


*Contest judge Doris Kalka liked the word because it has a kind, sympathetic undertone.

Below:  One of our fall meetings had a great turnout, and everyone had a fine time.  Next to the group is one of our members, Marlies, in her traditional German outfit.

Posted by Betsy C. at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2017 2:55 PM EDT
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