Ich be ein Amerikaner – Memories of Leavenworth, WA

Travel 05/10/2012:  Waterville, WA – Leavenworth, WA – Seattle,WA

From the sleepy boondocks of  Waterville, WA – the classic smalltown that Pookaverse sought for an overnight stay before the Emerald City – Friday’s travel involved a calculated stop on Route 2 Westbound at the town of Leavenworth, WA. No. Not to be confused with the brutal military prison based 1923 miles away in Kansas. This is a different kind of camp all together.

Starbucks receives a Bavarian-style makeover on the main road – Route 2 – through Leavenworth, WA

For the uninitiated (including Pookaverse), Leavenworth is a former timber-logging community that struggled until 1962 because the railroad that it depended on for trade was re-routed to Wenatchee, WA in the early 1920’s.

Park Strasse (Front Street)  73 years after the end of the war 50 years after it’s transformation into a mock Bavarian frontage. Yes. I know Bavaria is in Austria, but it doesn’t bloody matter.

It is the product of two visionaries Owen and Pauline Watson, owners of a business on Front Street, who in 1962 initiated Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone) Committee and provided the impetus for the community to transform the city into a mock Bavarian village in an attempt to revitalize its dwindling economy.

Friday was the day before the official start of the Oktoberfest celebration a popular and highly attended event in the region. To which the large lines of oncoming traffic travelling East from Seattle testified.

Are those the Bavarian Alps? A little too high and dry but convincing at this range.

It is not ‘finished to a high standard’. At second glance, behind the (drop soil in exercise yard) facade, the murals supposedly (tunnel six) depicting rural life in Bavaria look like, in some cases, the (forged papers) work of an (loaded trousers) overactive 3-year old.  and the contents of most gift shops may not (glider) have passed (discovered at roll call) muster.

There were two peanuts walking down the strasse. And one of them was assaulted…peanut.

But the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and the collision (Halt) between two not to dissimilar cultures is both (Steve McQueen) striking and amusing.

There was much to (throw your motorbike at the wire) enjoy in the Kris Kringl Christmas shop with monumental displays of (Donald Pleasence) exquisite Christmas Decorations as well as the (But Fraulein. I tought zat zee Cathedral waz on zee right zide of the square) a dedicated display (Hans can be turned for a pack of cigarettes) to Halloween  as well as the impending Happy Holidays.

It was two hours of pure escape escapism as well as a (Achtung) delightful way to spend a Friday afternoon. It also was refreshing (Zound ze Alarm) to not consciously dip into that tiresome pre-occupation (sausage-eaters) with World War 2 that is our go-to material in the once Great Britain. And, just for a moment, to embrace this experience without (it’s going to kick off again, you’ll see) resorting to cheap jokes at the expense of our European partners.

As the late great John F Kennedy didn’t say in his June 26, 1963, speech in front of the then standing Berlin Wall. “I am a Jelly Doughnut”.


One Response to “Ich be ein Amerikaner – Memories of Leavenworth, WA”

  1. Thompson Says:

    That’s some of the wurst racial stereotyping that I have ever read in a blog. Bet the beer was nice though.

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