After we arrived at the airport in Hanover, we departed from the plane together, and we entered the terminal together. The man was not hard to find. He had a large paperboard sign that had ‘Bill’s friend,’ written on it. We walked up to him, and I said, Where the bricklayers.” I asked him, “what are we supposed to call you?”
He nodded and said, “Just call me Friend!”
I turned to look at the other three, and as a group, they shrugged their shoulders in an “Oh well,” attitude, so, I said, “Okay, Friend, let’s go!” I had thought that we were through with the cloak and dagger business but, Bill’s friend put the lie to that. So, I began to walk very carefully in West Germany, not knowing if I was being watched by some East German hit squad. Things worked out smoothly, but there was always that nagging notion that we were being watched.
Bill’s friend took us to an apartment where we dropped our bags and tools. He told us, “Bill was pleased with your accidents. He believes you will fit in well here in Hanover. Your afternoon is free. Just walk around your neighborhood and get the feel of the people who live here. Tomorrow morning, I will show you the days where you will start working. The project probably won’t last longer than a month, so, in your spare time as to work start your search for more work after the current project. I will see you tomorrow morning.” Bill’s friend turned and walked out of the apartment and we stood looking at each other. Finally, we went walking in the neighborhood. I don’t know what we expected, but the neighborhood was pretty much like the neighborhood where we stayed in West Berlin. The situation was like Germany is still Germany! There were small bakery stores, meat stores, and general food stores, and so on. The beer gardens were larger and noisier, but other than that, the country was still the same.
We did as Bill’s friend suggested, and did our tour the neighborhood, and the next morning he was there to take us to the new jobsite. We went to work plying our trade. We did the same top-notch work that we had been trained to do, and in the afternoons after work, we walked through the industrial side of Hanover looking for work that we could go to after the current project.
Work progressed pretty much as it had done in Berlin. Somehow, we all wound up with girlfriends. And one by one the three other guys in the brigade moved out of the apartment and they and their girlfriends made their homes somewhere else. There was a girl that I dated more than the other girls, but our relationship was not one was really serious. At least, it wasn’t all that serious to me. So, everything was pretty casual for all while. The four of us guys continued to work together, and we continued to look for...