Welcome to the Nostalgic Ramber

Hans Jeff Borger is heard on WRGE 97.9 FM in Ocala, FL featuring Christian programming.

"The Nostalgic Rambler" radio show previously heard on Gene Martin & Friends has been suspended due to my commitments at WRGE.

Why a blog? I wrote a book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood" which should appeal to most baby boomers. A mass market book? Well, not yet...but the potential is there! (Be sure to buy it at "finer on line bookstores" everywhere!)

The comments presented in "The Nostalgic Rambler" probably won't be of interest to the masses...anymore. If grandma and grandpa and their friends were still alive, then it would be a different story.

I live in the past. My time warp is a comfortable cocoon even if it sometimes drives my wife crazy. The music of the 1940s and 50s, the stars of those days were big stuff in their day, but are now almost forgotten. Oddly enough, I was born in '64 so those iconic years were for the most part over by that time.

Through "The Nostalgic Rambler" I maybe can help share my love and knowledge for those times and things...all at one time important pieces of Americana but now a bit faded in memory.

The woman who did the blog about cooking all of Julia Childs' French Cuisine Cookbook in a year got a sweet movie deal out of her blog experience. I wouldn't mind that but would be happy to know that you are reading this....and maybe enjoying my time warp, too.

Hans Jeff Borger

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Day I Met Maria & Margot Hellwig

Allow me a little time travel out of the 40s/50s/60s and let me reminisce a bit more current about some old fashioned lovely music and values....

It's so hot, we have no vacation in sight, and so my thoughts go back to the days of a better economy and a nice vacation to Germany about five years ago.

Anyone who remembers "The Sound of Music" recalls Julie Andrews coming over the meadow singing "the hills are alive........" Of course that was a Hollywood version of Europe. The German version of that might have been Maria Hellwig.

Since my parents came to the US from Germany, I grew up with lots of German music in the house. Maria Hellwig was a singer who along with her daughter Margot charmed millions with their homespun folk songs and yodeling style and a popular tv show in Germany beginning in the 1970s.

Recalling that Maria owned a hotel in the little Bavarian village of Reit im Winkl, I thought it would be an interesting place to stay. By this time she was in her late 80s and more or less retired from tv appearances. Maria and her daughter Margot were scheduled to make a rare concert appearance at a restaurant she used to own in the town, so we decided to take our trip to coincide with that.
My wife and I made some wishful thinking comments about how nice it would be to meet Maria and Margot in person. As we checked into the hotel, we went out on our balcony and looked up and around. Much to our surprise, there stood Maria and Margot, dressed in their German dirndl outfits, in full makeup, waving to us! It was like we had stepped into a tv show.

A few minutes later they both came down to talk with us and were very down to earth and friendly. They explained they were getting ready to go into town to tape a tv show and invited us to come and watch. The pics posted here with them in the horse and buggy are the ones I took as the show was taped. Can you believe it? I found the actual tv clip on Youtube today! It's here! You can see how lovely their town is and why Bavaria is so well known for its beauty.

Later that night we went to the concert and they graciously posed for a pic with us. At almost 90 Maria had a remarkable stage presence and voice.

Unfortunately, Maria Hellwig died last December. Her daughter Margot is still singing. The friendly portrayal these two presented in their music certainly wasn't just an act. After meeting these ladies it was obvious they loved what they were doing and had a passion for the people that appreciated their craft.

PS: A few months after our visit, at Christmas, we received a Christmas card from Maria and Margot. Talk about a class act!

Watch some other Hellwig appearances here (with the wonderful Heino), here or here.

pic of Maria, me, my wife Heike and Margot; Heike in front of the Gasthaus Hellwig; a few shots of Maria and Margot in their prime; Maria and Margot in a horse drawn buggy during a tv appearance that day.

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