The clip above was not the van Sheila drove. Sheila’s van was yellow, but you get the picture! She would drive onto selected British Army Camps in Dortmund, and she would sell tea, coffee, etc. to the soldiers. They depended on her, set their clock by her. If she wasn’t there it ruined their day. Enjoy the next chapter of Sheila’s exploits in Germany!
There was a long line of people at my last stop, and they pretty much cleaned me out of food and drinks. My little van had ‘top shelf’ magazines too, like Mayfair, Playboy etc. It always made me laugh when the guys asked me for them. They were always a little embarrassed about it, and I made it worse by asking to look at their hands, to make sure they were clean before I handed them out. Sometimes they looked without buying, so I wanted to make sure the magazines were kept in good condition for the person who actually purchased them. There was a funny incident once, with the ‘Readers Wives’ section of one of those magazines. One of the local Soldiers was actually married to the ‘Readers Wife’. Everyone wanted to look at that particular magazine, so I charged each of them a small fee to look and then put the money in a charity jar. At least some good came out of it. The photo was awful, a young wife actually posing on an army coffee table. The worst thing was her young husband was proud of it and didn’t mind the fact that all of his friends were ogling his almost naked wife. It took all sorts to make a world, and during my time in Germany I felt like I saw ‘Allsorts’.
My American friend didn’t asking for his usual ‘fat pill’ that day, just a cup of coffee. “I am on a diet” he told me “getting harder and harder to get around the assault course these days so I need to lose about twenty pounds”. I felt sorry for him because I had been on a diet too and had just lost around twenty pounds. It wasn’t easy and I would imagine it was even harder for a man. This was the very first time he had not asked for a Jelly doughnut or fat pill in the last six weeks or so, which was the length of time I had been doing that job. I served everyone quickly and soon the crowd was gone. I was cleaning the counter and getting ready to close the hatch, something caught my eye. There was a man lurking at the corner of the parking lot. He was partially concealed by a big skip so I couldn’t see him clearly. He had a very disturbing and menacing aura around him. I am not sure how I knew this because he was so far away, but I just felt it. He stepped out of view between my closing the hatch and getting into the driver’s seat. Instead of driving my usual way out of the army camp, I did a D Tour past where I had seen the man lurking (locking my door first of course). He was nowhere to be seen, I saw someone I knew and stopped beside him. “Hey Eggy, did you see the strange looking guy standing here a moment ago?” I asked. “No, was it a squaddie?” he replied. “I don’t think so” I said, he was very dark looking, not your sort of dark (Eggy was black), but Turkish or something”. Eggy laughed “ I haven’t seen any Turks on this camp love, no workmen fitting that description, maybe you were seeing things” he said and we both laughed as I drove away. I definitely had seen someone, but whoever I had seen wasn’t there now. I drove off the camp, and back to the YM, where after unloading and cleaning my van, I sat with a couple of the other girls, and had my break. I was a little distracted though, and kept thinking about the guy I saw on camp, who looked so much like the guy I saw looking up at my window the night before. Couldn’t be! How could he be in both places? I started to wonder if I was having one of my premonitions again…..they really worried me sometimes, but usually came in the form of dreams, not people lurking in the shadows.