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September 2000 - Nr. 9
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister2000


Dear Reader

Just when we thought summer was over a heat wave gripped us in its vice. In our district the hydro went on the blink and we escaped to see a movie in a properly air-conditioned cinema. It was that or making use of our seniors discount at the Canadian National Exhibition. After having enjoyed earlier in the month the "Space Cowboys" spoof we thought that it was only right and proper to give same honours to "The Crew", a movie about aging and down and out ex-Maffiosos. I guess the story about old and retired news reporters is still somewhere in the making, or perhaps we can write that story some time from now ourselves. I can see the film already: A bunch of old German-Canadian paper and radio personalities, which in itself is a joke already, sitting around in the spacious backyard of an industrialist, swapping stories about their feuds and counting the many ways in which the public was served up the news, and sold everything from swampland in Florida to trips to never-never-lands, from herbs by Dr. von Herbal of Medicine to live concerts with genuine play back. Somewhere in that story are a few good chuckles hidden, just as was the case in "The Crew". Each part portrait was a caricature of a stereotype, with just enough truth in it to cause a rumbling chuckle from the depth of the solar plexus.

Speaking of stereotypes, I went to meet some at the foot of Jarvis Street in Toronto, south of Lakeshore, in a place called Tent City. They are otherwise called "The homeless". I found among them a German fellow by the name of, well, letís call him Otto for now! What a story he had to tell. To say it upfront, I think he is a hero.

If you want to hire him for a job I will give you his real name. But read the story in this issue and decide for yourself if our perceptions of the homeless are correct.

And then there is Andy, or Andreas from Augsburg, Germany, who has joined our team of writers. His brand of humour is refreshingly fast forward, or decidedly fast backward, depending how you look at it. He dares to look at things that have been silenced long ago in many places. He bites with satire, is sometimes black; but by the same token he can be gentle and caring. Someone suggested to him that he would fit our profile, and this someone was right. He is right up my own ally with his observations of life. Whether he tackles the problems of bureaucracy or rightwing youth his heart is in the right spot. Compassion and caring flow from his pen, sorry, our Andy uses of course a keyboard, and he demonstrates a profound understanding of human nature and a willingness to fight back injustices and promote change for the better of his fellow man. His life story reads like an adventure tale that no imagination could conjure up. He has faced much adversity and personal tragedy and never lost his sense of humour. Every challenge was met with an indomitable spirit and subsequently overcome, making him through study and application an expert in yet another field of endeavour. He writes in German, pure and high or in the Bavarian dialect, sometimes toned down for easier understanding.

We welcome him aboard wholeheartedly.

As you can see, there are changes occurring in Echo Germanica again. Our quest to be different from other publications will never end. Promise!

Last time at the beach before schoolAs you can see on our front page we took the "kids" to the beach. The weather experts promise us much milder weather than usual for this time of year, because our oceans are exceptionally warm. I do not believe anything anymore they have to say. We relied on them this year and they were more often than not wrong. Perhaps the visit with the "kids" was the last farewell to summer. Itís back to school and other ventures.

Since it is September there is a trail of October Fests to be followed during the next two month. Most of us living here in southern Ontario have visited a lot of them. This year there is a special one I am asking you to consider. It will be held at the Danube Swabian Club in Scarborough and I am pleased to be able to support it. This fun filled evening is to benefit "Operation Go Home", dedicated to return street kids to their families whenever possible. You can read more about it in my report on the homeless and in the big ad in this issue. I am certain that we will have a great time together!

See you there and at other fine celebrations in our community!

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister





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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.
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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica,
comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

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