The old and the new

by Otto Ringle

Oftentimes, this column has featured words about Doc Ringle, who was the only doctor in northern Cass County, serving the medical needs of the entire area for 40 years — from 1930 to 1970.

Dad himself had a sickness called, “Vunderlust,” causing him to be addicted to traveling.  Whenever he could break away from his busy practice of medicine, he would visit his relatives in Germany, who lived in a very, small town called, Ulrichstein, about 10 kilometers north of Frankfurt on Main.

Once in a while, however, his “vunderlust” brought him to other countries in our big, wide, wonderful world. I recall back in 1953, he was very anxious to go on an African safari in Kenya, Africa.  That was the same time the Mau Mau tribe attacked the European settlers and the local Kikuyu Tribe. Eighty-four Kikuyu civilians, mainly women and children, were viciously and violently murdered!

British troops began to reinforce the local forces to try and counter these attacks; however, all travel to Kenya was put on hold, and very unfortunately, Dad had to cancel his trip to Africa and satisfied his “vunderlust” by traveling through many, many, huge, snowdrifts in his old ‘39 Lincoln Zephyr, to deliver babies miles away from his hospital.

I have inherited my Dad’s malady in having the same sickness of wanting to travel. I have traveled throughout the world, visiting every continent — including my favorite, Antarctica, and many of the 195 countries.

This is a bit off the subject, but did you know that of those 195 countries, 193 of them are members of the United Nations? Two of them are not — the Holy See, or Vatican City, and the state of Palestine — just a bit of information for you when you play your next game of “Trivia.”

So, I am writing this week’s column of  “The old and the new” on the deck of the Eurodam in the middle of the Ionian Sea.  We have free Internet on the Eurodam, which I will use to email this week’s column back home to my editor. I sure hope he gets it!

We have a sea-day today, having just returned from visiting the Islands of Kerkira and Katakolon.  Have you ever heard of the Island of Kerkira? How about the Island of Katakolon? Perhaps you have heard of both of them, but I had never heard of either one. For that matter, I didn’t even know where the Ionian Sea was!

When my sister Sue and our friend Alice boarded the Eurodam, we quickly discovered the Ionian Sea is between Greece and Italy and is part of the Mediterranean Sea.

Kerkira, also known as Corfu, is an island off Greece’s northwest coast in the Ionian Sea, and is defined by indescribable, rugged mountains and a wondrous, resort-studded shoreline. There are many places in this wide, wonderful world that just seem underrated, not because of how popular or unpopular they are or even because of how beautiful they are, but instead of because of how familiar they have become.

Corfu is one of those places. Rather than take up space by telling you about it, you will just have to catch the “vunderlust” bug and go see it for yourself, as the island is beautiful beyond words!

Katakolon is an United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, because of ancient Olympia and the sunken, ancient city of Phila. Having recently watched on television, the Summer Olympic games in Tokyo, and actually attended the Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia, we just had to visit the site of the very first games that were held 776 years before Christ.

The ancient city of Phila has a very interesting history. We all know its namesake, the city of Philadelphia is called the, “City of Brotherly Love.” After visiting the city of Phila, Greece, we learned that the brotherly love was actually between a dude named Philadelphos, who married his sister, Arsinoe. Marriages between siblings, however, were normal and customary in those bygone days.

Tomorrow morning, the Eurodam will dock in Naples, Italy, and we will visit nearby Pompeii. My wife Joyce and I were in Pompeii years ago, but the appalling, atrocious and unbelievable excavated site with its residents trapped on the spot in the molten lava from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD is indescribable and inexpressible! So, because of that, I will stop now, for fear you may catch the very contagious bug called,  “vunderlust!” Speaking of very contagious bugs — have you got your vaccination for COVID yet? Sure hope so!

The views and opinions expressed in the “The old and the new” column belong solely to the author, and not The Pilot-Independent or an organization, committee or individual.

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