In the summer of 1962, our family left on a one year trip abroad, final destination; the Weitzmann Institute of Science in Rehovoth Israel. I'd never been anywhere more exotic than San Francisco before then, so this was a pretty big whoop in my young life. We took the scenic route via Chicago, Detroit, New York, Copenhagen, London, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France (where we bought our little Peugeot 404), Monaco, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and finally... Israel. When we left a year later, we went the opposite route; first to Bombay India (via Iran), then Katmandu Nepal, back to Calcutta India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan (where we toured the country by high speed train), Hawaii, and ending up at Square One... San Francisco. It was a truly wonderful experience for a snotty little kid such as I was, and it turned out to be one of the most educational experiences in my entire life. Besides learning a different language during that year, I also developed an appreciation for other cultures that I'm grateful for to this day. I only wish more Americans could share in that understanding -- maybe then the world wouldn't be in the mess it's in today. So here are some pictures taken by my dad starting in June of 1962, and ending just over a year later. They're mostly of yours truly, but I can't help that... I'm just that picturesque (actually, these pictures are all from an album that he put together for me three years ago when I was sick; sort of a "This is Your Life Bruce Lindner" in book form. A pretty cool gift).
This first picture was taken from atop the leaning tower of Pisa. I was yelling down at my mom to come on up, but she'd have nothing to do with it.
This was taken at a little gas station somewhere in France. They kept their service stations so clean there... little flower gardens and everything. That's me standing in front of our little Peugeot that we'd just bought in Paris a few days before. We drove it all across Europe, all over Israel, then we shipped it back to the states where we kept it another five years.
This is a picture of my mom and I examining our new family treasure; an amphora that we found at a place called Beit Guvrin. We sure had fun gluing that baby together. It was probably of late Byzantine or Arabic origin. This picture was taken in our back yard, which as you can see, was enormous. I remember one morning waking up to the sound of people talking in Arabic and animals braying. I looked out the window, and there was a group of around twenty Bedouins who had pitched their tents during the night. They had camels, goats and donkeys, all of which rendered the air alive with sound... as well as extremely pungent.
This was an odd situation. My dad and I were walking along looking for ancient artifacts in the desert near Ashdod in central Israel, when we spied a pair of thick bones sticking out of the ground. Almost simultaneously, we both said; "Hey, wait a minute..." Yep, they turned out to be human bones; femurs to be exact. We dug up an almost complete skeleton (the skull was MIA) and decided to call the police. They showed up and we stood around taking pictures of each other while we speculated on who the poor shmo might have been. Best guess was that he was some unfortunate Egyptian soldier who's luck ran out during the 1948 War of Independence.
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I love this picture of my brother and I. It was taken from the top of Masada, back when getting to the top meant climbing to the top. Now they've got a tram that gets you up there in a hurry, but back then it meant waking up at 4:00 am and hoofing it for three and a half hours. The cool part about this picture is that it clearly shows the outline of one of the camps that the Roman general, Flavius Silvus built during the siege in 73 A.D. Once the Romans finally reached the top of the mesa, the holdouts denied the Romans their victory by commiting suicide... each and every one of them. And now, every citizen who becomes a member of the Israeli Defense Forces must go to the top of Masada and swear an oath to defend the State of Israel in the spirit of the martyrs of Masada.
This was taken at the (then) border between Israel and Egypt at Gaza. For whatever reason, these two Israeli soldiers were just dumb enough to let me pose with their Uzi. Dumb, dumb, dumb! Had I been in a slightly more mischievous mood, I probably would have started an international incident that day. Dumb! (I particularly like the soldier on the left guarding his country in short pants and sandals; a real class act.)
And this is a picture of my Dad. It was taken at a kibbutz called Yad Mordechai in the Western Negev desert. I especially like this shot because not only did he have facial hair in this picture, but he had hair on his head as well! Pretty dashing devil, eh?
During Israel's War of Independence in 1948, some brave souls attempted to run convoys of supplies up to Jerusalem along this highway. But Arab snipers were hiding in the woods, and many truck drivers were picked off as they made their way through the Judean Hills. After the war, the Israeli government decided to leave the rusting hulks in place as memorials to the fallen. Each is decorated with a wreath representing the drivers who died at the scene. In this picture, I'm climbing all over one of the trucks. Such antics are no longer allowed, as these are considered to be hallowed ground. Jesus, I was an idiot...
High above the city of Haifa on Mount Carmel, is a string of little Druze villages. The Druze are an interesting people, and they've developed quite an industry in weaving, coppersmithing, and various other handicrafts. As a matter of fact, Lisa bought an embroidered purse from one of these very same Druze kiosks when we were there in 2000.
This is a typical early springtime scene in the hills of Galilee. My father has this picture listed as "Mt. Carmel," but I'm not so sure. I swear I remember where this was taken, and I'm pretty sure it was on the road to Tzfat. In either case, we'd stop and pick these gorgeous wildflowers that dot the rocky hills of the Upper Galilee. The flowers pictured here are a type of poppy called an Anemone, but there were also several species of Cyclamen, and hundreds of other flowers during that time of year. From a distance, the hills often appeared carpeted in red.
This one is of my older brother Mark and I. We went to an Israeli public school, and I guess my dad thought it would be fun to snap a picture of us in our goofy looking school gym clothes. Big yuks.
And lastly, this was taken in Bombay India in August of '63. These guys would wander around the streets with their Cobras and Pythons making a few Rupees by performing the centuries old ritual.