HELLO, I LOVE YOU | #AtoZCHALLENGE (H) #MusicalMemories

58 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2017, #MusicalMemories, Memoir, Music, Writing/Blogging

Musical Memories #AtoZChallenge 2017

Welcome everyone, to the
#AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Musical Memories” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the A to Z Blog. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!

HELLO I LOVE YOU | #AtoZChallenge
Day 8, April 10

The time: September 1968
The place: Boarding School, Switzerland
[See “A” post for more details]
Excerpts from “Confessions of a Boarding School Inmate”:
[A memoir stuck in rewrite limbo.]

How does a free-spirited young girl find herself behind bars in Switzerland? This is my story…

HELLO, I LOVE YOU | #AtoZChallengeWe were living in Germany at the time. My mother and I didn’t get along. Not surprising, when you have a rebellious, independent-minded teenager sharing quarters with a neurotic, perfectionist control freak. She kept threatening to send me away to school (the one in Switzerland her friend’s kids were attending), and I started thinking: “Wouldn’t it be nice to get away from here and be able to do what I want?” Off we went to Switzerland for a preliminary tour. Finally, my mother and I agreed on something. This was the perfect solution!

Can I get a big, fat “HA!” right here?

There was no such thing as freedom on this campus. We were not allowed to go anywhere, except classes and meals, without a chaperone. Not only that, the junior girls’ residence where I lived had bars on the ground floor windows! It was a co-educational school, and they didn’t want any fraternization with boys. If you’ve been with me since April 1st, you’ll know how well that turned out. My anguish lessened once the roommates settled in:

HELLO, I LOVE YOU | #AtoZChallengeThe company helped and I started feeling slightly less morose. Communications were interesting. Annette (a local) spoke no English. We managed to converse in formal German (“Hochdeutsch”). Good thing, because the Swiss-German dialect is difficult to understand. Giulia (from northern Italy) was unilingual, but she did know a few English phrases. There was a lot of miming and sign language. We had our own little United Nations going on and learned from each other.

We bonded over music, sharing our extensive record collections. Giulia introduced me to the popular Italian singers of the day whom I still love. During a group shopping trip at month’s end, I purchased a copy of The Doors‘ brand new single. To this day, it takes me back to that fall so long ago, when I became a boarding school inmate.

More boarding school adventures on April 1st, 3rd, 19th, 24th and 27th
Click HERE for sequential time line.

What were you doing in September 1968?

Looking forward to your comments!


The Doglady’s Den #AtoZChallenge 2017 Youtube playlist:
(updated daily)

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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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58 thoughts on “HELLO, I LOVE YOU | #AtoZCHALLENGE (H) #MusicalMemories

  1. In September 1968, I was not even an idea in my parents’ minds. My big sis wasn’t even in their minds, too, I suppose. I’m not sure when they met, though. I should have asked more questions when they were alive 🙁

    Oh, and here’s your big, fat HA! 😉

    The Haiku

    1. I know, it seems that I’m a lot older than most people around here. 😛 That’s okay; gives me more to write about. 🙂 Thanks for the ‘HA!”. Talk about a rude awakening! 😮

  2. Well, you know I was just a little kid at this time. This reminds me of when I was 18 and went to Budapest for a 4 day trip on a bus with a bunch of Austrians( I was in Graz by that time starting in Freiburg and staying with Sunts and Uncles) who spoke different dialects. On the way back, when we got close to the border, the tourist lady said something in a dialect that I had no clue what she was saying. When we got into no man’s land, got off the bus while the German Shepherds went in and under the bus, I looked around and took out my camera. Before your wise adult mind says, “Oh no you didn’t” , yes I did wanting to take a picture of the tower with the armed guard in it. When he cocked his rifle and pointed it at me, I suddenly realized what the tourist lady said…” behave, have your passports ready and don’t take any pictures or your camera will be confiscated.” As the blood drained from my face, I saw a bunny and pointed to the bunny and took a picture of it and then, pointed to my purse and put the camera back in the purse. No guard came after me and I was shocked. I realized, years later, that he probably was just having fun with that stupid ass foreign tourist who is too dumb for words.

    1. That must have been a scary moment, Birgit! 😮 Luckily, you didn’t get into any trouble. Those dialects are so difficult to understand. In the summer of ’68, when my mother and I came down to Switzerland to check out the school, we took a bus tour from Zürich to Milan, Italy (and on to Finale Ligure) with a bunch of Swiss German tourists and guide. Neither one of us understood anything they were saying!

  3. What was I doing in 1968? My parents had only just met, I was nowhere near to make an appearance!
    How long did you attend boarding school? Apart from being a prisoner, did you like it for the friends you made?

    1. I know; most people are younger than I am, but that’s why I have so many memories to look back on. 🙂 I was only at boarding school that one year. The restrictions were upsetting and the year ended badly (see the upcoming ‘T’ post), but it certainly was an interesting experience. I did enjoy meeting people from all over the world.

    1. Sorry to disappoint. 🙂 My mother and I weren’t exactly the best of friends. This did not improve with my absence at boarding school. It’s too bad you and your mother aren’t friends, either. 🙁

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry for the difficulty. I checked trash and spam but found nothing. Did you get an error message of some sort? Please let me know so I can investigate. Thanks for coming by, regardless. The Doors had some excellent songs. There will be one more coming up before the month is over.

      1. No error message. Actually I think there was a brief power outage that messed up my commenting last night. It happened more than once where my lights flickered though the computer stayed on while the internet went briefly off. Then early this morning we had a major outage that left us without power for about two hours. I’m figuring the lost comment may have had something to do with all that.

  4. I was just over 12 years away from being born, but I do love the Doors. Actually, this song makes me smile because it was one of the first songs I tried learning on the guitar. Sadly, lack of talent made me give up that ambition and stick to listening to music instead!

  5. I was just over 12 years away from being born but I do love the Doors. In fact, this song makes me smile because it was one of the first songs I tried learning on the guitar (it was in the “teach yourself guitar” book/CD I had). Sadly, lack of talent meant I had to give up that ambition and stick to listening to music!

    1. I’m older than most people around here. 🙂 The Doors had some great songs! I can relate to your story. My ‘singing career’ never got off the ground for the same reason. At least, you tried.

  6. September 1968 I started grade 10. Still wore knee-high socks and oxford-shoes! I was seriously thinking of becoming a nun (a cloistered one at that!).
    Anyway, thanks to CHUM radio I managed to listen to all the hits of the period. And I liked this one.

    1. Oxford shoes? Can’t picture that, Bianca. 🙂 I’m glad you decided not to become a nun. CHUM was the first radio station I found when moving here in 1969. Those were the days!

    1. Yes, we were behind bars. It wasn’t so funny at the time. 😛 Luckily, we found an escape route. (See ‘A’ post). Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

  7. Hi Debbie

    I have fond memories of this song as well, except my memories are more from the early ’90s when the movie came out. I must have listened to The Best of The Doors a million times with this guy I was dating. He’s long gone now, but whenever I hear The Doors, I think of him and smile.

    1. I’m glad you’re smiling when you think of this guy. 🙂 Music and memories (both good and bad) always go together. Thanks for dropping in, Mary.

  8. I have great memories of The Doors, too. I remember being introduced to a guy way back then, and he thought The Doors were things we shut or walked thru! I was so upset. 🙂 I spent one year in a boarding school when I was nine years old, and I really grew up during that time, I think. A very welcome to the real life sort of experience, after being rather sheltered at home. I love how, in the course of life, in retrospect, everything is a learning point and time is a great healer. Hugs, Debbie! “We had our own little UN” had me laughing!

    1. Another Doors fan! 🙂 Yes, the boarding school experience is always educational. I’m glad you enjoyed yours, Vidya. I loved meeting people from all over but chafed at the restrictions.

  9. Hi Debbie – I must come back and read your other posts … it must be a fascinating time to look back on … dropped in the deep end and just swam back out with lots of useful educative ideas … wonderful – what a great start in life … I hope! Cheers Hilary

  10. DEBBIE, I’ve been “AT” bars many times, but “BEHIND” bars only once. (And it wasn’t a boarding school, I assure you.)

    In my teens, I loved THE DOORS — one of my very favorite bands at the time. A lot of music has passed between my ears since then, so I don’t have the same enthusiasm that I once did. But I still dig plenty of their songs, and especially ‘PEACE FROG’ and ‘ROADHOUSE BLUES’. Those two really make me move! (Or stomp down on the accelerator.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

    1. Hahaha! I wonder why you were behind bars, Stephen. Was it a barroom brawl? 🙂 ‘Roadhouse Blues’ is a great song! I didn’t recognize ‘Peace Frog’ by the title, but then I heard the music and remembered it. Yeah; that’s good too. Here you are:

      1. Well, you’re close, DEBBIE.
        It wasn’t technically a “barroom brawl” because the fight took place in the street right out in front of the bar. Ha! I may be splitting hairs here, but I like to think of myself as too civilized and gentlemanly to fight inside bars.

        The worst part of it was that this wasn’t just “Any Bar, U.S.A.”, but a bar in Mexico. If you’re going to jail, try not to do so in Mexico. That’s my advice to you, Debbie. :o)

        I’m less of a beast now than I was in 1983.

        ~ D-FensDogG
        Check out my new blog @
        (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

        1. Oh no! I’ve heard about those Mexican jails and wouldn’t want to be in one. Hope your stay was short! Nice to know the beast has been tamed a little. 🙂

  11. I don’t know the song – I’m not very familiar with the Doors – only the really, really famous songs 🙂 I was a day girl at a boarding school, but I’m pretty sure there were no bars on any of the windows for the boarders 😉
    Tasha’s Thinkings – Shapeshifters and Werewolves

    1. Lucky them! 🙂 The bars were a shock to me, along with everything else, like not being able to take a walk anywhere without being chaperoned. 😮 I was used to a lot of freedom!

  12. Debbie, kids don’t understand that there are always rules to follow and sometimes those outside the parents’ home can even be harder but try telling that to a rebellious teen? Good luck with that, right? lol Just thought I’d let you know your vid doesn’t work but I found it on YouTube and I definitely remember this Doors hit song! Thanks for visiting my A2Z Art Sketching Through the Alphabet letter “H” post!

    1. So right, Cathy. 😀 Even to this day, I’m not big on rules, LOL. Sorry about the video; I forgot to run it through the region checker and it is indeed blocked in the U.S. Thanks for telling me. I made an edit and this one is unrestricted.

  13. In September, 1968 I was working at a woman’s hospital in Detroit. I was in the blood bank. There was no union and they paid you what they wanted. Consequently, men tended to get paid more than women. Oh, what a surprise. I left there in April, 1969 to go to Europe for the grand tour.

  14. Hello, I’m loving your A to Z posts. In September, 1968, I was entering 11th grade. And, I assure you, my school did not have bars on the windows.

  15. This was another favorite of mine. Thanks for the daily walk down memory lane. For the record, I don’t think too many teenage girls ever get along with their mothers. Find me here. LINK

    1. Yes, it is a good song. My mother issues were pretty much lifelong, unfortunately. Some people aren’t cut out to be parents, and she was one of them. It’s a long story…

  16. It’s actually quite amazing how much people manage to communicate even when they don’t know each others’ language. Children are even better than adults at it.

    1. Sign language and body language help a lot. 🙂 Sometimes, so does alcohol. 😉 I remember having a conversation with my late sister-in-law one night over a bottle of brandy. She spoke no English and my Italian was poor. As the night wore on, we both seemed to become fluent. LOL

  17. I liked “our own little United Nations going on”… you have had some fun and interesting experiences in the boarding school, Debbie. Heard ‘Hello, I love you’ today, it has a nice peppy feel.

  18. You’ve had such an interesting life Debbie and I’m enjoying the little snippets and the songs that go along with it (although I’m a bit worried about associating with a former jailbird 😉 )

  19. That must have been quite tough, living with those restrictions. But I’m sure it must have been an experience that must have taught you a lot.