A tentative toe in the water for Euro ’87.


One week from today in 1987, my second summer in Europe kicked off with a flight to Brussels.

Earlier in the year, I’d registered for a class at IU Southeast in order to get the credentials necessary for the international student ID card … then dropped the class and put the refund toward a plane ticket.

The card was good for discounts; at any rate, I may have been just shy of 27, but still looked younger. Fortunately, no one carded me in Europe that summer.

Fast forwarding 30 years, my tentative plan is to begin the long-awaited digitalization project with those long hidden 1987 slides, and I hope to get this underway in late April (2017).

It might inspire a narrative. I’ve written about bits and pieces of the 1987 epic, but never tied them together. Tonight I dug out the two small notebooks with the vitals.

In retrospect, it may have been mistaken to trust my memory. Who were these people — John, Josh, Derrick and Noah? The first two I remember fairly well. Perhaps their addresses at the time are scrawled somewhere on scraps or receipts in the box.

The 1987 trip lasted 123 days, with month-long Western European segments sandwiched around two months in Eastern Europe and the USSR. It was my first (relatively) in depth experience with the Bloc, and an outstanding time later in the summer with my friend, Barrie Ottersbach.

I met the three Danes of the Apocalpyse, and saw both Genesis (Budapest) and U2 (Cork) perform. It was the summer when Michael “Beer Hunter” Jackson’s beer teachings genuinely resonated with reality on the ground.

There are stories to tell. I can only hope the slides will help me remember them.

Next: the trip begins in Brussels.