A few mementos from the 1989 European Summer.


I visited the basement archives today in search of Public House paraphernalia, and couldn’t resist opening the jam-packed banker’s box devoted to the 1989 trip to Europe, large portions of which were spent in the Communist nations of the Warsaw Pact.

Look for the travelogue with digitalized slides to hit these pages next year.

In the spring of 1989, I flew into a continent divided into “cold” warring blocs, and much of my summer was spent behind the lines of America’s presumed enemy. By the time I flew home in November, the Berlin Wall was down and everything was changing.

I’ll probably spend the rest of my life mulling over how well, and badly, I reacted to these changes.

In the interim, here are a few museum pieces, beginning with genuine toilet paper from the East Bloc, suitable for scouring.

 The title says it all.

Not a mascot to inspire fear.

Each one was personally sampled.

Each coaster probably had at least one full beer glass riding on top.