In truth, this visit is only to a small degree about the city. We are here, in about equal importance, to renew an old friendship and for me to attend the second Nürnberger Schreibgeräte-Sammlerbörse held at the Ofenwerk, Zentrum für mobile Klassik-Autos on Saturday, May 23.
The other reason for our visit takes Sharon and me back 35 years to the early 1970s when I worked in a reproductive biology lab and became most friendly with a German physician who was training there as a Ford fellow. Despite our different ages and backgrounds we became fast friends but after he returned to Germany in 1974, we lost touch. Long story short, Ekkehard got in touch with me a couple of years ago via the internet and we renewed our friendship. For a time, in fact, it seemed that he and his wife would visit us in the Bay Area, but we got to Nürnberg first.
We arrived Thursday afternoon and Ekke met us at the airport, all of us wondering if we would recognise one another. We spent the rest of the day quietly, a badly needed rest for Sharon and me after the rigours of the past few days.
The next morning Ekke’s wife Gudrun returned from a business trip and we spent another quiet morning, going out after lunch and into the early evening to view the town. From there I went on to the pre-show dinner and Ekke, Gudrun and Sharon headed off to the theatre.
On Saturday, Ekke, who collects books, was curious to experience my addiction and came along with me to the show, staying only briefly. As is so often the case, I managed to get myself in trouble before the show even began when I was offered a pen I never thought to own, a short captop Pelikan 101 in tortoise. After a restless night, I took posession in th morning, excited and thrilled.
As I wandered through the show buying relatively inexpensive pens for the website I ran into another friend, perhaps more addicted to tortoise Pelikans than I am, who purported to have a set that, if real, goes beyond legend, a three piece Pelikan M/K/D 800 set.
“Oh, yeah,” says I. “you happen to have it here?”
“I do” says he.
I expressed the requisite admiration and envy and so the story ended, I thought.
Again to cut to the chase, a half hour later, he offered me the set. There it was, in the space of eighteen hours I had spent a small fortune on a pen and a set I never expected to see.
Thus sated, I was able to relax, enjoy the show, the company of friends, a good schnitzel for lunch and view the cars.
For this show combined major and minor addictions as the site was a complex that restored, displayed and sold classic cars, including German, American and British makes.
So, first Nueremberg and then the show:
My friend Ekkehard Jecht along the river. In truth, the following images are just a tease, as we plan a much more extensive walk of the city for Tuesday.
The show and the cars
Michael Gutberlet, show organiser
BMW 2800CS, designed by Bertone, one of the prettiest BMWs of the era
Tom Westerich talking to Michael with his back to the camera
My first sports car was a Triumph TR3, in nowhere as nice condition as this one
In truth, the show was a bit lightly attended by the public, but the quality of pens and the welcoming atmosphere more than made up, and people there had time to talk to one another and I saw (and participated in) a lot of commerce. From my perspective the show was simply grand. When I am able, I'll attend again.
The shop does ground-up restorations, such as this BMW 2002. My 1970, which I drove for twenty years and 300,000 miles was in red.
The tortoise 101
The M800s in tortoise
The pencil, heretofore rumoured, but never seen.