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MY UNOFFICIAL SECOND SON IN FREDERICKSBURG
Last September, my family and I headed out to Fredericksburg, Texas, to visit Jordan, my son’s close friend whose story I told you about in last month’s issue. Fredericksburg is a town that’s deeply steeped in U.S. history. We all had a great time exploring, checking out old historical sites, and taking in the local Texan flavor. In the mid-1800s, there was a massive food shortage in Germany. Ordinary people were struggling to survive. In the interest of curbing their countrymen’s suffering (while making some money along the way) a collective of entrepreneurs called the Nobleman’s Society gathered hundreds of German citizens to settle in a new plot of land they had bought in America, right in the middle of Texas. But when the Germans landed on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, they were short on wagons. One of the higher-ups went forward to investigate the land they had purchased and realized that it was a desert of dirt, rocks, and the somewhat hostile Comanche tribe. On his way back, he found an area of fertile soil, much more desirable than the desolate landscape they had purchased. So he wrote home to the Nobleman’s Society, urging that this was the land that they needed to secure instead. They ceded to his request, and the rest of the travelers made their way across the 120 miles and eventually founded Fredericksburg.
vineyards, the landscape stretching out as far as we could see. Once we arrived, we made our way to Oldtown, the historical district, and got a tour of eight colonial houses in the area. The tour was completely engrossing, seeing the way people lived after they’d uprooted and completely changed their homes and lifestyles. Even the architecture was fascinating. We spent a lot of time in the city amid the local population — the epitome of hard- working folks — taking in the small-town vibe. We wiled away two days with Jordan and his girlfriend, shopping, eating brunch, and checking out the historical sights. The town was great, but for me, it was all about seeing Jordan again. He’s been in our lives for over two years since we supported him with everything we could and sent him on his way. I was deeply impressed with the life he’d made for himself in Texas and all that he’d accomplished already. When I was growing up, I was taught that you should take care of yourself first. After you do that, I was told, you should take care of a family. The last step in the process is to take care of others. I guess Jordan was my “other” who came into my life and needed my help. I’m incredibly proud of him. He’s turned out to be such a great kid. By now, I consider him to be my second son. I’m so glad I got to go to Texas and see him for just a few short days.
As we made our own way to the town, we must have passed half a dozen wide, rolling
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