Rushville Republican


August 20, 2013

About my friend Markus Strobl


From the first day he came here, he became involved in community life in a constructive and genuine way. Within a very short period of time, his home was filled with new friends, and he quickly became an accepted member of the community – a feat that not everyone who moves here can so readily accomplish. But Markus does it with his sincerity, enthusiasm and style.

Markus occasionally helps us in our business when we need someone fluent in German to assist us in checking references in that part of the world. As an active member or our Rotary Club, Markus has made even more friends among the membership. It is during Rotary meetings that he and I have had the chance to talk about military history. I remember one Rotary meeting in particular when the guest speaker was a representative from the new Holocaust Museum in Washington. I remember feeling very uncomfortable thinking of Markus sitting there listening to the speaker talk about the terrible days in Germany during the Nazi era when Jews and other minorities deemed undesirables were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. At the end of the presentation, however, Markus stood and made it clear that, as far as he was concerned, no one should ever be allowed to forget The Holocaust and what can happen when a country turns its back on democratic principles – making the point that a holocaust could happen again somewhere else in the world. Again, Markus handled what I thought was a touchy subject with sincerity and candor.

One of the favorite collectibles from my childhood was a model of the queen’s coronation coach, made by William Britain’s Ltd. The set includes not only the coach, but also six matching gray horses and three outriders, all in 58mm size. Somehow over the years the crown on the top of the coach had been lost. At a toy soldier show a few years ago, of all places, in a box of odds and ends that one of the dealers had, I found an identical loose crown that fit my model coach! I bought it for a nominal amount, took it home, called Markus, and, before I knew it, he had welded the new crown back in its proper position on top of the coronation coach! A little gilt paint and my coronation coach was as good as new. Because Markus makes his own lead soldiers, he understood my desire to restore that tiny coach. Obviously, repairing coronation coaches isn’t his business; but, because he is my friend, he was happy to help. That’s just the sort of guy he is.

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