13 May 2016

Published May 11, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Another Hightway

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            In 1969 my mother packed me off to my aunt and uncle’s dairy farm in Wisconsin.

            “But Mom, Uncle Otto’s weird. That eyepatch and those scars—ick.”


            One night he took my Jefferson Airplane record from the stereo and replaced it with his own 45.

            “You tink das ist protest music?”

            “‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing,’” He sang. “The SS ransacked our nightclub, but I danced all the way to Buchenwald.”

            Uncle Otto taught me more than the jitterbug that summer.


            At his funeral last year I saluted my favorite uncle with, “Swing Heil!”




79 comments on “13 May 2016

  • Laughing here!
    I saw the photo, thought to myself, that looks like BC Place in Vancouver.
    Then I saw the name underneath.
    Thanks for the warning, m’lady!
    Now I need to go write a story before I read yours.

    Liked by 2 people

  • There will always be those that will “buck” the system…good for them! They had their own way of thinking how life should be. It pains me to think of all the lives that were so degraded and destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Terrific story, subtly told.

    You know i don’t watch videos, but I watched this one.
    And I am reminded once again of the words of Robert Burns – Man’s inhumanity to man
    Makes countless thousands mourn

    Powerful message as ever, R, expert research and your own delicate touch.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Love this story. Besides the inhumanity that happened there is another lesson here. You can always learn something from “The Old Folks” if you are willing to listen. Well done Purple Girl.


  • CEAYR, awesome photo! Love the lights. Rochelle, your story has set me back on my rocker. My mind is swirling with memories of the many interviews I’ve done and the many many stories survivors on both sides have shared with me. Still, all these decades later, I am completely and utterly flabergasted, shocked, amazed, etc. Profoundly, most profoundly, changed for the experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Have not read your story yet – need to write mine first – but must share this with you. Was reading Small Plates: Short Fiction (great title eh?) by Katherine Hall Page – a fun mystery writer who does not usually publish short stories. Her introduction included this quotation from Henry David Thoreau and you immediately came to mind!
    “Not that the story need to be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Rochelle: Took last week off from FF as I was celebrating my 69th 🙂 Last year in that particular decade so we did it up good for a fun week instead of a day. Sadly did not read FF then — but will be back today! Did I tell you, 4 of my poems were accepted by PoetryBreakfast.com One appeared on May 13; 2 today; and 1 on the 31st. Quite thrilled as this site puts up some very qualified folks. Glad you enjoyed that quote — I really did think of you when I saw it! So — on to dVerse and FF today 🙂


  • Yesterday was Sophie Scholl’s birthday. I think she was a Swing Kid for a while, before she got too busy with her other sedition. It’s interesting to see the US possibly sliding into another such dark age. Interesting and frightening. Hitler never actually had a majority. He was just very good at manipulating the process and taking power when he could.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, I love this story – and how you weave the story of Nazis clamping down on jazz and swing is utterly moving. It’s a sad story, so full of degrees of sadness, all the way from being denied the right to listen to “unofficial” music to being defiant all the way to Buchenwald. And you made me smile with that sweet line at the end.

    That video was deeply touching, as well. Thank you for sharing that, Rochelle!

    Oh, and you used a line from one of my all-time FAVORITE jazz songs to sing, and listen to! I adore this version by Louis and Duke, undisputed masters:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Vijaya,

      Have you seen the move Swing Kids? It was made in 1993 and was quite an eye opener. They did use this song. I’m enjoying the recording as I write. Thank you for sharing it. What’s not to like? Wundebar!

      Thank you for the words and the music. 😉



      Liked by 1 person

  • Now I want to know, did you really have an Uncle Otto?
    It’s a wonderful story, another puzzle piece of mportant history that’s not so often in the center of attention. I would have loved your (fictional) Unlce, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Emily,

      I like to tell the generation to generation type stories. There’s so much one can learn from the other if they take the time to listen. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Always appreciated. 😀




  • Unfortunately being new to blogging I haven’t figured out linking yet and couldn’t formally participate. But I wrote a story and want to share it: seekeroftruthweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/at-the-concert/


  • Wonderful story on so many levels. A young girl learning her cultural and family history, learning not to judge someone on their external looks or standard of “beauty,” and even learning some really great jazz!!

    As always, the additional media you provided for historical context was excellent. Both uplifting and heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Amy,

      Not every German was a Hitler supporting Nazi. I loved learning about these courageous youngsters who only wanted to be themselves. Have you seen the movie made in 1993 called Swing Kids. It’s worth the watch. Many thanks for your kind words.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Great story of the connection between generations, and the importance of passing on a knowledge of the past and the stories of survival and overcoming oppression. I love Uncle Otto – what spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Margaret,

      There are more than a few times I wish my grandparents had passed on more to me than they did…particularly my grandfather who came over from Poland to escape the pogroms. Ah well…hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it? I love Uncle Otto, too. Thank you.




  • There is so much to learn from your stories. This time it was a bit difficult to follow but your replies in comment section enlightened me. Thanks. I really wonder how you do this so beautifully in only 100 words.

    Liked by 1 person

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