Jul 20, 2006

The Summer of '86

Me in IsraelTwenty years ago, in the summer of 1986, I was in Israel. This is a picture of me taken over there. I know it’s not terribly flattering but please be kind – remember, I was young and it was the ‘80’s. (I'm sparing you the shots of my mullet)

I wish I could tell you where that picture was taken but, until I started this blog, my track record with diaries and journals was pitiful. I’ve always been one to dive in and “just do it” without a whole lot of record keeping. Consequently, I have a large album at home full of pictures taken during my trip and, for most of them, I have only the most vague recollection of where or what they depict.
As with any trip there were highlights – moments that I will remember forever. Our time in Jerusalem provided many of these memories like drinking in a back alley bar with friends while “Born in the USA” blared. (Clearly the Israelis knew their clientele. ;) ) That’s where I was introduced to Long Island Iced Teas – a drink that my parents had never even heard of. (They were shocked when they learned what was in it.) I also recall the youth hostel at which we stayed and visiting The Wall.

Another moment that I remember fondly was the morning that we climbed
Masada. As the sun rose and we reached the top I suddenly heard my name. It was being called by friends from home who were also touring Israel that summer. If we’d tried to coordinate our trips and arranged to meet on Masada that morning it never would have worked. It was pure serendipity and very welcome to see familiar faces so far from home.

All of these events, and others that I could tell you about, pale in comparison to one stop on our tour. This spot was so shocking to me, as an American child who got my sense of the world from the US media, that it was seared into my memory and I can remember it like it was yesterday.

The place is called
Rosh Hanikra - on the border of Israel and Lebanon.

In 1986 the news was still full of the fighting in Lebanon. Many people thought my parents were crazy to let me go to Israel due to the danger they perceived but I never felt safer. As we toured we’d see soldiers with guns but it wasn’t scary. They were just walking around like anyone else. For the most part, touring Israel was not much different than touring anywhere else. We saw the sites. We felt the history. We shopped and played.

The day we went to Rosh Hanikra was different. We stepped off the buses and walked along a fence to get to the grottoes. On the other side of the fence we saw this sign:

Sign on the border

We were just a stones throw away from Lebanon – and it was so incredibly quiet. We walked along the fence and I remember being stunned by how quiet it was. I’m sure that there was fighting elsewhere but there, right on the border, it was peaceful. There was no feeling of danger or fear. It was just a fence in the hills with tall grass growing on either side of it. I can’t help but think of that day as I hear about the current events in Lebanon and Israel.

Here is more of what I saw that day. Sadly, these are pictures of pictures and they weren’t very good to start with.

Rosh Hanikra

Rosh Hanikra

Rosh Hanikra


Anonymous said...

Wow, Hill...quite a stirring post.

margene said...

The situation over there is so sad on so many levels. Thanks for sharing your memories.

micah said...

What happened to you, Hillary? You were so cute! Hahah!

I, also, never felt unsafe. Everything going on over there is quite sad and I wish I could talk some sense into them! I know that this cannot go on forever and that one way or another, it will be over one day, but why can't that time just come sooner rather than later?

Oh, and I hate the Word Verification thing used by your blog — It's difficult to distinguish q's and g's and other letters so I ususally wind up submitting two or three times before it takes. I know it's not your fault, but… Grrrr!

Lolly said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post! I really enjoyed reading it, and reminiscing about my similar experiences while I was in Israel in 2000.

Such a horrible situation, and I continue to hope for peace...

hege said...

Hi from one of your Amazing Lace friends. Wow, what a great trip you had, and what great memories. Thank you for sharing your pictures. The situation is so sad and frustrating.
I really enjoyed reading your blog, and seeing your projects! Look forward to seeing more of your amazing lace team!