When I was growing up, this small black-framed photo was in the family desk. I never really thought about it, never paid any attention to it. Somehow it ended up in a box of my mother’s things after she died and I inherited it. When I started this project of Jay in the Great War and learned that he had been in Koblenz (then Coblenz), that framed photo came to mind. I dug it out and realized it had been a souvenir Jay brought back after the war.
High on the east bank of the Rhine River, opposite Koblenz sits Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Above is a photo of that souvenir Jay brought home depicting the Fortress and below, a photo of Ehrenbreitstein from where I stood a few weeks ago.
Today there are several souvenir stands in the area of the Kaiser monument. I’ve learned that in 1919 there were many such shops and stands doing a brisk business selling souvenirs to members of the US Army. Jay would have purchased the framed photo there. Again I found myself walking in his footsteps, seeing many of the same sights he saw, 100 years later.