Berlin Station PatchA Mini History of Don Ricklin, continued:

While in Berlin as a US Army Regular, I was stationed with the 287th MP's at the former SS Headquarters in the Lichtefelde section of Berlin. This was March 1973 to August 1975. Of course the Berlin Wall was still very much there. During my first nine months or so I was the PMO operations clerk. Then I was moved to company operations clerk. In my last year there I was TDY to Rec Services and was involved in 12 plays in 12 months and helped run the show stages at our German/American summer carnival. What I liked best about this time was the opportunity to constantly revisit a number of very interesting museums in Berlin. They included two art museums, the Schloss Charlottenberg (a castle, something like Versaille), a museum of musical instruments and many others. Because of my heavy involvement in the local entertainment scene I almost opted to get out of the service and remain overseas. Instead, as I mentioned previously, I returned to Roger Williams College and pursued my second bachelors degree.

While in Berlin I picked up the nickname "Herr Shmetterling", given to me at that time by a female friend because I was in the habit of wearing a a blue jeans jacket with a large embroidered butterfly on the pack, as well as a lapel pin of a butterfly on my suit coat in place of a boutonniere. When I returned to the Providence, RI area I earned the nickname "Dancing Don" from the way I danced and how much I danced, especially at clubs. I am still known by that knickname in some quarters, even here in Worcester, MA. Actually, while I'm on the subject of nicknames and seeing as this is my class's 30th Reunion (June 1967, Colt High), when I was a senior in high school some undergraduates called me "Ranger" because I wore my Dad's old Army-Air Force Field Jacket (WWII). I still have it!

My first professional theatre job was with Matunick Theatre-By-The-Sea. My first play I helped build there was "George Washington Slept Here." I had fun building the break-away stair railing and other special items for that show. I was known there for my fly walk up the back wall of the stage loft during the opening scenes of "Kiss Me Kate."

That summer, 1976, as many may recall, was a troubled post Vietnam time, as well as July 4th being our 200th birthday as a nation. I was watching the bigger than usual Bristol 4th of July parade, with my parents and siblings at the old Angevine house across from "the wall". Next to us in a, then, open field, were many bikers and Vietnam Vets. Somebody then did something real foolish, like throw a bottle into the paraders, or the like, for the next thing we knew the police had over reacted and were teargassing a large number of spectators, including my family. Needless to say the parade was cut short, without us even getting to see my brother Ethan (now a bartender at Trinity Brewery, Providence, RI) on a float that was the MetCafe Bar, complete with band and regular patrons.

That fall I came to Worcester to work for Worcester Foothills Theatre Company where in no time at all I met my wife Leona. We celebrate our 17th Wedding Anniversary this coming June 21st. We hit the seven year common law point in 1984 and decided to make it official.

More has come!

[Back to my page] [To Top Of Page]
Written 1997, Updated 3/20/05