Aug. 2017

This last month has been a very full, busy and exciting one. We’ve been preparing to do our share of manning the Toledo Sister Cities’ table at the German American Festival.

Dave Kohler organized some of the more outstanding photos of their time in June in Germany, especially in Coburg. Coburg is situated in northern Bavaria on the border with the state of Thuringen where the East/ West German border used to be and it will probably very soon become our new German sister city.

Our main activity this last month has been preparing for the visit of the Stadtrat Jürgen  Heeb and his wife Petra. This visit has invoked increased interest and membership in our sister city committee. Several people offered to provide transportation to the meetings and tours we made; by having different drivers for mornings, afternoons and evenings, that allowed more Toledoans to get better acquainted with our guests and enabled the Heebs to meet and get to know more individuals better. Also many others signed up to come along as we toured Toledo. Our itinerary included a Meet-and-Greet at Calvino’s in the Westgate area on Tues., August 8. Then Wednesday began with a visit with Luke Fannin who teaches English to the gifted Washington Local 8th graders and will be working on a combined project with his students and a class in Coburg. Then on to UT where we met with Sara Clark and Sammy Spann of the Center for International Studies and Programs, Johnnie Early and Hermann von Grafenstein from the Pharmacy College, and  Mary Hoak from Foreign Language. At 11:00 we met with Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson followed by lunch at Tony Packo’s near the Muhens field. The afternoon was spent at the port and Great Lakes Maritime Museum. After a little rest and relaxation at their hotel, they had supper at Kohlers’ house. The day went really well. Heebs remarked how open, honest and genuine everyone was and how relaxed the mayor was during that meeting. She gave no hint that she might want to shorten our time with her. She was very willing to give our guests as much time as they’d like.

Thursday consisted of a tour of O-I’s Research and Development Dept. and Fort Meigs. You could tell from Jürgen’s questions as we toured O-I that in his job at Brose in Coburg that he was familiar with working in this kind of a setting. The weather was just right for our tour of Fort Meigs, but maybe just a bit too warm for our tour guide who was wearing a typical uniform of 2 layers of wool that the soldiers wore during 1813. Those tours were followed by lunch at Perrysburg’s 5th Street Pub. From there the group proceeded to the Glass Pavilion and Art Museum where one of our members, Tony Varela, gave them a guided tour. We ended this visit with a farewell dinner at the Real Seafood restaurant at the Docks on the riverfront.

Everyone was very pleased with all the meetings, tours and people who met each other. We look forward to very soon becoming partners with Coburg, Germany.

With all this activity in August we will not have a German Sister City Committee meeting till the third Thursday in September. Get in on the ground level with forming our new sister city committee. Be sure to join us and to join in on our activities. For further information, please contact Rogene Kohler at 734-856-2913 or e-mail