Looking toward the music hall. Photo: Ruth Ellen Gruber
By Ruth Ellen Gruber
I spent the weekend before Christmas at Pullman City, the German wild west theme park near Passau, in southern Bavaria. I wanted to reconnect with the park -- which I hadn't visited for awhile -- and also hang out with Willie Jones, who introduced me to large sectors of the imaginary wild west, and who was back at Pullman for the first time in five years, playing the singing Santa Claus at the annual Christmas market.
Willie Jones and his wife, Inge. Photo: Ruth Ellen Gruber
Every year, in the Advent month leading up to Christmas, Pullman City becomes a holiday bazaar, with stands set up selling hot wine, ornaments and other trinkets, the shops open, and the saloon and music hall featuring live music and various other programs. Willie performed as Santa Claus for kids, families and at the music hall -- ho-ho-ho-ing and singing songs like Frosty the Snowman.
I was glad to be there, and happy to renew contacts with P.C. personnel. (And also to eat one of the best hamburgers I ever had, in the Saloon. It was very cold -- minus 13 centigrade -- and most of the visitors were bundled up, like me, in heavy winter coats, but there was a fair sprinkling of folks in wild west attire, too.
The table next to mine in the Saloon. Photo: Ruth Ellen Gruber
Since I had been to Pullman, the so-called "authentic area", where hobbyists can build their cabins, has expanded, with more -- and more solid-looking -- housing. The area also is now classed as a historic display area.
In the authentic area. Photo: Ruth Ellen Gruber