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Jan 19, 2002
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Jan 21, 2002

January 21, 2002
The Robe

More log entries: "January 20, 2002: As I was leaving church I noticed the bumper sticker on the car in front of me “Don Moore”...and beneath it was “Owensboro Kentucky”. That was...just 45 miles from my home town! So I took out after him and for twenty minutes I thought he was trying to lose me. We went zigzagging through the country roads and I had no idea where we were, I just wanted to catch him. I backed off for a while to make him think he’d lost me and then when the road straightened out I’d floor it and catch up. When he finally reached his house in Rodenburg, a very nice little town (lots of cycling roads there) I pulled up and confronted him with his origins. He was Wes Davis, from Owensboro, Kentucky and his wife was from Evansville, my hometown. She’d gone to North High School. I’m sure I’ll run into him again. Maybe next time I won’t scare him.

At the Base Exchange, I ran into Adam Steel, a young guy who’d worked with me (and for me) at Fairchild when Lori and Ron were there. We talked about where the old gang was and he told me that my friend, Bob Kowolchuk had been killed in an auto accident"(September 24, 1998 I later discovered). "The last I saw Bob was October 20, 1996 when I replaced him in Turkey. Bob was great. He and I both loved sports and Bob had placed 4th, Armed Forces wide, in Grecko Roman wrestling in 1989. He was huge but could run 5 kilometers in under 20 minutes and even ran a five-hour marathon in 1993. We...traded fitness tips and Bob...also had a keen interest in his spiritual growth. Although I outranked him by quite a bit and was older, I respected Bob’s opinion more than anyone in the office. He was extremely intelligent but an atrocious speller. I used to tell him his parents named him Bob because he could spell it backwards and it would still be right. Well, this is very disheartening to me." January 21, 2002 – Kaiserslautern-Trier-Luxembourg: I left at 9 am for Luxembourg, and enroute, I visited Trier for the third time. I parked, ran up past the Porta Nigra and to the Trier Dom, that beautiful church which contained the robe of Jesus Christ (yes, the one and only).

Jesus Christ's robe (post card), Trier, Germany

Click on
thumbnail for
a little bit
on Bob

Apr 1994
Bob, Lori, Ron, Me
Bob, 1994
Oct 1996
Bob in Turkey
1996-Bob in Turkey
Sep 24, 1998
Accident Report
Accident Report
Resting Place
Bob's final resting place

Jesus Christ's robe in glass coffin, Trier Gemany
Jesus Christ's robe in glass coffin behind bars, Trier Gemany
Okay, well, back to the story: When I visited here the first time, no one happened to mention that fact--I guess they don't think Jesus Christ is important enough. I intended to see the robe, photograph it, experience it, hold it over my jeans in front of a mirror, etc... It's not often you see an article of clothing from the creator of all things seen and unseen.

It was a Monday and the town was nearly empty, so I had quick access to the church this time, and no tourists to deal with. I didn't feel compelled to fire shots into the air--nice!

The area around the robe of Christ was way up in front of the cathedral, and I wasn’t sure I could get close. It was roped off about 30 meters out. But I found a passage way toward the back of the church that led right up to it, and there I was, about one meter away from Christ’s shirt. It’s lying flat in the glass coffin so you can't actually see it, just the top of the coffin. To a man who has been a believer all his life, this was a truly moving experience. I was standing a few feet from something Christ himself had worn, touched, bled on, perhaps tried on in the dressing room of an ancient Kohl's. I wonder if Mary picked it out. Do you think he had a closet of these at home or just this one? This is the same robe soldiers rolled dice for at the cross as Jesus hung there, bleeding to death, like a common criminal.

The sign at the altar said you could only "come up here to pray, and nothing else", but when I kindly spoke to a lady selling postcards (SHE wasn't praying!), she said I could photograph anywhere in the cathedral. And so I did. First I visited the ladies room--just kidding.

The photo at the top of this page is a post card of the robe. It hadn't been displayed in public since 1959. The photo to the top is me peering through the gate at the glass coffin, and to the left, a photo from further back. To the bottom left is the beautiful church organ and to the right, another sculture built into the wall of the church. After these shots I returned and mistakenly tried to get into the wrong car--sure glad I wasn’t shot for that.

Trier Dom Church OrganTrier Dom Church sculpture

I drove to Luxembourg, and it was so easy--the whole drive was! I liked this place much more than Cologne, and Trier seemed very pleasant that morning. I didn’t want to leave. It had a warmth I didn’t notice when I was with my five cohorts the previous week. It’s a beautiful town. I think it would be a nice place to live. I wished I'd convinced Criss to come, because I drove the whole way and wasn’t tired. He could have just sat in the car and fed me grapes while massaging my feet and telling me how beautiful I looked in a red dress.

On the approach to Trier that morning, I shot the bottom photo, a panoramic view of the Mosul River Valley (click on it for full size 364 kilobyte view). >>>

Mosel Valley, Germany border near Luxembourg