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Dr. Paul R. Ristow, the principal of Soesterberg American High School from roughly 1990 till the base closed in 1994, would think the title of this blog post is funny. He thinks this picture of himself is hilarious. And how would I know this? He’s my dad, of course, and he’s a known fan of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Still, I have a hard time remembering what this photo is about, but it’s evident that it’s a school parade, and judging by the building in the background, this was likely taken near The Quad. If memory serves me correct, other buildings in the area consisted of Soesterberg Air Base’s post office, bank, snack bar, Class 6 Liquor Store, The Stars and Strips, and a mini-mart. All of these, with one or two expectations, low single story structures — with the notable exception of post office, which housed the base’s library on the second floor. The bank also had a second floor, but I never went there.

I guess, of all things, this is still a funny picture to me for a less obvious reason. Soesterberg, or to be more correct, Camp New Amsterdam is actually a very large installation. However, it’s a base shared with the Dutch Air Force. The American contingent was nestled into a corner, with other facilities nearby on different camps. So, for a parade — whether for homecoming or prom — there’s not much area to parade around, and not many people to stop and watch.



  1. I lived in Doorn Netherlands. My father was stationed at Camp New Amsterdam from 1963 to 1966. This is the one place I miss the most. The 9th grade class stayed on the base and the rest of the high school grades went to the International High School in the Hague.
    I have a picture of all the class that was in the 9th grade in 1965-1966. We are all separate in the school photo on one sheet. The one thing I remember well was the square. Everything was around the square. I sometimes wish I could go back to that time.

  2. I was a year behind you in school, have tried to find Cathy Nelson or Carrie Rodiguez for years. Funny that I don’t remember the names of any of the older guys. Would love to see the Class picture.

  3. i was here in the 70s we had a great time wan in the 4th till 6ht grade and my sister got to go to afcent to school that was like the thing to look forward too we loved it too wish i could find people i went to school with then

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