Ftears of tears in hard times: On Sunday, residents of the Darmstadt post office reacted to a special action on their street. In the afternoon, a solo entertainer had played favorite hits for the mostly elderly residents of the settlement around Oppenheimer and Moltkestrasse – and had reminded the elderly of past times.
Equipped with a keyboard and amplifier, the musician Robert Hößbacher from Seligenstadt had made his way through the residential area. Hößbacher stopped at five balconies and played what the residents wanted. Whether hits or evergreens – the repertoire was extensive. “We wanted to show people that they are not forgotten and give them a moment of joy,” says Bastian Ripper, chairman of the Postal Housing Association and initiator of the campaign.
Older people in particular suffered from the current situation. “They no longer go out to shop, have no more visitors and have only been at home alone for weeks.”
The visits remained unannounced
Interlocutors and contacts were missing, many residents are not doing well. Because the association, which also offers telephone calls with volunteers, wanted to do even more against the corona blues, the idea arose with the sole entertainer. After nearly two hours of internet research, Ripper came across Hößbacher, he says. “He was ready to join in.” The visits to the balconies remained unannounced. “That should be a surprise,” said Ripper.
The first serenade was given to the comparatively young Alexandra Glagowski, who celebrated her 55th birthday on the day and had to forego a visit due to the Corona crisis. In addition to “Happy Birthday” she received “Ein Stern” from DJ Ötzi and Nik P. as well as the classic “Red lips should be kissed”. There was also chocolate and a blooming ranunculus for the balcony box.
The other residents who received musical visits are between 83 and almost 90 years old, as an elderly Mr. Ripper revealed. Among other things, they wished for “Again and again the sun rises” by Udo Jürgens and the folk song “Cornflower Blue”. The hit “Once around the world” by Karel Gott was on the wish list of an elderly couple that had traveled half the world with the motorhome and because of it Corona doesn’t even go shopping anymore. Incidentally, this – like many other older residents from the district – is also relieved by the Postal Settlement Association.
“We even drive the cat to the vet”
Because he doesn’t just want to help people with music. If you belong to the risk group, you don’t have to go to the door yourself. “We even drive the cat to the vet if necessary,” says Ripper. And those who have so little money that shopping can hardly be done even without a corona crisis will get the goods paid for by the association for everyday use.
Soon, lunch will also be distributed to the needy twice a week for free. The food is cooked and packed in the club house on Binger Straße, and volunteers deliver the food. “If you are still good on foot, you can also come over and get your food,” says Ripper.
Care was taken to ensure that the distance rules were observed. The project was initially planned to run until March 2021, regardless of Corona. It is not yet certain whether the solo entertainer will visit the district again, says Ripper. That depends on how long contact blocks and restrictions lasted. However, one of the initiator’s wishes may have been fulfilled on Sunday: “We wanted people to go to bed tonight with positive thoughts.”