This was the write up about John in the 1968 "Gruen Weiss Vor" newsletter...
John was born in Manchester, England, a famous soccer town. In fact, as John tells us, the soccer team Manchester United was in the top of the first division. John went to high school at Mt. Carmel and later St. Gregory's College, where he majored in math. Right now he works for material control at Motorola.
John has been playing soccer since he was "knee-high to a grasshopper," about the age of two or three. He played in the Northeast of England vs. West game, which was a testing for the Olympics.
In March of 1965, John came to America. One day he read in the newspaper that a soccer team by the name of Green White was playing against the Lions. He called George Kaempf, who told him to come out and see the game. John liked the guys, found a regular schedule, and signed up.
When asked if it sometimes feel strange that everyone around him is speaking German he said: "No, soccer is the same all over the world. I understand all the dialogue in a soccer game. Anyway, some people speak English to me, and although I know a couple of German words, I wish I could speak it better."
His favorite soccer players are Adolf and Florian Bachmeier from the Kickers, and Ed Murphy of the Mustangs, whom he really learned a lot from during an indoor game.
Among some of John's favorite activities are skiing and tennis. He belongs to a ski club at work, which takes up a great deal of his time. But, of course, his favorite sport is soccer, which we all approve of. We hope he sticks to it!
Naturally, John will stay with Green White.
The first team played in the finals of the Open Cup against the Olympics, and came up just short--a 2-1 loss. Nick Wirs said after the game: "So close, and yet so far".
Green White avenged that loss in the regular season, beating the Olympics 3-1, but once again they ended the season in second place, one point behind Schwaben. Adam Wambach spoke for the fans when he said: "We have been a bridesmaid much too often, let's be a bride for a change!"
Manager Horst Melcher promised a championship for the next season.
Green White youth
There were so many kids that wanted to play for Green White, a "B" team was added to the youth side. Alex Gyurko volunteered to take that team, called the Midgets. They traveled to Springfield and won 1-0.
The Junior team (the oldest youth team) was also very strong. The goalkeeper for the Juniors, Mike Winter, was even chosen for the U.S. Junior National team.
Green White Off the Field
Hans Bittenbinder was the president in 1968, but nobody wanted to be the treasurer. After much debate, Eckhard Kaempfer finally agreed to take the position, and Wilhelm Franz took over Kaempfer’s secretary position. In the fall, Marianne Oswald was named Miss Green White.
The Women's Club was led by president Stella Polaretzki (and fellow board members Hilde Kaempfer, Joanna Kraemer, Hedi Klaus and Helen Hertl). Their big event of the year was a beach party at Montrose Beach, followed by an indoor beach party at the Green White Clubhouse.
While the club did manage to have it's share of fun, they were all too aware that a war was going on in Vietnam. Guenther Lepprich came back safe and sound, and reported: “I was plenty scared and lucky.” Pfc Dittmar Dittrich was still serving there, and Green White player Nick Wirs was drafted, and shipped off as well. He corresponded with the club while he was there.
In Pop Culture
~"Hey Jude" by the Beatles was the #1 song for 9 weeks, and the biggest hit of the entire decade.
~The best picture at the Academy Awards went to "Oliver!"
~The highest rated show on television was "Laugh In"
Elsewhere in Chicago
~In April, Chicagoans on the west side rioted after Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis. Chicago was not alone. There were riots in Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Kansas City, Newark, Washington, D.C., and many others. Across the country 46 deaths were blamed on the riots.
~In June, after winning the California primary, Robert Kennedy said "On to Chicago". Those were his last public words. He was assassinated moments later.
Next month: 1969
As always, if you have any thing to add or correct in this month’s installment, please drop me a line at email@example.com. I consider this a group project, and a work in progress, so we can add and subtract until we get it all exactly correct. If you have photos you’d like to contribute, please do.