|This day we had set apart for Frank's best friend in Waalwijk...Corne Klaassen and his family. One of Corne's children (Giel) had been feeling unwell for a few days and therefore Suus decided to stay at home with him.
Guus was at school, so therefore Corne and Saar came along with us to a few places in the area.
After the coffee at Corne's, we left around noon and drove to the suburb "Bokhoven" close to Heusden and den Bosch. We had been there a number of years ago with John van Engelen and then made a photo of Frank and john in front of the 'Bokhoven/Engelen' direction signs.
After walking through Bokhoven (saw cemetery), we then made a similar photo of the van Bok clan in front of the same sign and headed off to Haarsteeg.
Haarsteeg is a small farmer's village, around 5 minutes from Waalwijk, where Frank's dad grew up on the farm with his parents and 6 brothers and sisters.
During the 2nd world war (where he was 15 years old), his farm was bombed twice and burnt down completely. It was rebuilt and during the bombings 8 people lost their lives. A memorial for that event is put around 500 meters from the farm and visible on one of the photos enclosed.
We then also went to the farm itself, which has changed ownership a few times since Jan's (Frank's father) brother Dre passed away. Frank rang the doorbell and explained to the current inhabitant his relationship with the farm.
The farm is currently being sold, as the man explained that the Dutch rules made it very hard for him to conduct a business there...he is leaving to Norway, however has been unable to sell his farm to date after being on the market for more than 1 year!
We walked over the farm and Frank's memories of where he and his cousins came together nearly every Sunday with the uncles and aunts were nice to share. A photo of the farm shows the large area that it includes. Hopefully the farm will be restored to full glory.
Then we all ventured to Heusden. A 'traditional' village near Haarsteeg, where we have been a few times during our Holland trips. A nice cobblestone filled town surrounded by 'walls' to protect the village from water overflowing from the surrounding rivers. Also a nice little harbour and a few traditional windmills make this town a must see for the tourist.
We all enjoyed a few pancakes and drinks in the 'Pancake' house (selling more than 1,000 different pancakes) and went home feeling full and satisfied.
Tom was dropped home to have a sleep and after saying good-bye to all Klaassens, we drove past Annemiek van Zelst's house to say hello. Unfortunately no one at home, so a phone call later was made to say bye.
Last night we spent at Oma's house packing and preparing for an undoubtedly emotional farewell from her the next morning.