accounts,we feast at some of the most exclusive restaurants in Essen, such as Kockshusen, Grugahof, Schinkekrug, Amboss and  get to know each other: first through the professional respect and then slowly to forge a friendship. Instead of me always going to Essen, I have him come to Munich once a month and us two sitting down with Rainer and discuss every single page of the magazine. Heinz is far from being a stern faced German from Ruhr area in North Rhine-Westphalia, but he would still dress up in his sports jackets and ties to my open collared shirts and sweaters.

I even take him to the Suzi Quatro concert in Munich’s Circus Krone and subject him to her deafening screams. At the time Suzi Q from Michigan was all the rage across Europe. Heinz is in awe of the pint size screaming sex bomb, sliding her guitar as big as herself  between her legs, dressed in the skin tight black leather pants and the jeans jacket, tossing her shoulder grazing full head of hair and belting out…

I’m a blue eyed bitch

And I wanna get rich

Get out of my way

Cuz I’m here to stay

I’m the wild one

Yes, I’m the wild one

Those were the days when the concert halls were not gigantic affairs like today and I am still always able to get seats up front within the first fifteen rows. And I remember, we are standing in the arena in front of the stage. Heinz has loosened his tie and removed his jacket and is grooving to the gyrations of this teeny bopper sensation.

Heinz can tell this one better than I could. Also because its his story, and by me trying to tell it, I am  risking being immodest, and worse yet, boastful. In fact I had completely forgotten all about it until Heinz brought it up two years ago when he came to visit me here in Chicago with his wife Lia.  And then I remembered vaguely the tableau in which we stood around at the end of the plant tour to show our visiting production boss John Mastro accompanied by John Groening – a printing executive from the US. I am not sure if the Playboy German edition editorial director Heinz van Nouhuys was also there or not. But there are also Friedrich Karl Schnelle – Girardet’s managing director and Dr. Wilhelm Girardet Jr. himself. And stepping back from the group was Heinz, wishing us all Gute Nacht and Guten Apetit. Dr.Girardet was hosting a dinner for us all at the Schloss Hugenpoet – a very exclusive  hotel and the restaurant around Essen.

‘Where are you going? Aren’t you going to have dinner with us?’ I ask. Heinz doesn’t answer, but the expressions on his face lead me to turn around and look at Messers. Girardet and Schnelle.

‘He is not invited.’ Herr Schnelle whispers.

‘Why not? He is a part of our team.’

‘He doesn’t fit into the present company.’ Dr. Girardet answers, meaning John and John.

‘Well, in that case, I don’t either!’ It just rolls out of my mouth.

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