We flew to Switzerland on July 4th. We saw fireworks over Boston far below as we started across the ocean.
After a whirlwind meeting with the Mission President, we were put to bed. Upon awakening we were taken to the Haupt Bahnhof in Zurich. I'm sure there were showers and meals in there somewhere...
Mind in the remains of a jet-lag induced fog, I was put on a train that would eventually take me to Zofingen, in Canton Aargau. There was only one transfer along the way. When I arrived I met my companion, Elder Himmer, and somehow we also met Sister Bischof.
Sister Bischof figured prominently into my stay at Zofingen. An older widow, living alone, she had the missionaries over every Sunday after church. My journal records "she put up with a lot", though I only remember her kind smiles. Maybe my lack of language skill during that time limits my memory of how much "Schwester Schlimm" (as the missionaries called Sister Bischof) actually ever said to me. My companion and I went to her home at least once or twice during that month on weekdays for a lunch or dinner.
It was during one of those meals when just my companion and I were over, that Sister Bischof turned on a radio. Heaven. I'd heard no broadcast music since I entered the LTM on May 4th. It was the first time I heard what I later learned was Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty. After the song was done, I made my way over to the radio and began channel surfing, trying to hear that song again. No luck.
A couple weeks later I was transferred and said goodbye to Sister Bischof and Zofingen. That song stayed with me, though I didn't hear it again until I returned to the States 21 months later. I never saw Mr. Rafferty perform until I saw videos on YouTube commemorating his death this past week.
Even though his touch on my life was light, Mr. Rafferty's music is a continually bright, vibrating memory that still echoes in my soul.
Thank you for sharing your talent, Gerry Rafferty.