"Anneliese Rolf, part three “Free at Last”

"Anneliese Rolf, part three “Free at Last”

"Anneliese Rolf, part three “Free at Last”

The taxicab showed up at the arranged time. The taxi driver had agreed to carry her heavy trunk. The circus owner and his mean wife watched as they left.

They had kept Anneliese and the other midgets against their will for many years, but in America, they were freed of their bondage. Anneliese's parents had been killed in the Allied bombing of Berlin. 

Her two brothers, German soldiers, were killed in action. She had other relatives in Germany who lived through the war, but she never heard from any of them again. Most of them she never knew. 

Her friend and his wife made Anneliese a part of their family. She told me how she missed her circus “family.” Since her mom had sold her into slavery to the German circus owner, the circus people were her life, her family. Now they were gone, and even though she had a new “family,” she was lonely, and yearned for the circus life, where she had been billed as the worlds “smallest woman.” 

Her friends encouraged her to accept Dallas as her home and future. Dallas in 1946 was exciting as the troops were returning from all over the world. She cried often, yet vowed to try her best in her new life.

She needed work, but there was nothing a tiny midget could do. The circus life was always on her mind. Had she made a mistake, getting her “freedom” from them? 

One day a friend suggested she go with her to interview for a job. A Dallas nightclub needed a “cigarette” girl. Anneliese got the job. Her pay was mostly from tips, but it was work, and now she could pay her friend for her keep. She was elated. And she soon became well known by the nightclub 

crowd in Dallas. Her charm and quick wit fit right in with the crowd. They loved the stories of her life in prewar Germany, and of Adolph Hitler. 

One day she received a message from a nightclub owner by the name of Jack Ruby. He was the owner of the thriving Carousel Club, located in downtown Dallas. She knew Jack from his visits to her place of employment. Jack promised her twice whatever she was making at her job. 

He wanted her for a picture taking lady. She could take pictures, the picture was developed in the camera, and the customer could see the picture immediately. Jack furnished her the cameras, and she was soon making lots of money. She knew Jack was a shady character, was rumored to be involved with the underworld, but he was a good boss, and treated her well. 

His thriving Carousel Club was close to the Dallas Police Department. Jack had many close friends in law enforcement. Many of them visited his club nightly. 

The years rolled by, and Anneliese saved a ton of money from her lucrative job. There was rumors at work the Jack was in financial trouble. He was making their payroll so they were happy. They heard the President of the United States was visiting Dallas, and the parade route would be close to the Carousel Club. She and the other girls walked over to Elm Street to watch the motorcade. When they got back to the Club, there was news that the President had been shot. He died in Parkland hospital. 

There was excitement at work in days to come. Their boss, Jack Ruby, was visibly upset. He was drinking heavily, and acting strange. Anneliese and the girls were concerned about their jobs. Jack was acting very strange, upset and angry, and not taking care of his club. 

There was a lot of exciting things happening in Dallas, but the workers at the Carousel Club had worries of their own. Their boss had basically abandoned them. Some of the girls were job hunting. The bartender was in charge. 

Anneliese was as concerned as the others, but she was not a worrier, and just kept taking pictures. That was her life, her love. She was keeping track of the happenings in Dallas like everyone else, by watching TV full time. The TV at the Club was tuned to channel 8 Dallas. They were going to televise the transfer of Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected killer of President Kennedy, from the Dallas P.D. to County jail. Anneliese planned to watch that event. 

Next week: “Anneliese Rolf, final episode”