Warning: This may put all but the most curious to sleep – I just wanted to put this out there to keep the record complete.  jb


The Journey Continues

“My life is a series of detours, that are paved with magical surprises and coincidences”

Jack Barsky

So here comes another one of those detours: A trip into the past with destination future.  Or in more understandable terms, a European book tour to Germany, Poland and Sweden with an overture in St. Louis USA and a finale in San Francisco USA.

Summary: 45 days, four countries, 19 cities, 21 hotel rooms, a dozen TV appearances , as many personal appearances, and too many interviews to keep track of.

Result: Five-pound weight gain (all beer), German bestseller, EXHAUSTION


And off we go….

Day 1: Plane trip to St. Louis USA – never traveled with that much baggage

Day 2:  Appearance at Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Granite City IL

Fly to Detroit and from there to Frankfurt Germany

Day 3:  Arrive in Frankfurt, meet my publicist and 2 hr drive to Baden Baden. Chill.

Day 4:  No jet lag!!!  Some Sightseeing and in the evening taping of “Das Nachtcafe”.  Theme of the show is “Living in two Worlds”.  Other guests of the show are an intersex person, a schizophrenic lady who once thought she was Mick Jagger’s daughter, and a Turkish lady who escaped physical and sexual abuse she experienced from childhood on.  The only person on that show who was / is not a victim is me.

Day 5:   Train ride to Frankfurt and plane to Berlin.  Next six days in Berlin with various interviews and video tapings for future use.

Day 9:   Official opening of book tour with press conference and evening event at the Berlin Spy Museum.  Room was crowded, and over a dozen of old friends and class mates traveled to be there.

Day 11: Drive to Leipzig.  Reading at a local church.

Day 12:  Attendance at Leipzig book fair.  Interviews and one public reading.

Day 13: 8 inches of snow on the ground in Leipzig 4 hr drive to Hamburg.  Taping for DAS – The red sofa.  Late 2 hr drive to Braunschweig.

Day 14: Church appearance in Braunschweig Friedenskirche.   Afterwards 2.5 hr drive to Berlin.  Evening appearance in Berlin church.

Day 15: 4 hr drive to Bremen.   Very low budget hotel (but clean).  Great reception at a church – overflow attendance.

Day 16: 2 hr drive to Hamburg – Video interview with Bible TV.  Subsequently, 1 hour drive to Lüneburg

Day 17: Appearance at FEG Lüneburg subsequently 3 hr drive to Düsseldorf

Day 18: Appearance at Freie Evangelische Gemeinde (independent church) in Bonn

Day 19: In studio interview ZDF (2nd German national TV morning program) “Volle Kanne”, afternoon in studio interview with SWR1 “Leute”

Day 20: 4 hr drive to Holzgerlingen, headquarters of SCM Verlag (German publisher)

Day 21: Book reading and sales at SCM Verlag headquarters

Day 22: Three-hour drive to Munich.  Interrupted at Ulm because “chaperone” had forgotten her purse.  Four-hour sightseeing in Ulm, including the highest dome in the world

Day 23: Sightseeing in Munich

Day 24: Attend services at Baptist Church in Munich.  Evening reading at local YMCA

Day 25: Half hour Interview Bayrischer Rundfunk (Bavarian radio station) “Mensch Otto”.  Rent vehicle (I am now on my own for the remainder of the tour).  5 hr drive to Görlitz.

Day 26: 5 hr drive to Warsaw.  Two interviews with Polish press

Day 27: Appearance on Polish TV 1 morning show (my segment follows one that featured Alpaca goats), press conference, video with major internet content provider and video with national Polish Press agency

Day 28: Snowing again. Appearance on Polish TV3.  Arrive at the studio with one minute to spare…. Powder on the nose while walking to the set, and off we go.  Three-hour drive to Poznan.

Day 29: One day at Adam Mickiewicz University spent with interview type lecture before packed auditorium and various video interviews

Day 30: 5 hr Drive to Jena.  Dinner with my son Günther and ex fellow student

Day 31: Afternoon soccer game with Günther.  Evening basketball game (both teams won).  Met three ex team mates

Day 32: Meet ex fellow student Klaus to attend Easter Service at Methodist church.  Lunch with Klaus – he shows me his lab where he studies duckweed, a potential future source for food.  Afternoon meet Günther and his girlfriend for an excursion to the top of the highest mountain around Jena.

Day 33:  4hr drive to Frankfurt Oder.  Spend 4 hrs with “Spencer” (college roommate) and wife.  1 hr drive to airport Schönefeld.  Park car and get on plane to Stockholm – 2 hr flight.

Day 34: Arrive in Stockholm in the wee hours.  Late morning interview with Swedish Press Agency at publisher’s office.  Interview with national Swedish TV cancelled because of death of Swedish mega celebrity.  Sightseeing instead

Day 35: Flight back to Germany.  Retrieve car.  One hr drive to Drebkau.  Meet with owner of local spa facility who attended same high school and is mother of famous world record holding swimmer Francisca von Almsick.

Day 36: Meeting with ten old high school class mates and three (!) old teachers.  Jolly good time!

Day 37: 2 hr drive to Berlin for in studio interview with BBC.  Sweating bullets because of “dueling GPSs”.  Made appointment with five minutes to spare.  Subsequently check in at hotel.  Evening live appearance at regional TV station.  Interviewer is great grandson of my first-grade teacher.

Day 38: Meet with Richard and get to know folks at his software company.  Meet my niece Leticia.

Day 39: Brunch with my other niece Ina, her daughter and fiancée.  Arrive one hour late because Berlin had major road closures for Marathon.  Dinner with Richard and his new acquaintance Stephanie, a high-powered attorney who represents celebrities.

Day 40: Finally get out for a run.  Meet for dinner with Stephanie and up and coming film maker with connections to Hollywood.

Day 41: 2 hr drive to Ueckermünde to meet with ex KGB colleague (yes, an East German who spied for the KBG in New York roughly at the same time I did) and wife.

Day 42: Much to talk about with colleague, but some time for local sightseeing.  Urgent call from Richard to return back to Berlin.  However, have commitment for Hamburg, Hamburg TV station frees me from next day obligation.

Day 43: 2 hr drive to Berlin.  Meet for lunch with owner and producers of Senator Production.  They are eager to do a series based on my book.  We shall see….. 3 hr drive to Hamburg

Day 44: Return rental car – minor scratch may cost me $1,000.  Evening appearance on the #1 talk show in Germany – ZDF Marcus Lanz.  One of the other guests was German’s Secretary of Labor who invited me to meet him next time I am in Berlin.  Flight to Frankfurt after the show.  Overnight stay at airport hotel.

Day 45:  Flight to Detroit, flight to Atlanta, Limo —- finally home.


Epilogue; Spent 2 days unpacking, washing clothes, decompressing.  Monday evening pick up Shawna and Trinity from their trip to New Jersey.  Wednesdays morning back on a plane to San Francisco for public appearance, and finally back home on Friday.




  1. Jack, thanks so much for sharing the details of your book tour. Hope everything works out regarding the rental car.

    • Thanks – I was a bit hesitant about sharing this. I can’t stand the Facebook posts where people share their latest meal etc. This trip was a bit unusual though. My German organizers were worried that I might collapse somewhere on route between Frankfurt and Munich. jb

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