Mexia couple recalls fall of the Berlin Wall

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
The fall of the Berlin Wall, on Nov. 9 1989, was witnessed through television by many people, including Kay and Stan Roark, but the Mexia couple was much closer than most since they were living in Germany and got a firsthand look at East Berlin afterward.
Kay Roark had just begun a dream job in August 1989 teaching fifth grade American students at Hahn Air Force Base, about 250 miles southwest of Berlin. While Kay loved teaching, what made her position so pleasant was she and Stan were able to travel across Europe most weekends.
“I called it a working vacation because I was having so much fun,” she said. “When you have an aide, you could leave school at 3:30. Here (in Mexia) I was staying ’til 7 o’clock sometimes.”
That was not the Roarks’ first time to live in Germany, however. Stan had been stationed in Lubeck, near the Berlin Wall in the 1950s before they were married, working in the Army Security Agency. The exact nature of his work was highly classified, and he has not revealed to Kay even to this day what it was. She only knew it had to do with listening to communications by the Soviet Union, which at that time was the United States’ arch enemy.
“We couldn’t go in or out,” Stan said of East Berlin, even before the Wall was built. “We had to stay back. They had big trucks and we couldn’t get close. They would search the trucks to make sure nobody was sneaking over to the West, because people were trying to get across.”

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