Friendships with HSLDA Develop

Our association with Chris Klicka led to a very warm friendship between us. On one occasion in 2001, Chris, his wife and 7-children visited us in our new home in the Black Forest for the entire month of December.

Our marketing business in Germany consumed much of our time. We had our office in our home and often times began work at 6 a.m. and ended the day in the wee hours after midnight. This was a 6-day a week job. More and more German families had decided to homeschool and were asking for our assistance.

The stress of long and arduous hours of work and helping homeschool families who were being terribly threatened by the government caused me to have health issues. I spent much time in 2002 and half of 2003 in hospital beds, 5-times being transported to the hospital in an emergency ambulance. Zelda soon found that she could not keep up with our business without me. She was also becoming more and more involved with homeschool families needing assistance with government officials. We soon found it necessary to put our business on ice.

Visiting Germany

Early in 1999, Mike Farris, visited and stayed overnight with our family in Germany. He told us of his plan to found Patrick Henry College (PHC). He told Minka, who was interested and involved in politics through me, that when the colleges’ doors opened he would invite her to be the first student accepted to study at Patrick Henry College.

Mike kept his promise and Minka was accepted as a member of the inaugural class of PHC. Mike committed himself to be her parental guardian while she studied there and was away from home. We were one of the few parents who paid full tuition for their children to attend.

Shortly before classes were to begin at PHC, Mike called to tell me that a young female student would be attending PHC who did not have money for a wardrobe. We immediately gave Mike several hundred dollars for her and asked that she not know where the money came from. This was indicative of our relationship with Mike.

Whenever Zelda and I attended the HSLDA national leadership conferences, Mike, when he was present, would make a special effort to look us up when we arrived to greet us. Several times at these conferences he invited us to sit with him at his table for lunch or dinner. We had what we thought to be a warm and friendly relationship with him.

One time when we were verbally attacked by a Swiss homeschool leader, Mike wrote that he was our friend and would always be our friend. When we eventually began to look for funding in 2004 after HSLDA told us that they would no longer finance our ministry on a regular basis, I asked Mike to write us a letter of recommendation, which he without hesitation agreed to do.

Patrick Henry College

When PHC opened its doors, the school’s dormitories were not yet ready for occupancy. The students had to find temporary housing until the dorms were completed. An HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff and his family, who had befriended Zelda and me on one of our visits to HSLDA headquarters by inviting us to stay in their home, offered that Minka could stay with them. The Woodruff’s also invited our son Hans to stay with them on several occasions when he attended PHC summer camps.

The Woodruff’s son, Chris, visited us in Germany for a week. We showed him many sights in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France during his visit. We wanted to show the Woodruff’s our thankfulness for having opened up their home to our family so we gave Chris a super tour.

Mike Smith, the HSLDA president complained on one occasion when we brought a group of German attorneys along with us to the HSLDA Virginia Beach conference in the fall of 2003, that we did not stay with him and his wife in their home. He said that they had built a large home and that their children were either married or away at college so there was plenty of space to accommodate us.

We had always stayed with the Woodruffs or Klickas during our visits in the area. This was a very warm gesture from Mike, which we appreciated very much. His wife, Elizabeth was always very warm with us when we attended the national leadership conferences.

There were other things I could bring up here. I want to demonstrate that we had a very personal, warm and cordial relationship with HSLDA and its leadership. We trusted the attorneys, believing that they were honest and committed Christians.

In fact, we ended up trusting them with our very lives and the lives of our children. We believed that if the situation ever arose where we would be taken to jail for defending homeschool families in Germany, HSLDA would come to our defense. If our children needed to be rushed out of the country we believed that these attorneys and their families would gladly take them in.


Legal Mumbo Jumbo

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