The Return to Austria:  Chapter One
    In the months following the reunion in Minneapolis, my grandfather began to copy his original journals into one legible notebook.  My parents then became involved in the process as they word processed the newly consolidated journal, formatted it for print, then printed and bound numerous copies of the journal.  An avid storyteller, my grandfather loved to be able to follow up his stories by giving his friends a copy of his journal.
  One such copy was handed to Mike Proietti, a worker at a bowling alley in Lunenburg, Massachusetts that my grandfather frequented.  Mike was so enthralled with the journal that he decided to create an electronic version complete with photos that he scanned.  He transformed the journal from a paper logbook to a digital format, which he gave to my grandfather on a CD.
    The Parker family was once again thrilled and the CD was passed around and viewed by all the family members.  Soon after many copies of the CD were made, we decided to share the logbook with the world – my father and I took Mike’s CD and put it on the internet for anyone to see.  I assumed the role of webmaster and started to make aesthetic changes to the journal to make it more readable.  In addition to the changes in design, I listed my grandfather’s website on Yahoo and many other search engines.
   Soon after the website was listed on these search engines, visitors to the website increased dramatically and e-mails began to flow into my grandfather’s mailbox.  Hundreds of people were viewing my grandfather’s website per month.  The first few e-mails were a great delight to my grandfather and the rest of my family.  We were happy to see that some people were enjoying the website.  As time went on however, Dennis started receiving more and more e-mails from around the globe.  Even people from non-English speaking countries started to send e-mail to my grandfather.  All of this global contact inspired my grandfather to try to contact someone in the village into which he had parachuted in World War II.
    The village of Grünbach am Schneeberg, Austria, located at the foothills of the Alps, contains approximately 1850 inhabitants.  Thanks to the internet, I was able to find a website for the village.  Unfortunately, the site was written completely in German, which no one in my family speaks.  Luckily, while out dancing, my grandfather met Ingrid Konrad Smith, a native speaker of German, who took an immediate interest in my grandfather’s story.  After a short time, she kindly wrote an e-mail to send to the bürgermeister of the village (See Appendix A for a copy of the e-mail).  The e-mail contained an abbreviated version of how my grandfather arrived in Grünbach so long ago and expressed a desire to know if anyone still remembered the day that my grandfather parachuted into the village.
    Ingrid’s work helped to open a line of communication between people in the village of Grünbach am Schneeberg and my grandfather, something he had wanted to do for quite a while.