Wally Funk's Online World!
Outtakes from Wally's Memoir
Wally's life has been too full to include everything in one book. Each month, this page will feature something that didn't make it into Higher, Faster, Longer.
Wally's life has been too full to include everything in one book. Each month, this page will feature something that didn't make it into Higher, Faster, Longer.
From April 1965 to September 1967, Wally drove around Europe, the near Middle East, and Africa in a VW camper with her dog Toot and her friend Ann Cooper. Here are some of her recollections of Christmases abroad:

[December 1965]
Now I began to be immersed in Christian Biblical sites. Damascus, Syria, was where Paul came after a vision that changed him from a persecutor of Christians to an ardent disciple of the new church. I walked among the Cedars of Lebanon. I saw the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. This was 1965, and the West Bank sector was controlled by Syria. That area included Jerusalem, where I visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It was located where Jesus was crucified, was entombed, and rose. While I was in Jerusalem, I got my first camel ride near St. Stephen's Gate in the city wall.

I was in Bethlehem for Christmas. I went into the Church of the Nativity on Christmas Eve for a service, but it got really crowded and I couldn't hear well. So I left and drove to a quiet place where I listened to the service on the radio. I had always listened to the Christmas service from Bethlehem back in Taos when I was growing up, but being there in person was very special.

The next day, I drove to the Dead Sea. There was a race track near the water and I watched camel races. It was such a contrast from the holiday seasons I was used to. Back home, it would have been cold, and I probably would have been skiing.


From April 1965 to September 1967, Wally drove around Europe, the near Middle East, and Africa in a VW camper with her dog Toot and her friend Ann Cooper. Here are some of her recollections of Christmases abroad:

[December 1965]
Now I began to be immersed in Christian Biblical sites. Damascus, Syria, was where Paul came after a vision that changed him from a persecutor of Christians to an ardent disciple of the new church. I walked among the Cedars of Lebanon. I saw the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. This was 1965, and the West Bank sector was controlled by Syria. That area included Jerusalem, where I visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It was located where Jesus was crucified, was entombed, and rose. While I was in Jerusalem, I got my first camel ride near St. Stephen's Gate in the city wall.

I was in Bethlehem for Christmas. I went into the Church of the Nativity on Christmas Eve for a service, but it got really crowded and I couldn't hear well. So I left and drove to a quiet place where I listened to the service on the radio. I had always listened to the Christmas service from Bethlehem back in Taos when I was growing up, but being there in person was very special.

The next day, I drove to the Dead Sea. There was a race track near the water and I watched camel races. It was such a contrast from the holiday seasons I was used to. Back home, it would have been cold, and I probably would have been skiing.

©2021 Loretta Hall
My dog, Toot, enjoying the Christmas tree in our little camper home.
[December 1966]
We made a Christmas tree out of paper. The tree was white, set on a gold background. We outlined the tree with gold glitter and decorated it with icicles, balls, candy canes, gift boxes, socks, and a rope chain---all made of paper!

Christmas day was interesting because it was the middle of summer in Cape Town, South Africa. I shared a turkey dinner with friends. To avoid the heat, we dined late Christmas Eve around their lovely garden and pool.

[December 1966]
We made a Christmas tree out of paper. The tree was white, set on a gold background. We outlined the tree with gold glitter and decorated it with icicles, balls, candy canes, gift boxes, socks, and a rope chain---all made of paper!

Christmas day was interesting because it was the middle of summer in Cape Town, South Africa. I shared a turkey dinner with friends. To avoid the heat, we dined late Christmas Eve around their lovely garden and pool.