Strong arms, need help! shouts Heidi Hetzer after our last meeting with a Japanese tour group on Ku’damm right in front of our door. Her old-timer “Hudo”, with which she had traveled around the world, bucked on Heidi and Hudo’s last journey together. Obviously, he objected to the fact that Heidi was about to embark on another trip across Africa in a few days without him. Heidi had prophesied that. I had offered to accompany her and Hudo to the coach house. But she said, “No, kid, you know. I have to do it all by myself now. Hudo and I are like an old married couple and now I have to leave him alone. Hudo will buck.” And he bucked! The Japanese pushed on and then “roared” away at 30 km/h. It is my last picture of Heidi….
Heidi Hetzer, my great role model as an entrepreneur, my friend with advice and support. She always went her way undaunted, did not let herself be intimidated, stood with both feet grounded in life. That has always impressed me. After the initial shock of this totally unexpected news of her death, so many thoughts came to me. I realized that probably I had made with Heidi her definitely last ride with Hudo through Berlin. As a passenger. As a friend. What a gift.
The trip came about through a spontaneous idea of mine. At Gala of Innocence in Danger on the occasion of the 15th anniversary I bought this ride with Heidi & Hudo for charity. I thought this was the perfect start for the second round of our Female Founders Awards. Strong women draw attention to strong women. In early September 2018, we met for dinner at our Kietz in Wilmersdorf. She roared up in her Opel, very smartly dressed as always. “If you want to do something with me, you have to do it now. In November, I’ll be away in Africa.” On 26.10. we then made the drive, the last drive of Heidi and Hudo through Berlin. Our last ride together I had bought at auction. On April 16 she came back from her Africa trip, called me, we were going to meet after Easter sometime in May. It does not come to that.
Heidi passed away on April 21, 2019. I am infinitely sad. R.I.P. dear Heidi…have a good trip.