Ft. Wayne would have been a very good place to continue with my study of German because of the large German population. My friends Erick and George both spoke German; their parents both spoke very broken English. When the U.S. entered the war in Europe, however, anything German, including the German language, was anathema. High schools dropped German from the curriculum and people who spoke German tried to hide the fact.
One day I was browsing thru a table full of books outside a secondhand bookstore on South Calhoun and ran across a Frazer and Squair French grammar [book] in good condition and cheap, so I bought it. By that time Leonard had been drafted into the army and I was living alone in my room at the Noble's. I was contemplating enlisting in one of the armed forces and I thought, if I get sent to France it would help if I knew something of the language. I set to work methodically, learning all the rules of grammar and faithfully doing the exercises in order. There was a pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book but unless you hear a language spoken you can't come very close to the actual sounds, so I was making some bad mistakes in pronunciation until Raymond put me right, more or less. By the end of a year I was able to read the French books in the Ft. Wayne library with the aid of a dictionary.
Last modified on 14 June 2009 @ 10:09