Monday 1 November 2010

French Obsession #8 -The Importance of Learning the French Language

Photo Copyright Christina Wigren

This photo was taken about two weeks ago. There are few leaves left on the trees here in Norrkoping today, November first. I am linking to Frenchy's French Obsession.

Today is or was my dear father's birthday. He would have been 93 years old today. He left us four years ago, so he did get to live quite a long, and I think, happy life. He was 88 when he passed away.

What does my father have to do with the French Obsession? As all of you who have followed this blog know, he was not French but Swedish; my father was an American of Swedish descent. But he studied the French language (among a lot of other subjects) at Columbia University in New York. Then he was drafted after finishing college, and thanks to his university degree, he was made an officer rather than just an inlisted man. He spent the next five years in the US army in England, France and Belgium. Yes, I am talking about World War II.

His duties were as quartermaster in a French-speaking area. Because he was the only one who could speak fluent enough French he was easily chosen as the one responsible for dealing with the local people and making purchases for his unit. So one day, he and his chauffeur were sent off to fetch something. If it was firewood or soap, I do not know.

While they were away, perhaps in another town far away, something really big happened. The enemy (which in this case was the German army) made some kind of surge or lightning-attack right there where his unit was. When my father and his driver returned with the items that had been requested, there was nobody there. There was only a note telling them where to go. He never saw his fellow soldiers from this unit again. He never found out what had happened or whether they were killed or captured.

This is my father as I remember him best, standing beside me:
Photo Copyright Christina Wigren

Most likely, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this story if he had not been able to speak French.
Something to think about when you are learning to conjugate all of those verbs!

Thank you for visiting!
Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Ann of
Ann's Snap Edit & Scrap

Please click on the image and go to Le Chateau des fleurs by Frenchy to visit other posts about a French Obsession:


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