“Marshall was a good man.”

Sometimes my job as an English teacher is so enjoyable, challenging, and envigorating that it barely feels like work.  Listen to this…

I met the 4 retirees at a department store restaurant, in the same corner seat we always have.  This was our 4th lesson.  3 of the 4 were born before World War II.  One, from from a small village on the wrong side of the Elbe river, talked about the Russian and American armies meeting on a bridge in his village that has since been torn down and a new rebuilt.  Another talked about American soldiers from Hawaii (it was in the German newspaper at the time that they were from Hawaii) on tanks passing out candy to her and her friends.  And 2 of them talked about getting care packages from American families they didn’t know.  Every poor family got a parcel from an American family, they said.  1 of them said his dad traded a closet in the living room for a goose so they could have a proper Xmas dinner.  He also said that sometimes the farmer could say, No, I have enough closets or rugs or … so they wouldn’t trade.  Another’s father traded a bedsheet for an egg.  The one born after the war said her dad had lost a leg near Colmar during the war and the first few years of her life he was sitting mostly and they were very poor.  Then her dad got an office job for the community and things got a little better.  Another said that “Marshall was a good man.”  She was referring to The Marshall Plan.

I thought that would be interesting.


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