We became good friends there, but when I put my arm around her, she wouldn't let me get near her, for she thought I was on the rebound from a previous girlfriend, and she was right. That was a winter afternoon with light, fluffy snow falling about us as we stood leaning over the wall of an old ruined fortress. We were on the way up along the Neckar River to Neckargemünd, to dine at the famous Greek restaurant there and try its famous Greek Lethe wine.

We enjoyed a fine meal, rather expensive for our modest resources as university students, and enjoyed some of that wine, and then some more. Feeling real good, we got onto our bikes and headed back to Heidelberg, some ten or fifteen miles away. Feeling rather high. Peg started racing her bike and I had a hard job to keep up with her. It was now dark, but her bike had a battery light, and mine had a light that worked off the wheel generator. We were going so fast that two things happened simultaneously. My generator put out so much juice that it blew out my bulb. At about the same time, Peg's bike chain broke from the overexertion. The result was that we limped into Heidelberg after some hours of my peddling and pushing Peg along on her bike, guided by her bike's lamp.

Peg and I have been through many adventures since, each one deepening our enduring commitment to each other.

While at Heidelberg, we shipped our bikes to Munich for Fasching, the German Mardi Gras. We enjoyed two or three days there, then picked up our bikes and headed back to Heidelberg, a few days away, taking a route that would let us by prearrangement stop off at my roommate's house in Warthausen. (His name was Hardy Freiherr [Baron] von König Warthausen.) The weather had been rotten, and we turned up at his house - a mansion - utterly soaked with mud, and rather embarrassed, but his mother, the baroness, received us cordially. After a day there, we continued toward Heidelberg, staying as usual in youth hostels. It was in one of those youth hostels, in which we were the only guests that night, that my Peg first let me kiss her.

Our time as students at Heidelberg was a happy one. We were working hard on our studies, but there was some enjoyable social life, such as periodic dances at the Foreign Students Club, and concerts, drama, and some evenings with friends in one Bierstube or another.

One night we got to wondering how so many of the foreign students there could afford to purchase motorcycles to get around on. We studied prices, pored over our budgets , and pooled our money to buy a brand new Zündapp motorcycle. You could go much farther with that than with bicycles. So, come Easter vacation, we were off to Italy, Peg on the back seat. Chiefly Milan, Pisa, Florence, and Rome. Unfortunately, the spring on Peg's back seat broke, and we could not get it replaced. So, the ride back to Heidelberg left Peg on the back seat without any spring. We had to put a small, thin log under it to keep it raised to the proper pitch. That was hard enough on a young girl of twenty-one. But then we got into a snow storm in northern Italy, with the snow so deep on the road that we soon had to get off the motorcycle and walk up the winding hill, trying to guide the motorcycle by hand in low gear. But at this pace, the motor overheated and we had to push it the rest of the way through the deep snow on the road until we fortunately came to an inn. Next morning, all rested, including the motorcycle, we resumed our journey and eventually got back to Heidelberg.

These are the kinds of experiences that test a relationship and strengthen it, if it was good to begin with. I sit now by her bed and tears come to my eyes as I think of all the joyful times, and also all the harrowing times we have been through.

In Heidelberg, after eating lunch in the low-price student mensa, a group of five or six of us would go to a favorite little café for dessert. It was there that we introduced Wilkes Conaway, my friend from NYU -- who after corresponding with me about my experiences in Heidelberg, decided to come over -- with my roommate Hardy. Peg and I cooked up a scheme to warn each one before they met that the other was hard of hearing, and very sensitive about it, so they should speak up. When we introduced them to each other in the café, the scene was so hilarious that Peg and I had to run out into the other room by the cashier in order to hide our convulsive laughing.

One time, as a group of us were paying up at the café prior to leaving, Peg, said, "What's this?" and pulled a bunch of silverware out of my breast pocket right in front of the cashier. How embarrassing! Who had sneaked the silverware into by breast pocket? Guess!

Peg was specializing in history of art, and she informed me one day that she had just received an inviting fellowship at the University of Munich. She was torn between her regard for me and desire to be with me, and the promising offer from Munich. We talked about what that would mean for us, and Peg finally decided to stay in Heidelberg. Shortly after that we became engaged. We bought two thin rings of solid gold - all we could afford - We are still wearing them. I am by her bed right now, and can see hers on her finger and feel mine on my own. Peg was not the diamond ring type, and she always has cherished her narrow gold band, as I have cherished mine.

In the summer of 1936, I returned to the U.S. and worked on my dissertation as well as enjoying the summer with my sister and her husband at Greenwood Lake. Peg went to Siena, Italy, to work on her dissertation which dealt with Barna da Siena, whose frescoes in nearby San Gimigniano were her focal point. Enterprising as usual, she found food and lodging as a tutoring guest at Villa Solaia, an estate whose main villa on top of one of the Tuscan hills was about the size of the New York Museum of Natural History. Her duty there was to help the three children to learn English by conversing with them. Quite a sinecure! Every day they drove her with horse and buggy into San Gimigniano and picked her up late in the afternoon. During that time we maintained a lively correspondence.

About Peg's background, before she went to Siena in 1936: She was born Margaret Armstrong Hodges in Reading, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1915. After grade school she attended Abbot Academy and George School, graduating from George School in 1932. From there, she went directly to Europe for the year, mostly in Heidelberg auditing courses at the University.

That year presented her with an incredible challenge. Her father dropped her off in Paris on his hurried schedule to some other country. Unbelievably, he left this seventeen-year-old child in Paris, giving her the grand total of ten dollars! What was Peg to do? She hailed a cab and was fortunate to get a helpful driver. She asked him for suggestions where she might stay (imagine!), and he suggested the YWCA (or its equivalent). He even helped her in with her luggage and spoke on her behalf to the person at the desk.

They had a room for her, but more than that she saw on the bulletin board an advertisement for some young person to reside with a family in St.Cloud, a suburb of Paris, and talk English with the children. She phoned them next day and they came and picked her up, and so she spent the summer with that family and then joined her father in Heidelberg in the fall, But, what an experience for a seventeen year old kid!

Before I met her in Heidelberg, she attended the University of Louisville, where she took about all the German they offered.

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