Enjoy this Classic Adcock column.

Last week a young Lonie, newly enlisted in the Army and sent to Germany, stumbled upon a tavern playing American country music on a jukebox...

I sat down at the table and he handed me a menu written in English. This was something that I had not seen before. Most of the menus were written in German and you had to guess at what you were ordering.

A young girl came and put a cup of coffee down on the table. She then waited for me to order.

“You speak English,” I asked.

She nodded her head and said yes. I watched her face as I ordered. The expression never changed and I was hoping she knew what I was ordering. A new record had dropped down on the juke box and Webb Pierce was now singing “Wondering.”

The older gentleman was watching me and I could tell he was getting a kick out of me. I was wondering where the country music was coming from. He walked over to me and smiled.

“May I?” he said, pointing to the empty chair on the other side of the table.

“Be my guest,” I said.

“I am Kendrick Shultz.” He motioned for an older woman who was at the cash register to come over to our table. “This is my wife, Freda.”

“Glad to meet you,” I said. Then she struck out her hand and I shook it, something that I had never done before. You didn’t shake hands with women back then. But she stuck it out and I shook it. A big smile spread across her face. I could tell that this was something that she wasn’t used to.

This happened a long time ago. I will try to remember what was said that day by Kendrick Shultz as close as possible.

He started out by saying “You are wondering why I speak English so good. I was a teachers of many languages before the war. I was forced into the Army against my will. I was told that if I didn’t fight in the Army, my people would be put into camps. I went in order to keep my family out of concentration camps. People were dying in those camps. I was captured, and sent to America, where I spent most of the war.

“With Hitler gone,” he continued, “we were released and sent back home. While in the compound where they kept prisoners of war, I became friends with the guards. One of them I still keep in touch with. He sends me the records of your country music. He knew that I like the country music and so he sends me the latest. I do my menu in English as well as German. I welcome all Americans, but like the Southern ones best. I spent my time in the compound in South Carolina.”

He stood up, saying, “Here comes your food. I hope you will be coming back to see us. Tell your buddies where we are.”

As the girl put the food on the table I watched him go over and sit down by the juke box. Then the juke box made a change of records and was I surprised. Nat King Cole’s “Too Young” began to play, and I began to eat.

Check in next week for the final installment of Lonie’s memories of the Schultz family.

Lonie Adcock of Rome is a retired Rome Police Department lieutenant. His latest book is “Fact or Fiction.”

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