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Information bulletin
(January 1952)

Healy, Nancie Lee
We live in a glass house,   pp. [27]-29 PDF (1.7 MB)


Page 29


Tim US Information Center's reading room in Dillenburg
is visited regularly by young and old.      (tlunqst photo)
Bclgian, American and Italian nationals. The attendance
approximated 500. The meeting provided an excellent
oppor tunity for the discussion of better understanding
between Germany and her neighbors. Before the meeting,
we hlad an informal dinner at our home for the guest
speakers and their wives, and we also arranged an after-
dinner press conference for the panel members.
I soon learned that Friday was not the only day in the
week for which I had to plan special activities connected
witli my husband's busy schedule. Keeping pace with him
meant attending youth meetings and other public gather-
ings and filling invitations to speak on such subjects as:
Women in a Democracy; The Division of Powers; Political
Repiesentation; Freedom of the Press and Music in
Anmerica. The limitations imposed by my lack of fluency
in German turned these "speaking" engagements into a
question-and-answer period in which I was able to manage
prctty well and which worked out better in the long run.
BO0TH MY HUSBAND AND I have spent a lot of time
Lwith young people of the community. We have visited
classrooms and participated in school parties, and students
oftlen come to our house for one kind of get-together or
anotlher. Since last summer, girls of the 1951 high school
qridoating class have been meeting with me on Wednes-
day evenings for an English class, and after all these
months everyone in the group still attends faithfully.
My husband and I planned several essay contests for
cotoly youth under 20 years of age. One of them was
assi( loed the subject "What the German Federal Govern-
merit Means to Me." We took those who submitted the
five best essays to Bonn for a two-day trip to the German
capital city, during which government buildings were
visited. The two whose essays on "My Suggestions for
Better Understanding among the Western European Coun-
ties" were adjudged the best we took on a five-day trip,
doning which we visited five countries.
Recently we have introduced into Dillkreis the idea of
d b)ating teams. With our living room as an auditorium,
a Itrial debate was run off one night not long ago; affirma-
.\NIARY 1952
tive and negative teams from the high school participated.
The audience included 80 representatives of Dillkreis
youth organizations. Many teams are now being formed,
and a tournament for the county championship is to be
held this winter.
I have joined my husband many times on his visits to
the various town mayors throughout the county. These
informal chats with town officials and their wives have
created an atmosphere of easy friendliness which lends
itself readily to the free exchange of ideas.
Last winter, I began to feel that I had progressed well
enough in the German language to invite 14 women active
in county affairs to a meeting at our house, with the
ultimate goal of helping them to form a women's organi-
zation. The group started out as a bimonthly coffee hour
but gradually talk of projects was introduced. Welfare
ultimate goal of helping them to form a women's organi-
ages, schools and hospitals. Our group worked together
baking cakes to take to such institutions and arranged
for several entertainment programs for them with local
youth groups providing the cast.
IN THE MEANTIME, I had written to friends and organi-
zations at home asking for contributions of used cloth-
ing for our county's needy. Recently, I received from the
Friends Society 1,500 brand new caps for babies which
were distributed for Christmas throughout the county.
Packages from the States have also included books,
religious and recreation materials, song books, and lists
of names and addresses of youths wishing to correspond
with Dillkreis boys and girls. The names I turn over
to groups in the local youth forums; books are presented
to churches and schools.
Eight months after our first meeting I suggested to my
German friends that they form a women's club. They
eagerly accepted the proposal - the long period of meet-
ing and working together had at last paid off! Organi-
zational details are now virtually completed and an active
women's group seems assured. I did not attend the initial
meeting -we were determined that the club should not
have even the slightest foreign stamp, which my presence
might have meant.
My husband and I feel that our participation in activi-
ties of various communities of Dillkreis have won us
many friends and have made "our" job easier. Among
these was the 700-year celebration of the city of Herborn,
in which my husband took the part of King William of
Holland. We are members of the tennis club, go often
to local entertainments and accept as many social invita-
tions as possible.
THIS PAST YEAR in our "glass house" has been a
happy one, producing countless richly rewarding
hours. Although we are sometimes tempted to change its
nickname to "Frankfurt Station," with all the interruptions
and all the rushing around that name implies, we like it,
and we'll be a sorry pair when we leave Dillenburg. ±END
INFORMATION BULLETIN
29


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