Lauren had graduated the school of music at Indiana University and she and I went to Europe to celebrate. We were cruising the Rhine river enjoying a brew and the many castles along the way when the public address announced we were passing the birthplace of Beethoven. Lauren leapt to her feet and strode to the bow of the boat and began singing.
The music department at I.U. had performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the final concert and Lauren was in the Choir. She was singing, A cappella, the Ode to Joy in German and all conversations stopped. Every eye turned toward the bow and when she was finished all hell broke loose. People rushed to talk to her. I could not get close enough to hear all that was said as I was taking photos (wish I had a movie camera along). Later she told of the warmth of those who came to congratulate her. The appreciation soon turned to amazement as, one-by-one, she told them in English that she could not speak German and did not know what they were trying to tell her. Once this truth was out the verbal garlands were repeated in English. Several people came over to me when it was learned that I was her father and they told me she had sung the entire piece in perfect German.
This was a high point, among many, in our adventures together over the years. This blog is yet another adventure we get to share.

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