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Arnunfo Rodriguez

Arnulfo Rodriguez

Spanish I
Spanish II

December 26, 1905 - December, 1972

A quiet, soft spoken and unassuming man, Mr. Rodriquez was born in Mexico. He didn't marry until he was over 50 years old when he took a vacation to his old home town and surprised his students by returning with a Mexican bride. To his students he was well into his "elderly" years and his wife seemed so young. Little more than a year later Mr. Rodriquez was seen pushing his infant son in a  stroller in the neighborhood near the high school. Not long ago there was an obituary in the paper with Mr. Rodriquez's son's name on it, dying in his early fifties, a reminder of how short life is.

As a change of pace, Mr. Rodriquez told his class a story from his years before he became a Spanish teacher. In late April of 1915 he was employed as a mail censor in New York City. World War I was in its infancy in Europe, and England was battling Germany. A letter he was reviewing mentioned in its opening lines that the writer's view from his window included the RMS Lusitania berthed at the distant docks. In view of the war playing out in Europe, Mr. Rodriquez showed the letter to his supervisor, asking for advice as to whether the Lusitania comment should be deleted. After some thought, the advice was to leave the comment in. The Lusitania left New York Harbor on May 1, 1915 and was sunk by a German U-boat's torpedo six days later off the coast of Ireland with heavy loss of life. He always wondered if the uncensored, seemingly innocent, remark in the letter tipped off the Germans as to the exact location of the Lusitania.

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