Arthur “Art” Howe, Jr. was an individual who dedicated much of his life to AFS: first as a volunteer ambulance driver in World War II, then as an AFS President (1965-1971) and finally as a Life Trustee. He shared his commitment to AFS with his wife, Peggy, who volunteered for the organization and traveled alongside her husband during his many AFS adventures.
Traveling played a great part in their long marriage. Art expressed his desire to discover the world with Peggy as early as 1942, when he wrote a letter to her while stationed in the Middle East with his AFS unit:
Someday I want to take you on a trip which will start in Lebanon, at the city of Beyrouth [Beirut], which lies right along the very blue Mediterranean, beneath a range of snow capped mountains…You will never know how often I have longed to have you with me, as I’ve travelled through all this part of the world, and how many times I’ve wished you were near by.
After Art became president of the AFS exchange programs, his dream of traveling to the Middle East with Peggy came true. After attending the AFS European Conference in Chaudenay-Le-Chateau (France) in 1965, the couple visited Lebanon together and retraced the steps of Art’s wartime service with AFS.
Peggy began documenting their trips in travelogues she eventually referred to as “Travels with Artie”, as homage to John Steinbeck’s book “Travels with Charley” (1960). In one travelogue from October 1967, Peggy wittily describes their arrival at the airport in Oslo, Norway, when some passengers confused her husband with a movie star:
Before going through customs, one gorgeous blonde collared my gorgeous husband, plopped him before a poised and ready-to-go TV camera, and told him to talk about AFS in 2mins, 20secs.! A tall order and a bit swift. This was transcribed on the 8 p.m. news nationwide that eve. Much curiosity on the part of passengers waiting for their luggage. He was once taken for Fred MacMurray!!!!???? How about Rock Hudson???
Click here to read the full passage about Peggy and Art’s trip to Oslo.