MILLIONS OF Americans who read and relied on "Fielding's Travel Guide to Europe" could easily have felt they knew Temple Fielding personally. The breezy, optimistic, quintessentially American extrovert, dead now at age 69, came through in his spritely, exclamation-dotted prose. His guide, first published in 1948, was not to everyone's taste. It skimped w0002 ----- r b BC-05/22/83-4-EDIT 05-22 0001 EDITORIAL

Temple Fielding

MILLIONS OF Americans who read and relied on "Fielding's Travel Guide to Europe" could easily have felt they knew Temple Fielding personally. The breezy, optimistic, quintessentially American extrovert, dead now at age 69, came through in his spritely, exclamation-dotted prose. His guide, first published in 1948, was not to everyone's taste. It skimped on cathedrals and monuments and dwelled on accommodations, telling you where you could find bacon and eggs as well as native cuisine. It told a generation of new, eager but uncertain American tourists exactly what they wanted to know.

Like many commercial successes, Mr. Fielding's product was based on a single brilliant insight: that millions of Americans would be able to travel to Europe after World War II and that they would want many of the comforts of home. "Europe was a jungle" to "good-hearted, well-meaning people who didn't know where they were going or what they were going to do when they got there," Mr. Fielding said. "So we tried to assuage the hardships, take away the strangeness, make them feel at home."

Before Mr. Fielding's guides, relatively few Americans had visited Europe except as soldiers. Today trips to Europe are taken for granted, not only in Manhattan but in Kansas City and Keokuk. American tourism, contributing to the vast postwar economic growth made possible by American aid, transformed Western Europe. It is no longer the strange, impoverished and somewhat snobbish place it seemed to many of Mr. Fielding's first readers. Americans have changed as well. People who are used to eating quiche in Dallas and calamari in Detroit are not quite as dumbstruck by Europe's glories nor as daunted by its mysteries--or, sometimes, by its plumbing--as were the American tourists of 1948. In the postwar Americanization of Europe, and Europeanization of America, Temple Fielding played an exuberant part.