20 Jul Tour of Paris, October 6 & 7, 1944
6 Oct 1944 V-Mail
Mary darling – my ballot arr. yesterday – so I scratched in a straight Rep. ticket & sent it off. Gratifying to talk to so many men in the Army who feel the same as we do. Don’t pretend to have made a poll, or anything, but the majority of guys I’ve talked to are voting anti-Roosy. Not for Dewey – just anti -R. Too bad a man like, Taft couldn’t be up there. My second trip to Paris, I’ll never forget. 11:30 one night another fellow & I piled into a jeep to deliver a msg to a place near Paris. After delivering the msg we naturally got lost – and strangely enough, wound up in Paris! Two FFI boys (who spoke a bit of Eng) took us on a complete tour of Paris – by bright moonlight. No need to write down all the things we saw. Just read a guide book and we saw it! By far the best night in my Army career. Arr. back at camp 5:30 AM. Will never forget it. Third & last time I saw Paris was with 4 guys on a Sunday afternoon. Rode into town down the Champs Elyses (spelling? whew). A holiday crowd – wine at side walk cafes – talking with the people – got kissed on both cheeks – bought perfume & the little duck for Karen – had a gay, relaxing day. Could have been a bad boy if I wanted – but why spoil a six year record, I always say. Let’s make it sixty. Cause I love you
Your husband – Mr. B – ME
(Side note: I remember my Dad telling me that what made it especially hard when he came home from the war and found out she didn’t love him anymore, was that he had had many opportunities to be unfaithful to Mary, but never strayed.)
7 Oct 1944 V-Mail (typed)
Hello, cutie…..just did what I think is a good thing. An article in SAS states that they have a service in Paris to do Christmas shopping for men who can’t get there, so I’ve just sent them a letter with money and a “card” to enclose with a rosary from the Cathedral of Notre Dame to Dad. Now all I hope is that it doesn’t get snafued anyway and that Dad gets it by Xmas. I’m also working on a deal here which may develop into an anniversary present for you, darling. Don’t count on it, because there are a dozen reasons why it could fall through, but if it does you’ll know that I tried…and at least remembered. Maybe you will tie up the little horse for a Xmas present for Karen from Sandy Clouze, and the little duck for a birthday present from Daddy. In case you’ve already given her the duck, then maybe you would get her the bouquet of flowers that we missed on last year for her birthday. I still haven’t received another letter from you as to your reactions to the boxes at the Lemonts. Curious to know what, and how, arrived.
I’m getting a little vicarious pleasure of a father occasionally now. I take stuff around to a building a short distance from here and must walk a couple of blocks down a street (this is a residential dist). The kids here seem to get a big kick out of walking with the soldiers, and its very funny. One little Mitchen (that’s her name, as near as I can make out) is especially cute: about three years old, I’d say. She comes tripping out from her yard and bold as you please walks up with a big smile and takes my hand and hurries along beside me, giving me the sidelong glances with the fluttering lashes. And what I like best about her is she isn’t fickle like a lot of the other kids. They remind me of how I used to hitch rides with my sled on Sat. in North Dakota. Ride out with one farmer until we met another one going the other way, and so on all day. These kids here are the same. They walk along with you until you meet someone going back the other way and then leave you. But not Mitchen!! She sticks right with me all the way. I’m expecting her to be waiting for me to come out any day now.
Today I bumped into the first guy that I knew from civilian life in the Army. And I haven’t seen him for 15 years — went to high school with him. Jack Hansen of Seattle. used to play piano for our high school quartet. Was always a kind of sissy kid so was never a pal or anything but its good to see someone you used to know, anyway. We’re both working tonight, so will probably go to the show with him tomorrow night and hash over old times.
Golly but I hate to think about Xmas. Guess I’ll just think about how much I love you and L’il ol’ Karen. Here’s BIG hugs for you kids, Pappy