Friday, November 11, 2005

Letter #46

708 (R) Det Mil Gov
11 Nov 45

Hello, my dearest,

Here's that man again! It's Sunday night -- in Lille. Yes, I got here Friday -- started on Tuesday and got to Brussels that night. One of my friends, Eric Norris, an English lad, came that far with me. We spent a couple of days there, and then I came on alone. Got here in the afternoon and managed to get myself a room in the hotel the Americans are using -- the British aren't running one any more. After dinner that night I called Georges and was told to come on out to the house at once. So I went along to find the whole family waiting. Of course everybody talked at once and there were questions as to where I was staying and how long my leave is, etc. In about five minutes Mimi had my whole two weeks planned. She decided I needed a rest -- there was a long phone conversaton with Simone. And the result was that yesterday morning I moved from the hotel to stay with Simone and Francis -- Mimi and Georges have no spare room. So here I am very comfortably installed in the Bonduel guest room -- bath attached. The program seems to be that I'm to go to bed early, sleep late, and generally rest. That will be all right for a couple of days, but I'm afraid I'll soon chafe at the amount of attention that is being showered on me. Well, I want a couple of days in Paris, so about mid-week I'll move on.

To-day has been very typical of Lille. After breakfast Francis and I went for drive out to see some property of his father's about 3 miles outside the town. On our return we did a short inspection of the brewery -- Francis wanted to show me some new machinery. And then to mass at 11.30. Francine took me with her and seemed to get a lot of fun introducing me to her school girl friends as her "Uncle John from Canada". With mass over I went along to meet Mimi and Georges and family and we all went for lunch to M. and Mme. Delfonterie's (Mimi's Mother and Dad). A delicious lunch served in faultless style -- everybody ate enough to last a couple of days. And then we settled dow to an afternoon of bridge. Played steadily until about six and then came back for dinner with Simone and Francis. Since dinner we've just relaxed and gossiped, and about ten o'clock Simone decided I should be sent to bed -- so here I am.

To-morrow Mimi and Simone are taking me to see a picture which they say is good. And on Tuesday I'm to go with Mimi and Georges to Armentieres for lunch with his sister and her husband. Georges can't get away from business to go to Paris with me, so that trip is definitely off -- I'll have to get along alone.

There was considerable excitement when I presented young Patrick with his baby garments. I had put both our names on the card, and to say that both Simone and Francis were pleased is putting it mildly. Simone says she is going to write you directly, so you'll probably be hearing from her one of these days. I also gave Anita your letter and imagine you'll get a reply to that. They are very anxious to have you visit them, and want to know why you can't join me next spring before I go home. The idea meets with my heartiest approval -- boy, would I love to see you -- but I'm afraid that transport difficulties may render it impossible. If so, then we'll come back together one of these days -- you really must see this country.

But now, since I'm supposed to be asleep, perhaps I'd better get to bed. Will take this scrawl along to Paris and try to mail it from there -- no army facilities here. Regards to everybody, and all my love to you.


My mother did go to Lille and met Dad's friends...but it was in June 1952 -- alone. Dad died in February '52 from injuries sustained during his service in the Military Government.

"With the going down of the sun,
and in the morning,
we will remember them."

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