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Date: January 16th 1944

This was written over a period of days so is messed up.
10:30 PM Sunday16 Jan. 44

Dear Folks

I almost started this letter with a "mes chèries" or something but just checked myself in time. Yes M'ami we've left Canada entirely but only in one respect. Here's the story so far.

We arrived in Montreal on time at 7:40 and so had our breakfast in the Union Station restaurant. It was a really lovely breakfast amounting to 90¢ but luckily was covered by our train meal ticket. We went from there to the Y enquiring about a place to stay but were told that 150 or more servicemen had slept on the chairs, sofas, halls and floors there that night. We went from there to the Mount Royal Hotel but it was full too but they had an "Officers Service Unit" so they got us a lovely room for the night

We bowled a game in the afternoon, got free passes for a show, had supper, went up to MacDonald's, that's Martins home and from there to his people's place where we sat and talked quite late.

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…to buy two tickets to New York and raffle them of at a quarter a ticket. You can imagine how we all jumped at that and as a result he made all kinds of money. The tickets were given together the extra one had to be used by your wife or girlfriend. Last Thursday night they had the draw and Tommy Burke won it. Who should he give the other ticket to but me. Well we had heard rumours that we were getting 48 but nothing was definite until the last minute so when the word came through Friday morning, we had a mad scramble to get out long form H's, money etc. So Friday night we just caught the train and after getting a berth woke up at 7 entering New York. Boy what a thrill that was. You know just how wonderful it would seem to me because I've always dreamed of going. We got off at Grand Central a monstrous place where you can get a 2x4 room with toilet and basin for a dime. We changed our clothes washed shaved etc. and immediately set out on our adventure. I forgot to tell you Don was with us too. W e sort of split the fare three ways because we had planned to spend Sat. afternoon either at Lac de Beauport or in Montreal. I don't know where to start telling you what all we saw and what we did because I know I'll never remember everything as it is hard for me to believe it was a reality.

First of all we had breakfast in Schrafft's (a huge restaurant concern) and then we walked practically all over Manhattan. We saw the Empire State Building although we didn't get to the top of it. Walked down 42nd Street to 5th Avenue to Rockefeller Centre, went on a tour through the different buildings, International, Commerce and Radio City. You have no idea just how grand the murals are. Every picture shows the development of man from the stone age and in them there is always one picture painted in third dimension. We went to the top and from there looked over New York, The Hudson, Brooklyn and the Washington bridge. We went from the 67th floor to the 15 in about 5 sec. And strangely enough you never get any sensation whatsoever. Each elevator is made or lined with a different wood from every part of the world. From there we went to the Rockefeller Centre sunken outdoor skating rink in downtown New York. Really it's marvellous. Kids 3 and 4 out in the center not with bob skates with figure skates and doing better than you, I or a million others could do. We went from there across to St. Patrick's Cathedral the center for the Easter parade. It's a huge church and really beautiful. From there we walked over to the Hotel Edison run by the W.V.A.P. Women's Volunteer Auxiliary Services. You get two meals for the price of one and as there were three of us they asked if we would mind if they sent someone else over to the table. We of course said we didn't mind so in a few minutes before we had ordered along came the Captain with the most
stunning girl I think I've ever seen. She was a knockout. After we had finished another girlfriend of Jody's came along and joined us. She was just as nice (wait til you see the picture). She is a model and she is sending me one of those pin-up pictures. Shortly after dinner they started the fun. Musical chairs, statue dances, waltzes, and everything imaginable with prizes and consequences. Thank goodness I missed out on everything except the fun. In the meantime Tommy met this other knockout a Power's model-what a time-the fun stopped at four and they had buses there to drive the girls either home or to their work. At 4:30 Don and I went to an open house for officers at the Delmonico Hotel a real Ritzy place on Park Avenue. There too they had hostesses, dancing, singing, cards, reading, writing rooms and anything else you wanted. About 8:30 we decided we were hungry so had supper (lunch) at the Ritz. Went to the Hotel Commodore, missed Tommy and his girlfriend but went to the Ritz Carlton to dance-free-average cover charge? Oh, about 8 or 10 bucks. We went from there back down Broadway. Saw Broadway all lighted up and all the millions of people jossling each other. All races and creeds in half a block. We saw Time Square and the hundreds of showsigns. I shudder to think just what it would be like in peacetime. We went into Jack Dempsey's restaurant and saw him or rather got a peak at him for a second. We didn't stay though because the place was jammed. From there we went to the Radio City theatre and saw a 4-hour show though which we both slept-at least most of the time. We got out of there about 4:30 or later and took a cab to the station where we met Tommy and his girl friend. We weren't with them a minute before they left us again to take her home. She's from Brooklyn and really is a lovely girl. We were too tired by then to even think of bed so we decided to walk some more. This time we saw Madison Square Gardens, the subways and the Crossroads Café. In the summer time they place chairs and tables on the sidewalk and they say that more people have met in that way and been married than by other entertainment in New York City. We met Tommy later about 7 and after getting washed and dressed bought some cartons of cigarettes, magazines, newspapers and got on the train at 9:20 AM. A really lovely train much like an observation car with reclining seats much like you see in the movies. Oh it was really a marvelous trip up The Hudson past Lake Champlain, Forts Edward and Ticonderoga and the Adirondacks just at sunset. You can believe the feeling it gives you. We arrived in Montreal at 8:15 PM. Went to a show and had something to eat. Caught the eleven forty-five train and arrived in Quebec at 6:30 this morning. As you can well imagine I've been sleeping through every class except two hours of stiff obstacles. I've just heard we have28 miles to go tomorrow. Then tomorrow night I'm on escort (guard) duty for two officers charged with assault and robbery. My shift's from 8 till 10 tomorrow night. Boy! I bet I'll be tired so I'm afraid I'd better sign off and get to bed now. I got two of your letters today noon and really appreciated them Got Paud's swell letter on Friday and must say with French like that you better stay in Canada.

Must say so long for now. Say hello to my pooch for me and we'll see him real soon.

Two Rumours

1. No more men are wanted in the Air Force air or ground crew-Mr. Pryde.
2. We will have to have at least two weeks leave at the conclusion of this course as it will take at least that long for our records to reach us at Y depot & be straightened out. Here's hoping, although don't build yourselves up or count on it too strongly. Another thing if you see Bud or Gib give them this tip-if and when they receive their commissions tell them if possible to take the G.R course. I'll tell them when I see them

So long for now. Don't work too hard and see you soon.

Isn't this horrible-I hope there's no "postage due".