December 26, 2010

The Big Apple

American Red Cross Rest Station
Grand Central Station
December 29, 1918

Dear Father and Mother,

Have been down since yesterday at 2:30 and am having a pretty good time, but am trying to be economical so I'll have enough Jack to last the week out.

Had the best luck in the world -- called Ruth up as soon as I got here, and got Chilton Ayres' address. He was staying with his cousin, Mrs. Chas. Stone, in Brooklyn. He came down and we went to a free dance given by the W.C.C.S. in the armory at 34th and Park Avenue. He said I was invited to eat dinner at the Stone's today. Naturally I went and my, what a feed we had -- roast chicken and all the fixings, including good biscuits and homemade jelly. After dinner they brought out a bunch of homemade candy and some mints, and cigarettes.

Their apartment is in a very fashionable part of Brooklyn -- 125 Prospect Park West -- and is furnished beautifully. They have a Franklin Six and after dinner, about 2:30, we got in and they took Chilton and me down to Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and all along the waterfront to see the grand fleet that's lying in the river and harbor.

Chilton's seven days was up today, so he just got on the train to go back to Boston. Before he got one he opened up his lunch they had fixed for him, and gave me a packet full of his homemade candy. I wish he could have had seven days while I have mine. They had written him if he could to bring Julius or me out with him to stay. Do you know Mrs. Stone? She used to be Miss McKay or someone like that.

I can't write because my hands are still cold. Today was sunshiney but it has been snowing in little flurries for a week.

Coming back today we rode through Prospect Park proper, and we saw lots of men and women on their ponies and little saddles, and all of them make work out of riding by jiminy up and down in a fashionable manner everywhere the horse takes a step.

On the way down we passed through Bridgeport and New Haven, Conn. I didn't get to see those towns going up because we went up on a boat.

A fellow in the office says all of our repair class are to go on destroyers as soon as our furloughs are up -- either to Boston, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Key West, or San Francisco.

Have a date tonight to go out and see the three girls from Hughes' hometown in Mississippi with him (Hughes). Am supposed to meet him here at six o'clock.

I never saw so many wounded soldiers in my life. You can't imagine how many they have brought back already. We all rate ace high here in New York, but a man with a gold chevron on his right sleeve is IT, as he should be.

I saw a fellow from the Prairie yesterday, and he said Dick was on furlough, but that he had to be back today, so tomorrow I'm going down to 79th Street to see if I can find him. They changed from the pier at 96th.

Love to all of you. I'm thinking of you always. Hope I have a pile of letters when I get back to New London. I hadn't heard in three days when I left.


(Postmarked Grand Central Station, New York, New York, December 29, 1918)

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