60 Years Ago Today

Sunday, 13 July 1952:

I had breakfast in bed, an orange and apple, and finished altering Dick’s pants. I needed to pack up I guess. I really needed a little overnight case. Then when suitcases didn’t come off the bus, I would have a change of clothes. I noticed I had my souvenir of Assisi, but had lost the one I had bought via Herr Watkins.

Now off to Sunday School. Missionaries and most of the members had gone to Paris for a mission conference with President McKay last night. I almost went myself, but we were giving the program today. There were half a dozen adult members and about the same number of cute clean little children. We had a wonderful Sunday School. The little kids went to a separate class during our special program, but I don’t think they wanted to.

After Sunday School, we stopped by the restaurant from the night before. About 20 of us ordered from the souvenir menu that I had procured yesterday. The other kids had made their own lunches. Then we hurried back to the hotel to pack up and check out.

There was confusion on the bus. Where were we going to sit today? Two seats behind yesterday or four? Confusion was caused by the fact that yesterday we just sat where it was convenient on the ride to the boat from the hotel. Boy, 36 people sure got confused when their signals were crossed.

Back to sightseeing in Geneva and our discoveries from the day before at the Monument de la Reformation and University of Geneva. In Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s room, a major Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century, there were pictures and busts of him. Also there were original manuscripts and prints of his writings like Emile.

Then off to the United Nations. Joyce tripped on the last step and fell as she left the bus. People nearby were kind and took her someplace close by to help her wash up and rest. We met the Armenian fellow from Palestine that we talked to at the concert last night. He was with his mother and some other friends to whom he introduced us. His mother lived in Geneva and he was studying at a Bible school in Louder, England. He was quite amazed to find that all 36 of us were Mormons with 32 women and 4 men. “A likely ratio,” he said. We introduced him to Herr Watkins and some of the other kids. Then we wandered around taking pictures and then headed back to the bus and off for Lausanne.

Today we saw the shore line from the road while yesterday we saw it from the boat. It gave a different perspective of the lake with mountains as a background. Alice commented that it looked like Minnesota along the Great Lakes. I wanted to take pictures of grain fields standing in shocks to show Daddy. Just then Mrs. McDonald made an announcement about jam and cleaning out the baskets overhead. And Nelda made an announcement about the seating arrangement. We moved every day regardless.

Well now that was taken care of. Herr Rogers advised us to pick up 100 marks and 5 pounds. We passed a beautiful cemetery on the way into Lausanne. Flowers were growing on every grave with trees in between them. The graves were so close, they were almost piled on top of each other.
We had to stop several times for directions. Lausanne was a two story city. Some place farther on around the city, we came upon some excitement. I never would’ve believed we could clear the bus so fast.

There was a group parading up the street in clown costumes with huge plumes for hats. It was very colorful with all the prancing around. We followed them up the street and I took a couple of pictures. They even posed for one for me. It seemed they were from Belgium and there had been a big festival in Lausanne Saturday and Sunday. Rumor had it that the festival was at 8:30 p.m.
After the excitement calmed down, we looked around and discovered our hotel right beside us. The Hotel Des Voyageurs didn’t have much of a lobby. The office was actually one flight up.

Helen, Margaret and I were in room 33. I followed Helen in but there was only one bed. After some confusion, we discovered the error. We had gone into room 35 with one bed instead of Room 33 with three beds. Then we had a snack in room with Mary and Helen and added 3 glasses of milk from the hotel dining room for 1 franc. Then we headed off to find the festival. Finally we discovered the right spot on the top story of Lausanne. It cost 1 franc to stand up and another to sit down. So we stood.

There was a band in dark uniforms with gold braid. We found out from a boy, a fellow standee, that they came from Alsace Loraine in France for the festival. It consisted of a Bugle Corp, Drum Corp, and Concert Band. The drummers clicked their sticks and the buglers twirled their bugles like the military bands we saw in Nice. We decided to leave before the last number to find the men with the plumy hats.We crossed the bridge, then down some stairs and up into a big theatre.

We went in and saw the last few pictures flash by. Not sure which way to go we asked the usher the way back to our hotel. He explained that the theatre covered both stories of Lausanne. We walked back up to the top story and through the theatre. It was very luxurious, and interesting too. We discovered a hotel lit-up in neon lights next to the sky. With a star we navigated our way home. Next morning we found out our plumed friends performance followed the band. Shucks!


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