60 Years Ago Today

Tuesday, 17 June 1952:

I t was a slow start as we discovered the Louvre was not open. Wouldn’t that frost you? And that was where I had planned to spend most of the day. Instead we stopped by an oculist (ophthalmologist) shop to get the ear piece on my sunglasses fixed. Thanks to Alicia, we were successful in getting the lady to understand us.

Then we left a forwarding address at the American Express for the next mail stop. Next was the Lafeyette Department Store that was just like an opera house. It had a dome of stained glass and ornate gold railings around each floor.

We had lunch on the terrace of the Lafayette Department Store after searching four floors to find it. We had a view of the apartment roofs. There were two table cloths, cloth napkins, ice water, and bread. I ordered an omelette and ham while I ate four pieces of bread. Alice got a rare steak, but by using her French she got it recooked some more.

Then we paid the cashier and left for Printemps, another department store, and cheaper restaurant. We found the toy department and bought Kleenex for 325 francs.

Outside again, a lady surprisingly stopped and asked me “ou est la metro?” We tried to help her and then we took the metro to the Seine River. We got off near Sarah Barnhardt’s Theatre and identified the Saint Jacques Tower. We traveled to see St. Chapelle but it was closed. Tuesday’s sure seemed to be the day for everything to be closed.

Instead we strolled down by the Seine River. Here we saw another side of Paris. People lived in river boats with their wash blowing in the breeze. Others seemed to live along the banks, although we didn’t see any shelter for them. One man was washing his clothes in the river while an old beggar was eating trash out of a dirty can. Others were laying by the side of the river sleeping or unconscious. Then we took pictures of some little children and gave them some gum.

We found the Pont Marie metro station to go to the Eiffel Tower. We changed lines five times in order to get to the Eiffel Tower by the shortest route. We switched once at Franklin D. Roosevelt Station, made a mistake, and had to come back to it from Etaile.

The newest and most modern show windows on the trains were of an aluminum looking material. The walls were covered with the same thing as well. It was really smoky and stuffy in the train. I missed a few scenes resting my eyes.

Afterwards, there was one interesting scene with a Negro nanny, daddy and little baby crying. Another scene showed a spinning pool on a stage. It was quite a trick with girls coming down from the ceiling. I took several good shots from the second Etage (story). I was going to walk up to see it but I didn’t have time. The metro was jammed with people going home from work. We literally rubbed shoulders with the people of France.

I met a cute little English man coming back from the Eiffel Tower to the hotel, and he helped us cross the street. He told us he worked at the auto races.

Then Dick guided us down several streets from the Montmartre metro to get to the Folles Theater at 8:30 p.m. The curtain went up just as we sat down with Dick, Henry, and about thirty women. Talk about luxurious costumes and shapely figures in the play. There were about four risque scenes, but nothing in particular happened when they were all dressed up. It was interesting.

60 Years Ago Today

Sunday, 15 June 1952:

Since we stopped to get carnations for Dr. Rogers and Dr. Watkins for Father’s Day, we were late for Sunday School at the French Branch. At the meeting a convert was confirmed and we sang Prenez Courage. Later an English class was held where President Woolf welcomed us and told us a little about the history of the middle area of France, Joan of Arc, and Napoleon. President and Mrs. Taylor were introduced and released from another mission.

After church we gabbed with President Woolf, members, and some missionaries, Davis Bitton, Louis Cardon, and Harriet Robinson. President Woolf recommended a little restaurant Caveau and it turned out to be our best meal since arriving in Paree. The meal consisted of hors d’oeuvres, ham, spinach, and strawberries for 475 francs which included the tip.

An English lady gave us a little assistance in ordering because the waiters did not speak English, and we had some difficulty reading the menu. She and her companions, another English lady and a Frenchman, were interesting to talk to. We told them our story and they informed us of theirs.
At 2:30 p.m. we arrived at the Louvre and bumped into part of the mob with Herr Watkins and Rogers. We paid 50 francs to take our cameras inside. Then I snapped two pictures of the original Venus de Milo. And I examined busts of Roman Emperors, fragments from the Temple of Zeus, paintings, and frescoes. There was an original winged victory statue La Victoire de Samothrace, statue of Botticelli—a painter of the Florntine school, Fra Angelico, famous early Florentine painter, and painting of Jesus of Nazareth in The Crucifixion. Titien, 1488-1576, who was one of the most successful painters who ever lived, displayed a painting. The Veronese Wedding of Cana had 120 figures with barely two figures that were not larger than life. Other paintings included Mary Magdalene washing Christ’s feet in the house of Simon, statue Jupiter of Versailles and painting Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. We needed to spend more time in the Louvre. There was so much to see, and it was all so magnificent.

We started back to the hotel, but about faced into the Regent Hotel. Instead of going back to our hotel, we wrote letters in the beautiful Regent Hotel lounge until church. After writing we ate lunch and stopped for delicious French pastries at the shop near the church. And we bought bread for sandwiches for tomorrow.

At church we joined in on choir practice and gave most of the church program which included: a talk by Dr. Rogers, a quartet in French by Kay, Marilyn, Pat and Alicia, a talk by Dr. Watkins, a song by Mrs. Rogers in French, some chorus songs You’ll Never Walk Alone and America, and a farewell speech by Bob Mercer. Afterwards we chatted with the members of the church.

Then Carol, Alene, Irene, Hermine, Joyce and I ventured off to the Eiffel Tower. We viewed the outside of the Palais de Chaillot while the fountains were lit up. Alene and I went to the first story of the tower and met Puerto Ricans, Zachary Scott and his friends, just coming down. The Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur were all lit up as well. The Seine River and lights of the city were just beautiful. We walked on the lawn and took the metro back to the hotel through the Franklin D. Roosevelt station again.

60 Years Ago Today

Saturday, 14 June 1952:

At 7:45 a.m. Alicia and I ate breakfast which consisted of oranges and apples. Next was a meeting about opera tickets. As we left the Republique Hotel, we saw women riding bikes with their dresses billowing in the wind.

At 10 a.m. we departed to the Hotel de Ville, a Renaissance municipal building, where the affairs of the city were carried on. This building and the opera were the most sumptuous buildings. Under the clock on the Hotel de Ville were the words liberty, equality and fraternity where there were hundreds of pigeons residing. There were flags flying there for a military organization ceremony centennial celebration (Official Leguard Republique de Ville military reception).

Next we headed to Notre Dame on Island Ile de la Cite. We saw the statue of Voltaire and crossed the Seine River to the Hotel Dieu, which was the oldest hospital dating back to 500 a.d. Then I observed a small shop with china which was stacked up really high as we arrived at Notre Dame. It was one of the oldest Gothic cathedrals in France and was built between 1163 and 1240 on Ile de la Cite. No other building in Paris was more worthy of a visitor’s attention.

At Notre Dame the street level came up 13 steps where St. Denis was holding his head that was chopped off. There was exquisite iron work on the doors and under the balustrade was the king’s row that had 28 statues representing the 28 kings of France. It started as a Romanesque church which transitioned into the mother of all Gothic architecture in France and Europe. All distances in France were measured from the front of Notre Dame. It was in construction so long, they lost the plans.

In addition, it was supposed to have had two big spires on the top. The left portal pointed above and the right portal did not. And there was a big rose window in the center with recessed portals in front. Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame was supposed to have gone along the top to ring the bell.
Notre Dame was over 800 years old and inside Notre Dame, I couldn’t see any gold. I learned there was no gold with Gothic—that was Byzantine. But there were huge massive pillars, bundled columns, and Corinthian capitol decorations that adorned the building. The stained glass windows had rather subdued colors except for the big windows at the front sides and high up.
Some church workers wore Napoleon looking costumes as I viewed the vaulted ceilings and Joan of Arc statue. We paid 50 francs to go up and see the gargoyles. I noticed the spiral staircase, peep holes and big Notre Dame bell which weighed 13,000 tons. The bell could be heard for ten kilometers on holidays and national events. At the end of the tour everyone gave tips to the guide. I had to go back to tip the guide because I hadn’t tipped him yet.

In April 1682 Louis 14th and Queen Mary had been christened father and godmother of the Notre Dame bell. It had such a beautiful sound with the bell tower measuring two meters by six hundred meters high. In order to ring the bell it took 500 kilograms of power or a total of eight men to swing the bell with four men on each paddle. There were oak timber works to support the bell and its name was Emanuel. This was the second largest bell of Paree after the largest bell at Sacre Coeur Basilica at 17 tons. Then I had someone snap a picture of a gargoyle and me.

There was a spiral staircase, funeral hearse, and flowers on the outside of the oldest royal palace. I caught sight of a streetside john and the police department. Next we visited the Coeur de la Ste Chapelle. It was one of the smallest cathedrals in France and one of the best examples of Gothic architecture, 1200-1450 a.d. The cathedral was high reaching in order to get closer to God. It was on the grounds of the Palais de Justice where Marie Antoinette was tried and imprisoned.

Outside there was iron work on the apartment buildings and accessible Latin Quarter with its attic apartments. Then I experienced the famous Boulevard St. Germain with all of its stores, ancient forum, lions den, and Cluny Museum. We passed a French lady that was on the street knitting and selling papers.

After taking a picture of the chapel where the musicians were performing in the streets, we visited the Sorbonne University where Hugh Law went to school. Next we toured Lycee Saint Louis, an ancient college, with its library, Bibliotheque de Universitie, and round amphitheater lecture rooms. In these amphitheater rooms doctors’ five hour examinations were held where the public was invited to attend. And these rooms were used to teach French to foreigners of all ages and where students worked on their master’s degrees.

There was a beautiful painting above the lecturer’s desk with accompanying plaques presenting the faculty of the school. Other paintings included Corneille, Moliere, Pascal, Bossiret, Descartes, Racine, and Cardinal Richlieu. There were paintings on the ceiling, beautiful gold work around the pictures, and gold velvet on the doors. As I looked around at the paintings, I was distracted by a one armed man who came in. Focusing back at the art, I looked at statues of Victor Hugo and Pasteur.

With repairs being made to the front of the church of Sorbonne, the inside of the church had the original organ at the back of the chapel. The tomb of Richlieu, cardinal of France, was buried there along with his whole family and had marvelous carved details on his statue—folds, lace, wrinkles in hands—by sculpture Girardon. In 1694 it was made out of one block of marble and his hat hung above his statue. Also, a mural of Richlieu in a gold robe was three centuries old. At the end there was a statue, sculpture of bronze, of Cardinal Richlieu on his death chair by LeFavre in 1642. He died while writing with his eyes open at age 57.

The courtyard had lines drawn representing the original Sorbonne. There were exams going on so we couldn’t go into the library. Then I discovered the murals of middle ages characters and talked to a student about Latin and Greek languages. Herr Watkins had attended this school for about two years.

A student showed us around and helped us find a restaurant and pastry shop. At the restaurant the waiter accidentally spilled water on my skirt. The man was in a tizzy, because all of us didn’t want full dinners. I could hardly wait to see what the soup looked like. My second thought was I wish I hadn’t ordered the soup. In fact, I certainly was not hungry when I saw the soup—it looked disgusting. I ate all my pastries instead and I could see I was going to starve to death in France.

We visited the Pantheon, a Romanesque architecture, which included the tombs of famous Frenchmen. The inscription above the entrance read Aux Grands Hommes La Patrie Reconnaissante. It means to great men the grateful homeland. We walked around the Pantheon that was built over the tomb of St. Genevieve. We saw the tombs of Voltaire, Hugo, Rousseau, and a monument to unknown heroes. There was a list of battles with murals of Vow of Clovis at the Battle of Tolbiac and St. Genevieve. There were more murals: Joan de Arc, St. Genevieve giving Parisians confidence as the Attilons or Huns approached Paris, barbarians coming into Paris, and Le Martyre de Saint Denis.

We continued sightseeing with the Palace of Luxembourg, gardens, and Senate building. We met up with Eloise and Ginny as we walked past the Saint Sulpice Church and Abbey of St.-Germain-des-Pres. We asked a man “ou est la metro?” as we struggled with our French until he asked us if we spoke German or English. Speaking in English he gave us directions.

A couple of blocks farther on we stopped a young lady and asked “ou est la metro?” She bettered him by personally showing us to a bus stop and telling us how to take the auto bus directly to the Louvre. She informed us that the bus costs 5 francs cheaper than the metro.

Then a nice lady sat by me on the bus and showed us where to get off. I had a little trouble finding the entrance across from the Lafayette statue which was erected by U.S. school children in memory of Lafayette, a French general. We only had a half hour at the Louvre before it closed at 5 p.m. Then we transferred to another metro in order to return to the hotel to get ready for the opera. Montie Woolley showed us the way.

We were late for the reception at the LDS branch before the opera, because we couldn’t locate the address. It ended up being upstairs and we only had thirty minutes left for the reception. We sang a French song and introduced ourselves. They gave us lollipops afterwards and we sucked the lollipops as we charged down the street in our heels. The French people stared at us anyway, so one can imagine what a show that was!

The L’ Opera Building, which was built in 1669, had chandeliers of glass and gold. As we climbed up several flights of stairs at the opera the lady would not allow us into our box without a tip. She wanted 100 francs from each of us, but she settled for 100 from the five of us: Hermine, Bonnie, Alene, Lucy and me.

We sat behind a pillar, kinda sorta, and the first act had already started. Eloise finally arrived several minutes later with the news that Alice didn’t have her ticket and that the usher had kept her 1000 franc note. We tried to locate Dr. Rogers, but we had no luck.

Then we left in order to attempt to recover her change. Yea! We retrieved her money back successfully. However, we had not found Dr. Rogers. But at the end of the first act we found Dr. Rogers and there were no more tickets available. And to top it off Alice was gone and heavens knows where!

We hurried back for the second act. The box next door was empty so Eloise and I climbed over to the next box just as the lights went out. At the end of the act, I borrowed some money from Alene to go and phone the hotel to check on Alice.

Before I got to the door, the usher came bursting in talking sixty miles an hour in an excited voice. We had a stinking suspicion that the characters next door had been tattling on us. We acted dumb and walked out running headlong into Alice.

Miracle of all miracles! When hearing her story, they let her in for nothing. She had been sitting with some English people in a box right next to the stage. So Eloise, Alice and I hurry back over to her box for the next act.

It was interesting to watch the orchestra and actors at close range. We found the bar between the next act and quenched our thirst with an orange drink. We scrambled back to box 24, our original box, for the last act.

The staging of Rigoletto was superb. The set was three dimensional and in the last act there were moving clouds and storms. Rigoletto was a romantic opera with love, vengeance, and tragedy. At the end there were only two curtain calls.

The opera house was elaborate with ornate gold work, glass and gold chandeliers, murals on the ceiling, and marble stairs. There was a predominance of Americans in attendance. Afterwards, we met a tennis player from the ship and went to an American restaurant, Pam Pam, across the street. We sat at sidewalk tables which were near a colored boy and several interesting California couples, who both were staying at the Grand Hotel.

As we compared notes, the conversation was fascinating about our trip and theirs. They came on Ille de France which was leaving Le Havre harbor as we were coming in on the Sibijak. Then I ordered a bacon tomato sandwich with cheese to go, for lunch tomorrow, you know.

60 Years Ago Today

Friday, 13 June 1952:

At 8:45 a.m. the bed felt wonderful and I had a hard time getting up. The time for things to start was 9 a.m. When we got to the lobby we were late and it was deserted. We stood around in a quandary of what to do. I guess this was a good lesson for us to be on time. Oh, oh, disappointment! Time ticked away. Yea! I saw them and they hadn’t left us after all. They had j­­­­­­­­­­ust finished breakfast.

Finally a little before 11 a.m., we were off. We passed a man drawing beautiful pictures with chalk on the sidewalk of Notre Dame and the Seine River. We went to American Express on the metro. This was all very confusing and I was glad someone knew the score.

Bev’s boyfriend, Bob Mercer, a released missionary, came to the hotel to help show us around. The walls of the underground metro station were covered with billboards and posters. And it was just a half block from the hotel. One ad was about body odor, so a girl had a clothespin on her nose.

I bought a ten-ride metro book for 200 francs. Down inside the metro there were big signs all over the walls. There were sortie signs for the exits. Our metro stops included: Temple station, Arts et metiers, Reamur Sebastolpol, Senier, Bourse, Quatre Septembre and Opera. On our seventh stop we jumped off.

Printemp, the biggest department store, was down the street from the American Express and the opera across the street. Did I have any mail at the American Express? Wonderful! I got letters from Mom, Twila, and Marilyn with one inside from Bud. My morale improved 100 percent. I snapped some pictures before leaving and talked to some American soldiers from Dallas, Texas. After an hour or so we took off again.

We took more pictures at the intersection after walking around the Opera building. At the Opera repairs were being made on the front of the building. Next we saw Aux Galeries Lafayette and Toilities de te et de Campagne, one of the largest department stores in France. We walked farther down the street to the Place Vendome. Napoleon’s statue had such beautiful carvings and the leaves represented his victories. The French took the statue down when Napoleon fell at Waterloo. Napoleon’s nephew, Napoleon III, put it back by melting down a canon to rebuild the monument. The clouds made the statue seem like it was moving.

Then we went to Jardin des Tuileries, one of Paris’s most visited gardens. Eloise said they were going to use my yellow ribbon, which I lost there, for a landmark. While there Dr. Rogers was accosted by a man with pictures of nudes.

The next stops were the Place de la Concorde, Arch de Triomphe du Ca, and du Louvre that had beautiful iron work and elaborate carvings.

Afterwards we went to the restaurant, E. Robert and H. Bogey. It was cheap, just 148 francs, but ugh! We wandered in du Louvre while waiting for the mob. It seemed we needed to start moving faster. Paree might wait for us, but our time wasn’t going to wait for us ever. And we only had five days in Paris. Distracted I looked around and spotted a beautiful plaid silk organza dress for 24,000 francs.

Finally, we were off again. There were not many new cars in Paris and trinkets and tourist items were everywhere in the store windows. Hotel Maurice was probably like a hotel in Mexico no doubt. The mob was strung out the length of a block and we ended up at some kind of shop Bob Mercer had guided us to. The lady supposedly gave us a bargain.

Then we proceeded to go across Tuileries to Place de la Concorde and the American Embassy. This area was considered the wealthiest area of Paris. We found a statue placed where Marie Antoinette was killed by guillotine and her blood flowed in the streets in 1793.

Next on our tour was the Avenue des Champs Elysses which was built for Napoleon’s march of victory. Strangely no one sits on the grass in the beautiful parks here. Then I spotted small kids who were riding donkeys in the park along Champs Elysses.

There were sidewalk cafes and pigeons on the gravel along the sidewalk. I couldn’t really tell which was the street or sidewalk. The cars came right up on what I thought was the sidewalk. Later we passed a store for tall femmes and fat femmes. At a sidewalk cafe we stopped and had orange mineral water (looked like lemon). I took a picture of the Arc de Triomphe with traffic buzzing by on both sides. Then we saw the flame burning on the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Some of the kids got trapped inside a metro at the Anvers station, because they hadn’t moved fast enough to get off. At the Basilique du Sacre Coeur, which was built as an atonement for the pillaging of churches, we rode up on the funicular for 15 francs. It had beautiful ornate gold work, stain glass windows, and a typical Byzantine mosaic. The ham radio operators at the bottom of Sacre Coeur steps talked to us. I had an idea they might be communists from what they said to us. Then we observed the original cloth used by Mary to wipe Christ’s face on his way to his crucifixion. The imprint of his face had remained on the cloth.

Outside children were playing in the sand in front of the church. It was called Montmartre because St. Denis lost his head here while preaching. After his head was chopped off, he picked his head up and walked off preaching for six miles.

Inside the church­­­­ there were confession boxes and elaborate chandeliers with the holy water bowl empty on the left side. A sign requested modest clothing of those who entered the church. Then a bell rang and people kneeled. One lady stood, another lady read, and another repeated something afterwards. I spotted a young girl in white, which usually means it was her first communion.

The church was a combination of Gothic, Byzantine, and Romanesque styles. While the stain glass characteristic was Gothic, I noticed there was a sortie side portal for exiting and an escalator going out to the metro. Really weeping birchy looking trees were by the stairs going down.
Back on the cobblestone streets we bought a really good pastry in a shop for 25 francs. In another shop Alicia and I bought three apples for 118 francs and seven oranges for 113 francs for breakfast tomorrow.

When we met up with Henry, Herr Watkins, and Margaret Brown, they carried a four-foot-long loaf of bread and bottle of milk back to the hotel. And they held the bread without the benefit of wrapping. Herr Watkins told Henry to sneak up the back stairs while he got the key to the room. We returned to our hotel on the elevated metro.

Alene called and wanted to go out and find something to eat. So we crawled across the street to a sidewalky-looking cafe, La Tosca. Whatta deal! Yet this was what we had been warned about. It took us over an hour and a half to get a piece of fish and buy a tablecloth for a couple of American dollars in French francs.

We called this our Opera Comique. In any case we would have tried this cafe later, if not now. We had wanted to eat there tonight so it was good to get it over with. Of course, we swore not to tell anyone else. They could learn for themselves.

The $64 question was who was St. Raphael Quinquina? St. Raphael was one of the seven archangels who performed all manners of healing. Also St. Raphael Quinquina had an alcoholic drink named in his honor.

60 Years Ago Today

Thursday 12 June 1952:

6:30 a.m. and today we land in France! I think I was kind of fouled up a little. Because every little girl was packed except this one. Finally I ate breakfast and everybody prepared sandwiches for lunch. We were optimistic that we would be standing on French soil by 11 a.m.

I hurried back to the cabin to finish packing where I had difficulty closing my suitcase. I couldn’t understand this since I was wearing more clothes than usual. After taking care of the money tips to the cabin boy and steward, I went on deck to take some pictures. Frenchie happened to be in the background of one picture. I don’t remember if I have mentioned her before or not. She looks like someone out of the 1920’s, hairdo and all. Her father was a doctor in New York.

We can see the outline of the harbor now. The harbor master pilot came aboard and we went in. There were boats of every size and shape on all sides of us. We heard the dinner bell at 11 a.m., but it turned out to be a false alarm. We heard it again at noon just as we were arriving in the harbor, and we ate as the boat docked.

After lunch, we discovered that we couldn’t get off the boat until we had our passports checked in the fore lounge. This involved a long line and a certain amount of time. Le Havre seemed to be partly on a hill and partly not. Many of the buildings on the shoreline had never been repaired since the destruction of World War II.

Finally we were ready for the walk down the plank. Just a few steps and we would be on French soil! At the bottom of the plank, however, the French officers stopped us. We had to wait for something or somebody for innumerable minutes. I tried to use a little of the French I had learned which helped pass the time. Eventually a man in plain clothes came up, and we were permitted to take that last step onto French soil.

Customs turned out to be a mere formality for most of us. With an “S” on our suitcases, we were free to go through. However, two or three of the kids’ suitcases were opened.

As we climbed on the bus, which was waiting to take us to the station, we saw the Ile de France and the Sibajak ships move out. At 2:30 p.m. we were on our way to the LeHavre railroad station over a brick street and past a carnival with a Buffalo Bill sideshow. Some of the stores had such funny names as Bar Brasserie and Parfumerie. Most of the buildings needed new faces. Many had never been repaired since the bombing and strafing of World War II.

We had several hours to wait before our train left for Paris, so we spent it exploring the city. Every little thing almost seemed new, different and interesting. As we walked along the streets, a Coca Cola truck passing by reminded us of home. We passed a flower shop, Normandie Fleurs. There were English signs in the windows of stores, cafes, and shops. And some places even had Se Hable Espanol signs. We noticed liquors sold in small grocery stores. We passed a lottery ticket booth where some of the poorest people spent their last penny in the hopes of striking it rich.

Then we walked through an outside market where clothes and all manner of trinkets were sold. Soon after we spotted a bicycle store. Bicycles were a popular mode of transportation and surprisingly bicycles may even have outnumbered the cars. The cars were for the most part rather old and dilapidated. There were food stalls on the streets just like in Mexico. In fact, you could buy just about anything right on the street such as yard goods, shoes, rugs, Lux, Colgate, flowers, or just take your choice.

The trees lining the streets looked like they were growing out of the cement. We passed some nuns and then stopped in a furniture store to look around. The furniture was stacked up with no particular attempt at display except in the window.

Out on the street again we passed people carrying long loaves of unwrapped bread under their arms. There were unbound books for sale at book stalls. And an old truck stopped at a corner and people got on and off, so we assumed it was a city bus. Later a beggar accosted us as we proceeded down the street.

I noticed some of the cars were little tiny cars like Maeser’s. It seemed to be the style to use the horn instead of the brake. A lady on a motor bike buzzed by us. We came to a large estate with walls all around it and our curiosity was aroused as to who might live there. We talked to a gardener and a passerby who knew a little English. Soon after a little old man came out of the gate and a lady stopped to help us. We gathered that it was the mayor’s home and gardens with 46 aldermen also living behind the walls. The sign at the front gate said 83 Ville du Havre, Maison Familiale de Vieillards.

We saw Dick and Henry down the street and exchanged discoveries with them, and then met Alicia afterwards. We came to a park and official looking building. In answer to our “Parlez vous Anglais?” One of the workers fetched a man who told us that it was the Hotel de Ville or town hall and city park. Also, he told us that the population of Le Havre was 165,000. He had been in America in New York City for nine years before World War I and told us about a beautiful park in another part of the city.

We started out for this park or jardines. On the way we passed a shop for mending hoses, and I took a picture of Lucy and Carol at the Services Municipaux. We saw little kids drinking beer at the first street-side cafe. We got tired out before we found the jardines, so we retraced our steps.
On the way back to the station, we noticed lots of mothers wheeling their babies in various kinds of carriages. The mothers weren’t always dressed well, but the babies always seemed to be well cared for. And I noticed lots of cute little red headed babies. As we continued, we noticed they were putting in a new sewer or something of the sort along the main drag.

Back at the station we found a “Dames” bathroom with nothing but the bare necessity. No scrubbing brush had visited its domain for some time. We saw a lady changing her outer clothes in the baggage room of the station.

At 7 p.m. we left for Paris on a pretty dark green train. We traveled third class with eight in a compartment. The compartments or fumeurs had great big windows and dark green leather cushioned seats. The windows of our compartments had signs “Reserve, American Express.”
The panorama from our train window was interesting as we sped toward Paris. There were beautiful fields of light green grass, funny shaped tall skinny trees with busy tops, thatched roofs, and people still in the fields bunching hay. Then I viewed pastured cows in a field of clover that were tied in a circle which were eating their way to the middle. And a green patch of land that looked like good old sugar beets.

As we passed a little station I saw Dames and Messieurs WC (water closets or bathrooms) signs plainly visible. Then there were more beautiful patchwork fields with a straight grove of tall trees and women wearing dresses while pitching hay.

Next we passed through a little town called Yvetot where the houses had regular roofs. Then we proceeded through another town with several short and long tunnels. I spotted a linoleum company in a little manufacturing city, funny crane businesses in another town, and more tunnels. We came to a big station in the city Rouen that was Joan of Arc’s birthplace. In another tunnel, we almost missed the whole city going through the tunnels.

We had our first glimpse of the Seine River and viewed a shrine on the hill which could have been the statue of Joan. There were more small squares of patchwork fields without any fences. They looked like hundreds of little gardens. And there were children playing on what looked like an outside basketball court. Then we passed tall narrow squarish houses, Seine River again, new houses being built, and tiny shocks of hay or grass. And farther down I noticed the Seine River winding again, a small village against a hill, and more small fields with rows of little shacks.
There was another train track next to ours and every time a train passed we almost jumped out of our skins as the shrill whistle sounded loudly. We passed a little village church with beautiful flowers. Then the train followed the Seine River for a ways, another tunnel, another tunnel, and a red roofed village. Two men in the aisle way by our compartment decided to eat lunch. It consisted of a sandwich and a bottle of wine.

We caught sight of the reflection of the trees along the river and then passed through a town with a lot of square buildings near the railroad. I glanced at my watch. It was 9:15 p.m. as we passed a man in the field still working. Another tunnel—I should have counted these blessed things!

The train followed the Seine River and the highway as well. We passed a railroad terminal of some kind and a cellophane factory that looked like a reconverted munitions factory. It was quite dark by this time and there was no light in our fumeurs. As we passed a Ford auto factory at 10 p.m. we saw the lights of Paris.

We finally arrived in Paris! My how excited 36 kids got at seeing Paris. Bev was especially excited because she expected to see Bob, her boyfriend, in a few minutes. The four men of the mob (group) tossed our suitcases out the windows and porters loaded them on a car for 15 cents. We had a nice long stroll to the depot, but Bob was not there. People gave us the once over and we did the same for them.

Two big buses had been waiting for us since 3 p.m. Then we met Andre our bus driver for the trip. We buzzed down the streets with our mouths hanging open. We passed the opera, American Express, sidewalk cafes, Place de Republique, and Hotel Moderne. We really gave onlookers a show—crazy American estudiantes in Paree!

Unexpectedly, our hotel room was heaven. From what we had heard and read we thought it would be worse. There was a great big bathtub and beautiful soft looking beds. This wasn’t hard to take in at all. However there was no soap and the toilet paper was like oil paper. But we were braced for many more hardships than this. We each spent about a half hour soaking and then settled down to bed about 1 a.m.

60 Years Ago Yesterday and Today

Utah Travelers Intrigued By Voyage Over the Ocean

Editor’s note: Here is another letter from Mrs. George H. Hansen of Provo, giving her impressions of a trip to Europe she is making with 36 Weber College and BYU students.

Dear Friends,
The ocean, the ship, the passengers – what a marvelous experience in getting acquainted with them. We had a somewhat hectic time in getting from our Times Square Hotel to Pier Five in Hoboken, N.J., the harbor. It does seem far away as I sit here in the wicker lounge of the M.S. Sibajak. But when we reach France we will be glad that we purchased our French francs and Italian lira while we were in New York, even though we did run the exchange company short of money.

The crowd of well wishers at the pier contained a few acquaintances. Pat Anderson’s sister Jean with her husband and young son were there, as were my friends, the Tirneys and Siegfieds from Easton, Pa.

The New York sky line and the Statue of Liberty, all colored a pastel green, soon faded in the distance, and our attention was on more liquid matters.

Events on the ship are numerous and varied as the passengers become oriented to their situation which is new to some and regular to others. Finding common ground with a new person is always interesting, and especially so where different nationalities are confined to such a harmonious area.

Church Services
One group are on their way to the London World Christian Convention. Their many ministers are anxious to have everyone come to their regular services onboard ship. Catholics have their services too. Our own group will have services on Sunday morning and Tuesday evening. The impromptu singing of our group as others join in singing folk songs and hymns on deck each evening is a pleasant event.

Nor do we forget that we are students. Dr. Rogers and Dr. Watkins are well equipped to give us language lessons in French, German and Italian.

A most colorful group of 60 students from the University of Puerto Rico are also studying in Europe. A young junior in college named Huberto M. Vega is typical of our own university boys in the ROTC with the same future.

Book of Songs
Last evening while we were singing on deck, a pleasant lady with reddish brown hair went to her cabin and brought back a book of folk songs for us to sing from. The book was for her married daughter Josepha who lives in Israel. Further conversation led to the discovery that the lady’s husband Jacob Stienhardt is a famous wood-cut and landscape artist who teaches in the Bezalel Art School and Museum.

Rains Came
It seems cloudy this evening. Will it rain? Yes indeed. Almost as soon as spoken, the water of the sky fell on our faces as we sat on the open deck. But we like rain for variation. All night long the heave ho of the springs of our bed told us in languages of the weather that our song on deck was prophetic, Master the Tempest is Raging. As I watch from my bed at a very early hour, I find the colors and motion of the waves most fascinating. The grey sky showering the ocean with rain and the turbulent sea heaving mountains of water toward the sky. Some waves break in a shower of misty spray and others are capped with cakes of foam.

We must contain ourselves inside. Some are more sea sick and some delve more intently in learning French.

While we were in the wicker lounge counting in French a slightly grey haired lady came up and said. “O non non,” and with a wave of her hands told us our pronunciation was not so good. Upon our invitation she gave us 1 1/2 hours of French lessons. She teaches French in a private girls school in California. Shirley Temple was her student for four years. Lessons cost $100 a month.
Upon returning from the usual sumptuous seven-course dinner in the aft dining room, Dora and I stopped to tell the officer how much we enjoyed the meal and the service on the Holland-American ship. Said he, in apparent disgust, “Holland American, oh no! Dis iss da Royal Rofterdam Lloyd.”

Proud of Record
It seems that this ship was only loaned to the Holland-American Line for this trip. The ship’s staff is proud of her record, her crew, and her captain, whose name is DeJong. They can well be proud of the hospitality and generous graciousness they bestow on their passengers. There is no class distinction on board. The staff is mainly Dutch and the interesting service personnel is Indonesian. These small fellows with dark skin and gleaming white teeth (some teeth are proudly capped with gold) wear black velvet caps, black pants and white coats. They speak a local form of native tongue, Maylan. They are most suitable servants as long experience has shown. (Shall I bring one home for you Mildren?) As they were hanging their clothes on the line, we noticed their interesting clothes line. It was two ropes twisted rather tightly together. No clothes pins were used. but opening the twisted rope, they would push a corner of the towel through. When dry the clothes were just pulled from the line. On Monday evening these Indonesian fellows will furnish our entertainment with singing and dancing. On Wednesday we have the Captain’s dinner and the accompanying merriment.

Thursday, we dock at La Havre, France, and take a train to Paris. Ah, Paris. We’ll see you there.

Tuesday, 10 June 1952:

Only half a dozen kids turned out for breakfast. We turned our clocks ahead again, so we lost another hour of sleep. At our 8:30 a.m. French class, we learned the days of the week in a song; Lundi – Monday, Mardi – Tuesday, Mercredi – Wednesday, Jeudi – Thursday, Vendredi – Friday, Samedi – Saturday, Dimanche – Sunday.

After class I really wanted to go to sleep, but I used my will power to get at those letters. Tonight was our farewell dinner and letters had to be posted by 6 p.m. tomorrow.

At 2:30 p.m. I went down for song practice, but it was fouled up by a lady with a violin who continued to play until we had to go to class at 4 p.m. Then that class fizzled out too because we couldn’t find a spot to hold it. So we studied by ourselves for a while.

The Captain’s dinner was at 6:15 p.m. That was a clue to get decorated (dressed up). Everyone came in their best or near best. There were beautiful souvenir menus for everyone with pictures of the different Indonesian Islands. I would have liked one of each of the pictures, but I only managed to get away with four of them. Earlier I had thugged one of the menus when the head Indonesian waiter was folding them before dinner. Some of the kids helped fold menus which he seemed to think was really great.

Dinner was a sumptuous affair according to my standards. The omelette surprise was quite a shock, filled with ice cream no less. So far as I had time to notice, I think almost everyone had second helpings. The napkins and linen were spotless, brand new, I do believe. I managed to crawl back to the bunk after dinner. Although, I’m sure I could have rolled back instead.

Brrr. It was zero weather in the cabin, so I attempted to shut off one of the fans. For some reason I couldn’t locate the switch. Unsuccessful at finding the switch, I ended up with a bloody hand. It was a rather minor injury, but the band-aid made it look rather major.

Henry emceed our talent show at 9:30 p.m. in the aft lounge. Mrs. Rogers sang a French number and Homing to make us all homesick. Florence sang and Henry, Kay, Margaret and Nelda did a really cute version of Little Nell. Lucy sang My Task and did a good job of it. Betty Page and Pat Anderson, decked in royal robes of bedspreads and bathrobes, did an original song about the tour and BYU. Then Hermine, Joyce, Bev and Betty Lou performed a clever song and dance routine with pigtails, freckles and patches. Herr Watkins and Rogers did a juggling and harmonica act which was superb. Quite a few visitors came in for the program and we ended the evening by singing.

Afterwards we crawled up to the fore lounge to watch the show there. The ship’s violinist-drummer was putting on a show by squeezing music out of every conceivable type of equipment: plates, bottle, old wooden violin, and bells. He was a one-man show.

Thereafter we watched the show that was put on by people and their various styles of dancing. Frenchie or China Doll as some of the kids called her put on a terrific show tonight. She was all decked out in an atrocious red creation that was cinched too tight at the waist. Her hair was done in the latest gay 90’s style which was pulled over to one side.

However, the Puerto Rican dancers were the most interesting. They really know how to dance and seem to enjoy it so much too. We lost another hour that night, so we gave up and went to bed about 2:30 a.m. or so. Dick has sworn to wake us all at 7 a.m.

Wednesday, 11 June 1952:

Sure enough—bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang—7 o’clock. At 7:30 a.m. as the chimes were ringing, I crawled out of bed. I gulped breakfast, jumped in the shower, washed my clothes, and cleaned up for class at 10 a.m. We received last minute instructions at French drill. All business with the purser had to be transacted that day.

Oh, what a beautiful day! The sun was shining and the sea was as smooth as glass. But we still had two kids tossing their cookies: Carmela and Cherie. They must have been overeating, because surely no one could be seasick on a sea as smooth as a pond in your backyard. It was such a wonderful feeling to have old mister sun beat down warmly again. We sighted a little fishing vessel, so we figured that we couldn’t be too far from land. I have to keep my trusty notebook close to write my impressions as I receive them.

Carol and I went to the bridge to visit her new boyfriend, one of the ship’s officers. The visit to the bridge proved interesting as we spotted four ships on the horizon. We, also, saw the speedometer that the water clock was connected to which gives a reading on the ship’s speed.

After lunch I went back on deck to continue writing madly. Why do I leave things till the last day? I always hate myself for it afterwards. I still have to write Aunt Carolina and Aunt Anna. Thank goodness choir practice was canceled at 2:30 p.m., because the Puerto Ricans were participating in a class in the dining room.

I had time to go to the purser’s office where I got in line behind a character with tons of big and little envelopes. I wrote another letter while I waited to buy stamps in order to mail my other letters which I had already written. Looks like I’m going to miss class at this rate. Finally, his turn was finished and then I had mine.

I dashed off to catch the last end of class. When I met Herr Rogers, Watkins and Henry on the stairs, I knew I was too late. I discovered later that class consisted of picture taking. Everyone was there except me. Well, I imagine I’ll still have plenty of opportunity to get pictures of the group. I returned to my mad letter writing! I got a letter off to Craig and Loy before the purser closed. But I still have to write to Aunt Anna and Carolina. Then I horsed around in the cabin till dinner.

This is our last dinner on the boat. I guess we’ll have breakfast tomorrow and that does it. The sea is just like glass now and has been growing steadily calmer all day. As the sun set the water and horizon seemed to blend together. This is quite different from a couple of days ago. I could hardly believe it was the same body of water.

After the last delicious dinner, I returned to the aft lounge to scribble in my wee notebook and write letters. While I was writing in the aft lounge after dinner, Bill Borcherding came by and we chatted about the boat trip, Europe, and things in general. I wonder how come I hadn’t done as much reading as I planned. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t seem like I have done hardly any reading. Girl, you have to organize yourself and your time. Amen.

Back in the cabin, we read Fielding until late, trying to cram in a few last bits of information before our first contact with a new world.