|[Left to right] Ann Wilson, Arleine Schnure, Harriet Lenk, Elsie [Barks] - Tracadero Paris - June 1945|
(Unidentified Red Cross girl at right.)
June 26, 1945
Dear Folks -
Well dear ones, I have seen Paris. We have spent one hectic week and seen most everything. We, as I have written, arrived last Monday.
Tuesday, I met two girls I knew at headquarters. One I came over with and the other was Ruth York -- remember the blond girl with glasses - the roommate of Irene. I thought Ruth was in China but she had been in France and was on her way to the Pacific. She was asking about you.
At nite four of us walked to see Paris. There are no taxicabs or buses. Subways run and street travel is done by horse and buggy (300 francs 1/2 hour ride + $6.00). We never rode in one. An officer and GI wanted to ride but I wouldn't let them spend their money. I think prices here are outrageous and refuse to pay what they ask. Hankies - $200.00, Dresses $75.00, hats $35.00, scarves $25.00. These prices are for things we would be apt to buy at home at prices we usually pay.
Tuesday night we visited the Red Cross Officers' Club. The large hotel facing the square. Lovely place. We met the Red Cross girl who helped run it and she showed us her apartment. We were able to stand on the top balcony and look across the Place de Concorde. It was a beautiful site -- Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, etc. It was from same building that President Wilson, King and Queen of England and other famous visitors appeared before the public when visiting Paris.
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Thursday _ We went to the follies Casino du Paris. Had extra ticket so we found a lonesome soldier sitting on a wall and took him along. Gosh! Our faces were red! We hadn't realized what a "follies" show in Gay Paree was like!
Friday -- Friday night we attended an Allied Movie House and enjoyed the show. Called in the Red Cross Club for coffee-and-donuts.
Saturday - Up early and took the tour to Versailles. The palace (built by Louis XIV) was wonderful. So different from any castles we had seen in England. huge with just "oodles and oodles" of statues about the grounds. Beautiful tapestries and ceiling paintings in the rooms. Saw the Hall of Mirrors. Visited Madeline Church. Saw funeral (French). Rested in afternoon. Harriet came in reporting she had picked up two bewildered GI's and for the good of the Red Cross we took them under wing. One boy was from Providence and was absolutely thrilled to see anyone from Providence. We took them to supper at Red Cross. They then took us to the Stage Door Canteen of Paris and the new GI night club (which we were anxious to see as the paper mention it so much). It was very poor - we thought.
Sunday - The GI's here in Paris are funny. They stare as we walk down the street. Most of them say "hello" and seem so grateful if we nod and greet them as we pass by. A number of them stopped us and asked us to say "hello" to them, as they haven't seen or spoken to American girls for some time.
Well this ends my stay in Paris. I'll be glad to get to camp and relax for a while. We have been running around so much - so as not to miss anything.
FOR FURTHER READING
Eiffel Tower - Official Site
Notre Dame du Paris
Palace of Versailles