March 27, 1957
Dear Dad & Russ,
Just a note to keep you in touch. Have spent four wonderful days just loafing around the apartment doing absolutely nothing but resting! I’m off this afternoon on the “Lorelei Express” to Hook of Holland, overnight across the channel then England and London tomorrow morning. Bob and Joan wrote to say I’ll be accommodated at their place and I’m very excited to be seeing these two kids. I am planning to spend most of the time in London but might take a couple of days to roam around the country a bit.
Weather is fine and Spring-like – sure is lovely here in Germany this time of year.
Really must dash now – have to go into Bonn to pick up my tickets. I’ll drop you a card from London.
Lots of love, Dave
April 14, 1957
Dear Dad & Russ,
First of all, Russ, a belated “happy birthday” to you. Sorry I didn’t get a card off but what with work and dashing off to England I haven’t been near a store for weeks. I do hope, however, that the beer mug arrived in good shape and that you’re getting good use out of it. The “HB” on the mug, by the way, stands for the famous “Hofbräuhaus” in Munich. I also enclosed in the parcel a selection of cardboard discs advertising a few of the brands of German beer. These discs are used as coasters here to blot up the foam (in case you’re interested).
Well now let’s see, where to start. Really not much happening outside of work here in Bonn to report. However, since last writing I did manage to get over to England for 10 days. I stayed with Bob and Joan in their most delightful little flat. They were really quite lucky to find such a nice place – and centrally heated too! It’s in a very lovely part of London just a few minutes walk from Regents Park. Joan is certainly a charmer and the two of them sure do make a wonderful pair. By the way Dad, maybe you could phone Mrs. Rivoire one of these days and let her know I’ve been to London and seen Bob and Joan. Tell her they’re very happy and have a wonderful flat. Well, London was terrific as usual. Lorna MacDougall (sister of Pam MacDougall, one of our officers at the embassy, and incidentally it was Pam and Lorna who were over here for dinner the night you phoned around Christmas) arrived in London the day after I did so we were able to make up a nice foursome with Bob and Joan. I saw two plays, two cinemas, and took in a Sir Thomas Beecham performance of the Royal Festival Hall. I also escorted Lorna to the British Museum, the National Art Gallery, and the Tower of London in the way of sightseeing. Lorna and I also took a day trip to Windsor Castle and, after Lorna left London for Cambridge and Oxford, I took two more day trips – one to Hampton Court and the other to Canterbury to see the cathedral. It was all wonderful and the weather could not have been nicer.
The trip back was a bit rough. I’m sure Elvis Presley was on board the ship when we cross the North Sea because that ship rocked ‘n rolled something terrific – did everything but stand on its end! And I meant to tell you that Bob and Joan are certainly looking forward to seeing you two in September – they even have the menu all planned for when you arrive!
Well, back to Bonn I came and then Johnny York took off for this week and next. Neither Johnny nor I had been able to take leave since last August, but with the new Communications chap in attendance now we’ve been able to manage it all right. It’s been quite hectic at the Embassy since my return from England because, as you no doubt know, the NATO ministerial meeting will be upon us in about two weeks. However, when that’s over and done with, things should get back to somewhat normal (I hope!).
The Toughs and I are driving up to Holland for Easter to tip-toe through the tulips. They should be lovely next weekend because here in Bonn they are just starting to come out in spite of rather chilly weather. By the way, I convinced Bob and Joan that Germany is the country to see in Europe and they are arriving in Bonn the second week of June, which should be lots of fun for all of us.
I was over to the Toughs the other day and Susan (age 8) met me at the door with the news that “we found your father on our kitchen floor”! It seems that Pam had washed the kitchen floor and then spread some old Ottawa newspapers down. She was making a stew when she happened to glance down and saw you looking up from the kitchen floor! The Toughs, by the way, continue to be wonderful to me and assure me they will certainly be looking you folks up when they arrive home in late June.
Well, I’m afraid that is about the limit of my news from Europe for the time being. Must get busy and dash off a few more letters – I’m way behind in my correspondence.
Lots of love, Dave