Letters from London Pt. 2

January 28, 1962

Dear Dad and Russ,

I’m seriously handicapped by the fact my typewriter is not working – skipping terribly and something amiss with the ribbon mechanism as well – and have about a dozen notes to write today.

Lots of news – finished at Wyndham’s last night and going to Geneva to visit the Toughs, probably around February 6th, then returning to London about February 27th or 28th. I have decided to return to Canada to make some MONEY and I have a booking on the ship “St. John” which sails from London around March 1 or 2 and should arrive in St. John N.B. or Halifax about 9 or 10 days later. It’s a freighter (carrying automobiles only) with accommodation for 12 passengers and the fare is only about $163.00. I’ll send you a telegram when I arrive in St. John and then take the train to Ottawa. Well-paying jobs are few and far between here in London and, strangely enough, the only interesting job I’ve heard about was one with the American Cultural Exchange people in the Congo! No thank you!

I’ll not be in Ottawa for very long – I thought I would try my luck in Toronto. But we’ll see what happens when I get home. Please don’t write to this address anymore as neither Sylvia nor I will be here after next week. In case of an emergency, the Toughs Geneva address is: 53 Route de Malagnou, but I wouldn’t write there unless absolutely necessary as my length of stay is indefinite and mail might miss me.

Dad, could you possibly hold off my insurance premiums until I get home in March as I have had to drop most of my Ottawa bank balance to pay for my passage home.

Really must get on with the other letters now. I’ll try to drop you another note either from Geneva or before I leave London.

Sylvia sends her love.

See you soon, David

Geneva 1962

David’s postcard from Geneva

February 26, 1962

Dear Dad and Russ,
Leave for London tonight after marvelous visit with the Toughs. Expect to sail for St. John on Thursday or Friday this week. Got your letter and not to worry as I think I have enough (just!) $$ to see me through to Ottawa. Have fun in Florida, Dad, and I will see you when you get back to Ottawa.
Love, David

February 28, 1962

Dear Dad and Russ,

Have just wired for $200.00 – sorry!

Awful mixup in ships – “St. John” now not sailing until March 16th and then to Boston, not N.B. or N.S. I might be able to get on a German freighter in Hamburg sailing March 6th for Baltimore. All this of course requires more money – thus the telegram.

Must dash as am writing in the Post Office and there is a queue!

Will try to advise when I have definite plans.

See you soon,

love, David

March 2, 1962

Dear Dad and Russ,

Well, I went to the bank today and they gave me $200.00 worth of £ after checking with Ottawa, so I guess you got my telegram alright. Many thanks.

My travel plans are now finalized (I think – and hope!) as follows:

I leave London by train next Monday, March 5th, arriving Hamburg in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 6th. My ship, the “Wienertor” is supposed to sail at noon that day but they have wired to say they will await the arrival of myself and three other passengers from London who were also put out by the postponement of the “St. John” sailing. As there will be absolutely no time in Hamburg to arrange for transportation of my trunk from the station to the docks, I have had to have it shipped to Ottawa independently at a cost of about $60.00. It should arrive in about a month’s time.

Now the ridiculous thing about this “Wienertor” sailing is that the shipping company here in London are unable to tell me where it is going! The only information they can guarantee is that it is bound for the east coast of the USA which might mean Boston or New York or possibly Baltimore. If it does turn out to be Baltimore, I might pop down to Washington to say hello to George, and if it turns out to be New York, I will probably spend a day or two with Bob and Joan. In any case I shall return to Ottawa by Greyhound bus from any of the above-mentioned cities. I have no idea of the exact date I shall arrive but rumor has it that the crossing will take about 10 days to begin with.

Did I mention in my hasty Post Office note that all the Toughs send their love to you two?

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Bon voyage, Dad, and I’ll try to get home before you do!


The Wienertor

The Wienertor

This is the end of David’s letters from overseas.

After returning to Canada in a very depressed state, he eventually moved to Montreal, where the story line becomes somewhat murky and then very unpleasant; however, David, being David, managed to pull through and find a new life for himself. 


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