Bachstelzenweg 11, Berlin, Dahlem, Germany.
22 September 1946
A beautiful Sunday afternoon and Ahyaks and I have just come home from the Vadneys, where we had noonday dinner, – out of the fresh outdoors into a closed up house which is redolent of quince preserves. I’ve been watching our quinces for some time, wondering when they would be ready. Apparently Erika believes “the better the day the better the deed”, for no one could question the activity down in the kitchen. Many of our vegetables are still “on the hoof”, the English walnuts have not yet ripened, but the quinces are the last of the many fruits this little farmette grows. I’m awaiting John’s arrival before we go up the street to Frau Hoch’s regular Sunday afternoon social, and will dig into my weekly home letter.
There’s not too much to write about for each week is pretty much of a repetition of the week preceding. The weather during the past seven days has been true equinoxial in character, storms – wind, and rain – alternating with moments of sunshine, the latter rather few and far between. There is a real autumn feeling in the air and the mornings have been rather spicy. To-day, on the contrary, has been definitely on the warm side and I worked up a good perspiration walking home from my dinner. The Sarles were there, and Gen Sullivan and a captain in the Nurses’ Corps completed the party, the two latter down for the week and from Bremen. It was a waffle and creamed turkey brunch and very tasty – as are all of Frau Pieper’s meals.
Last evening John and I were due to go to a party of Civilian Censorship Division of USF(Berlin District) with our two Viennese-English friends. But something came up which demanded John’s attention, so I got Paul Lutzeier, our Employee Relations Chief who lives across the street from us, to go in his place. The girls (and the party) were located several miles away across the U. S. Sector, but we were able to get a taxi and arrived at their apartment without trouble. A Lieut. Rogers was also of the party, and as he had command of a jeep it solved the transportation problem for the rest of the evening. We sat around until about ten just talking and exchanging views and opinions on world affairs, and it was interesting to get the point of view of the girls on America, which Maja had never visited and Lulu had seen for a brief four weeks before the war, on Germany, Russia, the Trieste situation, etc. Such talks – and we get the opportunity for many of them here do a lot for one’s breadth of vision.
As you may imagine, the party – dance and cabaret – was well underway when we arrived, but we plunged bravely in and had no difficulty in catching up, staying until about 1:30. Then I invited the gang to Bachstelzenweg elf, so back we five came – and the party broke up about 3:30. Six hours later I was getting ready for breakfast.
EVENING: We had a delightful time at Frau Hoch’s, just sitting around talking. Few in the crowd were completely bi-lingual – think Lulu Duppes(one of the Viennese, Maja, had to spend the day on duty in the office) was the only one. But we always get along quite satisfactorily, often with a lot of fun at the mistakes of the others – and our own. One of the German men was an architect and water color artist, and naturally we found a good deal in common. I’m hoping to buy a couple of his paintings some time later – I like them very much. Thru Hans, I got an Ihagee 35 mm. projector for transparencies this evening, so John and I have been running through all of our transparencies. I’ve been trying to pick up one of these projectors for some time and am delighted to finally have it. Ihagee also makes the Exakta camera, which rates in the same class as the Leica and Contax, meaning the best. I also bought a new wrist watch at the PX this week, the first really good one of that type I’ve ever had. It’s a Paul Buhre, a make not well known in America but rating well here (Swiss, of course). It cost me $54.50, good American money, and would probably cost something over $100 in the States. It was the result of a so-called raffle. Good Swiss watches, German cameras, etc. are hard to get, so when the PX gets some of them in we all put our names on slips and the winners who are drawn have an opportunity to buy the items. I also won the privilege of buying a 3-C Argus 35 mm. camera with flash attachment. I had no use for it, but bought it and immediately sold it to George Vadney, who wanted it very much.
I’ve been putting in more time this week on enlarging and have another batch of recruitment pictures to send to Heath. Generally speaking, the weather has been too poor to take pictures but I have enough darkroom work to do on films already exposed to keep me busy for some time. —— Nothing from you this week, there should be a letter along soon, tho, I hope. Lots of love to you all.